Cat accidents, as unseemly as they may seem to come, can swiftly wipe out felines’ nine lives in a single drastic blow. Prevent this dreadful nightmare from happening by knowing the five most common cat accidents that can be deadly, and learning how to apply emergency treatments.
1. Road Traffic Accidents
Statistics on cats hit by cars
How many cats are killed each year? Back in 2006, 230,000 cats were reportedly run over by cars. According to Petplan, a pet insurance company, around 630 cats were hit by motorist every day. 10% of the drivers even confessed to preferring the idea of leaving the injured cat on the road.
In a more recent report, British road authorities revealed that cats ranked first as common domestic animals killed by cars. Additionally, cats ranked fourth place on animal deaths on the road by getting hit by cars. They make up 9% of the total animal road kills.
What to do when this happens
- Remain calm. Seeing your cat involved in a road accident could be traumatising. However, panicking can result in making mistakes when performing emergency treatment. Try to be calm and do not let your fear and panic cloud your judgement.
- Check for breathing and heartbeat. Check your cat’s heartbeat by feeling it on the right chest behind the point of its elbows. To test cat’s breathing, position your palm in front of the feline’s nostrils in order for you to assess. If you can’t detect heartbeat or breathing, immediately perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
- Move your cat to safety. To avoid causing more injury to your kitty, you must move it, despite its condition, to a safer spot with less traffic. Wrap your injured cat with a jacket or blanket. Then use a carrier or a box to move her. Remember to be careful with your motion so that you will not further scare your cat or agitate its injuries.
- Call your vet ASAP. Keep in mind that first aid is only temporary care. Make sure that your cat gets thorough medical attention by the vet as early as possible, and you must carefully monitor its condition.
2. Poisoning Accidents
Cats poisoning statistics
The VPIS’s (Veterinary Poisons Information Service) 2016 annual report shows that there were 33 cases of casualties on cats that were thought to be caused by poisoning. 9 feline lives were lost. Furthermore, 24 were put down. In the recent 2017 report, the fatal outcome has lowered to 27 cases. It claimed the lives of 8 cats whilst other 9 needed to be euthanised.
Ethylene glycol, a component commonly used in antifreeze, tops the list of the toxic substance that caused these deaths. This poisonous agent is responsible for 30% of the fatalities.
What to do when this happens
- Find the source of the poisoning. Traceback and identify the substance that your cat has ingested or was exposed to. Take note of its name, potency, quantity, and active principle. If you can, take a sample of it with you. By doing this, you will make it easier for the vet to decide on how to take action when you reach the clinic.
- Avoid giving your cat liquids and home remedies. If you are still in the dark on what poisoned your cat, avoid giving her water or any home remedy, as these might further intensify the toxicity of the poison and make the situation worse.
- Do not force your cat to vomit. If your cat has ingested alkaline or acid products or petroleum-derived products, do not make them vomit. It can cause more damage to the cat’s throat and mouth, and may also lead to caustic burns. This also applies when your cat is unconscious or has ingested the poisonous substance more than two hours ago.
- Wash off the toxic substance. Do this if the sources of the poison are made up of oily components or chalky, fine substances. You can remove it by using handwashing soap or intense brushing. However, if the cat’s fur still contains the toxic substance, you might need to consider shaving it or cutting it off.
The level of toxicity of the poison may vary depending on the amount ingested by or exposed to the cat. However, it is always best to administer first aid when this happens and immediately seek the vet’s help.
Case of cat stabbings and mutilation leading to death
In November 2015, a number of mutilated cats with their heads and tails chopped off were found in the Croydon area, located in the south of London. Later on, the list grew to 400 as the police encouraged residents in the area to report the cases.
In 2016, 25 dead cats were examined by experts. Deaths of 6 felines were considered suspicious. The authorities stated that ‘the cause of death was found to be blunt-force trauma such as collisions with vehicles. The mutilations were found to have occurred after death, and some of these were thought to have been caused by a sharp implement.’
Stabbings and lacerations are fatal to cats just like any animals, especially when left untreated. In cases like this, the excessive bleeding of the wound is the primary cause of death.
What to do when this happens
- Apply direct pressure to the wound. Do this by using sterile and clean gauze or towel. The bleeding may stop after five to ten minutes. Once it stops, put a tape on the gauze to keep it in place. Avoid removing it since it might cause the wound to bleed again.
- Look for other wounds. Make sure that you got all the wounds clean and covered. Missing a wound may cause other harmful infection or excessive bleeding.
- Clean the edges of puncture wounds. By doing so, you are able to get rid of any dangerous bacteria that may enter the deep wound. However, do not press directly on the wound.
Always remember that the main purpose of first aid is to control blood loss.