A Pet Owner’s Guide: First Aid for Cats

Who doesn’t love cats? They are sensitive, intelligent, and so adorable. (Image:  Pixabay /  CC0 1.0)
Who doesn’t love cats? They are sensitive, intelligent, and so adorable. (Image: Pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Who doesn’t love cats? They are sensitive, intelligent, and so adorable. Cats don’t easily get sick, but it’s always a good thing to keep a first aid kit handy. The kit should have a thermometer, round nose scissors, cotton wool, Elastoplast, olive oil, paracetamol, table salt without iodine, glucose powder, medicinal paraffin, milk of magnesia, eye cream, Cicatrin antibacterial cream, Savlon, and 3 percent hydrogen peroxide.

Consulting a veterinarian

Consult a vet if your cat has been in an accident, looks weak or dull, has respiratory problems, is making sounds of pain or discomfort, has balancing difficulties, or urinary or defecating problems. It is important to remember that you need to keep calm in a crisis.

Resuscitation

Approach your cat carefully and slowly. A cat in shock or pain has the potential to lash out if they feel threatened. In the case of an injury, begin first aid immediately while someone phones the vet.

In the mouth-to-nose method, first, check for any obstruction in the mouth, and remove it with a hairpin or pliers. Put the cat on its back and pull its tongue out. Hold its mouth closed with your hand and blow rhythmically once every second into its nose. Persevere, even if it takes an hour. Another approach is the pressure method. Put the cat on its side. Open its mouth. Remove obstructions. Pull its tongue out. With your palms in the middle of its chest, one inch behind the elbow, push down firmly, release quickly, and repeat. Don’t give up, even if it takes an hour.

Consult a vet if your cat has been in an accident, looks weak or dull, has respiratory problems, making sounds of pain or discomfort, has balancing difficulties, urinary or defecating problems. (Image: Pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Consult a vet if your cat has been in an accident, looks weak or dull, has respiratory problems, is making sounds of pain or discomfort, has balancing difficulties, or urinary or defecating problems. (Image: Pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Wounds

In the case of injuries, bandage the wounds to help stop bleeding. Use cotton wool, tissues, or a piece of toweling and bandage the wound. With internal injuries, your cat will bleed from its nose or mouth. Treat your cat for trauma (if conscious and not vomiting) with a mixture of 50 ml glucose powder in 500 ml water every 2 hours, and then, go to the vet.

Splints

Only a broken lower leg can be splinted. Let the cat lie with the sore leg up. Use sticks or anything fairly rigid of the right size to make a splint. Put the leg on the splint and bind it with a sock or Elastoplast. Treat your cat for pain and trauma, and take it to the vet.

Worms

It’s important to mention that kittens must be taken to the vet at 6 weeks to be given medicine for roundworms, and then again at 3 months for tapeworms. Older cats must be regularly given medicine to prevent worms as prescribed by the vet.

Earache

Causes of earache in cats are germs, mites, or foreign objects. Symptoms include rubbing, pushing head hard against the wall or other places. If the ear smells bad, or there is discharge, put a little lukewarm olive oil in the ear, and give your cat a quarter paracetamol; never give a cat aspirin. Don’t put anything else in the ear. Consult a vet.

Treat your cat for pain and trauma before taking to a vet. (Image: maxpixel / CC0 1.0)

Treat your cat for pain and trauma before taking to a vet. (Image: maxpixel / CC0 1.0)

Hairball

The cause of a hairball lodged in the stomach is from licking the pelt and swallowing the hair.   The hair forms into a ball in the stomach, especially in the case of long-haired cats. Symptoms are eating grass and belching. More symptoms include vomiting, difficulty in defecating, appetite loss, and pain in the abdomen. For relief, you can administer 25 ml medicinal paraffin, and if the hairball still hasn’t come out, head on over to the vet. Prevent hairballs by brushing your cat regularly.

Electrocution

In the event of your cat or kitten having bitten through an exposed electrical wire and received a shock, it may be unable by itself to release the cord. If the cat still has the electrical cord in its mouth, do not touch it. Remove the plug from the outlet. Disconnect the plug from the socket immediately before touching the cat. If you touch the cat before disconnecting, you can also be shocked. If the cat is not breathing, feel for a heartbeat by placing fingers about one inch behind the cat’s elbow and in the center of its chest. If the cat’s heart is not beating, perform CPR. If it’s beating, perform artificial respiration. If the cat’s mouth or lips are burned (bright red), swab them gently with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. Do not use any other antiseptic. Transport the cat to the veterinarian immediately.

These are some of the ways you can help your cat when it has minor or grave injuries.

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