If the worst happens, be prepared.
Food – 2 week supply of food that your cat is used to. Store in airtight and waterproof containers and rotate every 3 months for freshness Buy single serving pop top cans for one feeding. Throw uneaten portion away. Have a spoon to mix food and a hand-cranked can opener for non-pop top cans.
Water – two weeks supply. Store in plastic containers and keep cool. Rotate every 2 months.
Sanitation – Small litter box and litter scoop. Have enough cat litter to last at least 2 weeks. Have a supply of plastic bags for disposing of cat waste.
Cleaning supplies – Liquid dish soap, paper towels
Collar and Tag – Have a properly fitting breakaway collar with ID tag. Also have extra breakaway collars and tags. Use temporary ID tags that can be written on as to where you will temporarily live. Microchip or tattoo for more permanent ID.
Harness and leash – have a proper fitting harness. If there is an extended period of time that your cat is confined this will be an easy way to take the cat out for exercise.
Confining your cat -use a collapsible wire cage to transport cat and use it as a temporary kennel if you need to evacuate immediately. The cage should be large enough to give the cat room to spread out with food and water dishes, litter box and toys.
First Aid kit and book – You should have a first aid book for cats and basic first aid kit for your pet. (See Article on first aid supplies)
Medications – Keep your cat’s medical records and vaccination records with your disaster supplies. Keep a 2 week supply of medication if your cat needs it regularly on hand. The vet office may not open up right away. Find a vet who has a plan in case your pet gets injured during the disaster.
Pictures – Have current pictures of your cat on hand and include yourself in some of these pictures for proof of ownership.
If you are going on vacation and leaving your cat with someone, be sure you have discussed with them a plan of take care of your cat in the event of a disaster.
If your cat is missing following a disaster, remember they are very territorial animals, and they have probably found a safe place within their normal territory to hide until they think it is safe to come out. All the calling and tempting them with food, may not be enough for them to reveal their hiding spot. Continue to put food out, as close to the location where they are used to eating, and if the food disappears that may be an indication they are nearby.
Cats usually keep hidden during the day, especially if there is a lot of noise in your area as people begin to clean up from the disaster. It is at night when things are quiet, that cats will most likely surface. If a few days have passed, and you haven’t located your cat, you may want to check to see if your local humane society or animal control agency has humane traps to loan. This may be the only way to catch your cat in the days following a disaster.
Adapted with permission from the Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS), United Animal Nations, P.O. Box 188890, Sacramento, CA, uan.org