Many of us have lost cats to the road or have sadly hurt an animal in a traffic
accident. Sometimes the accident is unavoidable, it’s traumatic for everyone,
but do you know what to do if you run over a cat? Our friends over at Cats Matter have been kind enough to share
some very useful information to ensure the best steps are taken when a cat is
involved in an accident on the road.
8 Steps to Take When You Hit a Cat in the Road
- Stop safely and go to the cat to see the extent
of the injuries. Surprisingly, only 25% of cats hit in a road traffic accident
are killed, so there’s a good chance that the cat will be okay after seeing a
vet and receiving treatment. Failing to stop could result in the cat from
suffering for longer and perhaps never making it back to their owners. Do the
right thing, stop the car and do your best to help.
- If the cat is alive but injured, try to assist the
cat and get them ready to go to the vets. The cat will be very scared and
probably experiencing a high level of pain. Stay calm, use a quiet comforting
voice and be gentle with your movements.
- Use a towel or blanket if you have one to hand and
pick up the cat using one hand underneath the chin and the other under the hind
quarters. If you have a box or crate place the cat inside for the journey.
- Call the closest emergency vet and tell them you
are on the way. Remember, you will not have to pay the vet when you take in an
injured or deceased pet. Money matters will not stop you from getting the cat
the help it needs.
- The next step is to report the accident but don’t
call the police if the accident proved fatal as they cannot do anything to inform
the owners. Police advise drivers to try to find the owner of the pet and let
them know what’s happened. Try knocking on the doors in the local area where
the accident occurred and head onto Facebook and share the news on local pet
groups. There are also lost and found groups and websites that may help you to
locate the owner.
- The vet can check for a microchip and find the
owner that way. If the cat is sadly killed, the vet can keep the pet in cold
storage until the owner is located. You won’t be asked to pay for the treatment
given or for the deceased animal.
- If you’re unable to go to the 24 hour emergency
vet you could try asking a friend to help or contacting the RSPCA. The RSPCA
can perform roadside microchip scanning if necessary.
- The very last resort is to contact the council
but please note that many councils take the pets to landfill and they don’t
perform microchip scans.
Find out more information on what to do when you hit a cat on
the Cat Matters website.
There are a few main tips on preventing your cat from being involved in RTAs including neutering, reflective collars, nightime curfews and controlling your cat's outdoor territory with a cat fence barrier, catio or cat enclosure. For more advice, read our blog post here.