Although we never like to think about tragic situations, you are asking a very responsible question. And you are not alone in your worries. Here is some advice to help:
Make a Disaster Preparedness Plan to ensure that your cat is cared for. Make copies and have the plan on you at all times (e.g., in your wallet), as well as:
- In your home, next to the phone with other emergency contact information, or with your cat’s food
- With other family members or friends
- With your lawyer
- In the safety deposit box or where you keep valuables or will
- In your home, either next to the phone or with your pet’s food
Add all contact information:
- Your name, address, and all phone numbers, including cell and work numbers
- Your veterinarian’s and veterinary hospital name, address and phone numbers
- A contact person if you cannot be reached and your pet is found
- Name(s) of people you would want to care for your cat(s) if you aren’t able to
All pet information:
- Pet’s name and how your cat(s) react to people they don’t know
- Medical problems, and any needed medication
- Food and favorite treats to entice them if stressed
- Location of food, toys, medications
- Identification see below*
* Microchipping is the best identification since collars can be lost, and because studies show that microchipping is very helpful to reunite pets and people (connect from here to Microchipping under news and services).
Place “Save my pet” stickers on doors of your home, making them visible from the outside. Include the number and type of animals to search for in case of a home emergency.
Put your cats in your will, with a person to whom you would want them to go to or what you would like to happen for your pet. Before adding someone’s name to the will, ask if they are willing and able to care for your cat(s). Adding information about your cats’ likes and dislikes (e.g., does not do well with other cats or children) is helpful to ensure that your wishes are met. Many people also include in their will a fund to care for their beloved kitties.