Hi everybody, Thomas here. Today we’re going to write about a very important topic, and one that a lot of humans don’t think about: planning for your cats in the event that you get sick.
The reason we’re discussing this is because Mama’s in the hospital. (Don’t worry, she’s going to be OK! She’s been getting better every day.) Fortunately, Mama has some good friends, including my favorite, Auntie A, also known as Nice Fingernails Lady, and they have a mutual agreement to help one another in the event that something like this happens.
Bella: I want Mama back. I miss sitting in her lap while she’s on the funny white chair, and I miss her special petties and snuggling up with her in the giant cat bed that we let her share.
Thomas: Oh, I do too, but sometimes humans get sick in a way that they can’t treat at home by sleeping a lot and drinking lots of yummy-smelling soup.
Bella: Do you suppose we could go to the hospital and visit Mama?
Thomas: I don’t think that’s allowed. And that’s really dumb, because everybody knows cats help their people feel better. *grumble*
Bella: Do you suppose Siouxsie’s visiting her?
Thomas: Well, she always did love Mama more than anybody else, and now that she’s not in her body anymore, maybe she can sneak in while the nurses aren’t looking.
Bella: Oh, I hope she’s doing that! So, what should humans do to make sure their kitties get everything they need if they have to go to the hospital.
Thomas: The first and simplest thing is to do what Mama did: make a mutual care agreement with a good and reliable friend. Auntie A knows that Mama will take good care of her cats if she gets super-sick, and Mama knows that Auntie A will take good care of us.
Bella: It’s best if you have a few friends or family members who can help, because there may be a time when one friend can’t come over and feed your cats, and you want to make sure they have someone visiting them every day.
Thomas: If you don’t have friends or reliable family members nearby, it would be a good idea to establish a relationship with a pet sitter. If you know you might be prone to sudden hospitalizations, you can ask that pet sitter if he or she wold be available on short notice if needed.
Bella: In fact, that would be good to ask a pet sitter even if you don’t have any illnesses that you know of. And pet sitters might be willing to do this for a regular customer. Trust me, you don’t want to try to find a pet sitter when you’re sick enough to be in the hospital!
Thomas: Auntie A has been taking pictures of us every day and texting them to Mama to brighten her spirits …
Bella: I don’t know why she had to take a picture of me cleaning my pee hole, though. That wasn’t nice!
Thomas: Oh yeah? Well, at least she didn’t take a picture of your butt while you were eating!
Bella: Well, I suppose if it’s in the service of Mama getting better, it’s OK.
Thomas: But really. My butt? She could have taken a photo of my Royal Face instead!
Bella: Anyway, some of the things you should do for your backup caretaker are:
- Provide keys to your building and your apartment or house.
- Make sure the backup caretaker knows who your vet is and where the vet is located.
- If you have pet insurance, make sure your primary backup caretaker is listed on the policy, so if your cat gets sick, the backup caretaker can contact the insurance company to get claims started.
- Ensure that the backup caretaker knows what type of food your cats eat, and how much they should eat per day. If the food requires preparation, make sure they know how to do that, too.
- Also, make sure the backup caretaker knows how much you’re able to spend in the event your cat does get sick or injured while you’re in the hospital. That will help the caretaker make better decisions on your behalf.
Thomas: How about you other readers. Are there any things you would add to this list?
Bella: Have you had to go to the hospital or been called away on an emergency? What did you arrange in advance for your cats? Is there something else you wish you’d done?
Thomas: Let’s talk about it in the comments so we can help each other to be more prepared for emergencies.
Make sure your pets know and trust your emergency caretakers.
My cats are used to just my husband and me and usually hide when people come over.
So if your emergency caretaker comes over a lot and brings treats, they will associate them with good feelings and hopefully not hide when there is an emergency!
I am retired and living in an assisted-care apartment near Seattle. My June Marie, a 12-year-old domestic short hair, has a folder in my personal effects detailing her preferred food and litter material, medicine and medical info and vaccination status, her vet’s number and my daughter’s number. She is June Marie’s godmother in case of my incapacity. Don’t laugh, but I have even described how June Marie likes to be scratched! Is that crazy? I don’t think so! In any case It feels good to know that June Marie’s welfare is assured should I become disabled.
I have a wonderful roommate and a couple other friends who will step up and help out. Something else I did was to make sure I made provisions in my will for my furbabies.
Feel better soon, Mama! Love, hugs, prayers and purrs.
@Sue Says: That’s excellent advice. My Andy is very shy/frightened of strangers. This article is excellent advice, over all. I’ve been thinking along these lines but more in terms of what we do if we have to evacuate.
Thomas and Bella, please tell your mama I hope she’s feeling better soon. I live near my daughter and we both have cats but
when I moved away for a while I worried about what would happen if I got sick. I did have a nice neighbor who is a real cat person and that was lucky. But some people aren’t so lucky. I always tell my friends who have several cats and live alone that they need to have a plan for this and also a plan should something serious happens. They don’t like to talk about it but it scares me. I work with a rescue and even people who supposedly have loving relatives with turn in older cats because nobody wants them. Breaks your heart…
Great information. This is something that pet guardians put off, thinking the worst will never happen.
Thanks for the reminder to do this, it is so important. My Mom is always telling me to write down all the foods, etc. that the kitties eat in case something happens.
When I had to go to hospital last year I made arrangements for my cats to be boarded at a kennel. I also have typed instructions to give to the people at the kennel so they are aware of any special care my pusses need, or any quirks of character. It is also a good idea, if you are going to board your cats, to make sure that their stay at the kennel can be extended in case of an emergency. I was originally only supposed to be in hospital overnight but due to complications my stay in hospital was extended and so it was necessary for me to have the kennel keep them longer.
P.S. I feel for Thomas for the undignified photo of his butt.
Love this – I hadn’t thought about it before. Mostly, my boyfriend does this stuff when I’m not around. However, I think I would call my cat sitters for this job – the cats are already used to them, they already have all the veterinary information and it would fall within their services