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First aid for a cat step by step [examples + infographic

First aid for a cat

Have you ever witnessed an accident involving an animal?

Have you been faced with needing to help your friend immediately when something happened for which you were completely unprepared?

Or maybe you are concerned that something might happen and you want to be prepared for that eventuality?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, this article is for you.

In it, I will focus on situations that require the owner immediate reaction, I will outline how you can help the pet before the doctor sees it, and I will describe the scheme for giving pre-veterinary first aid.

  • First aid for a cat
  • First aid kit for a cat
  • Normal cat's vital signs
    • Temperature
    • The color of the cat's skin and gums
    • Capillary Refill Time (CRT)
    • Skin elasticity test
    • The number of heartbeats
    • Pulse
    • Respiration
    • Mental state assessment
  • Critical situations
    • Critical situations directly threatening life
  • First aid for a cat: resuscitation
  • First aid for a cat: bleeding
  • Managing cat wounds
    • Paws and fingertips
    • Dressing the limbs
    • Dressing the cat's tail
    • Neck
    • Chest and abdomen
    • Head wound dressing
  • First aid for a cat: fracture
    • A fracture in a cat
  • Loss of consciousness in the cat
  • Shock in a cat
  • First aid for a cat: breathing difficulties
    • An asthma attack in a cat
    • Foreign body in the cat's throat
    • Foreign body in the cat's mouth
    • Cat bite by wasps or bees
  • First aid for a cat: choking
  • Foreign bodies in the esophagus
  • Heart failure
  • Urethral obstruction in cats
  • Electric shock
  • Poisoning in a cat
    • Poisoning with paracetamol (acetaminophen)
    • Poisoning with metaldehyde (preparation for fighting slugs)
    • Poisoning with petroleum products
    • Pyrethrin poisoning
    • Ethylene glycol poisoning
    • Poisoning with acids or bases
    • Poisoning with anticoagulant rodenticides
    • Smoke poisoning
    • Cat poisoning with carbon monoxide
  • First aid for a cat: burns
  • First aid for a cat: flooding
  • First aid for suffocation
  • First aid for a cat: gunshot wounds
  • Fall from a height
  • Chest Injury
  • First aid for a cat: heat stroke
  • First aid for a cat: hypothermia
  • First aid for a cat: frostbite
  • First aid for a cat: snake bite
  • Traumatic emergencies
  • A cat is hit by a car
  • First aid for a cat: abdominal damage
  • Cat head trauma
  • Spinal cord injury
  • First aid for convulsive attacks
  • Foreign body in the cat's eye
  • Eyeball prolapse

First aid for a cat

I have divided this article into 2 parts:

  1. General part with the following information:
    1. First aid kit contents.
    2. Normal cat vital signs.
    3. Critical situations that may arise in your pet.
    4. How a cat is resuscitated
    5. Wounds dressing methods.
    6. Management of bleeding / haemorrhage.
    7. Fixation of fractures.
  2. Detailed section, containing a list of specific cases that may happen to your pet with a description of the appropriate action.

It is important that you keep the information in Part One assimilated and mastered.

I want you to be able to do so in the event of any event involving a pet help him quickly without wasting valuable time to browse books or look for tips on the Internet.

After reading the First Aid article, you'll know how to:

  1. Assess the proper vital signs of the cat.
  2. Qualify all injuries as those that are directly life-threatening and prioritized in the first aid action, and those that are not absolutely necessary to act quickly.
  3. Carry out the resuscitation action yourself.
  4. Dress the wounds.
  5. Stop the bleeding.
  6. Temporarily immobilize a bone fracture.

In the detailed part, a lot of information will be duplicated, because the procedure in most difficult cases is similar.

In fact, in all emergencies, you should always be prepared to take resuscitation, necessity stopping bleeding if immobilization the animal.

Therefore, in the second part of the article, I will only mention them in words, and the manner of carrying out these activities is emphasized in the general part of the article.

That's it with a word of introduction. Now you only need to read the following study.

Feel free to read this article, it is worth reading the whole article!

First aid kit for a cat

What should a cat's first aid kit contain?

First aid kit is a necessary element of the car's equipment and every responsible driver takes it in the trunk.

For good reason.

You never know what might happen, and knowing that the right materials and equipment are available to you, basically improves the rescue operation and allows you to focus on more important things than running and looking for dressings or bandages.

That is why we too - as caring guardians of pets - should always have it at hand.

The point is not to "call the wolf out of the forest", but rather to feel safe.

So what should it contain first aid kit for animals?

  1. Telephone number for a trusted veterinarian. It would be best if it was the doctor treating your pet, but in an emergency, it is important that he just pick up the phone. Therefore, find out in advance which offices or clinics have a 24-hour duty, write down this number and put it in a visible place of the first aid kit.
  2. Information about your cat's normal vital signs. It is known that the owner knows his pet best. It is a good idea to make a list of your pet's correct parameters in advance. It should contain the following data:
    • Internal body temperature,
    • the color of the skin and gums,
    • capillary time (time to fill the capillaries),
    • test results for dehydration,
    • the number of heartbeats per minute,
    • pulse / heart rate,
    • breaths per minute,
    • normal consciousness, way of reacting,
    • the cat's current weight.
  3. A muzzle or strip of cloth that can be used to hold the mouth in place. Even specials are available muzzles for cats, which allow you to protect yourself from being bitten.
  4. Dressing materials:
    • sterile gauze pads in various sizes,
    • sterile gauze (dimensions 0.5 x 0.5 m and 1x1 m),
    • elastic bandage,
    • plain bandage (various sizes),
    • wound sealing plasters (various sizes),
    • a roll of plaster (without dressing),
    • bubble wrap (with air bubbles) - can be useful for immobilizing limbs.
  5. Scissors with rounded ends.
  6. Narrow tweezers (for removing foreign bodies).
  7. Electronic thermometer (preferably with a flexible tip).
  8. Emergency blanket (highly recommended), optional clean towel or blanket (for immobilization or warming).
  9. An antiseptic solution for cleansing and washing wounds (e.g. rivanol, octenisept, iodine, hydrogen peroxide. Remember that phenol is harmful to cats!).
  10. Cotton swabs.
  11. A clean cloth.
  12. Oiling agents (e.g. petrolatum).
  13. Sterile saline for washing wounds (may be contact lens rinse).
  14. Activated carbon.
  15. 3% hydrogen peroxide solution for poisoning.
  16. An antihistamine (e.g. Claritine).
  17. Antidiarrheal preparation (e.g. Smecta or veterinary product).
  18. Latex gloves.
  19. A small flashlight.
  20. Strong tape (used to immobilize the animal).

Normal cat's vital signs

What are the correct vital signs of a cat and how to check them?

I mentioned earlier that it is a good idea to put information about normal physiological values ​​for your cat.

For what?

Because of a few reasons.

First of all, any deviation from these standards can be a warning signal for you that something is wrong with your pet.

In addition, this list will allow you to assess the degree of advancement of irregularities (e.g. the temperature of 39.3 ° C is only slightly elevated in a cat, which normally has 38.9 ° C), will facilitate first aid and help answer the question of whether and when to contact a veterinarian.

First, however, let's learn how to determine the basic vital parameters of our pet.


How to take a cat's temperature?

The internal body temperature is one of the basic elements taken into account when assessing the patient's clinical condition.

Due to the ease of implementation and the wide availability of equipment, it is recommended that the owner be able to measure the temperature of his cat.

To take a cat's temperature, follow these steps in order:

  1. Have a thermometer (preferably electronic, with a soft tip), liquid paraffin or petroleum jelly (or even vegetable oil, if you do not have the above two), a little alcohol to disinfect the thermometer after use and a fairly large towel or blanket to restrain the patient. Don't forget the cat as well ?
  2. It is a good idea to ask a second person to help you take the temperature. Its task will be to properly hold and immobilize the kitten. It can immobilize him by holding the skin on the back of his neck (just behind the base of the skull) with a firm grip. If your pet is an extremely assertive cat, it is also worth protecting yourself from sharp claws by wrapping him in a blanket or a towel. Never lose your vigilance, because even an exceptionally calm and cuddly kitten can lose patience while violating his personal dignity

    Therefore, protect yourself from possible scratching or biting.

  3. Grease the tip of the thermometer with one of the aforementioned "lubricants".
  4. Grab your pet's tail at the base and lift it up slightly. Your assistant should place his hand just below the pet's tummy, making sure it does not sit down suddenly during the measurement. Insert the tip of the thermometer very gently, slightly rotating it around the long axis - this will allow for gentler penetration. You definitely shouldn't force it in - it can lead to soreness and will definitely cause trauma to your cat.
  5. Wait for the acoustic signal from the thermometer to indicate the end of the measurement.
  6. Then remove the thermometer, wipe it with a tissue and read the result. Then disinfect the tip of the thermometer with alcohol.

Check now whether the obtained value is within the normal range or whether it is necessary to consult a doctor. Normal temperature for a cat is 38-39 ° C.

Temperature 34-37 ° C already indicates hypothermia (of various degrees) and it is recommended that the kitten be examined by a veterinarian on the same day.

Likewise the temperature 39.5-40.5 ° C suggests a fever and qualifies our pet for a more detailed examination by a doctor. If the pet is warm at the level of: below 34 ° C or above 41 ° C drop everything and take your pet to the clinic immediately! Such temperatures are critical!

A cat's body temperature may depend on:

  • From age of the cat. As a rule, very young kittens have a slightly lower temperature than adult kittens. Immediately after birth, the puppies have a temperature of approx. 36.1 ° C, and the toddlers are less than a month old 38 ° C.
  • From cat breed. For example, sphynx cats have a higher body temperature than individuals of other breeds. One could say that in this way they compensate for the lack of a hair coat. The physiological temperature in sphinxes can be 39.5 ° C, No wonder they feel hot to the touch.
  • From ambient temperature. It is normal for animals to have a slightly higher internal temperature in hot weather. Of course, healthy cats have a properly functioning thermoregulation system, which does not allow the temperature to get too high (in conditions of really high external temperatures, special thermoregulatory mechanisms are activated to prevent overheating). Therefore, do not expect that your pet will always show a temperature of the same level, regardless of the conditions 38.8 ° C.
  • From recent physical activity. During movement, body temperature may rise from 0.1 to even 2 ° C. An animal that has just been playing intensively or running will have a slightly higher temperature. Also, a long "fight " with the cat while trying to measure the temperature and strong stress may falsely inflate the measurement results. Therefore, you should give your cat a rest, as in a healthy cat the temperature will certainly return to normal after a short rest.
  • From individual tendencies. It happens that completely healthy animals constantly have a body temperature slightly higher than the physiological norms.
  • From physiological state. Heat in kittens, as well as pregnancy, may slightly increase body temperature.
  • From time of day. During the day, the temperature fluctuates in each animal - it is the lowest since 1 o'clock. at night until early morning, then rises slightly in the morning, drops slightly at noon and peaks between 5 p.m. a 19. In a given individual, this daily difference between the lowest and the highest temperature is 0 to 1.5 ° C and is usually greater in very young animals.
  • From the location of the thermometer tip. No, it's not a joke. It happens that when introducing a thermometer into the anus of an animal, the examiner unknowingly places it in the cold fecal masses currently present in the rectum. Then the rectal temperature of the animal is disturbingly low - it may be approx. 37 ° C. If you suspect that this is the case with your kitten, repeat the test only after the patient has defecated. Insufficiently deep insertion of the rectal thermometer may also result in a slightly lower temperature reading.
  • From nutritional status - body temperature may be lower in emaciated cats. Even food consumption can raise your body temperature by 0.1 - 0.9 ° C for 3-5 hours!

The color of the cat's skin and gums

Since most cats have abundant, dense fur, it can be difficult to judge skin tone.

However, it is worth paying attention to the skin of the abdomen, armpits and groin area as well as the auricles.

There is the least hair there, and in the event of any changes, it will be easiest to spot them in these places.

What to look for?

The most important thing is color.

If you notice that the skin is unnaturally pale, red, blue or yellow - take your cat to the vet immediately.

If you are worried about something, also check the color of the mucosa.

The mucous membranes in animals are mostly pigmented and covered with a very thick epidermis.

Usually, the conjunctiva, the nasal and oral mucosa are examined, and if necessary, the vestibule mucosa (in cats) or the foreskin (in cats).

To examine the conjunctiva of a cat, pull the eyelids apart with two fingers, while gently pressing the eyeball into the eye socket.

This way the conjunctiva of the eye will become visible.

To view the nasal mucosa, simply lift the cat's head upwards.

To evaluate the oral mucosa, lift the cat's lips and look at the color of the gingival mucosa.

If you are dealing with an aggressive kitten that does not allow manipulation of the head, try examining the mucosa in the vestibule or foreskin.

How to check the color of the mucous membranes in a cat?

The gums and mucous membranes of the conjunctival sac should be pink.

Of course, slight differences in the shade of the color are allowed.

However, any major color change should be immediately consulted with a veterinarian.

It is possible to change the color of the mucous membranes for purely physiological reasons.

After exercise or when the ambient temperature is high, the conjunctiva and the nasal mucosa (as well as the skin, especially the auricles) may become more or less reddened.

During estrus in cats, the mucosa of the vaginal vestibule is also red.

On the other hand, when the external temperature is very low, the nasal mucosa may have a slightly bluish tinge.

Abnormal coloration of the mucous membranes in a cat:

  • Paleness mucous membranes. This is how the weak pinkish shade of the mucous membranes is defined. Sometimes - in more serious conditions - they can take on a greyish-whitish or even porcelain-white color. When you see such changes in your cat, react immediately because it is possible anemia or shock.
  • Reddening mucous membranes. Significant redness or redness is easy to recognize, especially in the mouth. They can be a moderate indicator of periodontal disease, but if you notice that your cat's mucous membranes are turning cherry or bright red in color, consult your veterinarian. It happens that with very strong emotional stimulation, the mucous membranes grow vivid red color. Brick red mucous membranes can be a sign of:
    • heat stroke,
    • carbon monoxide poisoning,
    • cyanide poisoning,
    • sepsis,
    • gastroenteritis.
  • "Dirty" or Brown mucous membranes accompany sepsis or paracetamol poisoning.
  • Sine blue mucosa or mucosa is a signal severe hypoxia. This is a very dangerous symptom that may require you to act decisively. If you can see such mucous membranes in your cat then you must be ready to take it artificial respiration, because it is very likely that the kitten will pass out in a moment. Cyanosis of the mucous membranes occurs as a result of severe hypoxia that accompanies, as a rule lung diseases or pleura, airway obstruction, and pulmonary edema. This condition occurs as a result smoke poisoning, suffocation, it happens after accidents and in the course heart failure. This symptom must under no circumstances be ignored! You need to see the vet as soon as possible!
  • Yellow mucosal. Yellow discoloration is best visible on the conjunctiva and white of the eye, and on the mucous membranes of the lips and gums. Most often it indicates liver problems (jaundice), but it can also accompany diseases with intense haemolysis. This condition requires veterinary consultation.

Capillary Refill Time (CRT)

Capillaries are microscopic blood vessels that reach almost every cell of the body.

This is what they are they give the mucous membranes their pink color and it is thanks to them that gas exchange between blood and tissues is possible.

By checking the time of filling the capillaries, you can assess the condition of the circulatory system.

To check your cat's capillary time:

  1. Lift your pet's upper lip and press your finger against the gum to temporarily discolor it in this place. It is better to perform this test on the gums than on the cheek mucosa, as pulling the lip may distort the test result.
  2. Then release the pressure. Notice that there is a pale stain on the gum where you pressed just now.
  3. Check now at what time the gum regains its normal pink color. It is at this time that the blood vessels fill with blood again that is called capillary time.
How to check a cat's capillary time?

The capillary time is correctly set 1-2 seconds.

In a situation where this time is extended to 2-4 seconds it is worth contacting a veterinarian.

Extended CRT occurs with:

  • dehydration,
  • hypovolemia,
  • heart disease,
  • spasm of peripheral blood vessels,
  • chilling,
  • pain,
  • hypoxia,
  • shakes.

If the capillary time is greater than 3 seconds or less than 1 second, it is a critical situation and requires an immediate visit to the clinic! Shortening of CRT characterizes states of shock, as well as metabolic disorders (overheating, sepsis, overactive adrenal cortex).

Skin elasticity test

The skin of healthy animals is elastic and soft and can be easily folded into folds (especially around the neck), which immediately even out when released.

At the time of dehydration, the skin loses its firmness, and the more severe its condition, the less its elasticity.

To check for dehydration in your cat, grasp the fold of skin on the nape of its neck (just behind the head or between the shoulder blades), pull it back gently, and release it.

If the fold immediately returns to its original position, you have nothing to worry about.

On the other hand, if the skin straightens slowly, you may suspect that Your cat is dehydrated.

There are situations when the fold does not return to its place after pulling - this is a sign of significant dehydration and is a signal of significant water loss.

It often accompanies it collapse of the eyeballs, and the eyes appear glassy.

If you notice these symptoms in your cat, contact your veterinarian immediately!

Such a significant loss of skin elasticity could be a sign collapse!

The number of heartbeats

To count heartbeats in one minute:

  1. Place your hand on the left side of the cat's chest so that your fingertips reach the animal's sternum.
  2. You should feel the gentle apex heartbeats under your fingers.
  3. Unfortunately, in cats, the heartbeats are weaker and less pronounced than in dogs, but they can be localized.
  4. Once you have learned to feel the heartbeat, count the number of its beats in 15 seconds, then multiply by 4.
  5. This will give you the number of heartbeats per minute.

If your pet is extremely patient, you can try to count heartbeats in a whole minute.

The average number of heartbeats in a healthy cat is approx. 100-140 beats / minute.

Most often, in crisis situations, the heart rate increases significantly.

This is called. tachycardia and it can accompany many diseases.

Very often tachycardia occurs as a result fever if severe stress, however, after accidents, it can be a harbinger of cardiopulmonary failure and even shock.

Likewise, the heart rate is too slow (bradycardia) is a very dangerous phenomenon.

Both of these conditions should be consulted with your doctor as soon as possible.

Until you arrive at the clinic, you should have your heartbeat counted every few minutes, and if it stops you must resuscitate.


The heart rate test allows you to assess the state of the cardiovascular system and is one of the most important tests used in life-threatening situations.

The best place to measure your cat's heart rate is femoral artery, on the inner surface of the hindpaw, right next to the groin.

To measure your cat's heart rate:

  1. Place the tips of your index and middle fingers over this area, gently applying pressure to the groin.
  2. Try to feel the rhythmic ripple of your pulse. This can be difficult at first, but don't get discouraged and try to find your pulse.
  3. In a healthy pet, it should be well felt, strong, rhythmic, and - most importantly - should coincide with the heartbeat.

There are quite a few characteristics of heart rate, and each of them is of great importance to an experienced clinician.

For us, animal keepers, two are the most important - the number of heartbeats per minute and its rhythm.

The number of heartbeats per minute in a healthy cat is in the range from 100-140.

Of course, there are slight fluctuations in the number of your heart rate during the day, e.g. those related to food intake (usually approx. 2 hours after eating).

Also with strong excitement, fun or excitement, it is possible to increase the heart rate by two or even three times.

When the ambient temperature is low, the heart rate usually drops, and in hot weather, it increases.

The acceleration of the heart rate is almost always present at fever, strong stress and in at drop in blood pressure (which can occur after significant blood loss, accidents, many diseases, and collapse).

Severe pain also causes your heart rate to increase.

Pulse slowing, in turn, is most often associated with heart disease.

In cats "accident", it usually occurs due to irritation of the vagus nerve due to increased blood pressure, shortness of breath or an increase in intracranial pressure (e.g. due to brain damage).

Correct pulse rhythm means that the pulse waves that you can feel under your fingers follow one another at equal intervals, are consistent in number with the heartbeats, are separated by equal intervals, and are symmetrical (i.e. measured on two sides of the body on identical arteries are the same).

Irregular heart rate may indicate heart problems, weak ones, in turn, may appear in the course shock, dehydration, drop in blood pressure or heart failure.

All these abnormal situations require contact with a veterinarian!


Count the number of breathing movements in an animal.

The easiest way to do this is by looking down on both sides of the chest and counting the breaths for 0.5-1 minutes.

It counts longer with bad breathing.

Correctly, for a cat it is approx. 10-40 breaths / minute.

If you have trouble noticing the breathing movements, place your hand on the pet's chest and estimate the number of breaths.

Under normal conditions, breathing takes place without interruption, and the walls of the chest and abdomen make gentle, slow movements.

You may notice the accompanying "game " of the noses. Normally, the pet should breathe evenly, quietly and easily.

Physiological differences in the number of breaths are possible. The number of breaths in juveniles is higher than in adults.

It also increases in fatty cats, as well as in those in a high temperature environment.

Acceleration in a cat's breathing occurs most often with:

  • fever,
  • severe soreness,
  • respiratory problems resulting from diseases of the lungs or pleura,
  • with significant ascites,
  • in the course of brain diseases and many others.

Panting and breathing with an open mouth can be a very serious symptom in cats, so you should always report it to your doctor.

Increased number of breaths per minute qualifies our patient for medical examination, as these may be the first symptoms of respiratory problems.

Contact your vet immediately if your cat:

  • the nozzle while sitting or squatting with the neck stretched out,
  • he gets tired of breathing,
  • puts elbows outwards,
  • has a bluish discoloration of the gums and an open mouth.

The same is true of slow breathing.

The morbid slowing of breathing is usually found at brain diseases and loss of consciousness.

Stopping breathing requires immediate resuscitation!

Mental state assessment

How to check your cat's reactivity

Based on your observations of the pet, assess the degree of its awareness:

  • Observe his gaze, facial expression and body posture.
  • Then check the type, speed and accuracy of the response to external stimuli, see how it reacts to:
    • call,
    • pat,
    • grasp.
  • Observe the ear and tail movements.
    Healthy cats are alert, cautious, but interested in their surroundings.
    They react to the owner, they are curious about what is happening around them.
  • Nervousness and fear are also manifestations of preserved consciousness.

The worse the animal's condition, the less it reacts to external stimuli.

When you see that your pet is delayed in reacting to stimuli, is sleepy, refuses to move or, even worse, is confused, bumps into objects, stares into space, walks around in a circle, or rolls over to the side - including this same day, consult your veterinarian.

You should be encouraged to visit the clinic immediately:

  • stupor,
  • seizures,
  • loss of consciousness,
  • coma.

Critical situations

You already know how to assess your cat's normal vital signs.

This skill comes in handy in situations that require us to take immediate action.

Therefore, it is worth practicing determining your cat's physiological characteristics and writing them down so that you can assess his condition in a critical situation.

However, when there is an emergency and how to assess the condition of an animal after a serious accident?

First of all, determine if it has occurred the situation is directly life-threatening.

It is very important to be able to estimate what requires immediate intervention and what may be provided at a later time.

However, before you start a rescue operation, make sure that the environment in which you are with your cat is safe for both him and you.

If not, move it to a quieter place.

It's worth remembering the rule 3C: Quiet-Dark-Warm.

Always provide the victim with a quiet, warm, calm space where you will limit the amount of bright, stressful light (provided the kitten is not overheated; then the place should be cool).

Check the pet's reflexes before attempting any rescue.

This will allow you to direct your subsequent action.

Answer the questions:

  • Whether the cat responds to voice?
  • Is breathing normally?
  • Whether the color of the gums and the time it takes to fill the capillaries could indicate a shock?
  • Is there a palpable pulse?
  • Can you feel your heartbeat?
  • Whether it is too cold or hot?
  • Do you see a bleeding or an open fracture?

Remember that you have to first set priorities.

Extensive burns or a broken limb are obviously very serious and painful for an animal, but progressive shock or lack of breath are absolutely the most important.

Critical situations directly threatening life

The overriding issue in rescue is the correct diagnosis of possible life-threatening conditions.

If the victim is a cat, the matter becomes even more complicated, because in this species nothing has to be clear and clear.

In crisis situations, you should trust your senses above all:

"I see, hear, feel " - this principle is valid at all stages of first aid.

You have to see chest movement while breathing, to notice possible bleeding or fractures, observe abnormalities.

You should hear breathing, possible wheezes or rales from the respiratory tract.

You should too feel pulse, palpate and find vulnerable spots, touch skin to check whether the area is cold or hot, etc.

Concentrate on those first moments, because all the rest of the rescue will depend on the conclusions you draw right now.

During the initial visual inspection, pay special attention to:

  • the number of breaths and their nature,
  • the number of heartbeats and the rhythm,
  • the number of the heartbeat, its rhythm and nature,
  • exact core body temperature,
  • the color of the mucous membranes
  • capillary filling time.

In a critical situation, it is these life activities that must be examined first.

The most important thing is that you be able to assess the condition of the injured animal and then prioritize the rescue.

Only later can you take care of the remaining ailments.

The following have absolute priority in any resuscitation procedure:

  1. Cardiac arrest.
  2. No heart rate.
  3. Hold your breath.
  4. Loss of consciousness.
  5. Shock, pale gums, rapid breathing, weak, fast heart rate, cold skin.
  6. Difficulty breathing.
  7. Puncture or a large wound to the chest.
  8. Haemorrhage.
  9. Puncture or a large wound in the abdomen.
  10. Extreme values ​​of body temperature - too high or too low.
  11. Ingestion of poisonous substances, bites.

Even if your cat does not present any of the above threats to life, you must monitor your cat for these and other disorders that also require immediate attention until you see the doctor.

Pay particular attention to:

  • extended capillary filling time (> 2 seconds);
  • low, slowing pulse;
  • brick-red mucous membranes;
  • tachycardia or bradycardia (> 250 beats per minute or < 150);
  • cyanosis of the mucous membranes;
  • seizure attack or previous seizures;
  • stupor;
  • inability to urinate.

Although the animal may not show any disturbing symptoms at the initial diagnosis, this may change at any time.

There is a concept of a "golden hour" immediately after the injury, when there is a manifestation of disorders that may lead to the death of the animal.

And indeed - the help provided during this time can significantly improve the prognosis for the patient's further health and life.

However, after the accident, there are 2 more critical periods:

  • the first one is about 3-4 hours after the damaging factor has been exposed (most patients are already in the veterinary clinic then),
  • another one is relatively distant in time and occurs on average after 3-5 days.

Therefore, be vigilant and monitor the patient even when we feel the worst is over.

The above situations require immediate action.

To do this, you need to learn how to do it properly resuscitation in a cat.

However, always, always, when a life threatening situation is identified, the first step should be to remove the triggering factor.

First aid for a cat: resuscitation

CPR is aimed at restoring blood circulation in a situation where the heart has stopped beating with loss of consciousness and apnea.

It consists of an external one heart massage and artificial respiration.

How to recognize respiratory and circulatory arrest in a cat?

  1. Lack of breathing and cyanosis of the mucous membranes.
  2. No palpable pulse.
  3. No heartbeats.
  4. Pupil dilation.

If you find such symptoms, start CPR immediately!

Cat reanimation:

  1. Make sure the scene is safe before resuscitating. If not - secure them, e.g. by placing a warning triangle.
  2. Remember about your safety - a shocked animal can hurt you.
  3. Check the cat's consciousness - shout loudly, clap your hands, tighten the paw or pinch the skin between the fingers.
  4. If the animal is unconscious, put it on its right side.
  5. Check if the cat is breathing - put your hand on the chest, watch its movements.
  6. Check for pulse - place 2 fingers in the groin and look for a pulse.
  7. If you can't feel your pulse or you are breathing:
    • open the airway, pull the head back, remove any foreign bodies from the cat's mouth;
    • bend the limb at the elbow joint - the place on the chest directly under the flexion is your pressure point;
    • give 100 compressions per minute with your hand wrapped around your chest, do not inhale!
    • for kittens, place the animal in the palm of your hand, place your thumb over the heart. Use the other fingers to hold the baby on the other side. Rhythmically press the heart with your thumb;
    • Interrupt the heart's massage every minute to check the animal's pulse and breathing.
    • Continue resuscitation until breathing and / or heart rate are restored, or until you reach a veterinarian.
  8. If you feel a pulse but there is no breathing, start artificial respiration:
    • put your mouth to the animal's nose (or put it around both the nose and mouth) and blow air twice;
    • while performing resuscitation, observe that the chest is rising. Remember not to force too much air into your kitten's lungs as this can damage them.
    • introduce 15-20 breaths per minute;
    • after a minute or two, take a 30-second break to check that the animal has resumed breathing;
    • continue artificial respiration until the animal begins to breathe on its own or you reach the vet.

To make it easier for you performing resuscitation on a cat we have prepared the following infographic. Please feel free to share, it's important.

Infographic cat resuscitation | What's in the Squeaky Hair

There are reports of use acupuncture to stimulate breathing.

Insert the needle into the nasal groove at the level of the lower edges of the nostrils and turn it pointing up and down.

This is called. Jen Chung acupuncture point (GV 26) and its stimulation can restart breathing.

First aid for a cat: bleeding

Any injured animal can develop arterial haemorrhage and if bleeding is severe it can kill the cat very quickly.

In most cases, arterial bleeding accompanies open limb fractures, but also blunt or penetrating injuries.

How to recognize arterial bleeding?

Arterial blood is usually lighter in color than venous blood.

In addition, it gushes from the wound with every heartbeat, while venous blood - darker, oozes from the wound evenly.

Minor bleeding from small vessels can be stopped by placing a cotton swab on the surface of the bleeding tissue.

Once a clot is formed, the gauze is gently removed so as not to damage the clot.

Management of cat haemorrhage:

  1. Stop the hemorrhage. Absolutely do not wash wounds that are bloody profusely! For starters, you need to get the bleeding under control. Apply sterile gauze or several layers of clean lignin to the wound and give pressure. If the blood is soaked in, apply another layer without removing the previous one. Keep on pressing and the bleeding should stop within a short time 5 minutes.
  2. If the haemorrhage has not been stopped, you must apply a stronger dressing. Keeping the gauze on the wound all the time and putting pressure on it, wrap the dressing with a bandage (you can use a regular bandage, elastic bandage or even adhesive tape). Wrap it quite tight and tuck the tip underneath. If you cannot do it, the dressing is too tight.
  3. The use of tourniquets is generally avoided. A tourniquet constricts the collateral circulation, causing a deterioration of blood supply to the tissues. If used improperly, it may allow arterial blood flow and inhibit venous outflow, thus worsening bleeding. You can put a strong pressure on the artery above the bleeding area for a while, but the safest thing is to apply a pressure dressing to the wound.
  4. Lift the injured part of the body. Raising the injured limb above the body level helps to reduce bleeding. However, don't do this when you suspect a fracture.
  5. Check that the cat shows no signs of shock. In such a situation, you must go to the doctor immediately! Wrap the cat in a towel or blanket, brush his gums with a little honey and take him to the clinic immediately.
  6. You must be ready for resuscitation if your breathing or heart has stopped.

Managing cat wounds

First aid: dressing the cat's wounds

Another important skill in giving your cat first aid is dressing and cleaning wounds.

A wound is damage to the skin and - often - to deeper tissues, usually accompanied by more or less severe bleeding.

Depending on the factor causing the wound, several types are distinguished.

For example, we can deal with a wound:

  • torn off,
  • torn,
  • stabbed,
  • cut,
  • chopped,
  • mashed, etc.

Of course, in life-threatening situations, we will not consider the etiology of the injuries, but we will try to secure the injury as soon as possible, leaving all the rest to the appropriate medical services.

So how to help an injured cat so as to help him without increasing his suffering?

Procedure in the event of an injury to a cat:

  • If the wound is bleeding heavily, do not try to flush or cleanse it. It can only make the hemorrhage worse. Bleeding in such cases promotes the natural removal of impurities from damaged tissues.
  • If you notice a wound that is contaminated with foreign material and no blood is flowing, you can rinse it with a gentle (preferably sterile) fluid to remove the debris. You can use a disinfectant liquid that does not irritate the tissues. Rinsing is better than cleaning wounds with swabs, which irritate the tissues and help bacteria trigger an inflammatory response.
  • A fairly good way to remove bacteria from the surface of wounds is to rinse with increased pressure using a large syringe.
  • After the wound has been rinsed, it should be immediately covered with a sterile gauze pad.
  • If the fur around the wound is long, shorten it with an electric trimmer or scissors with rounded ends. Trim the coat leaving approx. 2.5 cm of its length. Before that, apply a moisturizer to the wound area. The cut off hair will stick to it and it will be easier for you to rinse it.
  • Try not to touch the wounds. This will only aggravate the pain and it certainly won't help the kitten. If the pet does not allow manipulation of the damaged tissues, do not insist on cleaning them, but immediately take the animal to a veterinarian.

Paws and fingertips

  1. If the paw is injured in its further part, you should first clean, disinfect and dry the affected area.
  2. Place tiny balls of cotton wool between your toes and the pads of your metatarsus or metacarpus. Place the paw on the gauze in such a way that its half protrudes in front of your fingers.
  3. Then bend the fabric just above the limb and start (quite tight but comfortable) wrapping the bandage around the whole thing going up. Do it in such a way that each subsequent layer covers the previous layer in 1 / 2-1 / 3. Remember that the dressing should not be too tight - you can check it by sliding your finger under the bandage layer. If you cannot do this, you must loosen its scrolls.
  4. Attach the ends of the bandage with a plaster to the skin and hair.

Dressing the limbs

  1. Dress them in a similar way to the pads of the paws: put a sterile gauze pad on the wound and wrap it with a bandage.
  2. Apply the bandage to the skin with a plaster on both ends of the dressing.
  3. To prevent the dressing from slipping off the limb, you can also cover the arm and the chest and / or the hip and the back of the abdomen, respectively. Apply the cross-bandage pattern described when dressing the chest and abdomen.

Dressing the cat's tail

  1. In case of tail injuries, put a gauze pad on it, wrap it with a bandage and fix it with plaster.
  2. Lead the slice in a circular pattern from the tip of the tail to approx 5 cm in front of the place of injury; if you only secure the tip of the tail, it is sure to slip off the kitten's first move.


  1. Place a sterile gauze over the cleaned wound and wrap the neck with a bandage.
  2. Do not tighten it too tightly and make sure the dressing does not obstruct your cat's breathing.
  3. Then secure the dressing by sticking it to the hair with a plaster.

Chest and abdomen

Chest and / or abdomen dressings are applied to cover emergency wounds, as well as intentional wounds (e.g. as a result of surgery).

They should be put on fairly tightly, but without tightening.

  1. Depending on the extent of the damage, you can use an appropriate size of sterile gauze, and in a situation where the wound is very large, use sterile gauze or even a hygienic pad. It is important that the dressing material adheres fairly closely to the skin.
  2. Then wrap the base of the dressing with a bandage (7.5 - 10 cm wide) around the chest or abdomen, exerting light pressure. Each subsequent layer of bandage should cover from 1/2 to 1/3 of the previous layer. In order to avoid the dressing from slipping, apply a cross pattern every few layers - between the limbs and over the shoulders or hips.
  3. Wrap the chest with one layer of bandage, then direct the bandage from the right inguinal or axillary area to the left perineal or brachial area.
  4. Then continue wrapping the chest or abdominal cavity so that after a few "coils " the bandage is directed again across the right perineal or brachial area, through the left inguinal or axillary area to the left side. Repeat cross pattern several times.
  5. To additionally prevent the dressing from slipping off, stick the edges of the dressing to the hair with a plaster. Remember not to wrap the bandage too tightly, so that there is no restriction of chest movement and unnecessary pressure on the abdomen.

A sensational solution would be to set up a special one sleeve dressing:

  1. Cut a piece of the dressing slightly longer than the length of the body from the head to the base of the tail and cut holes for the limbs in it.
  2. Pass the sleeve over the cat's head and front paws, and then pull it in a caudal direction.
  3. Also pass this number of limbs through the cut holes.

An alternative are special postoperative gowns available from veterinarians.

Head wound dressing

Most head dressings are put on to protect the ear or eye after an injury or surgery.

There are also damage to the scalp of cats after accidents.

Due to the size and shape of the skull in cats, it is very difficult to apply a stable head dressing.

It can make breathing difficult when the neck is bent, and given the fact that these animals have a very low tolerance to any foreign bodies located on their body (especially around the whiskers), any material "stuck" to the cat's head may increase stress.

Therefore, facing the need to dress this part of the body, it is best to use a regular sock with cut off "fingers ", which is put on a gauze pad secured with a plaster.

Dressing a cat's head wounds:

  • The standard procedure is to wrap the head with a bandage (5 cm wide) in the nasal and caudal directions.
  • The wrapping starts under the chin and is done in such a way that each subsequent layer overlaps approx. 1/3 of the roll width.
  • To prevent the dressing from slipping off, its edges are glued to the skin and hair with a plaster.
  • A sleeve dressing can be additionally slipped over the bandage applied in this way.

To make it easier for you dressing a cat's wounds we have prepared the following infographic. Please share as it is important

Dressing the cat's wounds | Infographics What's in the Hair Piszczy

First aid for a cat: fracture

How to recognize a fracture in a cat?

Fractures of limbs in cats are most often the result of traffic accidents or falls from great heights.

As a rule, they are not fatal, although if unsecured, they can have serious consequences (e.g. bone fragments can damage surrounding tissues).

Depending on the break (or not) of the tissue continuity over the fracture, it can be distinguished open fractures and closed fractures.

The latter are often difficult to notice and only a thorough clinical examination and X-ray examination in a veterinary clinic can categorically dispel doubts.

However, any fracture is associated with severe pain and distress in the animal, and if there is a limb or pelvic injury, there is always lameness.

In the event of a jaw fracture, the kitten cannot eat, and the fractures of the ribs are accompanied by respiratory problems.

Animals with fractures require immediate veterinary attention.

However, you can help your pet, and who knows, maybe and save his life.

A fracture in a cat

First aid for all types of fractures

  1. Protect yourself from being bitten or scratched by a cat. Fractures are always accompanied by pain, so it will be safer to wrap the pet and cover its head while performing rescue operations. Do not cover your head when your pet has respiratory problems
  2. Assess to see if you are dealing with an open fracture. If so, you will definitely notice bleeding from the damaged area. If necessary, apply a sterile pressure dressing. Try to be gentle, do not touch the bone fragments and under no circumstances try to adjust them yourself.
  3. Carefully remove hair from the area of ​​the open fracture. You can try to rinse the fracture site with sterile saline. Then cover the bone with sterile gauze soaked in sterile physiological fluid.

First aid for spine fractures

  1. Take your pet to the vet immediately. The cat should be transported on a hard, rigid surface. You can use a cutting board, a large book, the bottom of a transport container for this purpose. Remember not to put the cat on the board. Gently slip a towel or blanket under the body of the injured person and, pulling them, slide the cat onto the board. Then cover him with a blanket.
  2. You need to prevent your pet from moving - tape it to the board it is lying on. You should place the two strips of tape just behind the front legs and just in front of the hind legs.

First aid for a broken cat's paw

First aid for a broken cat's paw
  1. Check for respiratory and cardiac arrest and perform CPR if necessary.
  2. Immobilize a broken limb. If you are more than 30 minutes from your vet, you can try to immobilize the fracture.
    • Fractures of the femur and humerus are difficult to immobilize. In such cases, it's best if you leave it to the doctor.
    • In case of fracture of the peripheral parts of the paws, make sure to immobilize the limb completely. Wrap the paw with a soft towel or piece of cloth and put a rolled newspaper or a cardboard core made of paper kitchen towels against it. Do not adjust, align or strain broken bones! Just keep your limb stable. Attach the rolled newspaper to the paw with an elastic bandage (you can use a stocking or foil). Start wrapping from the bottom and bandage the entire limb, leaving the fingers free.
    • Check that the paws do not swell - it will mean that the dressing is too tight.

If you already know how to perform CPR and how to temporarily protect your cat's open wounds.

Let us now turn to individual cases.

Loss of consciousness in the cat

What to do when your cat loses consciousness?

There may be times when you find your pet unconscious.

The most common cause of loss of consciousness is trauma caused, for example, by. being hit by a car or fall from a great height.

However, other diseases or pathological conditions can also lead to unconsciousness.

First aid in case of loss of consciousness in a cat:

  1. Take off the collar immediately.
  2. Check breathing and heartbeat; resuscitate if necessary.
  3. Raise the animal's head (e.g. put a rolled up towel under it). As long as the cat is unconscious, it should keep its head above the body.
  4. Observe that the unconscious animal does not vomit. If vomiting occurs, immediately lower his head so that the content can flow freely from the mouth without returning to the throat.
  5. Immobilize the animal. You don't know if there are any internal injuries in addition to passing out. Carry your pet on something hard or on a stretched blanket / towel. You can use the bottom of the carrier to transport your pet.
  6. Contact a vet - immediately! Continue CPR all the time during transport (if required).

Shock in a cat

Shock (shock) is an extreme imbalance between the supply of oxygen and nutrients to cells and their use.

It is a condition in which blood flow is drastically impaired, resulting in the rapid death of cells.

If left untreated, it leads to multi-organ failure and, consequently, death.

Types of cat shock:

  • hypovolemic - most common in small animals, it is associated with hemorrhage, rapid loss of fluids (e.g. with intense diuresis, diarrhea, vomiting) or displacement of fluids into the extravascular space (into the abdominal cavity, chest);
  • cardiogenic - observed with heart failure;
  • distributional - occurs with sepsis, anaphylaxis, side effects of drugs, after an injury, and in the course of neurological diseases;
  • obstructive - this includes obstacles to blood flow, but these are not necessarily due to dysfunction of the heart muscle. Cardiac tamponade, intracardiac tumors, thrombosis with embolism in the aorta and pulmonary artery are included in this category.

Symptoms of shock in a cat include:

  • peripheral parts of the body cool to the touch,
  • pale mucous membranes,
  • low blood pressure and increased heart rate (with the exception of neurogenic shock, which causes bradycardia, i.e. a slower heart rate),
  • faster and shallow breathing,
  • stupor,
  • in patients with distributional shock, the peripheral parts of the body tend to be warm and the mucous membranes are bloodshot.

If your cat is confused and weak, has difficulty staying on its feet, lies on its side, does not pay attention to its surroundings, its lips initially turn dark red or dark pink, then turn pale, white or gray after a few minutes - take the cat immediately to the doctor!

Everything happens quickly in the event of shock, so first aid and veterinary care are essential!

First aid for cat shock:

  1. Immobilize your pet, especially if it has had an accident.
  2. If the cat is bleeding, apply pressure to the wound. Use sterile gauze, clean cloth, towel, even your own hand. This won't stop the shock, but it will slow it down allowing you to buy some time to get to the doctor. Remember - if the fabric is soaked with blood, do not remove it from the animal's body, but apply another layer and continue compressing.
  3. Cover the patient with a blanket to keep him warm. The consequences of shock also lead to a drop in body temperature, which further worsens the condition of the animal.
  4. If you have time to take some honey or thick sweet syrup to your car, rub a little on your cat's gums. A shocked animal may have very low blood sugar.
  5. If breathing and / or cardiac arrest occurs, initiate CPR.
  6. During transport, be careful not to move the cat unnecessarily. If the shock may have occurred from an injury to the spine, place the cat on a rigid, hard surface (e.g. cardboard box, board).

First aid for a cat: breathing difficulties

Difficult breathing may accompany many emergency situations and may be of varying intensity.

If you notice any of the following symptoms in your cat and you suspect it may be present in a life-threatening situation, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible:

  • wheeze,
  • choking,
  • loud breathing,
  • cough,
  • sneezing,
  • short breath,
  • difficult, tiring breathing,
  • swelling leading to obstruction of the airways,
  • shallow breathing,
  • snorting,
  • rapid breathing,
  • wheezing,
  • respiratory arrest.

It is worth noting that the clinical signs of dyspnoea in cats are much less marked than in dogs.

Therefore, if you notice any of the above respiratory disorders in your pet, you should not underestimate it under any circumstances.

Depending on the intensity of symptoms and the cat's general condition, you can postpone the decision to visit the clinic for a few to several hours, but always be prepared to react quickly in a life-threatening situation.

Why your cat is short of breath or cannot breathe normally?

There can be many reasons and finding them will be very helpful in giving your kitten first aid.

Among other things, you should:

  • airway obstruction (foreign bodies - in the throat, mouth, nasal cavity; laryngospasm),
  • choking,
  • asthma,
  • strangulation,
  • inundation,
  • lung and pleura diseases,
  • accident (communication or other) and its consequences in the form of a rib fracture, hemorrhage into the pleural cavity, etc.
  • smoke inhalation,
  • infectious diseases (e.g. FIP),
  • heart diseases,
  • and many others.

Not all of these conditions require immediate rescue.

Many of them take months to develop (e.g. asthma) and the symptoms of difficulty breathing are slow.

Below is a list of emergencies that absolutely require the mobilization of "rapid reaction forces " with a description of the procedure.

An asthma attack in a cat

An asthma attack in a cat

Asthma is a condition of reversible bronchospasm that causes severe narrowing of the airways, resulting in shortness of breath.

Asthma is most often found in cats, among which Siamese and Himalayan cats have the greatest predisposition to contracting the disease.

You may notice that the animal is coughing, sitting crouching on the floor in the so-called. sphinx position, head raised, elbows stretched to the side and neck stretched.

Respiratory problems can very quickly turn into full breathlessness, when the kitten stretches its neck forward, opens its mouth, and you hear wheezing.

Accompanied by anxiety and fear, the mucous membranes may be red.

If your cat has been diagnosed with asthma or you suspect it may be an asthma attack, as soon as possible:

  1. Check for any foreign objects stuck in the mouth or throat (sometimes choking can be similar).
  2. Move your pet to a cool and quiet place.
  3. Provide access to fresh air. Occasionally, asthma symptoms worsen in winter during the heating season, when indoor air is dry.
  4. Take your pet to the doctor! Immediately!
  5. Prepare for CPR when you pass out and / or stop breathing.

If you want to learn more about this disease, read the article "Cat asthma - causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment "

Foreign body in the cat's throat

Foreign bodies that can be seen in a cat's throat include e.g. needles, fish hooks, blades of grass, sticks and much more.

As a rule, one of the first symptoms is choking and intense tongue movements in one direction.

The cat may be restless, swallowing constantly, and drooling.

Shakes his head, rubs his paws over his mouth, or may cough, try to vomit or breathe loudly.

If your cat has a foreign body stuck in the throat:

  1. Ask two people for help. The first of them should wrap the kitten in a towel or blanket and hold the victim firmly at the level of the chest. The second person is supposed to hold the cat's head once and gently open its jaws. You concentrate on removing the foreign body from the throat - the object that obstructs the airway should be removed fairly quickly if it fails - don't try a second time.
    • Hold the cat so that its back is against your belly and its hind legs hang loose downwards.
    • Fold your hands under your pet's chest - you should feel the soft tissue.
    • Press the clasped hands together in this place while moving them upwards towards the animal's mouth. The pressure should be strong and sudden so that the foreign body can leave the respiratory tract.
    • The Heimlich maneuver can be repeated 2-3 times, however, if it does not work, go to step 3.
  3. Hit the pet on its back. Make sure your pet's neck forms a straight line with its back. Hit the kitten's back 3 or 4 times with the open palm.
  4. If the above technique does not remove the foreign body from the throat, continue the Heimlich maneuver in the car while someone is driving you to the vet clinic.
  5. However, when the foreign body is removed from the throat and the cat is not breathing, proceed artificial respiration.

In the event that a blade of grass is stuck in the cat's nose, it is safest to leave it to a doctor to remove it.

Symptoms resulting from the presence of a foreign body in the nasal cavity usually do not pose a direct threat to the cat's life, however, any material remaining in the nose should be removed as soon as possible.

Foreign body in the cat's mouth

Foreign body in the cat's mouth

A piece of a toy may get stuck in a cat's face, and a string, string or thread may become wrapped around the tongue.

Velcro may become stuck in long haired cats when they try to remove them from the fur.

This is uncomfortable and sometimes very painful for the cat.

Behaves restlessly, shakes his head, scratches his face, rubs against various objects, turns in a circle.

It may be accompanied by intense salivation.

Until it does not obstruct breathing, it is not dangerous, but the visit to the doctor should not be postponed, as it may lead to infection.

You can help your pet ad hoc before the visit.

This is done exactly as with the presence of a foreign body in the throat.

However, if you notice the presence of a long thread, line or string that the kitten has swallowed, do not try to delete them yourself.

Take your pet to the doctor immediately!

Cat bite by wasps or bees

What to do when a cat was stung by a wasp / bee?

It is possible that your cat will get stung by a bee, wasp, or hornet.

The venom in their stings contains vasomotor substances that can trigger allergic or toxic reactions.

Most of the stings affect the facial area of ​​the head and the poorly hairy parts of the animal's body.

Signs of insect bites can vary greatly, ranging from a mild allergic reaction in the form of itching and hives to anaphylactic shock and multi-organ toxicity caused by venom poisoning.

Symptoms of the venom's effects include swelling, redness, pain at the site of the bite, and if an allergic reaction occurs, also swelling of the face of the head, eyelids and auricles.

Sometimes a generalized toxic reaction is life-threatening.

Symptoms of cat sting and venom poisoning:

  • fever, severe weakness, lethargy appear in the cat quite quickly;
  • mucous membranes can be very pale or, on the contrary, bloodshot;
  • serious respiratory disturbances may occur, the animal begins to suffocate;
  • bloody vomiting, diarrhea, skin bruising
  • neurological disorders, tremors,
  • a generalized allergic reaction - ranging from hives, especially on hairless parts of the body, to anaphylactic shock.

To help your cat after a wasp / bee bite:

  1. If there is a generalized allergic reaction, you must take your cat to a doctor as soon as possible. Watch for shock developing and be ready to resuscitate.
  2. Remove the stinger and its debris, then disinfect the area with octenisept or rivanol.
  3. Apply an antihistamine (but only if the pet is conscious!). You can smear the area fenistil or give it to the cat Calritine at a dose of 2 mg / kg m.c.
  4. Apply a cold compress to the bite site. Wet a piece of fabric in cold water and put it on the irritated skin, then put a bag filled with ice cubes on top (you can use a cold pack). Apply these compresses for 10 minutes several times a day.
  5. Prepare a baking soda mask to help soothe irritation. Add a small amount of water to a tablespoon of baking soda to form a paste and rub it on the bite site.
  6. If there is a bite inside the mouth, give your cat cold water to drink. Also, try rubbing the mucous membranes with a solution of baking soda.
  7. Put on the cat a protective collar to prevent scratching.
Cat collar

First aid for a cat: choking

If something gets stuck in your cat's throat or airway, it can easily become choking.

The animal is coughing intensely, choking, trying to throw up.

It is accompanied by severe anxiety, sometimes panic.

This is an emergency because the airway can easily become blocked.

First aid in such situations can save your cat's life.

  1. Try to remove the foreign body as soon as possible! If your kitten has severe breathing problems, there may not be time to restrain it. Grab your pet's tongue (the easiest way to do it is through a gauze pad or a piece of cloth) and pull it towards you. If you see a foreign body in your throat, try to reach and remove it. You can use tweezers or tongs. If after 2 attempts you fail to remove the foreign body from the cat's throat, use the Heimlich maneuver.
  2. If the animal prevents you from manipulating the mouth and defends itself strongly, immobilize it.
  3. Try gentle pressure. Grasp the cat's hind limbs so that it hangs loosely down in the "upside down " position. Have the helper place his hands on either side of the pet's chest at its widest and squeeze 3 or 4 times. This can release a foreign body trapped in the throat.
  4. In case of failure of the previous grip, I will definitely strike the back area 2-4 times.
  5. Use the Heimlich maneuver again.
  6. Be prepared to CPR in the event that you have stopped breathing or your heart beats.
  7. Transport your pet to the vet as soon as possible.

Foreign bodies in the esophagus

Swallowing a fish hook

It happens that kittens - especially young ones - swallow various objects.

They love to play with rustling or glowing materials, which is why they often find foil, pieces of pouches, threads, fish hooks, needles, "angel hair" from a Christmas tree, etc. in their digestive tracts.

Such situations are very dangerous because they can lead to very serious consequences in the form of gastrointestinal obstruction, threading the intestinal wall on the swallowed object, intussusception, etc.

Therefore, whenever you suspect your cat has swallowed any foreign body, take it to the clinic immediately.

Symptoms of a cat swallowing a foreign body:

  • as a rule, excessive salivation, swallowing disorders or constant swallowing are noticeable, the cat immediately returns it after eating anything, tries to vomit, chokes and chokes;
  • there may be a lack of appetite or breathing problems;
  • the patient takes a characteristic posture - sits hunched on the floor with his head low, elbows set to the sides;
  • it looks like he wants to vomit;
  • a piece of swallowed material may protrude from the mouth.

Management of a foreign body ingestion should always be based on a thorough veterinary examination of the patient.

Unfortunately, most swallowed objects can be difficult to see even with X-ray examination (the foil pouch does not shade in the photos and it is very difficult to recognize its presence).

Do not underestimate the above symptoms and take your cat to a doctor as soon as possible.

  1. If your cat shows respiratory distress, you need to be ready to give him artificial respiration.
  2. Monitor heart rate and breathing - perform CPR if necessary.
  3. Immobilize your kitten - if a needle or other sharp object is swallowed, any movement could be fatal.
  4. If the cat is vomiting, keep its head lower to prevent it from gagging.
  5. If the swallowed object is not sharp or long (it could be, for example,. part of the swallowed toy), and it has not been more than 3 hours since consumption, try to induce vomiting by giving him 3% hydrogen peroxide (see below about inducing vomiting - in toxicological emergencies).

Heart failure

It happens quite often in cats, and in many cases the owner is unaware that his pet has heart disease.

No wonder, because cats show signs of failure of this organ very late.

So what should prompt you to see a vet immediately?

  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, and assuming a posture to help ventilate.
  • The cat is sitting on the floor, its neck is stretched, its mouth is open and it is breathing quickly.
  • The mucous membranes may be intensely red, pale or even blue (depending on the degree of hypoxia).
  • Some patients develop hyperemia associated with chronic hypoxia, thanks to which the mucous membranes are injected.
  • Pale mucous membranes result from insufficient blood supply to tissues and organs and may accompany cardiogenic shock.
  • Cyanosis of the mucous membranes heralds severe hypoxia and, as a rule, occurs with pulmonary edema.
  • Cats with congestive heart failure often develop hypothermia and may develop bradycardia (slow heart rate).
  • Pelvic paralysis and the absence of a palpable pulse in the femoral arteries are symptoms that may indicate cardiomyopathy or aortic thromboembolism.

If you notice these or similar symptoms in your pet, you should take your cat to the clinic as soon as possible.

Until then:

  • Provide your cat with fresh air.
  • Place it in a quiet, airy place, do not expose it to unnecessary stress.
  • Monitor breathing and heart rate; be ready to resuscitate at any time.
  • Take your pet to the doctor as soon as possible.

Urethral obstruction in cats

If you are a cat's keeper, you should definitely read this paragraph.

Because it is the males that most often exhibit this disorder.

When your cat tries to urinate unsuccessfully, it often enters the litter box, tightens without any effect (this symptom is often confused with constipation), sometimes it drips outside the litter box, you notice traces of blood in the urine, and the kitten cries loudly, as if he has been in pain (he is not allowed to stroke his stomach) - it is very likely that he has obstructed the urethra caused by urolithiasis.

Lack of appetite and vomiting may occur with prolonged condition.

It is a very dangerous and painful situation, and if left untreated, it can quickly lead to cardiovascular impairment and shock.

In very rare cases, the bladder ruptures.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, take him to the doctor immediately.

Critically ill cats can develop shock - monitor mucous membranes, heart rate and breathing and be ready for CPR.

Do not give your cat any fluids and take him to a doctor immediately.

If the patient is weak, massage a little honey on his gums.

Massaging the penis in a cat is controversial - sometimes it is possible to remove the residual mucus mass and sand that remain at the mouth of the urethra, and thus it is possible to empty the bladder.

However, in most cases it is painful for the cat and the massage itself rarely brings the desired effect.

Electric shock

First aid for electrocution of a cat

In cats, the most common cause of electric shocks is chewing electrical wires.

Symptoms of cat electric shock:

  • The animals are generally lying, stiff, with a cord in their mouths.
  • Tonic-clonic contractions are also present.
  • Cats may vomit or defecate unknowingly.
  • If the animal survives, contractions usually stop when the current flow is stopped.
  • However, the animal may be weakened, confused for some time.
  • There are burns on the lips, gums, palate and tongue.
  • These areas may appear charred, pale gray, or brown.
  • Sometimes traces of electric shock are also visible on the animal's tail in the form of a burnt strip.
  • It sometimes happens that cardiac arrhythmias or respiratory problems appear only after a few days.

However, since the action of the current may lead to shock, cardiac arrest and respiration, and death, such a situation requires immediate contact with a veterinarian.

What to do if you see your cat biting the cable?

  1. Turn off the power immediately! The electric voltage causes muscle contraction in an infected pet, so that a cat that has grasped the electric wire with its teeth may have problems with releasing it, clenching its jaws even tighter. Turn off the fuses or pull the plug out of the socket, but do it with rubber gloves! Stay away from the animal - if you touch it, you can get electrocuted yourself!
  2. Check cat's vital signs and resuscitate if necessary.
  3. If there are seizures, try to limit any stimuli reaching him and protect him from self-harm. Wrap a cat in a towel and dim the lights. Wait for the seizures to pass. If the cat is unconscious, proceed as for losing consciousness.
  4. Limit any manipulations, try not to pet the injured person, do not speak out loud. Any stimulus can make the seizures come back.
  5. Go to the vet as soon as possible. Turn on the air conditioning in the car.

Poisoning in a cat

We talk about poisoning in a cat when it is exposed to a toxic substance that will enter the body, causing symptoms related to toxicity.

Poisoning can occur in various ways: either by ingesting the poison or by inhaling it, or by direct contact through the skin.

It also happens that the poison is introduced intravenously or subcutaneously (as is the case with snake or spider bites).

Cats most often poison themselves by eating poisonous plants or licking off toxic substances while grooming their fur.

There are countless substances that can be poisonous.

The father of toxicology, Paracelsus, used to say:

"Everything is poison and nothing is poison. Only dose makes poison "(" Dosis facit venenum ").

This means that even common vitamin C can be toxic if used in too high a dose.

No wonder then that animal poisoning is so common.

In addition to the dose, several other factors also affect the poisoning, including:

  • type of substance,
  • species, breed of cat, age of the animal, its clinical condition, and even the presence of pregnancy and lactation,
  • environmental factors - season, temperature, humidity, ventilation,
  • time elapsed since exposure to the toxin,
  • the way the poison enters the body.

How to know if a cat may have been poisoned?

If he has a breathing problem, he presents various types of neurological disorders (e.g. has convulsions, drooling, staggering or unable to maintain balance), vomiting intensively and frequently, may bleed from the natural orifices of the body, you notice pale mucous membranes, increased heart rate - it is very likely that the cat has been poisoned.

Please see the list of the most common cat poisonings below and check for the symptoms listed below.

Also consider whether the pet could have access to a toxic substance (e.g. Are rat poison spilled in the area, do you have plants in your home that may be poisonous, etc.).

And it is on these two premises (i.e. a specific set of symptoms plus the possibility of exposure to poison) in many cases the diagnosis of poisoning is based.

Poisoning with paracetamol (acetaminophen)

There are still poisoning with "human " drugs, which unknowing owners give their pets, trying to alleviate suffering on their own.

One of them is the popular pain reliever and antipyretic drug - paracetamol.

Cats are the most sensitive to its effects, because this species is deficient in the enzyme involved in the metabolism of acetaminophen.

Symptoms of paracetamol poisoning in a cat:

  • dark brown discoloration of the blood,
  • cyanosis of the mucous membranes or their dark brown color,
  • shortness of breath, mouth breathing,
  • anxiety, apathy, weakness,
  • lack of appetite, vomiting,
  • swelling of the face and chest limbs.

Proceedings in the case of paracetamol poisoning are the same as in the case of toxic substances.

N-acetylcysteine ​​(a component of many expectorant syrups, e.g. ACC).

If a kitten survives the first 48 hours after paracetamol poisoning, it is generally rescued.

Poisoning with metaldehyde (preparation for fighting slugs)

Clinical signs of snail consumption appear within 1-4 hours.

Symptoms of cat poisoning with metaldehyde:

  • rapid breathing, restlessness, hypersalivation, vomiting and / or diarrhea,
  • the mucous membranes are blue and the heart beat faster; the cat may have an elevated body temperature (even above 42.2 ° C),
  • neurological symptoms: muscle tremors (dominant symptom), ataxia, nystagmus, hyperesthesia, convulsions, limb stiffness, blindness, dementia, and even coma.

The procedure is the same as for ingesting poison.

Poisoning with petroleum products

Petroleum products poisoning for cats are:

  • benzene,
  • ethylin,
  • oil,
  • diesel,
  • oils and greases,
  • lubricating oil,
  • paint solvents,
  • grill lighter,
  • engine cleaners.

Cats do not like this type of substances, but it may happen that they dirty their fur and try to clean themselves, causing poisoning.

Unfortunately, these substances have a tremendous devastating effect on the respiratory tract, central nervous system, liver and kidneys.

Symptoms of cat poisoning with petroleum products:

  • strong agitation, hypermobility, convulsions, tremors, then coma,
  • initially a slight cough, then rapid breathing, finally severe respiratory failure,
  • vomiting / diarrhea after ingestion of poison,
  • skin changes due to local action. Similarly, corneal irritation, lacrimation.

The procedure is the same as in the case of contact with caustic substances.

Absolutely do not induce vomiting after the cat consumes petroleum products!

Pyrethrin poisoning

It is a popular substance in anti-flea products for dogs and cats.

Young cats are the most susceptible to poisoning, licking it immediately after applying the preparation to the skin.

You can suspect poisoning on the basis of the recent application of an anti-flea preparation and the most common symptoms.

Symptoms of pyrethrin poisoning in a cat:

  • intense salivation, vomiting, diarrhea,
  • overexcitability, clumsiness, tremors, confusion, convulsions,
  • apathy, dullness, apnea.

Proceed as with the consumption of most toxic substances.

Ethylene glycol poisoning

Quite frequent poisoning, found mainly in cats, especially in the autumn-winter period.

Ethylene glycol is a substance widely used in antifreeze products, and because of its sweet taste - extremely attractive to animals.

The lethal dose of this substance is 1.4 ml / kg of undiluted solution, which is equal to 1.5 teaspoons for a cat weighing 5 kg!

Symptoms of glycol poisoning in a cat:

  • the first is excessive thirst and polyuria (often unnoticed by the owners);
  • then the stomach becomes irritated and, consequently, vomiting;
  • unmetabolized ethylene glycol has a similar effect on the cat's nervous system as ethanol - the animal may behave like a drunk, move incoherently, become dull and even in a coma; this is the first phase of poisoning that lasts from 0.5 to 12 hours.
  • then respiratory distress and increased heart rate; this phase usually occurs approximately 12-24 hours after ingestion of the poison.
    however, the most dangerous stage is the last stage of poisoning, in which the symptoms of renal failure predominate; it is she who most often leads to death.

Treatment of glycol poisoning is as for freshly ingested poison.

Poisoning with acids or bases

Fortunately, poisoning with corrosive substances is quite rare in veterinary medicine.

Symptoms of cat poisoning with acids or alkalis:

  • irritation of the oral mucosa, throat, esophagus; erosions on the mucous membranes;
  • intense vocalization, complaints, panting;
  • listlessness, difficulty swallowing, excessive salivation;
  • increased thirst;
  • apathy;
  • respiratory disorders;
  • possible shock.

The procedure is the same as with the ingestion of corrosive substances. Do not induce vomiting!

Poisoning with anticoagulant rodenticides

Anticoagulant rodenticides They are commonly used in rat poison, hence a high exposure to poisoning among the cat population.

Clinical symptoms appear delayed (even 2-7 days after poison ingestion), so it is often difficult to associate poison consumption with cat's disease.

Symptoms of cat poisoning with rat poison:

  • shortness of breath, weakness, apathy, shock;
  • hematoma formation, bleeding into the gastrointestinal tract (melaena, bloody vomiting),
  • extensive bruising, severe bleeding from wounds.

Inducing vomiting in these situations is controversial (unless you've seen your cat eat rat poison or a dead rodent and act quickly).

The best antidote is vitamin K, which is administered for several weeks.

Regardless of the type of poison, however, poisoning is always an emergency, requiring immediate medical attention!

By the time you get to the vet, it may slow down the absorption of the poison and gain some time.

Call your vet and inform him of the alleged poison. The doctor can suggest what to do before you get there.

After ingesting the poison, the cat may behave extremely aggressively, so you need to be especially careful when helping it.

If you suspect that poison may be on your kitten's skin or hair, you need to get rid of it as soon as possible.

You can do this in 2 ways:

  1. If the poisonous substance was in a liquid form, it must be washed from the skin. Bathe your cat in a mild shampoo intended for this species. If you don't have a shampoo, use a mild dishwashing liquid eventually.
  2. If the poison was in the form of a powder, dust the cat thoroughly before taking a bath. Also remember about your safety and carry out these activities with gloves.

If dirt gets into your eyes, be sure to rinse them with plenty of water.

Remember to rinse off the foam with plenty of water and then dry the cat.

If your hair has paint, motor oil or gasoline residue, you won't be able to rinse it off with regular detergents.

Don't be tempted to use a solvent (although it's so logical).

Instead, sprinkle the cat with plenty of oil (mineral or vegetable) and wearing rubber gloves, try rubbing the oil into the coat.

Then sprinkle the fur with crushed cornflakes or flour - the powder will act as an absorbent of the toxin.

Wash everything off the hair with soapy water or shampoo.

You may need to do this several times before all dirt is rinsed out of the hair.

Make your cat vomit, if you believe it has eaten something poisonous.

Many owners get scared when they hear this sentence, but it is very important to do so.

We want to get rid of the poison from the body as soon as possible, and the best way is to induce vomiting.

But be careful! There are several contraindications:

  • Never try to induce vomiting in an unconscious cat! Also, an animal that begins to show behavioral disturbances, becomes lethargic, extremely weak or demented should no longer be given anything by mouth.
  • Do not induce vomiting in a cat that is choking or exhibiting other severe respiratory distress!
  • Do not induce vomiting in a cat that has experienced convulsions!
  • Never induce vomiting in a cat that has swallowed any corrosive substance (petroleum products, acids, alkalis)!
  • If poisoning has occurred with drugs that depress the nervous system, do not induce vomiting!
  • If the cat does not have a normal swallowing reflex. You can check this by giving him a few milliliters of clean water beforehand. If he is choking and gagging, don't try to make him vomit!
  • Never induce vomiting in a cat that may have swallowed a sharp object (cats passionately swallow needles)!

How to induce vomiting in a cat?

Many cats vomit spontaneously after ingesting toxic substances.

However, we are never sure how much substance is left in the stomach, so it is still recommended to induce vomiting additionally.

Inducing vomiting is most justified when the poison has passed no more than 3 hours.

After this time, the poison was either absorbed or moved to further parts of the gastrointestinal tract, so it makes no sense to tire the cat anymore, because it will not do much anyway.

In a situation where more than 4 hours have passed since ingestion of the poison, inducing vomiting is even contraindicated.

You can try to give your cat a small amount of food to dilute the poison and delay its absorption.

However, don't be surprised if your cat doesn't want to eat anything.

Give the cat 3% hydrogen peroxide in the amount of 1-2 ml / kg body weight.

Use a syringe without a needle for this - the cat will certainly not voluntarily accept the liquid.

Hydrogen peroxide irritates the gastric mucosa and causes a gag reflex.

If no effect is seen after 10 minutes, repeat the dose.

If hydrogen peroxide is not available (although it should be in the first aid kit), try it with salt.

Table salt irritates the throat mucosa, causing the effect of vomiting.

This procedure is controversial as it may lead to sodium poisoning.

However, if you really don't have any other remedies at your disposal, try dissolving half a teaspoon of salt in a few milliliters of water and giving your cat a mouthful.

If you fail to induce vomiting in this way, do not repeat the administration of salt again.

Sometimes liquid dishwashing agents are used.

Mix dishwashing liquid with water in a ratio of 1: 8 and give this solution to the cat's mouth in an amount of approx. 10 ml / kg m.c.

Do not use laundry detergents or dishwasher detergents!

If you have vomiting syrup at home, give it to your cat at a dose of 3.3 ml / kg body weight.

Dilute the measured dose with water in a 1: 1 ratio.

It causes vomiting by local irritation on the gastrointestinal mucosa, and additionally by affecting the chemosensitive center at the bottom of the fourth ventricle of the brain.

You should vomit after approx. 20 minutes.

If there is no effect, do not repeat the dose anymore.

If your cat has swallowed any caustic substance, things get even more complicated as you cannot induce vomiting.

You should try to dissolve the swallowed substance immediately - give your cat milk or water to drink.

If he refuses to drink, try to force him with a syringe without a needle.

If it fails with milk, try soaking a piece of bread in vegetable oil and giving it to the cat.

The oil can create a protective layer in the stomach and thus protect the mucosa and slow down the absorption of the toxin

Spray the inside of the cat's mouth with water every few minutes (use a flower spray)

If a corrosive substance has got in your eyes or on your skin, you must rinse them thoroughly with water.

Give your cat activated charcoal, which effectively absorbs many substances, unfortunately not heavy metals.

The dose is 1-4 g / kg body weight when mixed with 50-200 ml of water (he passes 6-12 ml / kg body weight).

Use a syringe without a needle for this purpose, the cat will definitely not drink the coal "voluntarily ".

If the animal has ingested acid, alkali or petroleum products, do not give activated charcoal - it is not effective in these cases.

If your cat has convulsions, falls over, throws its limbs, releases urine or faeces, wrap it with a towel and cover its eyes until the seizures have subsided.

They usually disappear after 3 minutes.

If the heart and / or breathing stops, you need to start heart massage or artificial respiration.

Take any food packaging that your pet had access to to the doctor.

Many chemicals have very specific antidotes, so it's important to identify the toxin.

If your kitten is vomiting, also take some vomit as a sample to the vet.

Place the sample in a clean plastic bag or clear glass container so that it can be subjected to toxicological analysis if necessary.

If your client has bitten a poisonous plant or flower, in most cases, vomiting should be induced.

However, if the source of poisoning is dieffenbachia, philodendron, nightshade plants, potatoes (green parts and "eyes " of tubers) or "mother-in-law " - absolutely do not provoke vomiting in the cat.

Below is a list of popular indoor and garden plants that are highly poisonous to cats:

  • alocasia,
  • aloe,
  • amaryllis,
  • an avocado,
  • azalea,
  • belladonna (dead belladonna),
  • without,
  • datura,
  • bishop's hearts,
  • ivy,
  • boxwood,
  • chrysanthemum,
  • hellebore,
  • hellebore,
  • yew,
  • grape blackberry,
  • Garlic,
  • dieffenbachia,
  • you choke,
  • dracaena,
  • wild wine,
  • ficuses,
  • philodendron,
  • Alpine violet,
  • geranium,
  • peas,
  • hyacinth,
  • hydrangea,
  • iris,
  • buttercup,
  • jasmine,
  • mistletoe,
  • "Mother-in-law's language ",
  • large-leaved squid,
  • horse chestnut,
  • Lily of the valley,
  • privet,
  • lily,
  • lobelia,
  • the pretty girl turned out to be,
  • lupine,
  • poppy,
  • little smiley,
  • digitalis,
  • narcissus,
  • seeds of apples, apricots, cherries, peaches,
  • picture maker,
  • oleander,
  • Italian nuts,
  • holly,
  • larkspur,
  • decorative cherry variety,
  • primrose,
  • virginian double,
  • tomato (not fruit),
  • deadly night berry,
  • nettle,
  • nightshade, potato (green parts and "eyes " of tubers),
  • rhubarb,
  • the common castor,
  • locust locust,
  • rhododendron,
  • poison sumac,
  • spotted mox,
  • american scarlet,
  • aconite,
  • Japanese euonymus,
  • tulip,
  • decorative tobacco,
  • laurel dahlia,
  • spurge,
  • Virginia creeper,
  • wisteria,
  • cherry trees,
  • autumn winter day
  • laburnum.

Smoke poisoning

In most fires, it is not direct heat and fire that kill the victims, but smoke poisoning.

Smoke is a mixture of substances that are released during the combustion of various materials covered by a fire.

So it's no surprise that it is full of poisonous compounds like:

  • Carbon monoxide,
  • formaldehyde,
  • methyl alcohol,
  • formic acid,
  • sulfur compounds,
  • metaldehyde,
  • soot and much more.

These substances "seal" the alveoli, and the hot fumes lead to burns and poisoning the body.

So if your cat is involved in the fire, you must act immediately.

If he has not yet passed out from inhalation of poisonous fumes, he may cough, choke, or stumble on his feet.

Sometimes, however, you may not know that your pet was inhaling massive amounts of smoke because it somehow managed to escape.

Symptoms of cat poisoning with smoke:

  • you can smell the smoke from cat fur, the coat may be stained with soot, and the hair and whiskers may be scorched;
  • the cat may present the following respiratory symptoms:
    • rapid breathing,
    • dyspnoea,
    • wheezing when breathing,
    • quiet, moist cough;
  • dark red or blue mucous membranes;
  • intense tearing and runny nose as a result of irritation of the mucous membranes;
  • symptoms may worsen within 48 hours of exposure.

Smoke poisoning is an emergency situation and requires immediate reaction from you.

Since the long-term effects of inhalation of toxic substances may appear even several days after exposure, regardless of the fact that your client recovered quickly, you must show him or her to the veterinarian.

First aid for poisoning a cat with smoke:

  1. Get the animal out of a burning building or from a smoky room. If it is dangerous to enter such a house, do not risk it, just wait for the fire department! Once your kitten is taken outside, move it to a safe place, away from smoke.
  2. If a fire brigade is present, ask for help. Firefighters very often save animals by providing oxygen and performing the first rescue actions.
  3. Transport your pet carefully. When you go to the doctor, do not hold him in your arms, it can only aggravate his stress. Transport the cat in the carrier, and in the car, open the windows or turn on the air conditioning. Cool air is easier to breathe.
  4. In the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest, resuscitate immediately.

In the video below you can see how this rescue operation takes place

GoPro: Fireman Saves Kitten
Watch this video on YouTube

Cat poisoning with carbon monoxide

There is no need to fire on CO poisoning.

It is also present in car exhaust fumes, and can also be emitted from malfunctioning stoves and fireplaces.

This gas, commonly known as carbon monoxide, poses the greatest threat - it is odorless, colorless, and has no taste.

It does not irritate the mucous membranes and does not cause tearing.

In the case of carbon monoxide poisoning, we will not observe thermal damage or chemical irritation typical of smoke poisoning.

Chad works silently

He is a silent killer.

It has a much greater affinity for hemoglobin than oxygen; when inhaling carbon monoxide, the so-called. chemical asphyxiation.

It combines with hemoglobin to displace oxygen, and this new bond is made 210 times easier and more durable.

As a result of carbon monoxide, the organs most exposed to hypoxia are damaged in the first place:

brain and heart.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:

  • An animal poisoned by carbon monoxide may be stunned, confused, or lethargic.
  • Typical for poisoning is the bright red or cherry color of the gums, and additionally it may be accompanied by respiratory problems, nervous disorders, hearing loss, convulsions.
  • The pet may collapse, become unconscious, coma or die.

The only antidote to black smoke is oxygen therapy, so transport it to a veterinarian immediately.

First aid for carbon monoxide poisoning:

  1. Remove animal from carbon monoxide source, take it to fresh air. If the carbon monoxide has associated a small amount of blood, there is a chance your kitten will recover just by breathing fresh air. However, in any case, you need to show it to the doctor.
  2. If CO poisoning occurred as a result of a fire and the fire brigade is on site, ask the firefighter to provide oxygen. Oxygen is the antidote to carbon monoxide poisoning and the sooner a kitten gets it, the less damage it will do to the body.
  3. Prepare for CPR.
  4. When going to the doctor, open the car windows or turn on the air conditioning.

First aid for a cat: burns

A burn is a tissue damage associated with the action of high temperature.

We are talking about a thermal burn, of course, because burns can also occur under the influence of corrosive substances (chemical burns), electric current (electric burns) or radiation (radiation burns, sunburn).

In curious cats, however, burns usually occur as a result of open fire, boiling water, steam, or lying on a radiator.

Depending on the depth of the damage, 4 degrees of burn are distinguished:

  1. 1st degree burn. It is a superficial burn, covering only the epidermis. You may see localized reddening of the skin as well as slight swelling.
  2. Second degree burn. A slightly deeper burn, covering the epidermis and part of the dermis. In addition to redness and swelling, vesicles filled with serous fluid appear on the skin. This is accompanied by limited pain.
  3. Third degree burn. The entire thickness of the skin is destroyed, and often also the deeper tissues. Necrotic tissue in the form of dry, white-gray to brown scabs covers the burned areas,
  4. 4th degree burn. The necrosis runs deep into muscles, tendons, and even bones. In some cases, even a burned part of the body is charred.

Mild burns (1st degree) damage the surface layer of the skin and cause only local redness.

If your cat has been diagnosed with a burn, you must definitely show it to the doctor.

First aid for cat burns:

  1. You should immediately cool the burned areas for 10-15 minutes under running cold water. If there is extensive burns, the cat is in danger of shock. In this case, do not use cold water and take him to a doctor immediately.
  2. Trim the hair around the wounds and rinse the wound with a sterile solution of physiological fluid.
  3. Put a sterile dressing on the burned skin.
  4. Check that the cat shows no signs of shock. If your pet is shocked, put an ice pack or cold pack on the burned skin.
  5. Wrap the cat in a blanket or towel and go to the vet immediately. Brush the cat's gums with a little honey - this should keep him conscious.

First aid for a cat: flooding

First aid for cat watering

Fortunately, it happens quite rarely that a kitten unexpectedly jumps or falls into the water and cannot get out on its own.

An animal trying to stay afloat at all costs, he is weakening very quickly.

When he weakens and goes down, he holds his breath for a moment, but not for long.

The longer a cat stays under water, the more carbon dioxide accumulates in the blood.

At some point, its level is so high that the respiratory center is stimulated and breathing is initiated without the animal's will.

This is still the moment when the cat tries to get to the surface at all costs

and sometimes he succeeds.

Otherwise, water runs into the throat, which the animal instinctively tries to swallow.

There is vomiting, gagging and unconsciousness.

Before that, the contracted larynx widens and water flows freely into the lungs.

The animal is drowning.

As an owner, you may not even be aware that an underflow has occurred.

Depending on how long the animal has been under the water, as well as on whether the water was fresh or salty, the symptoms of a flood may vary; however, they always concern the respiratory and nervous systems.

Immediately after the water drip, an acute complex of respiratory symptoms develops, which results from the aspiration of water into the lungs.

Coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, apathy and sometimes vomiting are typical at this stage.

Infection can occur after 24-48 hours (if the aspirated water was contaminated).

Neurological symptoms arise as a result of hypoxia, acidosis, cerebral edema, electrolyte disturbances and increased intracranial pressure.

The cat may experience lethargy, dementia, coma, seizures;
If your cat has inhaled large amounts of cold water or has been underwater for a long time, it may become hypothermic.

As a result of hypoxia, the lips, eye rims and gums turn gray or blue.

In a situation where your cat has drowned, you must be prepared to carry out a resuscitation action.

If he is breathing after a flood - that's a good sign, he has a good chance of getting out of trouble.

However, animals that have aspirated water into their lungs will almost always develop respiratory problems.

Some unlucky people may experience the so-called. dry flooding, and breathing problems, including pulmonary edema, may be delayed.

Therefore, regardless of the condition of the kitten, you must always show it to the doctor.

Help a drowning cat

  1. Get the pet out of the water.
  2. As soon as you pull the cat out of the water, you must remove the water (and sometimes vomit) from the cat's airway. Grab your pet by its hind legs, turn it upside down in a dangling position. Now give the cat a good shake. If possible, ask someone to compress your chest on both sides. The pressure should last 10-15 seconds. Sometimes this procedure is enough for the drowned animal to start breathing on its own. If the animal is not breathing, start artificial respiration.
  3. If the heart has stopped beating, be ready to resuscitate.
  4. When saving your kitten, do not forget to dry it and cover it with a towel or blanket. In most cases, a drowning person becomes hypothermic.
  5. Take the cat's temperature. If it has dropped below 32 ° C for more than half an hour, it is necessary to warm the pet internally. Do not try to apply any external heat source to the body surface! Just wrap him in a blanket, turn on the heater in the car and take him to a doctor as soon as possible.
  6. However, if you know that you will not reach the doctor in less than half an hour, try to warm the cat gently. Fill the bottle with hot water, wrap it in a towel and so warm (not hot!) gently apply the compress to the tummy or in the groin area.
  7. Hypothermia is usually accompanied by hypoglycaemia. Brush your cat's gums with a little honey or heavily sweetened water.

Inundation always requires immediate attention.

An interesting fact is that an unplanned bath in ice-cold water is a kind of happiness in misfortune - extremely cold water can protect the animal's brain from damage.

Even a long stay in icy water does not eliminate your kitten's chances of full recovery (provided that veterinary help is provided promptly).

On the contrary, even if you fail to identify vital functions after prolonged resuscitation, do not be discouraged and do not deviate from resuscitation.

Low body temperature slows down the metabolism and you may find your cat regains consciousness.

First aid for suffocation

First aid for asphyxiation of a cat

Inquisitive and ubiquitous cats sometimes get tangled up in curtains, curtains or blind cords.

It also happens that cats outside with a collar will get caught or hang and cannot free themselves in any way.

The primary consideration in these situations is to remove the obstruction to breathing. After freeing - if your cat is having difficulty breathing or is unconscious - take it to the vet immediately.

In the meantime, do the following:

  1. Remove the collar or string, in which the cat got entangled. Don't waste valuable time untangling or undoing your collar. Just cut it with scissors.
  2. Clear the airways. Sometimes it is enough to untangle the cat or remove the collar to let the animal breathe on its own. However, if the cat is unconscious and still not breathing, gently take hold of the tip of his tongue (grab the tongue through a piece of cloth or gauze - then it does not slip) and pull it forward.
  3. Do it artificial respiration.
  4. In case of cardiac arrest, do heart massage.
  5. Continue resuscitation until heart rate and breathing begin or you arrive at the vet clinic.

First aid for a cat: gunshot wounds

Gunshot wounds are often diagnosed and treated in veterinary surgeries, contrary to appearances.

A fairly large percentage of such cases are discoveries completely random - e.g. when taking x-rays for completely unrelated reasons.

Acute cases of gunshots are recorded during the hunting season, when a "stray bullet" reaches our cat.

Increasingly, however, they are deliberately asked, even in larger cities.

Unfortunately - wounds from firearms are unpredictable injuries and it is only post factum that their extent and severity can be ascertained.

How severe a gunshot wound is primarily influenced by its location (there is a difference between a shot in the leg and a shot in the head), as well as the size and speed of the bullet.

Symptoms of gunshots in a cat

  • profuse bleeding;
  • circular entry wound, possibly also exit wound;
  • depending on the location of the wound, you may notice respiratory problems, lameness, incoherence, etc.

Fall from a height

First aid for a cat falling from a floor

Cats, unfortunately, do not always "fall on their four paws ".

If they fall off balconies or windows of tall buildings, they can take a lot of damage depending on the height they fall from and the speed they will develop.

It is also important whether during the fall who has to turn (unfortunately, cats do not always have time to turn in flight).

Therefore, it happens that they experience multi-organ injuries.

Hitting the ground most often results in multiple fractures of the limbs, spine injuries, jaw and jaw fractures, head, chest, abdomen and internal organs injuries, and even death.

The cat may be limping, refusing to walk, having breathing problems or having neurological disorders.

Chest Injury

These can be blunt or perforating injuries, and they most often occur as a result of:

  • traffic accident,
  • fall from a great height,
  • bites,
  • shot,
  • strong impact.

The clinical symptoms of a thoracic injury vary and vary in intensity, depending on the extent of the injury and the accompanying trauma to the internal organs.

Penetrating injuries of the chest not only pierce the chest wall, but can also rupture large blood vessels, which in turn can lead to severe bleeding, respiratory failure and shock.

Symptoms of cat chest damage

  • bleeding and a wound at the site of damage,
  • respiratory problems, shortness of breath, intensive work with the abdominal press,
  • pale gums, symptoms of shock,
  • severe soreness in the area of ​​the wound, the cat cannot be touched in this place,
    disturbances of consciousness.

First aid for a cat: heat stroke

How to recognize heat stroke in a cat?

Heatstroke develops when an animal is in a high-temperature environment long enough for its thermoregulatory mechanisms to be exhausted.

Cats have relatively little ability to remove excess heat.

A small amount of sweat glands must be compensated somehow.

Cats found a way. Intensively licking the fur, they leave a thin layer of moisture on it, which evaporates the heat with it.

However, for this process to be as efficient as possible, ideally the living environment should have a relatively low humidity.

Effective evaporation depends, inter alia, on the humidity of the air and its movement.

Unfortunately, it is precisely on warm, windless days with relatively high air humidity that a stroke occurs.

Up to a certain point, mechanisms are activated in the cat's body to maintain the optimal body temperature.

But they too become exhausted after a while.

Thus, overheating occurs when this internal thermostat (located in the hypothalamus) refuses to cooperate.

Initially, there is the so-called. heat exhaustion - the cat may be weak, panting (in felids this symptom is very serious; cats rarely yawn), vomiting or diarrhea may appear.

The pet falls into lethargy.

The internal body temperature is elevated, averaging 39 ° C-41 ° C.

Move your kitten to a cooler room, arrange cool fan air for easier heat dissipation, apply cold compresses to the head, neck, armpits and groin.

Give him clean, cool water to drink.

If you act quickly and cool your pet down, it should improve within an hour

However, if the stroke lasts long, body temperature is above 41 ° C, your cat is at risk of shock, liver, kidney, lung, heart and brain damage.

His lips are pale, he may feel awkward movement, difficulty staying on his feet, bloody vomiting and diarrhea, heart rhythm disturbances, seizures, even coma.

At 42 ° C, the animal is in danger of dying.

If you suspect heat stroke, you need to act very quickly as your pet's life depends on it.

The first and most important thing is to measure the temperature.

When the internal temperature exceeds 41 ° C:

  1. Take your pet to the doctor immediately.
  2. Apply cold compresses (wet towel) all over the body, you can gently sprinkle cold water on the groin and armpits, put his paws in cool water. Another way is to spray the cat with cold water and then direct cool air from the fan to the cat. Check your body temperature every 5 minutes to make sure it is dropping.
  3. Apply a cold, wet towel to the animal's head and neck, you can additionally put ice or a cold pack on it.
  4. Call the vet and tell him about the situation, inform about the temperature. The car should be as cool as possible. Take a bottle of alcohol and plenty of ice with you. Place the cat where there is the greatest drafts. Place ice packs or cold packs under the armpits and groin area, and occasionally rub these areas with alcohol
  5. Provide your cat with fresh, cool water and let her drink as much as she wants. If you have an electrolyte replenishing agent at home, e.g. Gastrolit, give it to the animal. When your cat refuses to drink, you can wet its mucosa with cold water.
  6. When the temperature measured in the handpiece is between 39.4 ° C and 40 ° C, stop further cooling the pet to avoid hypothermia.
  7. If your pet develops shock, you must immediately send it to a doctor. If your body temperature is above 39 ° C, don't wrap it in a blanket. In case, however, you manage to lower it to 38 ° C, and the animal is shocked, wrap it in a blanket or a towel during the journey to the doctor. Also, rub some honey on the animal's gums - the sugar will be absorbed into the bloodstream. This way you will save some valuable time.
  8. If your cat has stopped breathing and / or heartbeat as a result of heat stroke, you must undergo CPR.

If you want to know more about it, I encourage you to read the article "Heat stroke / overheating in dogs and cats. Check how to prevent them "

First aid for a cat: hypothermia

First aid for cat hypothermia

Hypothermia is lowering the core body temperature below normal values.

In a cat, this temperature limit is 37.8 ° C.

In healthy cats, internal heat is regulated by the hypothalamus.

Whenever the temperature drops below the limit value, the body triggers a series of physiological and behavioral responses.

In other words, when the cat freezes, it starts actively looking for heat or huddles into a ball, thus reducing the body surface area.

His body activates processes that are designed to save heat - the hair is ruffled, the blood vessels of the peripheral parts of the body contract, and the blood from the periphery is redirected towards the most important organs - i.e. the heart and brain.

This happens at a temperature of approx. 35 ° C.

When the temperature is lowered further, trembling thermogenesis is activated and the metabolism is accelerated.

The "side" effect of these phenomena is heat energy, so desirable in cold situations.

When a cat becomes hypothermic?

There are different factors that contribute to cooling down.

They can result from reduced heat production (as is the case in newborns, as well as after trauma, narcosis, heart disease, endocrine disorders, neuromuscular disorders, and even prolonged immobilization) or from increased heat loss (e.g. after injuries, burns, lack of exercise, anesthesia, prolonged stay in a low temperature environment).

As we can see, injuries are a very common cause of hypothermia, so in any emergency you should always make sure that the injured kitten does not lose heat.

Depending on the degree of body cold, there are 3 levels of hypothermia, each of which requires more or less "aggressive" action.

  1. Slight hypothermia: 32.2-37.5 ° C.
  2. Moderate hypothermia: 27.8 - 32.2 ° C
  3. Deep hypothermia: < 27,8°C

The most common cause of hypothermia in healthy cats (i.e. cats that have not previously been diagnosed with any systemic disease and those who have not suffered an injury) is staying in a cold room without being warm, or staying in cold water.

You may not know that your kitten has chilled, especially if it happened for reasons other than the obvious ones mentioned above.

The symptoms of hypothermia vary according to its severity and duration.

Symptoms of hypothermia in a cat:

  • loss of consciousness,
  • low or even no heart rate,
  • tachycardia initially occurs, but as hypothermia worsens, the heart rate slows down and the heart sounds faint,
  • at first, the cold stimulates breathing, but as the metabolic rate slows down, the breathing becomes slower and slower,
  • muscle stiffness,
  • a highly hypothermic cat may appear dead, cold to the touch, and dull.

Extreme hypothermia can lead to coma.

  • a drop in temperature below 37.5 ° C is the basis for the diagnosis of hypothermia
    tremors appear even in mild hypothermia, but they disappear when the temperature drops below 33 ° C;
  • at temperatures lower than 32 ° C, normal cerebral functions are impaired;
  • as the temperature drops even more, to < 30°C pojawiają się arytmie;
  • with deepening of hypothermia, the consumption of oxygen by the brain decreases, peripheral reflexes and reflexes of pupils to light disappear completely at temperature

The state of hypothermia always requires contact with a doctor.

The heavier the degree, the sooner the cat should be examined.

You can take emergency measures to increase the internal temperature, but you absolutely must take your cat to the doctor on the same day.

What to do when you find your pet has too low body temperature?

It is sure to keep warm.

However, depending on the level of hypothermia found, the methods of heating differ.

You can't just put your cat in warm water and wait for its internal heat to jump to physiological levels.

It could be fatal for him

Therefore, before you decide to help, check your pet's temperature:

if you find a mild degree of cold, i.e. the temperature is still above 36 ° C, it is enough to use external passive heating:

  • cover the kitten with a blanket to prevent further heat loss;
  • turn on the heating in the room;
  • this way of warming up allows the whole body to warm up gently and evenly. This avoids the so-called. afterdrop phenomena. It is a sudden rush of cold blood from the circuit into the inside of the body (which can occur with rapid heating);
  • if you are outside, put the cat under your clothes, warming it with your body heat;
  • if the cat is wet, dry it with a towel;
  • give your cat warm fluids. Pour warm water or broth into a bowl. Hot drinks will warm the body from the inside, and the broth will provide additional calories;
  • check temperature every 10-15 minutes. After such heating, most cats recover quite quickly.

At 32-36 ° C, you should use active surface (external) heating:

  • cover the cat with a towel and provide additional sources of heat in the form of:
    • hot water bottles or bags (hot water bottles),
    • previously heated blankets (e.g. on the radiator),
    • blankets with circulating warm water or air heating blankets (not to be confused with electric blankets, which should rather than be used due to the risk of burns),
    • in the absence of the above-mentioned equipment, you can finally use hot air from the hair dryer - direct it to the blankets that cover the kitten.

Place warm objects on the cat's body through several layers of the blanket to avoid skin burns.

Focus on heating the torso, not the peripheral parts of the body - this minimizes the afterdrop effect.

If the cat allows it, also cover its head - this will allow it to breathe heated air.

Continue heating until the temperature reaches 37 ° C.

If your cat's internal temperature is < 32°C, jest to sytuacja krytyczna!

You must take your pet to the clinic immediately!

In such a situation, active internal heating should be used, which will consist in supplying heat directly to the body cavities.

Do not warm it with hot water bottles or warm blankets.

Warm up the car, if the kitten is wet, dry it with a towel, wrap it in a blanket and deliver it to the veterinary clinic immediately.

Your cat is likely to be dull and may come into shock.

In this case, rub a little honey on his gums.

Regardless of the degree of hypothermia, perform CPR if cardiac arrest and / or respiratory arrest is achieved.

First aid for a cat: frostbite

Frostbite is defined as the actual freezing of a certain area of ​​tissue.

As in the case of burns, they can be superficial and involve only the skin and subcutaneous tissue (in such situations the prognosis is good, as there is no deep damage and complete recovery is possible) or deep, which lead not only to the death of the skin and subcutaneous tissue , but also deeper tissues (including muscles, and in drastic cases also tendons and bones).

In the latter case, there is permanent tissue damage.

In cats, frostbites occur relatively rarely, and they mainly affect the tail, auricles and finger pads.

Symptoms of frostbite in a cat:

  • The skin area feels cold to the touch.
  • The skin in a place subjected to very low temperature is pale, "numb ", while when heated it becomes unnaturally red.
  • With deep frostbite, blisters may appear that are filled with serum, milky fluid or blood. They may be accompanied by swelling of the surrounding tissues.

If you suspect your cat may have thawed, immediately:

  • Take him home.
  • Take the temperature - if frostbite is accompanied by hypothermia, it should be treated first as it is more life-threatening.
  • Warm the frostbitten parts of the body. Try to insulate them by soaking them in lukewarm water. Remember, this can be painful for your cat. Use water that is not too warm, so as not to shock the frostbitten tissues. After heating, the skin should redden, be soft, warm and elastic again.
  • If your ears are frostbitten, place a towel soaked in lukewarm water on them for 20 minutes. Do not rub frostbitten skin. Just put a wet towel on it and change it every few minutes.
  • If your cat is additionally hypothermic, avoid getting your pet wet to avoid cooling it down.
  • All treatments on frostbitten parts of the body must be performed very gently; do not try to warm them up too intensively, as this may damage the tissues later.
  • Cover the sick places with a loose dressing

Always consult the kitten's condition with a veterinarian.

First aid for a cat: snake bite

What to do when a cat is bitten by a snake?

In Poland, they have the most fateful consequences bites by the viper.

They very often occur in the summer, when these animals forage and are most active.

This is a very dangerous situation for a cat, which can lead to death, so immediately after finding or even suspecting a bite, the animal should be taken to a veterinarian.

Bites usually occur in the head and neck of the pet and these bites can directly threaten the life of the animal, because an anaphylactic reaction to the toxins contained in the venom can occur very quickly, resulting in severe head swelling, respiratory problems, including collapse.

Unfortunately, it doesn't stop there. Even if the above symptoms do not occur, the poisons transported with the blood damage the internal organs, leading to their failure.

Symptoms may be noticed even months after the event.

Fortunately, cats are less sensitive to the venom injected by the viper than dogs, but the effects of a bite can vary greatly:

  • bites by young vipers are usually more dangerous, usually at the beginning of the foraging period (spring), because more venom is injected during the bite;
  • bites by very large individuals are also more toxic;
  • bites in the tongue and neck area can lead to rapid death due to progressive swelling.

Symptoms of a viper bite?

  • there is a violent local reaction at the site of the bite - swelling, pain, erythema, ecchymosis, bruising of the skin, possible blisters and even skin necrosis;
  • usually you can see 2 marks of the snake's venom from which dark, watery blood may ooze;
  • general symptoms such as vomiting, disturbance of consciousness, breathing problems, wheezing, increased heart rate, fever, bleeding, shock.

First aid provided when transporting your pet to the veterinary clinic can be critical to your pet's survival.

When a bite by a viper is suspected, the treatment is typical for patients in a life-threatening condition.

First aid for a cat bite by a viper:

  1. Assess your pet as soon as possible and look for signs of shock.
  2. Be ready to perform CPR.
  3. Calm the animal by stroking and speaking gently.
  4. The more agitated the cat, the faster the circulation and the faster the poisons are distributed throughout the body.
  5. Do not allow sudden movements, transport the cat in a small box or carton that prevents it from moving freely.
  6. Take off the collar. If the neck begins to swell, it is extremely dangerous to leave the collar on.
  7. Turn on the air conditioning in the car and cool its interior.
  8. If you have time, trim the hair around the bite and then wash the wound with plenty of water. If the bite is visible, do not squeeze the wound as this will cause blood to flow to the area around it and only make it worse. Instead, rinse the wound area quickly with cold water. Thanks to this, you will remove the venom that remains on the surface of the skin and is still dangerous.You should do all of these activities in the car while someone else is driving you to the doctor.
  9. Put a cold compress on the bite site. This will cause the venom to spread more slowly throughout the body.
  10. If the bite is on a limb or tail, put a tourniquet between the wound and the heart. Place a piece of cloth, tape or bandage around the limb above the bite site.

Traumatic emergencies

Injuries are the most common cause of death in dogs and cats.

In many cases, the death of a pet can be prevented by providing quick and efficient help to the injured pet.

To do this, the procedure should be organized and systematized in such a way as to properly assess the severity of injuries at the beginning, undertake and vigorously carry out resuscitation, and protect other ailments.

In cats, multi-organ injuries most often occur as a result of a traffic accident (hit by a car), a fall from a great height, being attacked by another animal (most often by a dog) and as a result of a gunshot.

When you witness an accident or other life-threatening emergency that results in an injury, you must be able to assess the condition of the cat and check its signs of life within a few - several seconds.

Focus mainly on conditions that can be directly life-threatening.

In the event of any irregularities, be ready to take appropriate steps to protect your pet until it is taken care of by qualified personnel.

First aid for any injury

  1. Ask someone or yourself to call your veterinarian and say that you are going with the patient in a serious condition. Perhaps the doctor provides "away" services and it is he who will come to the scene of the accident. Nevertheless, first notify the relevant services.
  2. If the situation takes place on the street or in other not very safe place, take care of your own safety, the safety of your cat and any road users. Move the pet to a safe place, if it is impossible, set up a warning triangle. If, on the other hand, you witness an animal attacking a cat, try to stop the animal fight. Distract the fighters by loud noise, whistling, screaming. Sometimes a small (!) the amount of water may be enough to distract them and separate them quickly. However, never try to enter fighting animals! Always remember about your safety.
  3. Take care of your safety during any procedures involving an injured animal. An animal in shock or pain may severely bite or scratch you.
  4. Define treatment priorities in the form of the so-called. "ABCD of injury " and intervene if necessary:
    • A - airway: check airway for patency. Listen to the sounds your kitten makes, check its mouth for blood, vomit or any foreign matter. If necessary, remove them with a clean gauze pad. If the animal is unconscious, place it on its side so that any secretions can drain out.
    • B - breathing: check that your pet is breathing. Observe the symmetrical rise and fall of the chest walls, put the ear to the animal's nose and try to listen to the breath. If you don't notice any breathing, give your cat artificial respiration.
    • C - circulation: first you need to check that you have heart rate. Look for apical beats on the left side of the chest, check the color of the mucous membranes, capillary time, pulse on the femoral artery. If you cannot feel a pulse, initiate immediate CPR! While carrying out the above steps, pay attention to whether the observed results of the visual inspection are indicative of a shock. If so, take the appropriate steps immediately - wrap the cat in a towel or blanket, massage some honey into the gums and take the animal to a doctor as soon as possible. If there is a hemorrhage, you must stop it by applying a pressure dressing. Raise the injured part of the body above its level. This should slow down the bleeding. Don't do this if the wound is in the chest or abdominal wall.
    • D - disability - loss of fitness: assess whether there is a spine or head injury. You will recognize them by traces of blood in the nose, eyes or mouth, problems with rising, severe pain when moving. In such a situation, try not to move your pet. Do not pick it up or carry it. Slide a flat, stiff board under it and cover it with a blanket or towel.If necessary, immobilize the cat, preventing it from unnecessary movements. Cover the head with a bandage if there is a head injury. See if the animal has open fractures or can move. If necessary, immobilize broken limbs. Pay special attention to open fractures, usually accompanied by heavy bleeding. Wear a tourniquet if necessary, but not for long. This is also the time to clean and dress any wounds.
  5. Check for a chest injury. If you notice open wounds penetrating inside the chest, immediately apply a pressure dressing to the area. If the wound is small (e.g. when bitten), you can "seal it" with a water-based moisturizer, then put a foil on the wound and stick it to the pet's body with a plaster. If the wound is too large to be covered with moisturizing gel, simply cover it with foil (stick to the body on 3 sides, leave one side unattached). When you have secured the wound, put the animal on its wounded side.
  6. Check for abdominal injury and take appropriate steps to safeguard the injury. After the initial stabilization of the patient in terms of cardiopulmonary circulation, you can proceed to cleaning the area of ​​the injury. If you have some time, shorten the hair around the wound with blunt scissors, rinse the wound with plenty of lukewarm sterile physiological fluid, then apply a dressing in this area. If the wound is bleeding heavily - put on a pressure dressing. In a situation where you notice that the abdominal organs and tissues are visible in the wound, you need to ensure their proper hydration. You can try to drain the organs into the abdominal cavity - using a saline-moistened gauze pad or gauze, gently grab a bowel loop or other tissue and try to insert it back into the abdomen. Tissues will slip and slip out of your grip, but don't get discouraged and continue to gently push the organ. While doing this, pour lukewarm sterile physiological fluid on the organs to prevent them from drying out. After successfully placing the intestines in the abdomen, cover the wound with gauze soaked in sterile saline. Tie the whole thing tightly with a bandage, but loosely enough so that the injured cat has no problems with breathing. Under no circumstances should you remove any foreign objects stuck to the abdominal wall! Stabilize them with dressings to limit their mobility and see a doctor as soon as possible.
  7. Prevent the cat from cooling down - an animal after an injury has a much greater predisposition to shock. Wrap it in a towel or a warm blanket, massage a little honey into the gums.
  8. At each stage of first aid, you must return to the assessment of the animal's current condition, monitor its breathing and heart rate so that you can resuscitate at any time.
  9. Move the animal with the greatest care, do not pick it up. This can worsen the shock and causes unnecessary mobility of the damaged organs. The best way is to transport an injured cat on a rigid surface. You can get creative and use whatever looks like a board - cutting board, ironing board, baking tray, etc. Any material that does not bend under the weight of the pet is suitable. It is important that you do not move the cat to a rigid surface, but only drag the cat. Ideally, you should first pull a sheet or towel under the animal and then pull it along with the injured patient onto the transport surface. Then cover the animal with a cloth and attach it to the board with a plaster or adhesive tape. Place one strip of tape across the cat's body just behind its front legs, the other just in front of its hind legs. Finally, take your pet to the car and take it to the clinic as soon as possible.

A cat is hit by a car

It is a classic example of a multi-organ trauma.

In many cases, animals are found to have at least a few abnormalities after an accident, such as:

  • bleeding - most often around the fracture;
  • damage to the respiratory system, such as pneumothorax, pulmonary contusion, pleural hematoma or diaphragmatic hernia;
  • shock or serious circulatory disorders;
  • neurological disorders from paralysis and paresis up to coma;
  • dislocations and fractures;
  • injuries of internal organs.

First aid for a cat: abdominal damage

Usually encountered as penetrating injuries resulting from being bitten, shot or impaled by a foreign body (e.g. metal rod, wire, etc.).

Blunt injuries are usually the result of a punch, kick, jerking without breaking the skin (eg. during the dog's attack, when the dog grabs the kitten and shakes it in the air).

Most injuries are immediately visible and you should easily notice any bleeding or a wound in your abdomen.

Symptoms of Cat Abdominal Injury:

  • small wounds (such as. after being shot with an airgun) may go unnoticed due to the presence of hair (especially in long-haired cats);
  • as a rule, soreness in the abdominal area is noticeable - the cat does not allow itself to be petted, reacts unnaturally to touch attempts, arches its back upwards;
  • if there has been a significant trauma accompanied by haemorrhage or damage to internal organs, a cat may develop severe apathy, lethargy, reluctance to move, retention.
  • you may notice bruising and ecchymosis on the skin of the abdomen;
  • with the presence of intra-abdominal hemorrhage, it is possible to quickly increase the volume of the abdominal cavity, noticeable as a bloated, large, ballooned abdomen;
  • if the perforation wound is large, intestinal loops may protrude from it (it is very dangerous as intestinal necrosis, infection and gastroenteritis may occur).

Cat head trauma

A cat's head injury usually occurs as a result of a traffic accident, but also after falls, blows, gunshots or a dog attack.

Due to the fact that cats have a thinner skullcap and lower muscle mass, it is easier for them to damage the head area.

The severity of clinical symptoms largely depends on the site of the injury, as well as the extent of the damage:

  • The main damage results directly from the injury itself (fracture of the skull bone, hemorrhage, pressure on the brain tissue), while after a few days additional consequences of the injury appear, resulting from edema, ischemia and an increase in intracranial pressure.
  • You should notice deformity in the bones in the skull or face, a palpable indentation, and there may be blood or cerebrospinal fluid from the ear or nose.
  • Changes in the way of breathing are possible - from an increased respiratory rate, through cyclical increasing and decreasing the respiratory rate, to inconsistent breathing, consisting in performing a quick inhalation with short and incomplete exhalation.
  • The animal may assume strange positions - it may lie with a dorsally arched neck and stiff, straightened limbs, or only the pectoral limbs may become stiff.
  • Possible nystagmus, strabismus, pupil asymmetry.
  • After an accident, animals may develop other disorders, such as. shock
  • If there is brain damage, you may notice clumsiness, walking in a circle, blindness, changes in consciousness, and even loss of consciousness;
  • If your cat falls into a coma and its pupils do not respond to light - the brainstem could be damaged.
  • If, on the other hand, you observe a strange, one-sided tilt of the head, rolling over, the cat falling to one side, incoherent movements - the cerebellum or vestibular system may be damaged.

If you suspect your cat has had a head injury, you must take it to your vet as soon as possible.

  • First, check the breathing and heart rate.
  • If any of these functions has stopped, give cardiac massage and / or artificial respiration.
  • Stop the hemorrhage! Make a head dressing.
  • Wrap a cat in a towel or blanket not only to keep it warm, but also to protect it from possible seizures.
  • Keep your cat awake on the way to the doctor. Stroke, touch, squeeze the fingertips, if necessary pinch or prick the kitten's pads, ears or other sensitive parts of the body.
  • The cat should lie in one plane, try to immobilize it. An animal in this state may move involuntarily, thereby increasing bleeding or aggravating the injury.
  • In a situation where vomiting occurs, lower the cat's head to facilitate evacuation of the vomit and avoid choking.

Spinal cord injury

Injuries to the spine and spinal cord most often occur as a result of a traffic accident, a fall from a great height, a shot or a fight with another animal.

Clinical symptoms resulting from the injury largely depend on the degree and place of pressure on the spinal cord, and are manifested primarily in the form of various types of neurological disorders.

Symptoms of a cat's spinal cord injury include:

  • paralysis of all four limbs with their stiffness and excessive extension; possible respiratory disorders (trauma to the cervical spine);
  • paralysis of the pelvic limbs with their stiffness and hyperextension (damage to the thoracolumbar region - this is one of the most common places of injury);
  • arcuate bending of the neck and back and contraction of the muscles of the pectoral limbs along with their extension may also accompany the trauma of the thoracolumbar region;
  • flaccid paralysis of the thoracic or pelvic limbs;
  • Horner's syndrome - constriction of the pupil, asymmetrical size of the eyelid gap, drooping eyelid, eyeball collapse and protrusion of the third eyelid; it may accompany an injury to the brainstem, spinal cord, middle ear or neck;
  • severe soreness in the fracture area;
  • possible lack of sensation in paralyzed limbs, inability to move;
  • involuntary urination and defecation;
  • loss of consciousness;
  • shock.

In a situation where you suspect a spinal cord injury in your cat, the primary activity is to immobilize the spine.

Under no circumstances may the injured person be picked up!

First aid for a cat's spine injury:

  1. Prepare a stiff, hard material (e.g. cutting board or ironing board, very stiff cardboard) and grabbing the skin around the neck and lumbar area, slide your cat onto this makeshift stretcher.
  2. You can also carefully place a thin material under the injured person and slide the board by pulling.
  3. Then use tapes or even adhesive tape to tie the patient to the brace.
  4. Perform CPR in the event of cardiac and respiratory arrest.
  5. Wrap the cat in a warm towel or blanket (remember not to lift the victim).
  6. Massage a little honey into the gums.
  7. Take your cat to the vet immediately.

First aid for convulsive attacks

Seizures are caused by disturbances in the electrical activity of the brain.

They can be partial (i.e. include e.g. one limb, one side of the body, or just the face) or generalized.

A cat affected by an attack of epileptic seizures falls over, vocalizes, loses consciousness.

There are involuntary tonic-clonic contractions in all limbs, there is trembling of the muscles of the facial part of the head.

In many cases, the so-called. the aura that causes changes in the cat's behavior.

Seizures vary in length (from a few seconds to a few minutes) and can appear multiple times without the cat regaining consciousness.

After the attack is over, the kitten may behave as if nothing had happened, often it even increases its appetite.

There are many reasons for the occurrence of seizures - from metabolic (low blood sugar, low calcium levels) through traumatic (head injury) to neurological.

If the seizures started before the age of one, the cause is thought to be a birth defect (e.g. hydrocephalus), liver storage diseases, injuries, poisoning, infectious diseases (e.g. FIP).

Age of first attacks in the period between 1 and 5 years of age may suggest idiopathic epilepsy, as well as any of the causes listed above.

If, on the other hand, epileptic attacks appeared at a later age (over 5 years of age), the most common causes are cancer, injuries, metabolic disorders (uremia), hypoglycemia or encephalitis.

The occurrence of seizures must always be consulted with a veterinarian.

You can see what a cat's convulsions may look like in the video below:

Epileptic Seizures Of My Cat (named Miesje)
Watch this video on YouTube

How can you help your cat in a seizure attack?

  1. You need to protect your cat from body damage during an attack. It is best to lay it on a soft blanket, away from any hard objects. You should protect your head so that the pet does not hit the floor with it during the attack.
  2. Keep it cool. The pet may overheat during an attack. Turn on the ventilation, open the window for fresh, cool air.
  3. Limit external stimuli. Noise or flashing lights can aggravate an attack or trigger another attack. Limit touching, talking to the cat. Turn off the TV and radio, dim the lights. Cover your kitten with a sheet or a thin blanket to suppress external stimuli. An attack usually lasts from 10 seconds to 3 minutes.
  4. Smear the pet's gums with honey or sweet syrup.
  5. If you suspect the seizures are due to a head injury, restrict your pet's movement. Place the cat in a carrier or small cage, place it on a flat surface and take it to the vet.
  6. Convulsions that last more than 5 minutes are a critical condition. In such a situation there is a serious threat to life and it is necessary to see a doctor as soon as possible. When your cat's body temperature rises, cool the armpits and groin with ice.
  7. Watch the cat after the seizures are over as there can always be new ones.

Foreign body in the cat's eye

A foreign body stuck in the eye may be in the conjunctival sac, the cornea or penetrate deeper into the eyeball.

Most commonly found in cats are blades of grass, wood splinters, insects, gravel or sand.

The most common symptoms of a foreign body getting stuck in the eye:

  • redness and swelling of the conjunctiva;
  • eyelid spasm, the animal may squint its eyes in bright light;
  • discharge from the eye (initially serous, then mucous or purulent);
  • scratching and rubbing the eye area with the paw;
  • more than usual rubbing against objects on the affected side.
Foreign body in the cat's eye

You can try to remove foreign bodies stuck in the conjunctival sac or on the surface of the cornea by yourself.

What can you do yourself?

  1. Immobilize the cat by firmly gripping the skin around the nape of the cat's neck and gently lifting the kitten's head upwards.
  2. Protect yourself from scratching. Ideally, someone will help you hold your kitten down by wrapping a towel around its limbs.
  3. Use your index finger and thumb to widen your eyelid and flush your eye with sterile saline under pressure.
  4. If you can see a foreign object, use a sterile gauze pad to gently extract it.
  5. If you are unable to remove the foreign body (it may be deep in the cornea) take your kitten to the vet as soon as possible. If you have a protective collar, put on your cat when traveling so that it does not scratch the eye and aggravate the situation.

Eyeball prolapse

Most often it occurs after a strong trauma (e.g. as a result of being hit by a car) or after an animal attack.

You may notice your kitten's eyeball hanging unnaturally from or sticking out of the socket.

This is a very dangerous situation as it may lead to blindness.

Take your pet to the clinic as soon as possible.

  • On the way, you need to provide adequate moisture for the fallen eyeball.
  • The cat cannot blink its eyelids, so it cannot properly moisten the cornea with tears.
  • You must ensure that it does not dry out.
  • Every 1-2 minutes, apply a few drops of sterile physiological fluid or - preferably - artificial tears to the eye.
  • Or, gently put a moist sterile gauze pad soaked in a body fluid over the eye.
  • Keep it wet all the time.


How to give a cat first aid?

Unfortunate situations that threaten health and life happen not only to people.

Our pupils often become their victims.

Unfortunately - in schools, no one teaches us how to give first aid to an animal.

Every citizen who completed education, even at a basic level, is obliged to know how to behave in the event of an accident involving a human being.

But what is a cat owner to do, who suddenly faces the need to immediately help his pet, because life may depend on it??

Where to seek help?

How should he behave?

What to do and what not to do so as not to harm the animal?

I hope, dear reader, that after reading this article you know perfectly well what to do in order not to harm and help the injured cat.

If you have any questions or doubts while reading, please leave a comment under the article. I will reply as soon as possible.

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