• 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.

Cat first aid report
  • 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. 

Cat first aid bandaging skills.

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.
closeup of a hand-reared kitten crying for food in a vet basket

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
Team Dash Kitten






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  1. Sadie

    October 2, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    I’m so glad so many people are taking pet first aid courses. Walks n Wags is the one we are looking into. Thank you for the reminder. This is very important and we shouldn’t put it off any longer.


  2. Paroma Chakravarty

    October 2, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Such a helpful class to take as a pet parent.I need to participate in one too to help Babu if there is an emergency.


  3. Beth

    October 2, 2017 at 10:03 am

    I need to take a first aid class in case my pets have an emergency.

    I know that my dad (who was a doctor) was able to keep our dog alive when she crashed through a sliding glass door, because of his medical training. If it weren’t for him, she would have died on the way to the vet.
    Beth recently posted…Happy Tails: Beneli, Blue, Tank, Dusty, Lilly & OpalMy Profile


  4. Irene McHugh

    October 2, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Wonderful information here! And I’ll be off momentarily to see if my local Red Cross offfers a pet first aid class. If not, Ill ask our vet for suggestions.


  5. Tonya

    October 2, 2017 at 6:25 am

    What a great service! About 5 years back, I taught the Red Cross Pet First aid classes. It was so much fun and the students were really surprised at how much we can help our pets during an emergency. Great post!


  6. Viktoria Marquardt

    October 2, 2017 at 5:41 am

    First aid is so important in animals and a lot of people don’t know the proper ways to handle an emergency. This would be a great course to take and something you can always use in the future!


  7. Talent Hounds

    October 2, 2017 at 5:13 am

    I did one course a few years ago and a feature with a vet on what to do(or not to do) if you dog gets heat stress because Kilo is very vulnerable. Probably time for a general refresher. We filmed some parts so I’ll have to dig out the video. Thanks for the reminder and info.


  8. Tenacious Little Terrier

    October 1, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    I’ve taken two classes. I probably should take another one in the next year or two as a refresher. Best to practice right?


  9. Stephanie Seger

    October 1, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    What a terrific reminder of something we rarely think about until we need it. Better to be proactive and prepared! This is as important for dogs as it is cats. As pet guardians, it is our responsibility to ensure our pets care and safety at all times. Great post!!


  10. Sherri

    October 1, 2017 at 9:50 am

    I would love to take a first aid course for both my cats and dog. Also, I love the black cat pic. Now that I have one, I’m especially attracted to them.


    • Dash Kitten

      October 1, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Sherri the little black cat was a UHARS (Upper Hutt Animal Rescue) foster who subsequently found a home!


  11. Kamira Gayle

    October 1, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Thanks for this great important post. Many of us pet parents don’t really think about first aid when adopting. Food, water, shelter and love is the first thing you think of usually however first aid should be priority. Thanks for shedding light on this important issue to remember and be prepared.


  12. Shelby @ FTLOP

    September 30, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Yes!! First aid is so so important!! I am so thankful to be certified, I definitely have to keep up with it though so that I don’t forget the information.


  13. Lori Hilliard

    September 30, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Most people don’t even think about pet first aid because they assume a veterinarian’s office or animal hospital will be close by. The reality is, most pets are much smaller than humans and can’t survive as long as people do when injured. Loss of blood, shock, etc. can quickly take their lives, which means they have an even greater need for first responders who can aid them at the scene of an accident.


  14. Cathy Armato

    September 30, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    What a great workshop, I’d love to take one myself for dogs. I’m glad you pointed out the importance of the instructor being a qualified professional. You don’t want just anyone teaching you life saving techniques! Thanks for sharing.
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them


  15. Heather Wallace

    September 30, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Very interesting to read, and I love the images. I could not agree with you more that it is so important to know basic first aid for cats and dogs. The knowledge could save a life.


  16. Ruth Epstein

    September 30, 2017 at 6:09 am

    What a great post and I have done one for dogs but LOL with age forgotten quite a bit although my Dog First Aid Kit has an amazing booklet for emergencies so I feel I am covered BUT good to remind me too, thank you


  17. Lola The Rescued Cat

    September 30, 2017 at 5:21 am

    First aid is SO important for pet owners to know. That being said, our Mom could use a course or two. We’re going to tell her to look into it.


  18. Valentine

    June 7, 2017 at 5:11 am

    Thanks for your post, Dash Kitten Crew! What an important message! I will fur sure have Mom check to see if there are any classes offered in the PNW.
    Valentine recently posted…Pawed Highlights: BlogPaws Conference SessionsMy Profile


  19. meowmeowmans

    May 21, 2017 at 4:55 am

    What an awesome class. I took a pet CPR and first aid class years ago — it’s probably time for a refresher course! 🙂


  20. Ellen Pilch

    May 20, 2017 at 11:19 am

    I would love to take a class like this, but haven’t seen any in my area.


  21. Melissa & Mudpie

    May 20, 2017 at 10:37 am

    So interesting! I saw that Cornell University was running an online course on pet CPR but I’d love to take a real class like this too!


  22. Summer

    May 19, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    How awesome! My human would love to take a class like that.


  23. Brian Frum

    May 19, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Oh my, the Dad needs to do something like that, it sounds terrific!


  24. Johnny

    May 19, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Thank you for sharing this information. We’re so glad to hear that there was a course you could take as well!


  25. Willy

    May 19, 2017 at 7:51 am

    WTG!! What a pawsome fing to to. Knowing how to save animals when dey get into truble is indeed a noble act of love. Mum did CPR on a hamster and a bird once dat survived and did bewe well, but never a cat. She will talk to ower vet lady to see if dey have a class dey can teach or recommend.


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