Do You Have an Emergency Plan for Your Cat?

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Floppycats reader, Jerri, was telling me recently through email that she ordered a pet carrier for her Denali because she was organizing her Emergency Plan for her kitties.  Here’s what she said:

“I had two carriers, for Dusty and Stormy but never got another one when I got Denali because I didn’t think I’d ever have occasion for all three of them to travel together.  Well, we’ve been having some wildfires over here, and the news was talking about how people had to evacuate in a hurry.  Some left their pets behind (which I would never do no matter what) but it got me thinking about an emergency plan for the cats.  The first thing I needed was three carriers!  If I had to load up the car and leave, they’d each need their own.  Then I figured I’d need a tote with some food, bowls, copies of vet records, water, disposable litter box, etc that I could grab in a hurry.  This could also serve as an emergency kit even if we didn’t have to leave, but had a natural disaster such as an earthquake.”

So, this begs the question, “Do you have an emergency plan for your kitties?”  If so, what is it?  Tell us about it in the comments below so we can all share ideas!


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  1. I don’t necessarily have a set plan, but I occasionally travel with my cats so I already have carriers with seatbelt straps and a tote(baby bag!) with all their essentials ready to go: Treats, toys, towels, vet records, food, dishes, 1L water, saline (eye rinse), UTI drops, Bach’s Pet Rescue (stress relieving drops), nail clippers, cat wipes, light up blinkers to attach to collars if they’re out in the evening, harnesses with a bright green tether, and lists of nearby vets for places we often travel to. The bag is kept in my walk in closet/laundry room so I don’t have to buy doubles to keep things within reach at home too. I also have 2 (human) first aid kits in my car, so one can fit in the tote as well if need be.
    Writing this out might make me sound over prepared and paranoid but I don’t like being without.
    You mention a disposable litter box- I might think about getting one but I have a ton of litter boxes so it wouldn’t be hard for me to just grab one in a pinch.

  2. I have a carrier handy at all times. I live in a high-rise condo and a few years ago there was a fairly significant building fire in a condo 6 floors directly beneath me. I got Lucy in her carrier in record time and covered it with a bath towel to evacuate her through the smoke (worked very well — she did not have a whiff of smoke aroma in her fur afterwards). All’s well that ends well — we were back at home within a few hours, but I do keep a small stash of necessities for her and me in a backpack in case of the need to evacuate more than a few hours.

  3. I have extra pet food and enough carriers for all three pets. But the part of my emergency plan that gives me the greatest peace of mind is that my petsitter has a spare key so if anything happens while I’m at work and I am unable to get home for a day or more (a real possibility given the micro climate where I work) he could stop by. An emergency that happens while I’m at home is one thing – the thought of one happening that kept me from getting home is quite sobering! I read a book (Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper) about a woman living in NYC during 9/11 whose cats were stranded for several days with no food or water and it made quite an impression!

      1. I thought I was the only one who didn’t leave the dryer on – or the dishwasher running for that matter when I’m not home!

      2. There is a risk of flooding! It’s happened to me once but luckily I was home and could turn the dishwasher off before the water leaked too much.

      3. Exactly what Laura said – I have nightmares of the dishwasher flooding! It’s never happened, but I’d rather be here to deal with it than come home to water everywhere!

  4. I got a huge duffle bag at the PET expo last year. Red with a big white cross on it. It’s stocked with gauze pads, dishes, food, water, tape, ace wraps. I’ve rotated the food, water, updated the bandaids, added an O2 mask (for animals), medical records, contact info for me, harnesses, leashes, photos of my cats, even a cell phone for emergencies (with a battery charger that runs on AA batteries), ice bags, and baggies (for trash, litter, etc).
    It’s right by the front door, unless I’m at a cat show. Then it’s with me. I should get a second one for the car/truck so I can leave one at home for the animals who don’t show.
    My sons are all familiar with the contents and their use, so in case of emergency, my humans don’t panic!
    Yesterday, while we were having our earthquake, my sons ran a drill of gathering all the cats and evacuating them. If readers DO take the initiative to get a kit, they really need to practice using it. (Of course, you know I’m a RN). BTW, my sons also are certified in CPR for humans and pets. I personally have never had to do CPR on an animal, but several of my RN friends have! They were more upset after that than they ever were with a human. (Probably because we do humans every day)

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