First Aid for Cats

Dr. Brian Daubs, a board-certified small-animal veterinarian, maintains a particular professional interest in the care of injured pets. Through his current practice, Animal Specialty and Emergency Clinic, Dr. Brian Daubs offers 24-hour available care for critical cases.

When a cat is injured, its natural predisposition to anxiety and stress can worsen the situation quickly. The owner or caregiver’s first duty is to make sure that the cat is warm, comfortable, and as still as possible. The person can then look over the cat, listen to its breathing and heartbeat, and search for bleeding. The application of gentle pressure with sterile gauze is typically the safest way to limit blood loss until veterinary treatment is available. Potentially broken bones should be kept as still as possible; cats with broken backs need support of a flat surface until they can reach the vet’s office.

A cold compress can help a cat with a burn feel more comfortable until veterinary attention is available, while immobilization and limited movement help to minimize further damage to broken bones. In all cases, an injured cat should visit the veterinarian as soon as possible. Owners should take care to minimize the cat’s movement during the transport process, particularly if the cat shows signs of broken bones.