House fire in multiple cat household, how to save them?
I am not an alarmist or anything, but I was talking with a friend of mine and we were discussing this issue "What would happen if there was a fire or another emergency in our homes/apartments and we would have to get them out real fast" ?
I have 9 cats, and I am very aloof as to how I could get them all out together and safe.
I have 3 pet carriers and when comes time to go to the vet, I can put 2 cats in one.
But I don't see myself running down the stairs from my 3rd floor apartment with 3 pet carriers containing each 3 cats (considering that certain cats don't really get along to share a pet carrier...)
Let alone trying to fit 3 cats in there together without one of them escaping or refusing to get in...
I also think that I would suffer extreme clawing damage to my hands and body,(but that's ok if it means they would be out safe)...
Leaving the doors open for them to 'run out' on their own dosn't really seem like an option since they are strictly indoor cats and never went outside, tho I would do this if it meant trying to save their lives by giving them the chance to escape. They would also probably be very scared and panicked once outside in all the noise and commotion of the fire trucks and people standing around.
Do any of you who have a multiple cat household ever taught of this possible situation?
If so, what are your escape plans?
Any ideas as to how to evacuate quickly a large number of cats?
Do you know of companies who make big bags or things of the sort to get pets out? My friend and I taught of putting the cats in pillow cases, but I doubt the pillow cases would resist the clawing of a panicked cat...
Thanks for your input, any ideas or sugestions are very welcomed.
As I always say, it's best to be prepared!
I remember once starting a thread about this. Emergencies in general (including a fire) when you have pets.
Well for once I've thought I also don't have enough carriers and it's a must. At least enough to put together the ones that get along, however, sone emergencies such as a fire or an earthquake give you little time to make such accommodations.
I still think having enough carriers is important though.
If your apartment is not big that helps too, making it easier to locate as many as you can.
Having means of identification it's a must if worse case scenario you have to just open the door to save their lives. Microchip, tags and tattoo bonanza for everyone so you get a better chance to reunite later. Licesing them helps too. it just takes time to do all this because when multicat household all these expenses multiply by, 9, 10, 12 :D etc
So one must keep that in mind to do one or 2 at a time until everyone's covered.
I read that licensing dogs and cats has increased the success rate of reuniting pets with their humans a lot.
Keep the carriers in the same place, know your exits. Put a sticker on your door alerting the firefighters how many animals live there with you and who to get a hold of in case of emergency. ..
I would be inclined to get a large crate, maybe one with wheels. Then do the trick I learned from watching shows like Animal Cops to get more than 1 in, turn the crate on it's end and lower them in, closing the door between each one. May not make them happy but better po'd for a couple of hours then dead.
I have 4 cats and 4 crates but if I had more it would be something I'd do. I do have a dog crate that's for a large dog, so if need be, I'd just toss them all in it and drag it outside.
I would buy collars with bells for the cats encase there is fire you may not be able to see your cats but you may be able to hear the bells and find your cats faster. Maybe you try to train your cats to come to you on command and do not use a treat as there will be no time to give one during a fire.
So far I like your ideas. I do need more pet carriers indeed.
Also, another option, (one of my friends suggested) would be for me to get a long rope with a carabiner, like they use for mountain climbing, attached at one end, this way I can rig the pet carriers together by their handles and lower them as slowly and gently as possible, down from my front or back patio... surely it would be kinda rough ride for the cats, but they would be safely evacuated.
I am surprised no one ever came up with an invention of some sort for this kind of situation...
You could check with your fire department and see if they have any stickers for your windows that alert the fire department to save your cats if there a fire and you're not home. Or you could made some sign yourself .
This is a good subject. Worthy of thought, and good planning. Being a house of multi-cats, thought of fire has been on my mind several different times over the years. I have a couple of avenues in case of fire. One is I have a cat condo on the outside of the bungalow that I live in, that is accessed from the computer room window. This kitty condo is accessible year-round so the cats can go outside and enjoy a bit of fresh air. In the case of an emergency the cats could be put into the condo and the window closed. There are a couple of small doors in the condo outside where a person could retrieve the animals, and put them in a secure location. The 2nd is; I have cages in the house for all the cats. 3 cages are secured to a briefcase carrier with bungee cords. This equipment is In the spare bedroom, and the cages are left open all the time. The cats use the cages periodically as a hideaway so there's no problem putting the cats in the cage if the need arises. The briefcase carrier is like a 2 wheeled cargo hand truck. You would just tip It like a club bag and pull it out on it's wheels. The 2 small cats could go in one of the other carriers, so one trip would get all the cats out.
There are a lot of things to take into consideration. You aren't overly blessed with time, so whatever your planning has to be simple and fast. When you leave the building you'll want all the cats to be going with you at that time, because quite often you don't get a 2nd chance in. The last thing you want to be doing is opening doors or windows to get animals out, and letting fresh air and drafts in to feed the fire.
I know with my 2 options I'd prefer to take the 2nd using the briefcase carrier, rather than opening a window. But the situation at hand will dictate the action to be taken under the circumstances.
Hopefully my plans will spur some thoughts on what to do in case of an emergency. These type of emergencies happen to the other people, maybe we should wear the other people's shoes for time so we can make their plans for them.
Our regional television news program when covering fires house or otherwise normally lists animals lost or injured in fires. It is kind of surprising at the number of fatalities over a year.
[QUOTE]You could check with your fire department and see if they have any stickers for your windows that alert the fire department to save your cats if there a fire and you're not home. Or you could made some sign yourself . [/QUOTE]
As Barkingdog mentioned, I know from talking to volunteer firefighters these window stickers are paid attention to where used. So it might be worthwhile putting some stickers on the windows.
Yes, I do have a sticker in my door, from the ASPCA, stating I have 9 cats and to help them in case of fire.
The cat condo with acess from the house is great, but I live on the 3rd floor and don't have this option unfortunately...
Yes I gathered you are on the 3rd floor according to your first post.
[QUOTE]But I don't see myself running down the stairs from my 3rd floor apartment with 3 pet carriers containing each 3 cats (considering that certain cats don't really get along to share a pet carrier...)[/QUOTE]
When you are living at ground-level it has a tendency of keeping things more or less simple compared to apartment living. I was just thinking that the quandary you're in might be better addressed by your local fire station. Being an apartment block they will have had to have done fire inspections of the property in the past, and they should be able to shed some light on your problem. Depending on the structure whether it is framed or masonary, which would dictate the speed of fire will dictate the procedures required to save the animals, and the boys at the fire hall could be your best bet for getting answers to your question.
I am glad you brought the subject up. It's something we all should think about, but as I said before it only happens to the other guy. If you decide to check out the fire department I would be interested in hearing what they suggest.
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