Cat First Aid Tips

cat first aid

Anything can happen in the life of a pet parent. So many situations can arise that require immediate attention, and having a first aid plan in place can help. Understanding some of the basics of pet first aid can help make a dangerous situation a bit more bearable for both you and your pet. With these cat first aid tips, you should be well on your way to providing attentive care when your pet needs it the most.

The Pet First Aid Kit

Having the right tools available to get your pet out of a difficult situation is a great way to prepare for accidents. One of the most effective methods to do this is to purchase or build a pet first aid kit. There are many great options available online or through our vet that are already packed with everything you need. If you opt to build one yourself, make sure to do your research first – you don’t want to be in an emergency situation and not have the right stuff to help.

Although this list is not comprehensive, some of the items to make sure are included in your kit are:

● Emergency Contact Information – Have a hard copy of all emergency contact numbers for friends, family, and especially emergency animal centers and veterinarians in the area. Also include any national hotline numbers for poison control, etc.

● Tools – Scissors, tweezers, flashlight, turkey baster, rectal thermometer, latex gloves

● Supplies – Cotton swabs, q-tips, adhesive tape, sterile gauze pads, bandages, splints, tongue depressors

● Medicated Products – Antiseptic lotion, hand sanitizer, alcohol swabs, hydrocortisone cream (3%), styptic liquid, antibiotic ointment

● Miscellaneous – Dish soap, lubricating jelly, instant hot/cold packs, water, medical records, muzzle, carrier, leash, harness, vaccination documents

Having a fully stocked first aid kit is your first line of defense in a pet emergency situation. It will make an otherwise life-threatening emergency potentially less dangerous and give you valuable time to get to the emergency clinic.

Emergency Pet First-Aid Tips

Having a few action steps available for at-home first-aid can be a huge advantage for you and your pet if a serious situation arises. Here are a few tips you can be aware of for the next time something happens.


If you suspect your pet has consumed a toxic substance, call the pet poison hotline right away at 1-888-426-4435. Do not induce vomiting in your cat, visit the vet immediately.


First, take care that your pet may bite. If they are still breathing, take them to the vet immediately. If they are not breathing, try to carefully remove the object with pliers or tweezers if it’s visible. If not, turn the animal on its side and place your hands at the edge of their ribcage. Perform quick, firm, upward and inward thrusts until the object comes loose. Visit the vet immediately if it does not dislodge.

Open Wounds

Anything that causes an open wound needs to be addressed right away before infection sets in. Do not try to remove any protruding objects. If there is a lot of bleeding, immediately apply pressure to the area with a clean towel or large gauze until clotting forms. If not bleeding, prep the area by cleaning away any debris. Clean the area with water (not alcohol or peroxide) and apply gauze. In either case, visit the vet immediately.


During a seizure, make sure any potentially dangerous objects are away from your pet. Do not try to restrain them or put your hand in their mouth, they won’t swallow their tongue, but they may bite you. Once the seizure has run its course (typically less than five minutes), visit the vet right away.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the basics of pet first aid can dramatically increase the chances of an emergency being resolved without causing too much unnecessary harm to your pet. By applying these cat first aid tips, you can be sure to have the best chance of overcoming an emergency situation before things get out of hand. Please make sure to reach contact us immediately if you have a pet emergency. Our team of veterinary professionals are ready and willing to help you right away.