©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Step 3b

There are many dimensions to cat care -- and an important one is tending to your pet when it is injured. To successfully help an injured cat, you must remember it has five weapons: the mouth and four sets of claws. An injured cat is likely to also be frightened -- especially if it thinks it's being cornered by you -- so great caution must be taken when approaching the animal. After all, it is discouraging -- and painful -- to be scratched or bitten by a frightened cat you are trying to assist. Here's how to approach an injured cat:

Step 1: Approach the cat slowly, speaking in a reassuring tone of voice.

Step 2: Move close to the cat without touching it.

Step 3: Stoop down to the cat. While continuing to speak, observe its eyes and body language.

Step 3a: If the cat is wide-eyed, ears back, growling and hissing, do not attempt to pet it.

Step 3b: If the cat is shivering and crouching, attempt to reassure it by petting it, first behind the head. If this is permitted, pet the rest of the head and the neck. Scratching the ears and stroking under the chin is often comforting.

©Publications International, Ltd.