Plan for Your Whole Family
(ANNAPOLIS, Maryland) July 13, 2012—Sunday is National Pet Fire Safety Day and to mark it, CATalyst Council, a national initiative comprised of animal health and welfare organizations working on behalf of cats, urges cat owners to have a plan in place to protect their cat in case of a house fire.
The American Red Cross reports that house fires are the most common disaster, and the American Fire Administration estimates that 500,000 pets are affected by a house fire each year.
The first step in protecting your cat from a house fire is to ensure that it doesn’t cause one—especially while you are out of the house. One common source of house fires is overturned candles. If you use candles, switch to flameless candles so that, if your cat inadvertently knocks one over, it doesn’t start a fire.
Another common source of house fires is stove burners. Ensure that the area around your stove is clear of materials that could be knocked over onto a hot burner, and never leave a hot burner-even one that is cooling after you’ve finished cooking-unattended.
The next step in protecting your cat is to ensure that it is always has some form of identification. In a fire, your cat will be frightened and, if possible, it will find a way to get out. To help en sure that you can be reunited with your cat in an emergency, your cat should always wear a cat collar with tags, and you should consider permanent identification such as a microchip or tattoo. With proper, up to date identification, your cat is more likely to be reunited with you.
Having a decal on or near your front door with the number and type of pets in the household noted along with an "In Case of Emergency" contact may save your pet's life.
Finally, make sure your cat is a part of your evacuation plan. Keeping its carrier out and open all the time will help in case of an emergency for two reasons. The first is that your cat will be more accustomed to its carrier if it is out and open. Just as importantly, you will know exactly where the carrier is if you need to find it quickly. Before any emergency, have a list of pet friendly hotels in the area or speak with family and friends about the possibility of providing temporary shelter to your cat(s). Taking the time to put in place a comprehensive evacuation plan prior to an emergency will help to ensure you and your cat remain safe and together.
The CATalyst Council is a national organization which includes a wide variety of animal health and welfare organizations as well as corporate members of the animal health industry that are working together to improve the health and welfare of America’s favorite pet. It was founded in response to troubling statistics released by the American Veterinary Medical Association that indicate an increase in our nation’s pet cat population coupled with a decline in veterinary care for those cats. More information about the CATalyst Council is available at www.catalystcouncil.org.