Natural disasters are becoming more frequent. Wildfires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards: any of these may force you to leave your home on short notice. Evacuating is often easier for dogs, and some may even consider it a fun adventure; simply clip on a leash and a dog will follow you anywhere. But most cats are creatures of habit, and having their normal routines and environments disrupted results in stressed-out kitties that may end up running and hiding. It’s therefore crucial to have a cat-friendly emergency plan in place in the event you ever have to leave your home in a hurry.

In a recent article for Animal Wellness Magazine, I offered suggestions and tips to make to make a comprehensive plan.

Click here to read Emergency Preparedness for Cats.

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10 Comments on Emergency Preparedness for Cats

  1. Thanks for posting this Ingrid. I’ll definitely leave my cats carrier out for her to get used to. I have a soft fabric carrier with a removable lambs wool liner on the bottom and plenty of areas of the carrier she can see out of. I always seat belt her into the front seat with the side of the carrier facing me so she can see me. I’ve been told she should be in the back seat so I’m not sure. I want her to see me so she knows she’s safe and I’m here for her.
    I’ll get the rest of the emergency preparedness kit ready in the next few days.

  2. Just 4 days ago we were alerted to being in the path of a tornado which thankfully dissipated before it reached us. We don’t have a room without windows so I tried to corral the cats into one of the closets. They pushed the doors out and escaped so I had to get them into their carriers hurriedly, grab some food, medications, harnesses and blankets and sit in our stairway with them which was the only place we all could sit together away from windows. It was extremely stressful for all of us. But it is becoming a regular thing for us in PA now ‍ hoping to move further north away from heat extremes and violent weather patterns soon.

    • It’s crazy that tornadoes are now becoming more common in PA. I’m not sure how far north you’d have to move to get away from all of this. I saw yesterday on the news that there was a tornado in Massachusetts!

  3. This is good advice. Another tip I would recommend is if you go to a hotel, make sure there are no places your cat can hide. When we had a bad storm and went to stay at a hotel after the power went out at our house, we actually lost Lulu in the room. She managed to get up underneath the sink through a hole under the cabinet. Luckily I heard a noise that alerted me to where she was, but it was a struggle getting her back out. I don’t even want to think about if there were holes into the wall or where else she could have crawled off to if I didn’t find her right next to the hole.

  4. My biggest problem if there was ever an emergency is my furry kids. I leave the cat carrier in the living room it never leaves the room. But Sir Tiger will not go in it he would run upstairs and Ms. Mida runs also. Sir Tiger is very skittish with company minute that door rings or he hears a truck he goes and hide. I will never leave my cats for no reason.

    • Darlene, I have the same problem with my cat, Lola Bean. She is skittish and hides if anyone come over. She knows someone is in our driveway before they get to the door and off she goes to hide. I’m hoping I’ll have better success getting her to like and lay down in the carrier.

  5. One must absolutely prepare their cat(s) for an emergency situation. Last year, an apartment in my co-op building went on fire (someone threw a still-lit cigarette into a garbage can). Soon the halls of all (6) stories were filled with smoke. When the alarms went off, I opened the door to smoke so thick I couldn’t see anything. I quickly shut the door, wet a towel, and crammed it at the bottom of the door so the smoke couldn’t come in. I then panicked but went to my front closet to seize the two cat carriers I had. I could only locate one. It wouldn’t have mattered since one cat would’ve gone in willingly and the other cat would give me one chance to surprise her and then evade my efforts to get her again. Add to it all, I depend on the use of a walker. So, I have two cats, one carrier, and the exit out by the fire escape in my living room.

    Thankfully, after calling my husband at his job for advice on what to do, a fireman rang my doorbell announcing it was now all clear. Two days later, a second cat carrier was purchased and we started getting our skittish cat more comfortable with the new carrier. We’re not home-free yet, but what a wake-up call.

    Thanks for the informative & helpful article.

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