10 Cat Prep Tips for Natural Disasters

Animal care group Last Chance for Animals has listed must-haves for cat owners to protect their cats or kittens in the event of a natural disaster.

By CatChannel Editors

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Lynx cat -- Top 10 Disaster Preparedness Essentials for Cat Care
Cats can experience emotional trauma during an emergency. Learn how to help them.
Thousands of dogs and cats go missing when earthquakes, tsunamis, destructive storms, floods, fires, mudslides and other catastrophes suddenly strike. With natural disasters on the rise, learn how to protect cats or kittens by preparing for an emergency situation.

1. Cat ID
Cats must wear a collar with current contact information, such as a cat ID tag. Because collars can come off, another way for a lost cat to be identified and returned is to microchip or permanently tattoo "collar” information on a cat's inside rear leg.

2. Cat Food Reserve
You might not find your regular cat food in an emergency situation, so keep one week’s worth of cat food on hand, especially for cats that may be traumatized and may not eat a new brand of food.  

3. Water
Have extra bottles of fresh water on hand for your cat to last at least one week.

4. Medication
Have all your cat’s medications easily available and have enough extra to last a week or so in case your cat's veterinarian or source of your medications is wiped out due to the emergency.

5. Cat Carrier
Have a sturdy cat carrier readily available that your cat is accustomed to. Make sure your cat is used to it beforehand so he is not scared when you try to put him in it. Make sure the carrier locks and is escape-proof.  

6. Cat's Personal Items
Bring your favorite cat toys, blankets, etc., and have extra towels or thick gloves on hand for handling cats. Sometimes, even the most docile cat will bite when terrified.

7. Cat Shelter Location List
Know the locations of all cat shelters or places that could take you and your cat. Also, leave a note on your home that says how many animals live there, as well as a current photo of your cats, in case you get separated.

8. Cat Caregivers
Arrange friends or family to take care of your cat ahead of time, much like you would with a Will. Let the people know that you are entrusting them with your cat, and make sure that all the parties involved, including your cat and the new caregivers, are comfortable with one another ahead of time.

9. Evacuation Practice
Know your evacuation routes out of town; line up multiple routes. Practice an evacuation ahead of time and learn how long it takes you to gather your family and cats. Acustom your cats, so when the  they will be a lot less stressed and a lot more manageable.

10. Emotional Support
In an emergency situation, your cat is likely to be scared and nervous.  Treat them like you would a small child, as they are totally dependent upon you for their survival. Provide them with lots of attention, including soothing, reassuring words. Read your cat’s nonverbal communication as some cats might wish to hide and be left alone, while others may be clingy and want to be by your side at all times.
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10 Cat Prep Tips for Natural Disasters

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Reader Comments

M    Lake City, FL

9/15/2013 11:50:25 PM

Thanks- happy to say many of these are taken care of here, but its nice to have a thorough checklist, especially during Hurricane Season.

Thanks for sharing- and may as few cats as possible have a need for such lists!

Jenny    Monticello, MN

6/10/2013 1:31:28 PM

Thanks. I will keep a list of everything I need in case of an natural disaster especially a person's contact info to help me evacuate.

CatChannel Editor    Irvine, CA

6/10/2013 8:42:24 AM

Jenny -- Maybe No. 10 applies most to you. If you're unable to drive, find people who can help you evacuate with your cats safely.

The Big Apple Gang®    Staten Island, NY

6/8/2013 6:11:53 AM

This is a great article ~ Thanks for the important advice.

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