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Cornell Feline Health Center

Supporting Cat Health with Information and Health Studies.

Disaster Preparedness

What do you need to be prepared? 

Too often, unfortunate events remind us that we are all subject to natural and man-made disasters, and that being prepared for these trying times is vital to experiencing the best possible outcomes for ourselves, our families, our friends, and our pets.

Whether they come in the form of inclement weather events, earthquakes, floods, landslides, or prolonged power outages, having certain things at hand and preparing a plan in advance of disasters can increase the likelihood that you and those you love will come out OK. This is particularly true for our feline friends.

Here’s a list of the things you should have available in a feline disaster preparedness kit at all times:

  1. Two weeks’ worth of food and water (water should be stored in plastic containers in a dark place and should be rotated every 2-3 months).
  2. A small litter box, two weeks’ worth of cat litter, a small litter scooper, and plastic bags for disposing of solid waste.
  3. A small container of liquid soap and paper towels for drying bowls and litter box after cleaning.
  4. Make sure your cat has a breakaway collar with identification tag on him at all times. Keep an extra collar and tag available in the event that one gets lost. Consider micro chipping for more permanent identification in the event that a cat gets lost.
  5. Harness and leash (even if you don’t normally use these for your cat).
  6. A collapsible cage that is large enough to house your cat with a litter box and food/water bowls.
  7. A few toys that your cat likes.
  8. Two weeks’ worth of any medications that your cat may be taking.
  9. First aid kit with 4-inch x 4-inch gauze pads, 3 inches by 5-inch conforming bandages, cotton swabs, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, scissors, triple antibiotic ointment, several pairs of disposable latex exam gloves, instant cold pack.
  10. Current pictures of your cat with you in the picture to identify the kitty and prove your ownership in the event that you get separated.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so make sure to have this kit ready, to stay aware of any potential or impending disasters that may require you to take action (such as evacuating), and to have a plan for evacuation (where you will go, how you will get there, how to stay in touch with loved ones and authorities as necessary) BEFORE a disaster strikes.