First Aid For Cats | The Cat Site


If there could be one thing you could do to save your cat’s life in an emergency, would you? 53% of cat people say they would be willing to give their cat CPR but how do you do it? There are classes to teach you basic first aid for both cats and dogs. Finding a class is not as hard as you might think.

First Aid Classes

The Red Cross teaches first aid for people of course, but they also have dog and cat classes so you can also learn where a pulse point is, how to bandage a hurt paw, and how to muzzle an injured animal so he can be moved to safety. If there is not a Red Cross in your area, ask at training centers – dog people will share. Boarding facilities and day care also offer classes. Your cat won’t be going to class with you so there’s no conflict with dogs. You’ll work with manikins or stuffed animals, not live animals.

Look for a class that covers these topics: CPR and rescue breathing, how to check vital signs, control bleeding, handle and restrain an injured pet, induce vomiting (and when not to), what to do for bite wounds, how to recognize and treat heatstroke and frostbite, how to prevent and treat poisoning, what to do for burns, choking, diarrhea, broken bones, seizures, shock and vomiting.

Emergency Info

At home, have the phone number for poison control listed by your phone. If your cat has eaten something he shouldn’t, throwing up is not always the answer. Sometimes it can cause additional harm so it’s best to check with the experts.

Know your veterinarian’s office hours and what to do when his office is closed – does he refer to another vet or should you go to the emergency hospital? Know where it is and have the phone number programmed in your phone. You can call while enroute and alert them to be ready, especially if you’ll need help getting from the car into the hospital. They can also clear the waiting room of dogs if you’re rushing in with a bleeding cat.


Pale gums and tongue can mean internal bleeding from an injury or poison. Know what color his gums are when he’s healthy so you have a comparison. If your cat is rubbing or clawing at his face, it could be a bad tooth or he might have something wedged in the roof of his mouth. Get him used to being handled and having his mouth checked. You’ll have a better chance of finding out what’s the problem. One cat looked ready to throw up. It turns out he had a blade of grass he couldn’t swallow or spit out!


Seizures are scary to see. Try to remain calm, don’t pick your cat up but do keep him from falling off the bed or couch, and time the length of the seizure. Knowing how long it lasts can help the vet determine what might be the cause.


What do you do if a frisky kitten jumps on a hot stove and burns his paws? Have lavender essential oil on hand. Its scent will calm both you and the kitten as well as start the healing process immediately.

It is estimated that 60% of animal hospital visits are emergency situations. The more you know, the calmer you can be and the better chance your cat will have for a long life. Isn’t that what we all want for our cats?

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