Emergency Preparedness for Cats and Other Pets

Last Updated on November 30, 2023 by Ellen Christian

Have you considered emergency preparedness for cats and other pets? Marty and I believe strongly in being prepared for emergencies. We’ve created bug-out bags for our family and put together food storage lists. While we’ve added cat food and litter to our supplies, we haven’t really prepared for emergencies for our cats beyond that. 

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Emergency Preparedness for Cats and Other Pets [6 Tips]

Emergency Preparedness for Cats

I recently attended a Pet Preparedness YouTube Live session with Dr. Kurt Venator and wanted to share a few of the tips I learned with you. Some of the tips are specific to cats or dogs but most can be applied to any type of pet you have in your family. 

The first step is to get this pet emergency checklist.

Temperature Extremes

In hot weather, you need to be prepared to keep your pet cool. You will want to have extra water on hand for them to drink, and if you will be evacuating, you’ll want to have a collapsible bowl for them to drink from. In cold weather, you will need to have extra blankets, a pet sweater, and booties if they will be walking.

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Food Storage

Whether you will be sheltering at home or evacuating, you’ll need to be sure that you have food for your pet. Canned food has a longer shelf life than dry food. So, be sure that your pet is used to eating canned food at least occasionally.

If the cans don’t have a pull tab top, make sure that you also pack a manual can opener and a lid for the can. Rotate your supplies so the food stays in code.

Remember a collapsible bowl to feed your pet in case you evacuate. You will need one gallon of water for a cat or small dog for three days. If you have multiple cats or a larger dog, adjust accordingly.

Emergency Preparedness for Cats and Other Pets [6 Tips]


While toys aren’t an absolute necessity, they will help your pet to stay calm and be entertained. If you’re staying at home, be sure to keep a few new cat toys along with your other emergency supplies. If you’re evacuating, tuck them into a backpack containing your pet’s necessities.


If you’re at home, you may not need to stock any extra supplies. Be sure that you have a pet bed and extra blankets. Your dog may want access to his crate if that makes him feel more secure. If you are in an area where hurricanes and tornadoes are an issue, be sure that you have an area to shelter in that is not near a window that may shatter.

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If you need to travel, a pet carrier is vital to keep your pet safe. Be sure that your pet is familiar with the carrier to make the process less stressful. Check with your veterinarian to see which shelters or hotels in your area will accept pets. Be sure that you have a collar, leash, ID tags, immunization and wellness records. If you’re traveling somewhere with your cat be sure to have an extra cat litter pan and cat litter.


You should have a basic pet first aid kit with self-cling bandages, gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, cotton balls, scissors, and a sterile saline solution. If your pet is on medication, check with your vet about keeping an extra 30 day supply on hand.

Whether you stay at home during an emergency or evacuate to a family member’s home or shelter, being prepared will make the process easier for both you and your pet. Please consider sharing these tips for emergency preparedness for cats with your friends.


Thank you to Purina for donating 130,000 pounds of food and 42,000 pounds of cat litter to pets during emergency situations.

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