Are You Prepared to Keep Your Cat Safe in a Crisis?

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This article is all about the pre-planning you should do to insure that your cat is kept safe during a disaster.
If you want to give you cat a fighting chance in the event of a natural disaster like a fire, tornado, earthquake, flood, wildfire or hurricane plan ahead or even if you plan to stay in your own home, you need to be prepared because you may have to leave it.
Do you have a carrier on hand? Is it large enough for your cat to stay in for a few days, if necessary? Do you have food, water, medicines and all the cats required paperwork ready to take with you? Do not forget your own! Shots need to be up to date, in case boarding is necessary.
Pre-planning and being prepared can save both you and your beloved pet.
Make sure you have a harness and leash with their tags, so that they can get out of the carrier and be exercised.
Saving your pet is your responsibility and leaving them to fend for themselves is mean, abusive and unacceptable! Train your cat now, to accept wearing a harness and walking on a leash.
It will take some time and patience on your part.
Suggest putting the harness on for 5 minutes the first time and just let the cat lay there.
Each day increase the time.
When they figure out that they can move about in it, add the leash and they will get comfortable with it.
It is also a very good idea to teach your cat to come when it is called.
With cats this can take some time and effort.
A reward system will work wonders.
This is critically important in case of a fire or tornado! Pack extra litter, food and water.
You may not be able to buy more for awhile.
There are organizations such as the ASPCA that can help with pets during an emergency but do not rely on them because they are going to be very busy.
Your pet is use to certain foods and may reject food or drinking water that does not taste the same.
The crisis will be stressful enough for you and your pet, without adding unnecessary stress with new food, water and strange litter.
Have a Rubbermaid type sealable container with litter for your cat, ready to go.
We use that type all the time.
Our sealable Rubbermaid box is 9 inches high X 15 inches wide and 21inches long.
We like it because it also helps keep the scattered litter problem under control.
It is great for travel and moving.
The carrier can be carried right on top of the sealed box, for getting it done in one trip.
If you have tried changing brands of litter, without mixing in some of the old you will understand the problem.
Do not forget to take some paper towels and recycled plastic bags for clean up.
Some handy wipes are also great.
All this stuff can be packed together in an old gym bag or something similar, ready to grab.
Some comfort item or toy would be nice to include.
Think about where you would want to evacuate to and then a second choice, if you can not reach the first.
Do a search now of the motels in those area, to see which are pet friendly and within your budget.
Print out or make a list with phone numbers and put it with your bug out kit.
A pet will give you unconditional love, even when your family and friends may not.
You need to make arrangements for your beloved pet ahead of time for when the time comes that you have an accident, may need to be hospitalized, need a care facility or die.
Who will take care of and love them? Do you have a trustworthy neighbor you can leave a house key with, in case of a fire or civil emergency, like a chemical spill? Will your pet respond to them? Please love your pet enough to safeguard it in a crisis.
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