Cat First Aid – 3 things you should NOT have/ do

Black Cat standing on a mossy log, in a rainforest

I recently created a “Emergency Preparedness Checklist for Pet Parents”, which includes first aid kit and a go bag (in case of evacuation). If you missed it, you can click here to get your own FREE copy. When I was browsing the Internet to make sure I am not missing anything in my kit, I found that many websites listed some products that would actually harm cats. Interestingly, even my Pet First Aid Instructor taught us to have/use this item. So let’s dive into this very important topic, shall we?

Hydrogen Peroxide

We all have it in our homes and associate it with first aid for cuts/ wounds. So why should you avoid it as a pet owner?

Many first aid booklets/ guides recommend using hydrogen peroxide for 2 purposes – wound care, and vomit inducing (when a pet swallows an item or chemicals). Pets (including cats) have a different skin pH balance than humans. It’s one of their ways to keep them safe from the bugs/viruses. When you use hydrogen peroxide on their skin (or wound), it can (and will) cause skin irritation, more pain, and interfere with wound healing. There are safer and less harsh options (like chlorhexidine, but must be diluted) for cleaning a wound. Check with your vet if they can provide you some(thing).

Do not induce vomiting in your cat

You might wonder, “why is hydrogen peroxide recommended for inducing vomiting if it’s not good for them?” Well, I ask myself the same question… It’s probably because it’s okay-ish to do it with dogs (when properly diluted and administered, but don’t quote me on that), so it sort-of automatically is applied to cats… and that happens in so many other areas 🙈

If your cat ingests something, DO NOT give them hydrogen peroxide or anything else. Call Pet Poison Helpline and/or your (emergency) vet immediately. And let the professionals handle the emergency.

I would provide the number for Pet Poison Helpline, but many of you do not live in North America, so I will let each of you to find the best phone number for your area 💛

Black cat sitting next to a black first aid kit Medication

This is something between a personal preference and erring on the side of caution. Pets – especially cats – are very complicated and sensitive to chemicals/medications. If you have an indoor cat, or stay fairly close to towns/cities during your adventures, you probably don’t need to carry medications either. If your cat has medical problems, or you prefer to be “safe than sorry”, then contact your vet to explore the options. Many of “dog safe” medications or ointments are harmful to cats. It doesn’t help that cats like to groom themselves, and could accidentaly ingest topical medications/ ointments.

Administering medications to pets (especially cats) can be difficult, especially during an emergency/ stressful situation. On top of that, the dosage is based on pet’s weight, and that tends to flactuate. Knowing that pets tend to have a higer tolerance to pain and allergens (for example, bee stings), I choose to not carry any medication for Chumka.

And many (if not most) of human medications are toxic to our pets – especially at “human dose”.

Final Words

This is a really awesome website for all pet owners. You can explore most common (household) toxins/poisons, room by room. As well as most common toxins/poisons by holiday and season.

Hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful! Please give your pet some love from me 🤗💛

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Picture of Paulina, Chumka's Mom

Paulina, Chumka's Mom