- Mum did a Cat First Aid Course in Wellington which was run by Pet First Aid and Training (NZ) She now feels better equipped to attend an emergency, but she still looks at her printed manual regularly to keep her knowledge fresh. If you get a chance to take a pet first aid class please do, it could save a pet life.
Let us tell you what we learned and how it might help you .
Why Do A Cat First Aid Course?
- First aid is exactly that, aid given at the scene of an accident by first responders.
- You are a bridge between those first people to arrive, and professional veterinary care.
First aid allows us to be of help when, under normal circumstances, we might might feel totally powerless.
Pet first aid is a set off skills we can all learn, and you could be the one person there who could save a cat (or a dog’s) life.
If you are interested in learning more about pet first aid yourself contact PETfat in New Zealand. Overseas, please check online for organisations local to you who run live workshops. Twitter colleagues Walks and Wags run first aid courses across Canada, and into the top of the USA. Life with Mutts has also written about an online course.
- The course Mum took was run by a qualified professional veterinary nurse. Make sure your course is too.
Cat First Aid – You as the First Responder
As a cat, or dog ‘first responder’ you might be the first person on the scene. It is your duty is to make sure the pet stays alive, and to stop a situation getting worse, and get the animal to a qualified veterinarian.
Although courses do not mention this – it cannot be stressed enough that from the moment you arrive the clock is ticking, so you need to remain calm, and assess what you need to do. Your calm attitude can keep a distressed pet calm too and your skills may save a life.
Skills a Cat First Aid Responder Might Need
- Be able to check for breathing – hold the back of your hand against the cat’s mouth.
- Pulse. This link is to a good basic article on taking a pulse Do this and checking for a pulse is straightforward.
- Do ‘Rescue Breathing‘ or CPR. This link Pet CPU is to a set of CPR instructions. No pictures, just clear and simple advice.
- For visual help on rescue breathing and CPR. Look on Youtube for videos on cat CPR. It is not as forceful as on a human, and you lay the cat on it right side, so we strongly recommend you check out videos for first steps. You might save a life.
- Recognise and treat Hyperthermia (heat) or Hypothermia (cold).
- Bandage injuries like a broken bone until the cat is taken to a vet.
We encourage you to investigate local courses
Investing time in learning the basics of Pet First Aid can help you save a lives, and we are grateful to NekoNgeru, Wellington’s first Cat Cafe, for the opportunity to take part in a workshop that has been a life changing experience. Our tutor was veterinary nurse Josie, who you can read more about here and having a qualified person teaching us gave the whole class more confidence.
The Dash Kitten Crew