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Feline First Aid

I have a great love for all animals, particularly cats, wild and domestic, with a pedigree or just alley cats, but I love them all. Over the years I have written down some tips on things to do in case your pet gets ill and you can't get to the vet straight away. Herbs bought out of the natural food store are real helpers. If you don't know what to buy for what ailment, then ask in the store, the people there are highly knowledgeable about herbs and how to use them. Here are a few tips for you so you can try them, again, I ask that you use this with caution and I will take no responsibility as to your use of my tips.

1. To neutralize the smell of urine in the kitty litter box, add some cider vinegar to their drinking water. I have some of those water dispensers that are about 2 litres. I add to the reservoir about 2 teaspoon of the cider vinegar and the smell of urine is gone. This is good for keeping their urinary tract clean as cats are prone to urinary tract infections which can be a killer for them and a killer for your wallet. If your pet can't urinate, take your pet to the vet immediately as this can be a urinary tract infection and this is a kiler if left untreated.

2. If your cat is fevered, take a baby aspirin tablet and cut in 4 quarters, give a quarter of the baby aspirin to your cat. For a kitten use half this dosage.WARNING: ADULT ASPIRIN IS POISON TO CATS, NEVER GIVE ANY ADULT ASPIRIN TO THEM. ALSO TYLENOL AND OTHER ANALGESICS ARE POISON TO CATS.

3. For eye infection, buy Polyspurin which is sold over the counter. Also chloramphenicol 1% which only the vet can prescribe. Polysporin comes in drops or ointment, make sure that the drop and ointment are marked for eyes, as polysporin preparations can be found for the eyes, skin and ears. If the eye infection persists take to the vet.

4. There is nothing more beautiful than a silky, lustreous coat in cats, particularly if your cat is a black one, give wheat germ oil or vegetable oil mixed with their food.

5. Put a bit of Petroleum Jelly on your fingers and apply this to the lips of your cat to help with hair balls.

6. Best for snacks is some cooked deboned fish or chicken in place of store bought snacks.

7. How can you tell if your cat has ear mites? the pet will shake his/her head constantly and continiously scratch the ears. The only way they may be infected is by contact with other infected pets. If your cat has ear mites, treat with a drop of mineral oil to the ears. The mineral oil suffocates the ear mites.

8. For bathing, it's best to buy a pet shampoo but baby shampoo will be okay to use as well. For bathing, which can turn in a combat zone, always get your pet used to bathing from when you incorporate him/her to your family. I have gotten my cats as babies and when I do the bathing, I make sure to fill the tub with water before I get him/her into the bathroom. I then grab my cat by the scruf of the neck with one hand and with the other I support his bottom, which allows no movement on their part and submerge him/her carefully, I keep on talking to him/her in a soothing voice and let go of the scruf of the neck when I see that my cat is calm and secure that I am not going to drown him/her. I then shampoo and have another recepticle full of wanter to rinse. and this takes the fight out of bathing time.

9. When you buy their food, it's best to buy at the vet, but if you frequent the pet store and buy it there, watch the magnesium content of the food, not only the ash content but magnesium which ideally should be 0.01%.

10. Don't buy soft food in the cans, what I do is I put their ration of food in a microwave safe dish and pour enough water over it to cover the food and then micorwave on high for about 1 minute or 2 and then I blend and that saves you from buying soft food. When we buy soft food we are paying for water.

11. Do not declaw. This is mutilation. To declaw, usually the vet will cut the first joint and will eventually damage the health of the pet. Cats walk on their nails and not on their toes, so don't declaw. If you keep your pet busy with interesting toys they won't touch your furniture. I buy catnip and I save all the clean old sock and fill them with catnit and use my glue gun to seal these, and they love their catnit pouches. Make sure as well that you keep his/her nails short. Cut just the tips and never cut any further than that, it will cause pain and bleeding for the pet. Nails that are not kept short can get ingrown into the pads of their feet and hands and this could infect and be dangerous for the cat and costly for you.

12. For colds and flue, use a saline solution and apply 1 or 2 drops to eyes and nose. Repeat 5 times a day. rinse the dropper after each use. Saline solution is very good for cleaning any wound and can also be used on humans as this fluid is the most similar to our own fluid. You can buy your saline solution at the pharmacy or your can make it in the following fashion:


Get a heat proof glass jar or pitcher which has been thoroughly clean. Pour boiling water in it and switch the water around to sterilize. Boil a kettle of water for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, pour 1 cup of the boiling water in the sterilized jar or pitcher and to this add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Let cool at room temperature. Store in a clean serilized container in the fridge.

13. For Asthma supplement your pet's food with vitamin C or E. Use the pediatric dosage of vitamin.

14. For constipation make some chamomile tea and give to your pet to drink. Your can purchase the chamomile tea bags at any supermarket. Don't give him/her too much as this is highly effective.

15. If your pet has diarrhea due to having eaten some food that is indusive of diarrhea in cats, treat with pepto bismol for 1 or 2 days. The dose is 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight. Use half this dosage for a kitten. If the diarrhea is not due to the consumption of food, consult your vet as this could signal a serious problem.

16. For Fleas give garlic with brewer's yeast. Brewer's yeast can be bought in powder form at the natural food store. Mix with their food.

17. For gas treat with yogourt. 1/2 a teaspoon of plain yogourt added to their food.

18. For hot spots wash the area with cool black or green tea or apply burrow's solution bought at the drug store. Mix it up and apply compreses.

19. To treat the pain from a bee, wasp or hornet's sting, make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to sting several times a day. It's best to keep cats indoor as they run the danger of injury and serious illness.

20. For vomiting give your pet some ice cubes to lick on to prevent dehydration. Treat with Pepto Bismol as you would for diarrhea. Always when there is vomiting or diarrhea take to the vet as this can signal serious illness. Use common sense too, if you have fed your pet something that he was not supposed to have, such as milk, believe or not most cats don't tolerate milk properly, don't worry, the little glutton will overcome it in a few days but if there is vomiting for no reason, then, take him/her immediately to the vet.

21. For skunk odour, use 1 cup of vanilla extract with a gallon of water, pour this over pet, wait 10 minutes and shampoo and rinse. I emphasize to keep cats indoors.

22. If you have to take a trip, you can purchase at the natural food store some chamomille capsules, give this to the pet. These are hard to find but very effective as sedation.

23. It's good to clean the kitty litter box once or twice a day. Once a month is good to discard the kitty litter, even if it is the clumping kind. Disenfect with bleach and water prior to refilling the kitty litter box with fresh litter. The clay kitty litter has to be changed every 5 days and the kitty litter box disenfected with bleach and water prior to being refilled.

24. To weight your pet, weight yourself first and write down your weight in a piece of paper, then, pick your pet up in your arms and step on the scale, look at the body weight now, then substract what your weighted originally from what you weight with your pet in your arms, the difference is your pet's body weight.

25. Dental care is very important. You can purchase kits that come with tooth paste that is formulated for cats. The kit consists of a tooth brush and tooth paste. You can purchase these kits at pets stores. You can also do it this other way, buy a child size tooth brush and some hydrogen pyroxide (oxigenated water) at any drug store. Dip the brush in the oxigenated water and brush with this. Brush from the end of the gum to the tip of the tooth. You can also cut a square piece of gauze and wrap your finger in this piece of gauze and dip in the oxigenated water. Use the same technique as with the tooth brush.

26. The pet over population has reached a proportion where there are more unwanted cats than there are homes for them. Please be kind to your pet and neuter or spay. The surgery is very safe. For males it usually takes just a few hours before he can come home. For a female it takes as well the same amount of time and recovery is very fast, but females may require an overnight stay at the vet's. If you are having this procedure done on your pet, request that they use gas on the pet and not the injectable anesthetic, as with the gas they usually are alert in an hour or so and it's not as hard on their liver as it is to process the chemicals of the injectable anesthetic. Some vets will use the gas routinely, yet some vets will charge extra for this. Try to find a vet that his/her specialty is felines. This does not cost any more than if you take your pet to a general practitioner and in the long run, it's better for your pet.

27. If you are taking a vacation with your pet, make sure you pack a luggage with the following items. Always have it ready as you may have to leave on an emergency trip and this way you avoid running around at the last minute and thus avoid forgetting to put some of these necessary items in the luggage: