A knowledge of feline first aid could make the difference between life and death to your cat. However, if you try to administer first aid, and are not sure of the correct procedure, you could do more harm than good.
GET TO THE VET
For all, bar minor injuries that can be treated at home, apply immediate first aid, if you are confident on the procedure, and then take your cat to the vet immediately. Calling the vet to your home only wastes time and the chances are that whatever emergency treatment is necessary, may be an operation, will be available only at the surgery.
If you have to drive the cat to the vet, do not travel alone. If possible, get a friend or neighbor to go with you. Left unrestrained in a carrier, the injured cat may panic and damage itself further. It is better to wrap the cat in a blanket and for someone to cuddle it; this reassures the cat and makes it less likely to go into shock. Also, you are less liable to have a road accident if you know the cat is securely held and as comfortable as possible.
After any accident, it is important to treat the cat for shock: keep the cat quiet and warm – wrap it in a towel or blanket – until you can get to the vet’s surgery.
ANIMAL BITES (see also snake bites)
Any free-ranging cat will, inevitably, get into a scrap with another cat at some point. The mouths of all animals, including humans, contain may bacteria which, once in the bloodstream, can cause infections.
There are three kinds of burns, all of which will result in blistering of the affected part:
The most likely place for a cat to suffer the first two is in the kitchen. Caustic burns occur more often if a cat wanders into an area where dangerous chemicals are stored.
Immediate resuscitation is vital if your cat stops breathing. This can be due to several causes, most commonly drowning (which includes newborn kittens that have inhaled amniotic fluid) and electric shock.
A cat does not have to fall into a deep lake to drown; drowning takes place when the lungs become full of water instead of air, and can be caused in many ways. The urgency is to expel this water from the lungs so that the cat can breathe again.
Cats are notorious chewers, and the danger of electric cables means nothing to them. If your cat is electrocuted, do not touch it until you have switched off and disconnected the appliance, or you, too, will receive a shock.
It is commonly thought that cats always land on their feet, but this is not necessarily so. Fractured jaws are much more common than fractured limbs after falls, and even if a cat has not actually broken or fractured bones, it may be concussed.