Monday, May 21, 2012

Protecting Your Cat During a Natural Disaster

Hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, and more. In most areas of the world, natural disasters happen on occasion. And with these disasters often comes the recommendation (or order) to evacuate. But many people do not heed these warnings out of a desire to protect their pets. During an evacuation, it can be difficult, perhaps even impossible, to take your cat with you, and most shelters will not accept pets during an evacuation.

Natural disasters of all kinds, including tornadoes and wildfires, can leave your feline companions stranded or even lost. The best thing you can do is to be prepared just in case you and your cat are separated during a natural disaster.

Before disaster strikes, get ready. Get a collar for your pet and make sure that collar has a visible ID tag. This tag should have a phone number, but during a natural disaster, phone lines might be out. Choose a cell phone number or an out-of-area number for the tag instead. Also consider adding a tag to all carriers and necessary supplies, just in case. You might want to microchip your cat as an added identification.

Go out and purchase a decent carrier and leash for each cat. In fact, all your pets should have their own individual carrier and leash, labelled with the pet's name, your name, and a phone number. This way you'll be ready to take your cat with you. But also plan to be separated and keep a small file in your purse to help you identify your cat. This file should have photos, health certificates, and anything else you can use to prove your cat is actually your cat.

You may have to make arrangements for your cat to stay elsewhere during a natural disaster. Make a list of friends and family who are willing to care for your cat and also create a comprehensive list of kennels and other boarding facilities. There are also many hotels that will accept patrons with pets. However, many of these facilities require that you provide proof of up-to-date vaccinations. Keep your cat's shots current and keep that proof in the file in your purse.

Have a kit with a week's worth of supplies ready for transport. This kit should include food, water, cat litter, bedding, and any medication your cat requires. You should take your cat with you during an evacuation if at all possible. Remember, if it's not safe for you to stay home, it's not safe for your cat.

If you do not have to evacuate, keep your cat indoors. And do not leave your cat in the basement. Basements are the first place to flood during a natural disaster and you cat could drown. Locate the safest place in your home and put the cat's carrier there.

Becoming separated from your cat is a real possibility during a natural disaster. If this happens to you, don't panic. When you return home, call your local animals shelters immediately. They may have picked up your cat at some point. Also look around your neighborhood. Your cat may not have gone far or might be camping out at a friend's.

Natural disasters are frightening for both you and your pets. However, if you plan ahead and keep a level head, you and your pets should come out the other side of whatever disaster befalls you with a minimum amount of anguish.

1 comment:

  1. I love all pets. But I hope people try to prepare for tornado disasters, floods, and earthquakes! A good place for info to survive in a disaster: