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First Aid for Cats – How To Help an Injured or Sick Cat

9 Dec 2021.


There is nothing scarier than when a cat is unwell or hurt. Most kitties are explorers by nature, but their curious spirit can also land them in trouble sometimes. Not sure if your fur friend is injured or sick or what to do if they are? Below, Cat in a Flat explains how to know when a cat needs help, and basic cat first aid for both cat sitters and owners. 

How do I know if a cat is hurt? 

If you suspect a cat might be ill or injured, the first thing to do is to contact their owners and vet. However, you might want to assess the situation first so you can pass on as much information as possible. So, how do you know if a cat is hurt? Here are some of the more common signs.

handling a hurt cat

How do I know if a cat needs emergency help? 

Sometimes it can be hard to decide whether a cat requires urgent, immediate attention. If for some reason you’re unable to contact your kitty client’s owners in an emergency, you may be faced with the decision of how quickly you need to get Mr Whiskers to the vet. Here are a few signs of an emergency situation:

How do I handle a hurt cat? 

Knowing the proper way to react when a cat is injured or sick can make a huge difference. Remember, your fur friend is already stressed and scared, so the first step for you as a cat sitter is to remain calm. Felines can pick up on your moods, so do your best to not panic. 

Cat owners: always make sure you leave the number for your kitty’s vet with your cat sitter in case of an emergency. It’s also a good idea to have at least one other emergency number—preferably for a local friend or family member who can step in to help with your hurt cat while you’re away. 

Once you’ve alerted your kitty client’s owners, call the vet immediately so they can be prepared for your arrival. In an emergency, the vet’s office may talk you through some basic cat first aid over the phone too. 

Never, ever try to give a kitty medicine intended for humans. Our feline friends are very different from us, and many human medications can be poisonous to cats, or cause an even worse reaction. 

If you do need to transport an injured or sick cat to the vet, you’ll need to know how to handle them properly. Here are a few tips for how to handle an ill or hurt cat.

The basics of cat first aid

A cat also may require some basic first aid during an emergency. Here are some of the more common emergency scenarios and how you should deal with them. 

How to help a bleeding cat

If your fur friend is bleeding, your priority should be to slow or stop the bleeding as soon as possible. 

How to help a cat with a broken bone

How to help a cat with a burn

What to do if a cat has been poisoned

How to help a cat with insect bites or stings

What to do if a cat is choking

Note: Cat first aid should never be used in place of professional care. In all these cases, it’s meant to assist while you get the kitty to a veterinarian. Remember, stay calm to help reassure your furry friend until you can get them safely to the vet.

Would you like to know more about looking after your feline friend? You might like our blog posts on how to recognize if a cat is freezing and tips for getting a cat into a carrier.

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