In this article I want to discuss a cat first aid course that I recently completed. It’s quite common for those offering pet services professionally to take a dog first aid course (sometimes referred to as canine first aid). Indeed I myself took a dog first aid course, a face to face one with Canine Behaviourist and Vet Nurse Rachael Bean RVN MCFBA. It’s not very common however to find pet service providers who have take a feline or cat first aid course.
Cat First Aid – Online Course
The cat first aid course I took was an online course, organised by Animal Love Pet First Aid. The feline first aid course was written, produced and taught by a vet. With over 4 hours of video content and over 70 pages of notes to complete the course was quite detailed. I should also point out that the course is CPD approved. Some of the topics the course covered included:
- Drowning / Choking
- Clininal Examination
- TPR (temp/pulse/respiration)
- Mucus membrane colour and what it means
- Signs of pain
- Road traffic accidents
- Bites and stings
- Ear and eye problems
- Wound management
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Paw & Nail problems
The course looked at both medical and holistic treatment options. If you would like more information about this course you can visit their website as follows:
Things That Are Toxic To Cats
Rather than go into great detail about every chapter of the cat first aid course, I thought it might be useful to cat owners to know some of the things that cats may come into contact with that are toxic or dangerous to them. Some of these are food items and others are things they may come into contact with in their environment.
- Onions & Garlic. Usually becomes a problem when eaten in large quantities or concentrated form. Damages red blood cells which can lead to anemia.
- Raw Eggs, Meat & Bones. This may seem to contradict other advice about the benefits of raw feeding. Certainly raw feeding mimics how a cat would naturally eat in the wild. The problem though is the risk of things like Salmonella and E. Coli.
- Chocolate and Caffeinated Drinks. The issue here is a substance called methylxanthines which is found in both chocolate and caffeinated drinks. Can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, high body temperature, muscle tremors, abnormal heart rhythm, increased thirst and seizures.
- Grapes & Raisins. Even in a small quantity, grapes and raisins can be harmful to cats. Not all cats will have a negative reaction but since it can cause kidney failure it’s best to keep them away from cats.
- Lilies. Two types of lilies are toxic to cats, true lilies and daylilies.
- Insecticides. Thankfully rare and unless you use huge quantities in your garden unlikely you need to worry.
- Antifreeze. Motorists who spill antifreeze when topping up their car or those with a leak in their cooling system can be a risk to cats. Even a few drops in a puddle can be harmful. The sweet taste of antifreeze can attract cats. It’s the Ethylene Glycol that’s the issue. Some manufacturers of antifreeze now add Bitrex to their products which makes the antifreeze bitter to the taste which should put cats off trying it.
Cat First Aid Kit – What To Include?
It’s probably fair to say that most pet owners would not have a first aid kit at home dedicated to their pets. Most will just visit their vet if they have an issue. There are some items that are typically found in a cat first aid kit that might actually be worth keeping at home. It’s always checking our pets from time to time, especially for things like fleas and ticks. The sorts of things you might typically find in a cat first aid kit include:
- Nitrile gloves. To allow you to touch and treat cat wounds without passing bacteria from your hands.
- Foil blanket. Keeps a cat warm if you have found an injured cat outside (like in a RTA).
- Resusciade. Used when performing CPR to act as a barrier to prevent mouth to mouth contact.
- Tick removal tool.
- Sterile Gauze
- Sterile wipes
- Sterile eye wash
For anyone who is booking our cat sitting service feel free to ask to see evidence of our cat first aid. For anyone reading this who has something they wish to add to the article please leave a comment below.