What is your Cat Disaster Plan

Do You Have A Disaster Plan For Your Cat?

What would you do if you had to evacuate your home?  We don’t always think about what would happen to our kitties.  Remember all the pets left behind when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans?  And think about the recent devastating fires in southern California.  Make plans now to avoid having to make a heart-breaking choice later.
Find a safe place to take your kitty now, because you won’t be able to if an emergency situation happens.  Disaster shelters don’t allow you to bring your pets with you, due to health and safety reasons.  Only service animals, like seeing eye dogs, may be allowed.

The first thing you can do is to check with relatives and friends who live outside your area to see if somebody would be willing to take your kitty in during an emergency.  They may need to be prepared to keep him a while, so be sure this wouldn’t be a problem.  And if you have more than one feline friend, you may need to split them up.

Call motels outside your immediate area to find out if they allow pets.  If you have several pets, be sure you can have more than one animal in a room.  Some motels have restrictions on how many pets you can have, their size, and their breed.  We stayed at a KOA campsite last summer that wouldn’t allow a couple with a rottweiler to camp there due to insurance regulations, so be sure to find out ahead of time if your pet is allowed.

If the motel doesn’t normally allow pets, ask if they would during an emergency.  Make a list of “pet friendly” motels, and be sure you have their phone numbers, and the name of whoever you talked to.  If you know ahead of time that you will be evacuated, call right away to make reservations.

Make a list of vets and boarding kennels outside your area.  Be sure you have 24-hour phone numbers.
Your local animal shelter may not be able to help you in an emergency, because everybody will be calling them.  They may not have the resources to deal with large number of cats and dogs that need shelter.

Take time now to make a disaster supply kit for your kitty.  Your vet’s name and phone number, any medication your kitty takes, his medical records, plus information on medical conditions or behavior problems should be included.  These items should be in a waterproof container.  A first aid kit is a must, too.

Make sure you have your kitty’s carrier and a harness and leash in a handy location.  His food, a can opener, a jug of drinking water, his food and water dishes, and his litter box and litter are also essential items.  If you have space, his bed or a few toys are nice to have.  And be sure you have a current picture of him, in case he gets lost.
Many times you will have advance notice of an evacuation order.  Start right away to make arrangements for your feline friend.

Call and confirm shelter arrangements for you and your kitty.  Be sure your disaster supply kit is ready to go.  If your buddy goes outside, bring him indoors so that you won’t be looking for him if you have to leave suddenly.  Your kitty should be wearing a collar with your name, address, and phone number where you’ll be staying.  Write this information on his tag in indelible ink.

Make arrangements with someone you trust in case you’re not at home when an evacuation order comes.  He or she would need to be willing to pick up your kitty and his disaster supplies, and meet you at a place you’ve already agreed upon.  This person would need to have a key to your home.  Your friend should know where to find your cat, and where his disaster kit is located.

If a disaster strikes, your life will never be the same.  Planning ahead now could spare you the heartbreak of losing your beloved kitty, too.

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