Kitty First Aid: What to Do If Your Cat Is Hit by a Car

Because cats are often allowed to go outside on their own, there's a chance they will have an accident when you're not around. One of the more common accidents cats face is being hit by a vehicle, which, understandably, can be a very serious event.

If you have an outdoor cat, particularly if you live near to a road, it's important to be on the lookout for signs they might have been in an accident involving a vehicle, as it's not always immediately obvious. You should also know what to do if it ever happens. Here's the information you need to help keep your cat safe near roads.

Signs a cat may have been hit by a car

If you discover your cat lying injured in or next to a road, it's pretty obvious what's happened to them. Likewise, if the cat is bleeding from open wounds, you might guess they've been in an accident. But often, the cat will make their way home and perhaps look fine at first glance.

Look out for any trouble breathing, as the impact of a car accident can damage a cat's respiratory ability. Also, keep an eye out for limping, which can signify injury to the legs or pelvis, or a limp tail, which may have been broken.

First steps

In the event your cat is injured outside and unable to move, handle them as little as possible in case of any broken bones. Getting them into a cat carrier is the best way to provide support and keep them safe, which is best done with the top removed if possible. Try to avoid lifting the cat, instead gently dragging them onto the firm surface of the carrier's base.

If the cat has wandered home, they'll probably be sitting somewhere still and quiet if they're injured. Cover them with a blanket to keep them warm, as shock can make their temperature drop. Take away food and water in case it interferes with vet treatments.

Once the cat is comfortable and sitting still, call the vet and explain the situation. They'll most likely arrange an emergency appointment.

Safe transportation

If you still need to get the cat into a carrier, do so very carefully, encouraging them to walk in on their own if possible. When you take the cat to the vet for your pet emergency, it's helpful if you can have another person accompany you. They can comfort the cat during the journey, making sure the carrier stays still and level while you drive.