Brushing up on cat first aid
Cat’s can suffer a sudden illness or get into the sort of mischief that leaves them requiring first aid, so it’s important to be prepared for your kitty taking a turn for the worse, should the day come when your pet needs your help.
Start by making a note of your vet’s number. Pop it into your mobile and keep it close to your landline handset. If you do encounter a problem, it’s usually advisable to take your cat to the vet, where treatment can be provided quicker than if the vet was to visit your home.
If your cat does get injured, keep calm and approach quietly and slowly, avoiding sudden movements. Lift your feline by placing a hand under their chin on the front of the chest, and the other behind their back legs.
Placing your cat on to a towel will bring comfort if you need to move them. If the injury is serious enough that your pet needs to visit a vet, try and coax them into a carrier, to provide safety and security. When an animal is injured and frightened its behaviour can differ from the norm. Approach with caution and be aware that it might try and bite you.
If they are bleeding, pop a tight bandage on the wound, using strips of towel or clothing if you don’t have a proper first aid kit. If blood seeps through, apply another tight layer. If you can’t get a bandage in place, press a sterile pad firmly on to the wound and head for the vet’s as soon as possible.
If you can access the effected area to bandage it, use a non-stick dressing on the wound and cover with swabs or a bandage. Place a layer of cotton wool over this and cover again with a cotton bandage. Ensure this top layer stays in place by using surgical tape. Steer clear of using sticking plasters and change the bandage at least every 24 hours.
If chemicals have entered the eye, flush out repeatedly, preferably with an eye bottle, and call the vet. If your cat suffers trauma to the eye or discharge is present, you need to contact your vet immediately.
Burns and scalds
Never apply ointment or cream. Instead, run cold water over the effected area for at least five minutes, before phoning your vet. A saline-soaked gauze can be applied to keep the burn or scald clean while traveling.
Suspected broken bones
Always treat serious bleeding but do not attempt to splint the leg - it will be painful for the cat and can force the bone through the skin.
Tail injuries can cause serious bladder problems. Don’t delay in seeing your vet if your cat’s tail is limp, has been trapped or pulled hard.
We have provided a few first aid tips here, but if in any doubt about your cat’s health, opt for safety first and always call your vet.
4 August 2015
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