How to Keep Your Cat Safe During Natural Disasters
As a cat owner, you must be prepared to effectively handle disastrous situations. As much as we hope that nothing bad will ever happen to us or out cats, we plan for the worst so that we can be prepared and act quickly – without panic. It can be really helpful for you to have a plan in place. A disaster kit and evacuation plan will also come in handy in case of emergency! Cats should be fully protected from natural disasters like; flash floods, hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, earthquakes, and winter storms. Since disasters can happen at any time and anywhere with virtually no warning, you need to prepare the safety of your cat in advance. Disaster preparation can be stressful but it pays at the end. Let’s look at some tips on how to keep your cat safe in natural disasters.
What to include in your cats disaster preparedness plan
This is one of the best ways to protect your cat in case of a natural disaster. The kit contains the medical and vaccination history of your cat. Also put in a copy of your the cat’s license information and a recent photo of them that you can use in case they get lost or separated. Add in a two-week supply of medication and non perishable food. If you want to make it more comprehensive you may include a list of specialized pet shelters as well as their phone numbers. Keep the phone number of your vet and emergency clinic. You may want to keep a collar/leash there as well – but this could be additionally stressful if your cat isn’t leash trained.
Cats I.D tag
Ensure your cats are wearing identification tags and collars. During the natural disaster, you could be separated from your cat no matter how careful you are.You should also include your name and contact number. Make sure the microchip registration is under your name and the contact information is correct! It is easy to forget to update this when you move or change your phone number. Even if there is no disaster, it is always a good idea to have your cat properly micro-chipped in case of loss.
Look for a safe place to accommodate your cat in advance
Since some disasters will force you to evacuate your home, it’s important to plan in advance where you will take your cat in case of a disaster. As a cat owner, you should never assume that when the disaster happens, you will be allowed to bring your cat to the emergency shelter. In fact, you should call your emergency management office to check if they can allow you to evacuate with your cats. If you have a family member or a friend, you can ask them to keep your cat temporarily. Decide in advance how your family will handle the natural disaster and review it often makes the situation less stressful. This includes having a plan for cats that are in crates or confined to a room while you are away.
Plan for your cat in case you are not at home
Make some arrangements with someone you can trust in case you are away during the disaster or the evacuation. The cat should be familiar with that person. Likewise, he or she should be comfortable with the cat. The emergency caretaker should have a key to your home. Don’t forget to show them where you keep the disaster supplies.
You should have pet rescue alert stickers
The stickers ensure that the rescue team is aware that there are pets inside your house. They should be placed in a strategic location to make it easy for location by the rescue workers. Make sure it specifies how many and what type of pet is inside!
What to do?
During the disaster
You should gather your emergency items and kit. Use a backpack or basket that is easy to carry and that is convenient in size. A carrier will keep your cat contained and safe, but a box or any container with a lid (and air holes) will work. Take your pet to the emergency shelter. Ensure your cat has plenty of food and water and has identification on all belongings.Don’t forget some plastic bags for poop clean up. Necessary medications with clear instructions should also be included. Since pet shelters are served on first come first served basis, it’s recommended that you call in advance to place your booking. This will also help in determining their availability.
After the disaster
You should walk your cat to familiarize them with the area. At first, the unfamiliar scents to your cat can make them feel lost or confused. You must be patient with your cat since they might take time before they get back to normal. They may also have behavioral problems related to stress. In case they have any health problems or injuries, you should talk to your veterinarian. If your cat is lost, you should contact the animal control unit where lost animals are housed. You should take the picture of your cat to them and the microchip information.
Taking all the necessary precautions before the natural disaster, will help to protect your cat and most definitely increase their chance of survival. We should not forget that cats are family members too so, looking out for them is equally important. The above tips on how to keep your cat safe in natural disasters have proved to be very effective.
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