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Cats and Weather Emergencies

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I searched the board for a topic similar to my question, but didn't find one. If I missed it, I apologize.

Ok, here goes.
I live in an area prone to severe weather - tornadoes, damaging wind, hail, etc.
We had such a storm last night. I have 2 cats, both rescue kitties. One cat is a male cat, Donny, and the other a female cat, Chade. To top the mix off, I have a labrador retriever. Once the emergency sirens went off I started rounding up the pets and heading for the laundry room. I think that might have been my first mistake, I should have rounded them up before the sirens went off.
The labrador was easy, she'll go anywhere with me. I managed to round up the male cat because he was interested in the voice coming out of the weather radio. However, the female cat was nowhere to be found. She was hiding and that was that.

Once the storm was over, it turns out she was just outside the laundry less than 2 feet away.

Any tips on how to successfully round up cats in a stressful situation?
They seem to "know" that I'm trying to get them to do something and that sends them into hiding mode.

Both of them despise, no, they actually hate their crates. And if I even make a move to get a crate out of the garage, the cats are hiding. The male never responds to calling his name or calling "Here kitty". The female will come to her name if everything is calm in her world.

All my animals are required to wear a collar and tags because of the emergencies we might have to deal with. Should we get separated at least we have that.

After the storm, I told them we really did need to work on their emergency preparedness plan as it was seriously in need of improvement.
I think they ignored me.

We are supposed to have severe storms again on Tuesday. We lucked out yesterday and only had hail and high winds. But the tornado hit just west of us and then skipped over our city entirely before touching down east of us. That's close enough to have me rethinking our preparedness plan.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Donny, Chade and Brownie's Mom
post #2 of 7
Well, if nothing else, bathrooms are supposed to be the safest place (apart from storm cellars) and if you can get the cats in there before sirens go off, etc., it would probably be good (with a litter box). I'm not sure crating would help anything anyhow, but maybe consider weaning them off going outside altogether, becoming indoor cats that you have more control over. I wouldn't worry hugely though, cats can hide in amazingly small places anywhere, and usually have a 6th sense ahead of time if trouble's coming.
post #3 of 7
I'm afraid that when it comes to last minute emergencies like tornados, my kitties either have to come when I call them into the basement, or fend for themselves. My first priority is getting my daughter and I into the basement. If there is time before hand for something that required evacuation, then they will get crated and taken along. I love them, but not more than my daughter (which includes making sure that I, her mother, am safe, too ).
post #4 of 7
We lucked out last night as the storm changed direction just a bit and went south of us. We just received the rain. We could hear the sirens south of us though.
Our three large dogs and cat are microchipped. Zoey manages to remove her collar daily, so we've pretty much given up on it anyway. Her crate is left out for her to curl up in, so it isn't associated with a traumatic event.

Check out some of the websites on tornado preparedness. It will give you some great ideas. We have always had a plan in place, just improving on it as we get older.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all your tips. Fortunately my cats are indoor only, so I don't have to go chasing for them outdoors. I've lived with tornadoes and severe weather all my life but this is the first time I've had to consider the cats during a shelter time. And it's been several years since a tornado has taken direct aim at us. I've been thinking about the microchip for all of them and I may check in to that with my vet.

In all the houses I've lived in, the bathrooms all have windows. And in some cases a very large window, so that option was out.

But I did make the right decision and whoever came with me to the laundry room went in and those that didn't had to fend for themselves.

I've thought about coaxing the kitties into the laundry room for play time to try and desensitize them. And that may or may not work. Ah well, we'll give it all another try on Tuesday.

post #6 of 7
Since you have a room in the house you consider a safe you should keep some supplies in there for your cats, and yourself for such emergencies.
Will your cats come to the sound of food being poured into a bowl or a can being opened? That's the easiest way I can think of rounding them up. You may even consider making that the room you feed them in. Maybe add a box for them to play/sleep in, or one of those crinkle caves. Anything that makes the room their room.

Since you've lived with this weather all your life you should be able to tell when it's starting to get serious, not all tornado watches amount to anything. Keep an eye on the news and the sky, if you can be ready to get to shelter before the sirens go off.

Here if I start getting nervous and it looks bad, storms with rotation nearby, I get the supplies and Sho ready to go in his carrier. Now I'll have two to contend with.
Is there any way you can keep the carriers in laundry room? If necessary the cats are already in there with you, you should be able to stuff them in their carriers
post #7 of 7
I live in Fort Worth and last night was the first time in 12 years of living here that I actually was concerned. A few days ahead, I assemble the crates & position them in the living room. Then on storm day, the first thing I do is gather the girls with me in the den or living room and then close the doors to the bedrooms & bathrooms. Then I go about my business of watching the news and listening for the wind to pick up. I also assemble my emegency kit and put it in the closet.

One of my girls slept in the computer chair throughout last night's ordeal and the other one followed me around.

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