This is the time of the year that can spell disaster to your cat. Decorations like tinsel, ribbon from packages, poinsettias, boxes of chocolates sitting out on coffee tables.
It also seems to be true – the same way that your car goes dead on the Sunday of a long weekend or on a country road in the middle of nowhere - that your cat will only get itself in some major life-threatening situation after regular vet office hours, or in the middle of a major all roads shut down snow storm.
Knowing how to help your cat right away can make all the difference.
Three things you should always have in your medicine kit:
3% Hydrogen Peroxide,
A dose syringe or plastic eyedropper.
If you know or suspect your cat has eaten chocolate, chewed on your poinsettia, or ingested any other known toxin:
1. Call a Vet immediately.
If the suspected poison is NOT a caustic or petroleum product:
1. Start to induce vomiting
Give your cat approx. 5 ml of 3% hydrogen peroxide every five (5) minutes until the cat vomits.
Note: ¼ oz = approx. 7 ml.
A plastic eyedropper or dose syringe is the easiest, fastest way to get the liquid down it’s throat. A small baster (as in turkey baster) will do the trick in an emergency.
2. After you’ve made your cat vomit, give it activated charcoal – it may absorb some of the toxin.
Do Not Induce Vomiting if a caustic or petroleum product is suspected.
Caustics include battery acid, corn and callous remover, dishwater detergent, drain cleaner, grease remover, lye, and oven cleaner.
Petroleum products include paint solvent, floor wax, and dry-cleaning solution.
You hear your cat coughing or gagging, pawing at his mouth, acting frantic. You know or suspect something is caught in its throat.
1. Open the cat’s mouth by grabbing its head so that the palm of your hand is over the cats head, and your thumb and index finger are behind the canine teeth.
2. Tilt the cat’s nose up and use the index finger of your other hand to open the mouth.
3. Put your finger on the lower teeth and gently push the jaw downwards.
This is not something you want to do for the very first time in an emergency. Practice on your cat now so that if in the future you need to do this procedure, you will at least have an idea of how to do it and how your cat will react.
4. Look in cat’s mouth and remove object.
The above procedures are assuming you are on your own. If you have someone with you at the time, having one person holding the cat (preferably wrapped in a towel, blanket, whatever's handy will make the job easier.
In any case you will most probably get well scratched and bitten.
If you see a piece of string, ribbon, thread, anything wrapped around the cats tongue.
DO NOT PULL ON IT OR TRY TO REMOVE IT.
You could very well do some serious damage to your cat.
CALL A VET IMMEDIATELY.
If you see something embedded in the roof of the cat’s mouth.
DO NOT TRY TO REMOVE IT
CALL A VET IMMEDIATELY.
5. If your cat struggles too much for you to see inside its mouth or if you cannot see or remove the object:
a. Pick your cat up by its hind legs so that it’s hanging upside down.
b. Shake the cat.
c. Slap the cat on the back while you’re shaking it.
This may help to dislodge the object.
6. If your pet is too large or heavy for you to pick up
a. Lay it on its side.
b. Put your palms behind the last rib on both sides of the cat’s abdomen and press your palms together quickly 2-3 times.
c. Repeat rapidly until object is dislodged.
d. Continue trying to dislodge object even if your cat loses consciousness.
7. If your cat loses consciousness, you should also start mouth to nose rescue breathing.
a. Make sure cat's tongue is not now blocking its airway.
b. Close the cat’s mouth
c. Breath into its nose – one breath every 3 seconds.
I hope that you never have a need to use the procedures listed above, but - just in case - it never hurts to be prepared.