So I know there are a lot of preppers here on Hive, but what you don't often see talked about is prepping for pets. My kitties are my family, and so I want to be prepared to take care of them too!
One of the first things you'll want to have on hand, if you have cats, is a carrier - one per cat! I know often people will keep just one even if they have more than one cat because you generally only take one to the vet at a time, and they can use the same one. However, if there is a fire in your home, or a tornado tears it up, or flooding hits, or whatever natural disaster is prone to your area, you're going to need to take them all out to safety at once.
This is one of their carriers, which is sitting out in the middle of the living room because I need to wash it, lol. It had been sitting next to Yuan's litter box and it got covered in litter dust. I'll find it a new permanent spot after I clean it; he likes to nap in it a lot. I actually bought this one for Maggie because you can put them in from the top as well as the front; Maggie will Protest Pee and even Protest Poop on you to get you to stop putting her in the carrier, and if you're loading her from the front, you will have cat pee all over your pants (or poop). That top door is a godsend because when she protest pees, it goes straight down onto whatever mat I have placed inside instead of all over my clothes, and then I can just wash it when we get home. It's important to know your cats' personalities and needs when choosing a carrier, lol. Maggie does NOT. Like. Going to the vet. ;)
If it's a struggle to afford to buy another one (which trust me ...I understand. Mine were acquired over the course of years, lol), check out @suezoe's awesome post about her upcycled cat carrier! It's really cool, and you might be able to figure out something like that for yourself.
I actually have three carriers, because I used to have three cats all together, before Deidre crossed the bridge. I also have a harness and leash for both Maggie and Yuan; Maggie refuses to wear hers but I have it all the same. If there was ever a real emergency where we had to evacuate, I could take her out in her carrier box but if we didn't have any place to land for a while she'd need to come out sometimes, even if she preferred to hide in there.
In the pocket of the cloth carrier (this one was bought for Deidre, as she hated the hard plastic ones; I like it too because it's so much easier to carry them over my shoulder like a duffel bag than in a big awkward box), I keep a set of two collapsible food/water bowls. These are generally sold for dogs who go hiking with their people and stuff, but they make for an easy-to-pack addition if you have to evacuate due to natural disaster, so I can feed the kitties.
Next up: a first aid kit for cats!
Yes, if you're wondering, they had a dog version called "Bow-ow."
In addition to the materials that came with the kit itself, I also stash any old medications they've had in there, as well as their thermometer (you put it in their ear to take their temp). Neither the kitties nor I take any prescriptions regularly, so it's just like, the antibiotic cream from when Deidre burst an anal gland once, some antibiotics left over from when Yuan went through FOUR ROUNDS of antibiotics when he first came home from the shelter with a giardia infection (we only got rid of it when in addition to the meds, I cleaned his butt every day; the vet theorized he was reinfecting himself, by cleaning himself. Boy did he not like the butt scrub, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do!). I don't normally reuse old meds, but if there was really a SHTF situation, I figure it would be better to hang on to them than not.
The kit also comes with a book about first aid for dogs and cats, so you're not completely lost if you need to help your furry friend and there isn't a vet available to help!
Of course, if you're able to keep a stock of food supplies for yourself, also keep some for your pets! If I didn't struggle to buy our needs as it is, I'd keep a couple extra cases of wet food on hand all the time and just rotate them. I discovered, since I was able to buy a large amount of cat supplies at once when I got the last stimulus, that the rough estimate in my head of how much I spend on cat food per month was way too low. I spent around $400 on cat supplies. So I thought, that's like, almost 4 months of food, right? Then I realized, oh right, not all of that was wet food (I also bought fucktons of litter and a small bag of kibble and a bottle of kitty vitamins and whatnot), so it's probably about three months of wet food since a little more than $300 of it was wet food. Still wrong. It's about two months of food. I'm almost out. Oh, that's why I struggle so much, lol. Yuan has food allergies so I can only buy certain types of food, and Maggie is a skinny mini finicky senior who won't eat kibble pretty much at all anymore, so they're eating wet food 4-5 times a day (and yeah - it's Maggie who yells at me that she's a poor starving neglected kitty and needs fud, not Yuan the chonkster. It's better for them to eat wet anyway - both for nutrition reasons as well as "it has less calories and Yuan is a chonk," but it's WAY more expensive). Soooooooooooooo yeah. If anyone wants to contribute to the "poor person with a big cat food bill" fund, I will gladly take your upvotes. :)
Do you have noms back there? -Maggie
Do you have any preparedness tips for cats or dogs or other pets that I didn't mention? Let me know in the comments! <3