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Updated on February 5, 2012

Saving Your Cats From Fire and other Disasters

If you have a house fire, can you get your cats out safely? Do you have a plan? The necessary equipment? How you thought about it? Well, when I was asked what one thing I would save if I had a fire, I didn't have to think long. I would save my cats.

I can get all new furniture, make new photos, get new computers, but I can't replace my the wonderful cat members of my family. I will share with you my plan so you can make your own. Don't wait until it's too late. Think about it now. Plan for it now. And, put that plan into place so there is no hesitation if disaster strikes your home.

My Blog has been HACKED and is down temporarily so some photos are not loading on this site.

Introducing My 8 Indoor Cats

Kira the Alpha Cat

The cat who thinks she's in charge

Kira, the alpha cat is 15 years old and runs the household with an iron paw. We adopted her at 6 weeks old from the Humane Society of San Jose, California. Since she has gotten older, say the past 2 years, she's become a little neurotic; hissing and growling at shadows not just the other cats.

She loves boxes, bags, sleeping on the top of the 7 foot cat tree and sleeping on my pillow. She's recently decided, after 7 or 8 years to be a lap cap again. Age seems to change lots of things.

Shadow the lover cat

The cat who loves laps

Shadow, our little lover cat, was adopted from a feral cat rescue at 2 months old. she did not know how to play. Kira had to teach her. She also would not come to us. We could pick her up and cuddle her but she would just go limp then start purring. A year after we adopted her, she laid down in front of me and rolled onto her back (a first) and started meowing softly. I bent down to pet her and she licked me and rubbed her face against me and just purred like crazy. Just like that -- one day she's a fraidy cat, the next day, she's a lover cat. Still is to this day, 14 years later.

Nikita - La Femme Nikita - was adopted from a vet's office. Her mother had been killed by a car when she was only 2 weeks old and she had been raised by the vet tech.

Although Nikita is spayed, she adopted Xena acted like her momma. For 8 months, she let Xena nurse even though she had no milk! When she was finally tired of it, she started putting her paw on Xena's head and holding her down. It was touching to watch.

Bruce "Kamakazi" Lee

The cat with paws of fury

Lee, another Humane Society cat where I volunteered, always meowed at me softly and stuck his paw out to grab me when he heard my voice.

When we brought him home and set his carrier down, our cats all gathered around. I opened the cage and Lee was so excited, he run straight at Kira (the alpha cat) while waving his paws furiously. All of the cats scattered. They'd never seen anything like it. That's how Lee got him final name: Bruce "Kamakazi" Lee because of his paws of fury!

Xena and Hawk were our first foster cats. They sat on our heads, shoulders and laps. They cuddled, purred and kneaded their way into our hearts. We had to adopt them. Xena, a beautiful Balinese cat, was nursing on Hawk. She traded Hawk in for Nikita when they met. Nikita let her nurse for about 8 months even though she had no milk.

Xena is a wonderful loving cat. She no longer sits on our lap or heads. But she still purrs like crazy and loves to be petted and sleep next to me as long as Kira is not around.

Hawk - The Big Gray Guy

The Cat with the small voice

Hawk, a Russian Blue weighs 17 pounds. He has the body of a lion but squeaks like a mouse. It really funny to hear. He has never met a cat that he didn't like and we've fostered dozens in our home.

Both he and Xena have always been high strung -- they run and hide at the slightest new voice or noise.

Hawk joins us in bed once we are both there and takes turns cuddling with us then he usually curls up next to Dad and falls asleep.

CoCo and her sister, Snoball, were feral cats who lived in our fenced garden area. We fed them and another feral cat for 8 months. When he was killed on purpose by someone, we caught them and moved them into the garage. By that time, they were letting us pet them a little and dry them off with towels when they got soaked from the rain.

After 2 months in the garage, we had them both tested. CoCo tested okay so we added her to our family. She fits in quite well playing with all of the other cats, even Kira when Kira feels like it.

SnoBall our indoor FIV+ cat

The cat who has FIV

SnoBall, CoCo's sister, tested positive for FIV antibodies. After doing all of the research on FIV and finding that only deep bites can pass the virus, we moved her into the house with our other 7 cats.

She is doing great. She is healthy and happy inside. She loves to be brushed and to be picked up and loved. She plays chase with CoCo and has a truce with most of the other cats. As with all of the other cats, Kira is not a friend.

My Save my cats plan

The plan to save my cats includes having a staging area with ...

Cat Carriers for every cat - A safe place to transport your cat

The first thing you need are cat carriers for each cat so you can move them safely and can be kept for several hours if need be.

Here are some of my tips for finding the right carriers and making the crisis easier if it happens.

  1. A cat carrier for each cat. You will know if a cat is missing without having to count heads.
  2. Label in large print which cat goes into which cage. This helps to be able to put the right size cat in an appropriate carrier. If you are missing a cat, you know exactly who is missing without having to figure it out during a crisis. You can then look for them in their favorite hiding place(s).
  3. Use hard carriers you can stack if necessary. If you don't have enough room to store hard cases, then and only then should you have soft carriers. You won't be able to stack them if necessary. In a crisis, you may need to put the carriers in your car in order to leave the premises.

First Aid Kit for Cats

Everything you need to treat your cat

You should have a first aid kit for your cat for small emergencies and for a crisis like a fire. Here are the things that should be in your kit:

- Telephone numbers for your vet (day, night and emergency numbers). Store in waterproof packet (zip-lock type baggie works well).

- Each cats medical records. Also store in the waterproof packet.

- Tweezers, preferably very sharp pointed.

- Digital rectal thermometer.

- Small scissors with blunt ends. (Use for cutting bandages, tape, hair.)

- Sterile gauze pads

- Rolled sterile gauze

- White surgical tape.

- Cotton balls and a roll of cotton padding.

- Antiseptic cleaner, such as Bactine.

- Hydrocortisone ointment for insect stings and cuts.- Hydrogen Peroxide for cleaning out wounds.

- Sterile eyewash solution (The human variety is fine.)

- Eye droppers.

- Emergency ice pack. The kind that you smash with your hands to activate. Make sure to wrap in a towel before using if too cold.

An emergency water and cat food supply - How much cat food you should keep for emergencies

In an emergency, you won't have time to grab food and water so you need to have it ready. Here are my suggestions for an emergency staging area which can be used whether you have a small emergency visit to the vet or a major crisis like a fire.

  1. Have 1 weeks worth of hard food boxed and in your vehicle. If you have it already in your vehicle, it's one less thing to forget. If you can't store it in your vehicle, have it stacked with your carriers in an emergency staging area that you always have set up.
  2. Store food in a plastic container you can seal. The plastic square tubs that many cat litters come are perfect to keep food in for a multiple cat household. Smaller container would work for fewer cats.
  3. Have a container of water as well. Put this in your staging area as well or in your car. Cats need to drink 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight. So, an 8 pound cat needs 8 ounces a day. (I think you should have emergency water in your car for yourself at all times anyway. You never know when your car may breakdown and where.)
  4. Rotate your food and water for freshness.

How much water should you have for emergencies?

How much water do cats drink a day?

Cats need 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight.

An 8-pound cat needs 8 oz a day.

Hard Cat Food on Amazon - Store hard cat food for emergencies

I recommend that you store hard cat food for emergencies. If you have a cat that only eats soft food or needs to, then store some wet canned food as well. Remember to rotate the food!

Plastic storage tubs for cat food and litter - Reusable storage containers

Below are some plastic containers, including the litter which comes in containers that I use.

Cat litter for emergencies

Don't forget the litter

Yes, you need to have litter for emergencies. You can probably get away with a single plastic container of litter. It does not have to be rotated, so it will be easy to store. Put it with the other items in your emergency staging area.

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    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      Great wake up call. My cats are in the laundry so all I have to do is open their door to free them should such a disaster strike. Blessed and have a wonderful holiday season and great and successful 2013. Hugs

    • TheGutterMonkey profile image

      The Gutter Monkey 5 years ago

      When I saw the title of this lens I thought to myself "Why would anyone need a fireproof cat?" haha. I didn't know what to think.

      This is helpful information though, thanks.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      What a delightful "lot" of cats you have! You know that SnoBall looks rather exotic. It is really incredible how a cat can have such a unique personality. That reminds me, that it is time to feed our gang of cats out back. Hugs to you my dear for all you do for the cats!

    • profile image

      myraggededge 8 years ago

      I'd have to get my kids out first but I promise that Treacle, Harry and Lily would be next! Great practical information here. 5*s.

    • SongDog profile image

      SongDog 8 years ago

      Excellent & important information! Our companion animals absolutely should be included in emergency plans. Thanks, Frankster!

    • kezan98 lm profile image

      kezan98 lm 8 years ago

      Thanks for joining the Cat Party Group, We've given you a top rating for this cat lens

    • DebiJones LM profile image

      Debi Jones 8 years ago from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

      Very helpful lens and something that I need to do. We have 3 cats and only 1 carrier so there is a problem right there we need to amend!

    • carny profile image

      carny 8 years ago

      Cute cats! I also like the lens title. "Fireproof your cat". Hehe, I found it hilarious for some reason.

    • profile image

      LanaBoom 8 years ago

      I'm always afraid that my cat will be hiding someplace I can't find her. Having an action plan is an excellent idea. Loved getting to know the kitties.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 8 years ago from USA

      Love the new backgrounds! Beautiful!

    • profile image

      bdkz 8 years ago

      Very useful lens!

    • profile image

      kautagne 8 years ago

      Great info! I will pass it along to my family & friends who have cats.

    • profile image

      Oosquid 8 years ago

      Sound advice, nobody would want their cat left behind in a fire. You have a wonderful family of cats. Snoball reminds me of Bluebell, one of my son's cats.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      Excellent advice. Our cats have access to a basement with an outdoor enclosure, so the carriers are kept in the basement in case of an emergency. I'll check my list to make sure I've got everything you recommend. I like the idea about labeling the carriers. Squid Angel Blessed.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 8 years ago from USA

      Wonderful advice.