Rescuing Feral Cats: What You Need to Know Part 3
Rescuing feral cats is a noble avocation but you need to make safety your first concern; your safety and the safety of the cats you are rescuing. The cat rescue person needs a good understanding of how to apply first aid to themselves and to the animal that they are rescuing. Injuries do occur and will occur; injuries are inevitable. Before we get started today, this would be an opportune time to back and refresh your memory about zoonosis and the zoonotic diseases I talked about in part one of this series. You should also review the information I provided in part two of this series on diseases that cannot be transmitted to human but can be transmitted to other animals.
Your First Aid kit basic supplies should include the following items.
- Gauze pads of assorted sizes
- Rolls of gauze bandages in assorted widths
- A good, clinical thermometer (human)
- A good, clinical anal thermometer (animal)
- Rolls of adhesive tape in assorted widths
- Assorted size Band-Aids
- Cotton swabs
- Large and small tweezers
- Instant cold packs
- Bottle of hydrogen peroxide
- Large tube of an antibiotic ointment
- A large tube of burn ointment
- Ace bandages
- Rubber tubing to be used as a tourniquet
- Surgical gloves
- A good, first aid book (Human first-aid)
Study the first-aid book until basic first aid becomes second nature to you. Do not wait until you need to perform a first-aid procedure to learn how to perform it.
First Aid procedures for animals
I’m not one of those writers who believe in reinventing the wheel. When it comes to a succinct, but complete, guide on basic first aid for animals, the Red Cross has already invented (written) it, and you can read it here. Print a copy out and keep it with your first-aid book for humans. Study animal first-aid and learn how to perform the procedures before you need to perform them under emergency conditions.
Other equipment and supplies that you will need to TNR.
- Humane traps of the proper size for the cats you intend to trap.
- A plastic or canvas tarp to protect your vehicle when transporting cats.
- Heavy cotton towels to line the traps and to cover the traps with.
- Heavy-duty work gloves to protect your hands from being scratched and-or bitten.
- A large bottle of hand sanitizer.
- Disinfectant, bactericide, and virucide cleaner to use on all surfaces and as a footbath. Always read the labels carefully to find out how to properly use the brand you purchase.
Make it a team effort
Make rescuing feral cats a team effort; do not try to do everything yourself. Get your friends, neighbors and relatives involved. Learn to delegate duties and responsibilities. Having someone to share any activity with makes the activity safer and more enjoyable.
Next time I will explain a little bit about how to humanely trap feral cats.