Your ability to give first aid to a cat in crisis can both save lives and prevent suffering. Anyone can provide first aid, but it should be seen as a first aid until your cat has received professional care.

First aid is just as important for cats that have had an accident as it is for people in the same situation. If you witness a cat having a serious accident, you should start first aid immediately. If you witness a cat having a serious accident, you should start first aid immediately. Remember to protect yourself from being bitten or scratched, as a cat that is scared or in pain can have an outcome. You can, for example, gently wrap the cat in a towel or item of clothing. 

The cat must get to the nearest veterinarian as soon as possible. Feel free to contact the animal hospital or clinic and let them know that you are on your way so that they can prepare for your arrival.

Feel free to print out our  guide  for preventive purposes and remember to enter all important telephone numbers in your telephone so that you can quickly get help when it is most urgent. 

Below is advice on some of the most common acute ailments that require first aid.

first aid cat infographic

Choking – Shortness Of Breath

If an object is stuck in the throat, it may be removed by pressing the tongue down and pulling the object out. Be careful with your fingers and be careful not to drop the object further! If the object is not removed by mouth, pressure over the front of the abdomen up to the chest can be performed (Heimlich maneuver) – otherwise go to the vet immediately.

  • If the cat is neither breathing nor has a pulse started (see below). 
  • If the object is removed and the cat neither breathes nor has a pulse, cardiopulmonary resuscitation is started.
  • In case of shortness of breath or suffocation for other reasons such as snakebite or in case of acute heart failure / pulmonary edema, contact and go to a veterinarian immediately. Avoid lying the cat on its side during the trip to the vet.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation – CPR

When cardiopulmonary resuscitation is performed, so-called chest compressions are started. This means using your hands and pressing on the unconscious cat’s chest to make the blood continue to circulate. 

  • Check the color of the oral mucosa. Bluish tone indicates circulatory or respiratory problems.
  • Check if the heart is beating or if the animal has a palpable pulse
  • Can the cat breathe? Listen and check the animal’s breathing pattern.
  • Examine the upper respiratory tract. Pull out the tongue, if necessary remove soil, debris or other.

Signs of cardiac arrest:

  • No breathing or heartbeat, often blue mucous membranes.
  • Large unresponsive pupils.

Do this:

1. Place the cat on the right side.

2. Place one hand where the tip of the elbow meets the chest, place the other hand on the other side.

3. Compress your chest by pressing your hands together.

Press approximately 30 times at an approximate speed of 100-120 compressions / minute.

5. Then switch to making two breaths. Stretch the animal’s neck, shape the mouth around the cat’s nose and blow in air so that the chest rises. Remember not to blow too hard!

Heatstroke

Leaving your cat in a car on a summer day is like putting it in an oven and turning it to 52 ° C.

Signs of heat stroke are shakiness, confusion and high body temperature. In case of suspected heat stroke:

  • Offer water.
  • Keep the animal still.
  • Cool the body with cool water.

Always consult a veterinarian as damage to the internal organs may occur!

Below table shows how hot it gets in the car when the sun is up.

TimeExternal temperature Shade / Sun.  Temperature in car 
08.30  22 ° CSolar23 ° C
09.3022 ° CSolar38 ° C
10.3025 ° CSolar47 ° C
11.3026 ° CSolar50 ° C
12.3027 ° CSolar52 ° C

Wounds, Bite Injuries And Bleeding

  • Wear protective gloves if possible.
  • Wounds that do not bleed should be cleaned with saline solution.
  • In case of heavy bleeding, apply bandage with pressure. If it bleeds through, put a new bandage on the outside. Feel free to use a self-adhesive elastic bandage.
  • Bite injuries may look small at first but can then prove to be more serious, consult a veterinarian.
  • In case of heavy bleeding or severe bite injury, the animal may be in shock and have pale mucous membranes. Go to the vet right away!

Urine Blockage

Read more here.

Cramps

Seizures can be due to and look different. The cat can show everything from small twitches, stiffness to more severe seizures. A cat that spasms more than five minutes or more than once in 24 hours should see a veterinarian urgently.

  • Make sure that the cat does not injure itself on objects in its vicinity.
  • Avoid touching or inserting objects into the animal’s mouth.
  • Make sure that the cat is not exposed to loud noise or light.

Acute Gastritis

Vomiting and / or diarrhea may occur suddenly and severely affect the general condition. Vomiting can be due to reasons other than stomach illness. See a veterinarian if:

  • The cat must not keep water.
  • The cat has bloody vomiting or diarrhea.
  • The cat may have ingested an unsuitable object that may have got stuck.
  • The cat has eaten something that can be toxic.
  • The cat has affected the general condition.

Eye Injuries

The eye can fall out of the eye socket in case of injuries and it is then important that:

  • Avoid scratching the cat’s paw or pulling its head against objects.
  • Keep the eye moist by applying a moist compress over the protruding eye.
  • Contact and go to the vet immediately.

With corneal ulcers, the cat pinches its eye and may be sensitive to light.

  • Avoid scratching the cat with its paw or pulling its head against objects, put on a collar if possible.
  • See a veterinarian the same day to reduce serious complications.
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Molli Ze

Molli's mission is to help cat parents care for their fur babies, in the easiest way possible. To do this, we share a plethora of guides and unbiased reviews to help you get what you need. She hopes that through our site, she can make life a little easier, and perhaps more affordable, for cat parents by helping you dodge expensive mistakes and mishaps.

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