FIRST AID (Health Care) - Keeping A Cat

Cats do occasionally appear to have nine lives. Their bodies are so elastic and wiry that they often survive being run over by a cars, airgun pellets, stones, falling masonry, or drunkards’ boots, trapped in doors, falling from great heights, or savaged by dogs, Puss sometimes seems to need every life it can lay claim to. These serious crises produce skeletal and soft-tissue damage, which the vet will have to treat in the operating room. It is important to know how to give useful first-aid emergency treatment until the animal can be taken to the vet.

Collapse and accident
If the cat is injured or unconscious, do not move it unless it is in danger. If you have to move an injured cat, slip a sheet under it and carry it as in a hammock, or with one hand grasping the scruff of the neck. Lay the cat down in a quiet, warm place indoors and cover it with a blanket. Place a hot water bottle, wrapped in a cloth, next to it. Don’t give it anything to eat, but you may try to spoon in a few teaspoonful of warm sweet tea. Don’t give alcoholic stimulations or aspirin.

Check the cat’s pulse, which can be felt on the inside of the thigh, where the leg joins the body. If the breathing is irregular or nonexistent, loosen the collar, open the mouth and remove any foreign body or saliva, blood, or vomit. In extreme cases, give artificial respiration.

If something is bleeding badly, slap a thick pad of cotton wool, lint, ot a folded handkerchief on the place and press firmly.

Drowning and choking
In life-or-death cases of drowning or choking, where you cannot easily remove whatever is causing the obstruction, you must literally swing a cat. Pick it up by its two hind legs and whirl it round and round. This will cause centrifugal force to drive blockages from the airways. Do not be namby-pamby about this; swing the cat hard – it is difficult to dislocate a cat’s legs. If this does not work, try artificial respiration.

When it is necessary to provide heat for cats, a hot water bottle covered by a blanket fits the bill.

First, make sure the tongue is not lying back in the mouth. Then place both palms on the chest over the ribs and push down firmly to expel air from the lungs. Do not press to hard, or you may cause injury. Alternatively use “mouth-to-mouth” respiration, by taking the whole of the cat’s muzzle in your mouth and blowing in air steadily for three seconds, pausing for two, and then repeating the operation.