The Top 5 Ways to Protect Your Cat – Some Feline Specific Disaster Advice for Cat Owners

Withnail and Marwood are ready for an earthquake

Withnail and Marwood are ready for an earthquake

Your furry cat pals may be able to sense earthquake P-waves, but they are not going to be able to tell you about it. How will you make sure your cat safely lands on his feet after an earthquake? Making sure he rides out the quake safely will be made much easier by the things you do before an earthquake hits.  Learn the top 5 things to do to make your cat safe during and after an earthquake.

Between now and the time of the next earthquake, develop a plan so your purring pal will be taken care of. So where’s a good place to start?

Safe Kitty Needs a Safe Owner
You can start by earthquake-proofing your home by using our “Get Ready Quick” pages to guide you to preparedness. The best preparation you can make for your kitty is to prepare yourself by securing your home to shelter-in-place.

Your shelter-in-place-with-kitty plan must include a tricked-out little earthquake kit for your cat. Our pet emergency kit page provides a helpful list (link), but cats do have a few special needs. If you have not vaccinated your cat, do so now and keep a copy of the vaccination records in your kitty kit. Also be sure to include your cat’s favorite toys and treats, because there is every chance that as master of his Universe, your cat will blame YOU for the earthquake. You’ll need those treats to convince him of your continued benevolence. Keeping your kitty stores with your home earthquake kit is a great idea.

The cat litter you keep on hand for your fuzzy friend can serve a double-duty as a dry-toilet for those post-quake days. Here’s how you make one.

Teach Your Kitty to be Held
There is another important step to accomplish between now and the next earthquake. Try teaching your cat to be comfortable with being picked up and held.

Teaching Mr. Furrball how to accept being picked up now is essential, since after an earthquake, you may have to pick him up and hold him, and you don’t want a cat-fight right after an earthquake.

Try picking your cat up and holding him at least once a day till he is comfortable with being handled. Cats hate being told what to do (so like humans), so try to make the picking up fun, and don’t do it for very long. Learning how to be held will make vet visits easier too. If your cat is tough to pick up and hold, this guide to teaching your cat to be handled can help.

Kitty-Proof Your House After a Disaster
A post-earthquake house or apartment may present new problems for keeping kitty safe. Be on the lookout for spilled cleaning fluids or other toxic-to-kitty spills. An indoor-only cat may be very interested in new openings to the outside created by earthquake shaking. Believe us, your cat will find new openings to the out-of-doors before you do.

You can cover up broken windows with plywood or heavy cardboard. You may also want to move furniture in front of broken windows to stop kitty’s outdoor adventure in its tracks.

Make a Feline Go-Plan
If it turns out your home is no longer safe, you may have to evacuate. If you need to evacuate your home, don’t leave kitty behind! This is part two of your prepared kitty quake plan. Figure out now what you will need to do to take kitty with you.

Unless you are one of those cat people who have trained their purring pal to walk on a leash, you will need to have a carrying case of some type to get kitty from A to B. You probably already have some sort of box or case to take your cat on those dreaded vet visits. For quake preparedness’ sake, make sure your carrying case is big enough to be comfortable for kitty for long intervals. Soft-sided or hard-sided cases both work. It is up to you to decide what is right for your kitty.

Your local emergency shelter may not accept pets. For example, Red Cross shelters do not accept pets. So now is the time to find a pet-friendly hotel, investigate emergency pet shelters, or make arrangements to stay with an out-of-town friend who is cool with kitty. For more ideas on where you might stay, check out our blog post on preparing your dog.

Get a Rescue Alert Sticker
While you are doing all this preparing, why not get Rescue Alert Sticker for your door? Did you know you can get them for free from the ASPCA? It lets emergency personnel know your kitty is inside when they show up. Emergency personnel are yet another reason to teach your kitty how to be picked up.

Need even more information? Visit CalEMA,,, and the American Humane Society. Get your feline friend earthquake ready today!

Posted in Pets Galore
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