One late summer morning, two Scottish Fold kittens were playfully exploring their fenced yard when Rudy caught Abigail off guard and bounded at her from behind the rose bushes.  As Abby took a tumble landing dazed and confused, a bee buzzed passed her.  The twosome, quickly distracted by this new found fun, attempted to play a game of pounce with the tiny flying creature.  Fun did ensue for a few moments, but it then turned nasty as the bee planted his stinger right onto the tip of Rudy’s nose!  The kitten pawed furiously at his face, and as it began to swell, Rudy started looking more like a bulldog than a fluffy kitty!


Insect Stings

Cats generally paw at and remove an insect’s stinger when bitten, but should you see one through her fur coat (or on her nose, lip, paw or elsewhere), scrape it away with a credit card, popsicle stick or similar stiff object.   Pulling the stinger with fingers or tweezers could rupture the poison sac allowing the toxin to enter your pet’s body.  Administer 1 mg Benadryl per pound of your cat’s body weight (usually comes in 25mg tablets so a smaller half will suffice for most kitties) and apply a cold pack (a bag of frozen peas works well) to any swelling.  Remove it every 3-5 minutes to prevent frost bite. Should severe swelling or any breathing difficulties develop, get to your veterinarian at once.  If anaphylactic shock occurs (a severe allergic reaction), her tongue may swell making rescue breathing difficult, so don’t delay!  Homeopathic Tip:  Meliffica, also known as Honey Bee, can aid the body to reduce burning or stinging pain.  A dose is considered to be 3-5 pellets crushed or liquefied with 6c being given every 4-6 hours.


About Pet First-Aid

Have you ever gotten out of bed just to step on a squishy fur ball, discovered ticks on your gorgeous long-haired cat or couldn’t yell quick enough when she leaped for the hot stove?  Bandaging, removing parasites and treating upset tummies are basic Pet First-Aid skills every pet lover should possess.  Don’t wait until tragedy strikes before you learn animal life-saving skills.  According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), 25% more pets could be saved if their humans attempt even one first aid technique prior to getting them to veterinary care.  Knowing what to do at the time of the injury can make a difference — lower body temperature, prevent blood loss, alleviating choking, induce vomiting in poisoning incidents or perform rescue breathing and CPR.

The Sunny-dog Ink  CAT FIRST-AID & CPCR Certificate Course is now available!   The Pet Safety Crusader will take you through a self-guided tour of learning to help a cat in need BEFORE veterinary care is available.  Veterinarians are the experts, but most of us are not lucky enough to have one velcroed to our hip 24/7.  Even if you live with 5 people in your home, odds are that when the cat stops breathing or cuts her paw…you will be home alone and it will be after veterinary hours.  To be a pro-active cat parent or pet professional, you MUST know how to rescue Fluffy or make her feel better BEFORE professional medical care is available.  What happens in those first few moments after the onset of injury or illness, can truly make a difference in your best friend’s recovery.

By Knowing Pet First Aid, YOU can:

  • Lower your cat’s body temperature to prevent brain damage or death.
  • Minimize blood loss and prevent infection by properly bandaging a wound. Knowing where the critical arterial pressure points are on kitty can be a life saver!
  • Alleviate choking with the kitty Heimlich-like maneuver.
  • Expel poison from your pet’s system by properly inducing vomiting.
  • Be the pump your pet’s heart can’t be, moving life-giving blood and oxygen throughout her body, until you can get her to professional medical help.

Pet First-Aid is by no means a replacement for veterinary care, and CPR (now Cardio Pulmonary Cerebral Resuscitation) is not a cure, but both can make a difference in the life of your feline friend.

In addition to first-aid skills for bleeding, burns, choking, drowning, heatstroke/frostbite, high rise syndrome, insect stings, poisoning, seizures, splinting and cardiopulmonary arrest, some of the topics covered in this course include:

  1. Down on all fours and Up on counter tops and shelving

Look at life from your cat’s perspective.  What appears as a neatly kept room from a 5’ 6” to 6’ 2” viewpoint is a completely different scenario 7” off the floor.  If it’s in claws reach, it’s fair game for even the most obedient cat.  Cleaners and fertilizers not absorbed through paw pads will be ingested when kitty grooms, so read labels on products you use to clean counter tops, floors and use in the yard (you may track indoors on shoes even if your cat never ventures outdoors), choosing only pet friendly chemicals.  Add to that the fact that felines jump and climb, so counter tops, books shelves and other high areas where they perch must be danger-free zones and secured so that they can not topple when kitty leaps!

2.  Head-to-Tail check

Look your cat over from head-to-tail every week feeling for lumps and bumps. Notice if her skin his dry, her coat dull or shiny, if there is evidence of parasites (flea dirt or the actual critters), ticks (Do you know the dangers of cytauxzoonosis?), burrs or foxtails.  Anything you find early (especially a lump) may prevent a nightmare from occurring, so bring it to your veterinarian’s attention at onset.  Know your cat’s baseline vitals and pay attention to what she looks like when she stands/sits/jumps and how often she uses her litter box. The more quickly you spot something ‘not quite right,’ the better chance of fixing it.  Never miss annual vet exams as each calendar year brings changes.

3. Pet First-Aid Kit

Just like a carpenter or plumber, pet owners must have the right tool for the job.  So that you are prepared to bandage a wound, pull a tick or soothe an upset tummy, at the very least, have the following items on hand in an easily accessible place:

  • 3% Hydrogen Peroxide to induce vomiting
  • Eye Wash (saline or purified water)
  • 2″ X 2″ Gauze Squares and Gauze Roll
  • Triangular bandage to make ring pad or secure kitty to back board
  • Adhesive Tape of Self-adhering Bandage
  • Cold Pack
  • Antibiotic Ointment
  • Needle-less Syringe or Eye Dropper
  • Digital Thermometer (cats normally run 100.4°-102.5° F)
  • Styptic Powder to stop bleeding toe nails
  • Scissors & Tweezers
  • Antihistamine & Antacid Tablets
  • Pumpkin fiber
  • Leash to create a figure 8 harness to restrain kitty as well as a muzzle
  • Towel or Blanket to wrap kitty
  • Phone Numbers/Addresses of your Veterinarian & Animal ER
  • Cat First-Aid Handbook


4. Animal ER

Drive there before you need to, so that you know where to enter, what services are offered and how they accept payment.  Don’t just program the number into your cell. When you have an ill or injured cat, you want to know which side of the street it is on and where the closest entrance is.


5. Quality Time Daily

Cats are part of the family!  That’s why we bring them into our hearts and homes, so unplug from electronics and don’t mindlessly pet Fluffy while you’re reading a book. Animals live in the moment, so be present for them!


Click here to learn more about the Cat First-Aid & CPCR Course



For 20 years Denise Fleck’s Sunny-dog Ink motto has been “Helping people to help their pets,” and she has…teaching more than 15,000 pet lovers animal life-saving skills and millions more on “The Doctors,” CNN, “Kirstie Alley’s Big Life,” Animal Planet and other TV shows.  Denise is a frequent conference speaker, developed a line of pet first aid kits and now offers classes online.  

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