Emergency First Aid Tips for Cats

In an emergency, keep a level head and quickly get your cat to the veterinarian. Call first. If your doctor's office is not open, call the nearest emergency pet clinic. Keep emergency phone numbers near your telephone.

Unless you have been trained and are absolutely positive you can administer CPR to your cat, it's best - and safer - to seek immediate veterinary care. However, there are some things you can do to help your cat before you get him to the hospital/clinic as soon as possible:

  • Wrap your cat in a heavy towel or blanket to keep him warm and restrict his movements. Having assistance would be helpful.
  • Apply a pressure bandage (sterile gauze or a clean handkerchief) to stem or stop the bleeding of a cut or bite.
  • Apply cold compress to a burn and gently hold it there until you get to the veterinary clinic.
  • Do not induce vomiting if you suspect or know your cat has swallowed a poisonous substance.
  • At any sign of choking (drooling, difficulty swallowing, pawing at the mouth, gagging), do not attempt to remove the item.
  • If your cat suffers heatstroke, take him to a cool spot and sponge him with cold water. Encourage your cat to drink small amounts of water.
  • If your cat suffers frostbite, place him in a warm room immediately. Thaw out the frostbitten areas slowly by applying warm moist towels that are changed frequently until the area becomes flushed. Severe frostbite can result in damaged paws and ear tips, so it is best to let your veterinarian determine the extent of the damage as soon as possible.

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