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C2003-08

Dear Christopher Cat

With all the scary headlines these days, I am concerned that a terrorist attack may force me to leave my home temporarily.  Should I take my cats or leave them inside with enough food and water to last them until I return?

Christopher Responds

By all means, take your cats with you!  If it’s not safe for you at home, it’s not safe for your pets.

I hope you’ll never need to evacuate, but it’s best to be prepared for any disaster, including an earthquake, flood or chemical spill.

Here’s what you can do now:

1) Ask your veterinarian to microchip your pets for permanent identification. 

2) Store these items in a convenient location in your home:

· A cat-safe collar or harness for each cat.  Attach an identification tag with your cell phone number, e-mail address and phone number of a friend or relative outside your area.
· A cat carrier for each cat, or a large kennel they’ll all fit into comfortably.  Include a litter box with litter, as well as an empty food container that you’ll fill before you leave.
· An envelope with each cat’s photo, your veterinarian’s phone number, and important medical information, such as medication names and dosages.  Include current rabies certificates and the dates of other vaccinations.

3) Most emergency shelters accept humans, but not pets.  Figure out where you’ll go if you have to evacuate, and call hotels there to identify ones that accept cats.  Put this information with the cat carriers.

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