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How to create a holistic first aid kit for your cat
by Jodi Ziskin

April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. This is a wonderful opportunity to create a holistic first aid kit to have on hand for emergencies.

It is important that the kit is water resistant, portable and has room for a variety of items. You can start to assemble the kit from staples you already have around the house.

Begin with basic items including gauze pads (a box each of big and small), small ace bandage, a roll of adhesive tape and cotton swabs. Be sure to include tweezers and scissors as well as a thick towel and a blanket (a baby-size blanket should fit the bill).

Add some or all of the following to create an all purpose holistic first aid kit:

  • Tea tree oil – with its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial anti-viral properties, this is a must-have for cuts and scrapes. Be careful, as direct application can be toxic for cats. Make sure to dilute with water (15% tea tree to 85% water). 
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract – works like tea tree oil and can also be given internally (an alternative to antibiotics). 
  • Herbal salve – available at any health food store. 
  • Rescue Remedy by Bach Flowers. 
  • Lavender oil – can be applied to burns and also calms down a sick cat. Be careful to dilute it with equal parts of a carrier oil and store in a glass or plastic bottle in the kit.  
  • Aloe Vera gel – for topical treatment of cuts, burns, bites and abrasions. 
  • Ipecac – syrup used to induce vomiting. 
  • Hydrogen peroxide – disinfectant. 
  • Activated charcoal powder – absorbs poisons and toxins. 
  • Dried herbs* – including cayenne (stops bleeding), comfrey (pulls toxins from bites), slippery elm bark (treats diarrhea).  
  • Herbal tinctures* – including calendula (full strength for wounds, diluted to wash out eyes or ears) and propolis (internally to fight infection, externally to disinfect wounds, bites, etc.).

Other suggested items include vegetable oil soap (like Dr. Bronner’s), eyewash, enzyme-based pet odor remover, thermometer, ice packs, heat packs.

*There are literally dozens of dried herbs or herbal tinctures that can be used for first aid purposes. Include ones you are most familiar with. For more information on herbs, reference Dr. Kidd’s Guide to Herbal Cat Care.

If your cat has suffered an emergency of any kind, please contact your veterinarian immediately. If your vet does not offer 24/7 service, the following animal hospitals in Broward County do:

Hollywood Animal Hospital
Coral Springs Animal Hospital
Pet Emergency Centers
Imperial Point Animal Hospital
Animal Medical Center at Cooper City 

This article was published on Thursday 29 July, 2010.

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