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Tips for Creating a Storm-Safe Room for Your Cats

thunderstorm

Photo thunderstorms in a landscape ©zakharovaleksey

Storm Season Came Early This Year

Last week, we had unseasonably warm weather for February and with the warm up came severe storms.  On Tuesday night we had severe thunderstorms. The storm warnings stated that winds in excess of 95 mph were recorded and cloud rotation was sited meaning a tornado could form and this storm was heading our way.

At 3 am, we were able to get Annie and Mercy in their carriers quickly.  Eddie takes some extra effort.  Sometimes treat bribes work and other times we have to sneak attack him to get him safely in his carrier.  We need to be better prepared to make sure we can get Eddie ahead of time, before the first clap of thunder.

Wednesday night, we had high winds.  The wind howled so loudly I couldn’t sleep. At 2:30 am, we heard a strange buzzing sound in the back yard.  Paul looked out to see big fire balls shooting up from the pine trees at the back of our neighbors yard.  We called the fire department and our neighbors and then contemplated whether to get the cats in their carriers.  Fortunately, we had a lot of rain prior to the wind so the trees and ground were wet preventing the fire from spreading.

Annie in carrier at vet

Annie and Eddie Share a carrier.

We have talked about keeping your cats safe during severe storms and I wanted to take this time to remind all of us to remember to be prepared for  severe storms because they can happen anytime.

Tips for Creating a Storm-Safe Room for your Cats

Choose a room that is cat friendly and safe.    A frightened cat will run and hide, so make sure that the room or area that you choose is cat safe.

  • Close off any small openings where your cat might squeeze in to hide.
  • Make sure there are no toxic products (cleaners, pesticides, etc) or sharp objects, such as tools stored in the safe room.

Keep emergency cat supplies in the storm-safe room.   While you can always add other items, make sure you start with the essentials.

  • Cat food, water and treats.  Stock enough for at least 5-7 days.  One gallon of water per person per day at a minimum A couple of extra gallons in case won’t hurt either.
  • Any medications or special treatments your cat will need.
  • Litter box, litter, scoop and garbage  bags for waste.
  • Cat carrier large enough for your cat to stand, turn around, and sleep comfortably.  Annie and Eddie share a larger carrier and Mercy has his own carrier.
  • A crate is also a good option to keep your cats secure and safe with more room to move around if they will be confined for a longer period of time.  We have a crate large enough for all three cats including a litter box.
  • A large  bag that you can transport the emergency supplies in case of evacuation.  You might consider a grab-and-go emergency kit that you can take to your car.

Additional cat comfort items for the storm-safe room.  In addition to the essentials, you might consider keeping a few other items in the storm-safe room for your cat’s comfort.  These items might include but are not limited to:

  • Comfortable cat beds and blankets
  • Favorite toys
  • Feliway or other cat calming aid.    Thundershirt  and Thunderspray are options if your cat is terrified of storms like our Gracey was.

In Case of Evacuation, Take Your Cats With You.

Paul placing carrier in jeep

Precious cargo on board

If the storm damages your home and you are told to evacuate, take your cats and their emergency supplies with you.  Remember, you might not be able to go back to get your cats so just pack them up and take them with you.

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  • katsrus

    Thanks for the post.

  • This is one thing I am always prepared for. I am very scared of storms We have tornadoes here and they can get bad and frequent. I always have my safe room (the bathroom) ready and I have each cat in it’s own carrier and we add pillows to throw on top of us if the tornado does come down and stuff falls. It will help the impact a little bit. My husband makes fun of me because of all of the stuff I move into that room when there is a storm coming. But I am prepared and all I have to do at that point is get my cats in the carriers and take cover. The day after Christmas 2015, we had miles and miles of tornado damage just a few miles from my house. I was glad I was prepared at that time as my husband saw it go over our house. He’s one of those curious ones who has to watch. Not me. Me and the cats hide.

  • Wow, that is a lot to think about! Being in southern California, my human has never had to think about these types of severe storms, and in fact, other than a narrow hallway (that actually needs an extra door right now, we don’t have much that would suffice as a safe room during a storm like that.

    • Iesadora

      I’m in So Cal too and can’t imagine having to set up a safe room.

  • catchatcaren

    this is a super timely post due to the incredibly high winds we had in Michigan yesterday. I was a nervous wreck because I was in the hospital for one of my kidney stone procedures and knew the wind was awful. I kept worrying that what if our windows blew in and we weren’t home? I was a complete wreck. Thankfully, when we got home much later in the day, the winds were still howling but all was fine at home. Thank God!

  • Lynda Donati

    Thank you for this! We had high winds up here (Buffalo NY) last night and our cats were pretty UNsettled. I feel better knowing we’re prepared to bolt if the Ash trees finally decide to, ahem, lie down on our roof.