Next month is Disaster Preparedness Month, a reminder that if you aren’t already prepared for an emergency, it’s a good time to get organized. Having a pet is definitely good incentive to have a plan. So many pets end up lost or injured during a disaster. Don’t let your cat be one of them. These tips will help you get your pets and home ready to hunker down in case of emergency – in case of ANY emergency.
Microchipping isn’t just for dogs! Even if your cat is inside-only, if he isn’t already microchipped, now is a good time to get it done. If he runs off, or the two of you get separated and he ends up at a shelter or veterinarian, they’ll check for a microchip and contact you right away. If your cat is already microchipped – make sure the information is up-to-date. Old information won’t be of any help, and if you can’t be reached, you risk your cat being adopted into a new family.
Prepare for an Injury
In the event that your pet is injured, having a few items on hand will make a trip to the emergency vet a lot easier.
A Pet Emergency Info Card will keep all your pet’s info, including any allergies they may have and their regular vet’s information. It can be filled out, then kept in your wallet or purse with your credit cards and personal I.D., and pretty much forgotten – until the time comes that you need it! When your pet is hurt, you won’t regret spending the two minutes it takes to write the necessary information down, and it’s small enough to be carried at all times.
Having a pet first aid kit on hand can keep an injury from becoming more serious if you’re able to give it some attention the moment you notice it. Even just cleaning and wrapping a wound can keep your cat from making it worse by nibbling and licking at it.
Prepare for a Home Disaster
The ASPCA recommends having a Rescue Alert Sticker on exterior windows and doors. These can be a big help in the event of a gas leak or fire. Tempted as you may be to go back into your house, however dangerous, to make sure your pets get out, it’s best to leave it to firefighters and first responders who have been trained to handle these situations. If they see a sticker on your door or window, they’ll be aware of and try their best to get ALL living bodies, human and animal, out of your home. You can get a set of stickers from the iHeartCats store if you don’t already have some.
Prepare to Evacuate
No matter how prepared you are to ride out a disaster, if local authorities issue an evacuation order, EVACUATE. Do NOT leave your pets behind. If your home isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets either. If you have Rescue Alert Stickers on your home and you’re leaving, make sure to write “EVACUATED” across them so responders know that your pets are out of harm’s way if something happens to your house.
Good disaster preparedness means already having on hand what you need to travel with your pets. This includes items like a leash (yes, for your cat!), a portable pet bowl, and a travel crate. Check out our helpful article on traveling with your cat, and see the ASPCA’s list for evacuating with a pet.
We don’t like to think about disaster until it’s looming, but sometimes it can happen in the blink of an eye. Even a little preparation can go a long way in keeping you and your pets safe. Show your cat how much you love him by having a plan to keep him safe, no matter what.