If you're a cat parent, you know emergencies seem to happen only after hours, on weekends, or holidays. And trips to the emergency vet - if there's even one in your area - are expensive. While you'll sometimes need emergency care, there are situations you can handle at home - if you have "pre-prepared" your pet with your vet.
Being "pre-prepared" means your cat and vet know each other well. Your vet has given you instructions about treating specific disorders at home typical to your kitty. Of course, she'll want to see your cat if his condition doesn't improve in a couple of days. This blog is about things you can do at home to make your cat feel better in the meantime.
To be clear, we don't mean broken bones, seizures, or serious illnesses. We are talking about being able to treat your cat from home because his is prone to certain afflictions. These are issues for which your vet has previously treated your cat and for which you have specific medications or over the counter ointments on hand.
If your cat is prone to scratching and has rashes or bite marks, he may have fleas or be reacting to a specific allergy. Recurring conditions can be treated with the medication sent home by your vet the last time your cat experienced itching.
No one likes this one - especially your kitty. So if your cat is prone to intestinal upsets, have a plan ready. Most likely, your vet will have "pre-approved" an initial 12 to 24-hour fast until the rumblings have subsided. This will enable you to feed your cat smaller amounts of bland foods, like boiled chicken and rice, until you can get him back on his regular diet.
About 35 percent of cats get hairballs. That is not surprising, given all their personal grooming. Hills, cited below, point out that "long-haired cats, such as Persians and Maine Coons, are more susceptible to hairballs simply because they have more hair than their short-haired friends."
The season has something to do with hairballs, too. Hills notes, "Hairballs may be more common when the weather warms, as all cats tend to shed their heavier winter coats." It's easy to be "pre-prepared" for this issue. You probably have olive or fish oil handy. They are safe and natural lubricants to help your feline expel hairballs. Note: be sure your cat isn't allergic to these oils or that diarrhea isn't a side effect.
Now, in the spirit of being "pre-prepared," why not make an emergency kitty kit right now? I use an old makeup train case with nice compartments to keep things organized. The following items suggested by Cat Health, cited below, are wise to gather or purchase for your kit. Be sure to restock as necessary.
Nail clippers for cats
Tweezers or a hemostat
1 or 2 6cc dosing syringes for administering medication or flushing wounds
A lubricant such as petroleum jelly
Antiseptic hand wipes
Sterile non-stick gauze pads
1-inch bandage tape
A small bottle of antiseptic cream
Tick removal tool
Quote to remember: "I have lived with several Zen Masters - all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle
"Essentials for Your Feline First Aid Kit"
How Stuff Works
"Home Remedies for Cats"
"How Do You Manage Hairballs in Cats?"