New class in Thunder Bay teaches cat first aid

It's a lot like any other first aid course, except for one big difference: it's for your cat.

You'll also learn how to swaddle your cat like a burrito to keep your feline calm

Dr. Peter Foley from the Atlantic Veterinary College examines a cat named Shortbread. A new class in Thunder Bay is hoping to give cat owners the tools they need to treat their felines before they're able to get to a vet. (Atlantic Veterinary College)

A first aid class in Thunder Bay, Ont. will teach you all the standard skills: treating a wound, dealing with seizures, choking and bleeding.

The big difference is that this first aid class is for your cat.

Dr. Natalie Cowling, a veterinarian at the Highview and Meadows Animal Clinic, will be teaching the free one hour class April 6.

"This isn't a substitute for veterinary care, but it's to help people manage things until they're able to see a vet," she said, adding that one of the biggest medical mistakes cat owners make is delaying a visit to the veterinarian. 

Thunder Bay veterinarian Natalie Cowling said it's important for cat owners to know basic first aid in case their pet is injured and they can't get to a vet right away. (Natalie Cowling)

"A lot of people don't know what to do when they're at home and they're trying to deal with something," she said.

"We want to avoid situations where people make things worse by trying to give certain medications or treat things on their own."

Common first aid emergencies are bites and scratches from other animals

The most common first aid emergencies cat owners deal with are bites or scratches from other animals, Cowling said.

To help tackle that issue, Cowling will teach owners how to treat wounds and swaddle their cat so you can give it medication.

"Swaddling involves using a towel and then wrapping your cat up like a burrito," she said. "It makes them feel secure."

The class is being put on by Kitty Kare Feline Rescue and takes place Thursday, April 6 from 7-8 p.m. at the Mary J L Black Library.

But don't bring your cat to the course. Instead, bring a stuffed animal and towel to practice.

Click below to hear Cowling's interview on CBC's northern Ontario afternoon show, Up North.

You'll learn all the regular skills in this first aid class, like how to treat a wound or give medication. The difference is that it's for your cat. We spoke to Thunder Bay veterinarian Natalie Cowling. 8:21


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