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Cat Evacuation Plan

Everybody should have an evacuation plan in place. There are many reasons you may have to pack up and evacuate your premises quickly including natural disasters such as bushfires, tornados, floods etc., and also house fires. The key to a successful evacuation is being prepared for the unexpected. Evaluating evacuation plans during non-disaster times is your best guarantee that should the worst happen, you will be prepared and able to get yourselves and your cats out of danger.

Plan ahead:

This is important. In the event of an evacuation you may well not be given much notice, so being prepared and having a drill really can make a huge difference.

If there is a situation which could lead to danger and or evacuation (such as bushfires in the area) bring your pets indoors. It is easier to round them up if they are all indoors, should the situation change and  you are ordered to evacuate. If you do have to evacuate your home, don't leave your pets behind. If it's dangerous for you, it's dangerous for them.

Equipment and supplies for your cat:

  • Cat carriers: You should have a suitable cat carrier on hand to evacuate cats in a hurry. Having carriers stored in the garage or under a pile of old furniture is not going to be of help in an emergency. However, if you are caught out without a carrier and have to get out immediately then a pillow case may be used as a temporary measure to get your cat out of immediate danger. Get your cat familiar with the carrier, so in the event of an emergency, you don't have to wrestle with him to get him in.
  • Make sure your cat is always suitably identified, either with a microchip or a collar with a tag. Some countries (not Australia) require that your cat has a rabies tag. Check with your veterinarian or local authorities on your obligations.
  • Cat food and water for at least 3 days.
  • Food and water bowls.
  • Litter trays. Large aluminium roasting pans can be used as disposable trays.
  • Cat litter.
  • Plastic bags to dispose of litter.
  • A current photo of your pet, if possible include any identifying marks on your cat, so you can prove ownership.
  • Copies of medical records including dates your cat was last vaccinated and any medications he is on. If you have more than one cat, you will need to stipulate which cat is on which medication. For example, 'Coco (black cat) is on XXX insulin shots twice a day'.
  • Proof of ownership if possible. This could be a receipt, adoption papers, microchip papers.
  • A first aid kit.
  • A first aid book.
  • A card with details including your name, your cat's name, your phone number, your veterinarian's phone number, the phone number of a friend or relative and the cat's medical details.

Emergency accommodation:

Do you have a place for your pet to stay in the event of an emergency? If you are evacuated to a shelter, your pets may well not be permitted due to health regulations. Places to may be able to board your cat include:

  • Boarding cattery.
  • Some veterinary hospitals.
  • Pet-friendly motels.
  • Friend or relative.

Keep a list of emergency accommodation for your cat in your emergency kit.

Miscellaneous:

  • There may be a situation where you are trapped away from home.  Leave a spare key with a trusted friend, neighbour or pet sitter so they can access your pets if you cannot reach them. Tell them where your emergency kit is.
  • You can purchase stickers to place in a visible spot  to alert emergency service workers to how many people and pets live in the house and what kind of pets they are. Place these on all major entrances to your home. Write the name and phone number of you and your veterinarian on the sticker. If you do evacuate your home and take your pets with you to write 'evacuated' across the sticker so the workers know the pets are safe.

If you have any tips you would like to see added to this page, please feel free to contact us.

Also see:

First aid kit for cats