It is not always possible for a vet to come to see your cat; in fact, it is often better to take him to the surgery, where there is specialized equipment to deal with emergencies. If there is any possibility that your cat may have to be given an anaesthetic, for example to open an abscess, or to take an X-ray, do not give him anything to eat or drink.
A container is essential to transport a cat in a car. If a proper cat basket is not available, a stout cardboard box, such as those used to contain twelve wine or spirit bottles, makes a good substitute. Cut or punch some small holes for ventilation, and tie the box firmly with string or adhesive tape.
Do not make the common error of half-filling the box with a cushion, as this will leave inadequate room for the cat. A few layers of newspaper or an old woollen garment are ideal. Pick up an injured cat by holding the scruff of its neck firmly with one hand, and either tucking the cat under the other arm, or placing the hand under the cat’s abdomen.
If a cat is very vicious, the best method is to drop an old thick coat or blanket over it. Tuck the edges towards, and under, the cat and pick up the whole bundle and put it in the box taking care not to suffocate the patient.
Telephone the surgery to say that you are on your way with an emergency.
The following schedule is a useful guide for seeing at a glance how to deal with the most common emergency situations.