Let me begin with a little known factoid: America land of the free, home of the cat owners, has an estimated population of almost 100 million cats (95.6 mil officially but they’re not all bagged and tagged, obviously); there are more cats than dogs in the US by a long shot!
If you’re the happy person that belongs to one of these cats, have you ever wondered what would happen to your cat if a natural disaster strikes? As a cat owner myself, I wondered about the hows and whens and I decided to make a plan and prepare a disaster kit for my cat. It may sound a little bit silly but I think my cat will really appreciate it when the time comes to get out of Dodge.
First things first. Cats are very nice animals and in my opinion, they make perfect pets. But in case shtf, they are still animals and they will react out of sheer fear and terror. They’ll follow their instincts which say “run for your life!!!!” They will disappear to their favorite hiding place 90% of the time, so knowing your cat’s hiding places is crucial.
If you’ve ever tried, you probably know that’s almost impossible to train a cat to perform even basic tasks unless it wants to do it. Unlike dogs, cats are often difficult to train, so forget about teaching your cat too many disaster surviving tricks. It’s gonna be an epic fail in the end and you’ll waste your time.
Truth be told, cats really do seem to have that sixth sense and they are capable of predicting future nasty events like tsunamis or earthquakes, but usually you’ll discover its effectiveness only in the aftermath of the disaster. Cats are obviously totally incapable of leaving notes/memos describing future disasters, and since their behavior is often unexplainably bizarre, there’s no way to interpret what’s causing it until it’s too late..
Basically, in case of a disaster, “No cat left behind” is the name of the game if you want your precious kitty to survive the apocalypse. Even if you leave water and food supplies for your cat, you’ll never know how long it will take you to return home or what your cat will be doing among the ruins. A disaster can/will make your present friendly environment a Hellhole (think Katrina, Fukushima etc.) that’s unsafe for your cat to even walk through.
If you absolutely have to leave your cat, you should leave enough food and water to last for at least 2 weeks, using “safe” bowls that can’t be tipped over.
The most important thing to do is to prepare an evacuation plan and a cat survival kit in advance; that’s what I did and I think it’s the safest bet.
Keeping in mind that disasters strike without prior warning, start preparing now and don’t forget to:
– Make sure your cat is wearing a collar and a tag containing id/contact information
– Register and microchip your cat. This way it will be easier to get reunited with your furry friend in case you get separated by accident.
– Get a cat carrier. You don’t want to run with a cat in a bag in case shtf! Familiarize your cat with its new mobile home. In case you’ll need to use it, the cat must not be terrorized by the carrier and you must be able to catch your cat easily in case of an emergency. Practice makes perfect. I know I’m being optimistic because cats are very difficult to catch if they’re scared. Just do your best and plan ahead. If you stay calm, your cat will be more likely to remain calm, too.
– If disaster strikes, never leave your cat roaming outside; it’s usually much safer inside. Always try to remain calm and comfort your cat.
– Have a “mental” map with the locations of pet friendly motels/animal boarding facilities in your area
Now, let’s make a short checklist with disaster supplies for your cat survival kit:
– Canned foods and water (at least a 2 week supply, if possible)
– Paper towels, trash bags, bleach for eventual “accidents”
– Medications refills (if necessary) for at least 2 weeks
– Medical records (vaccinations certificates, prescriptions, microchip number, etc.)
– A solid leash
– A comfy carrier/blankets/towels
– Your cat’s favorite toys
– “Missing pet flyers” that contain a current photo of your cat, its age, sex etc. and your contact info (cell phone).
– Proof of ownership for your cat, registration information or adoption papers
If you can think of anything that we missed, please tell us about it in the comments section below. Together we can keep our furry friends safe and sound.
This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.