By March 29, 2012 Read More →

Bug-Out Bag / 72 Hour Kit for your Cat

There is nothing more frightening then preparing your family during a crisis to evacuate and wondering if you picked the right items to pack into the car.  Then out of the corner of your eye, you see your cat. How could you have forgotten!  Pets ARE family, and the thought of leaving them behind is absurd for many people, but unfortunately some decide to abandon pets because they are unprepared, frightened or hope to come back later to retrieve them.  However, there are steps you can take to ensure your cat’s packing is as easy as grab and go.

The easiest place to store your cat’s bug-out bag is inside their carrier. In my cat’s bug-out bag I have the following items:

  • MINIMUM 5-day supply of any medications your cat takes (the longer your supply lasts, the better)
  • Medical Records (Vet records, microchip papers, list of medications)
  • Small first aid kit (you don’t have to buy a special one if you already have one)
  • 12 cans/pouches of wet cat food
  • 6.8 lbs of dry cat food
  • 2 liters of water (more is better, I could have fit another 2 liters in my carrier)
  • 2 small bowls (I choose smaller bowls, so if water is spilled, it doesn’t leave a big mess and less is wasted, but make sure it stays filled!)
  • Cat brush
  • Feliway Spray (Helps prevent symptoms of stress, spray 15 mins prior to loading)
  • Blanket
  • Shoebox (to use as litter box)
  • 3 quart-size zip lock bags of cat litter
  • 3 plastic grocery bags (to line shoe box with)
  • Bag of scented small garbage bin liners and large gallon zip bag (for cat feces)
  • 1 bag of cat treats
  • Toys
  • Catnip



It may seem like a lot, but I was able to fit it all inside my cat’s carrier.



Other items to consider:
Anti-Diarrheal Aid for cats
Benadryl – half a pink tablet makes your cat drowsy (at your own risk AND not frequently)
Picture of your cat

Now, if you wanted to skip all the formalities of assembling your own cat-bug out bag, I came across two preassembled options: The MayDay CATastrophy Kit for Cats (about $40) and the Ready America 77100 Cat Evacuation Kit, with pet carrier (about $60). Both can be found on AMAZON.

In the end, your cat bug-out bag should be what you consider to be the MOST important items to take for your pet to ensure their welfare and happiness. A healthy, well-fed and stress-free pet is a happy one!

– JLYNN216

NEXT WEEK: Dog Bug-out Bags or 72 Hour Kits

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7 Comments on "Bug-Out Bag / 72 Hour Kit for your Cat"

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  1. Todd Eastman says:

    There is only one problem. What do you do when it is time to actually bug out? You have all this great stuff packed in the carrier, but what happens when you actually need to put the cat inside the carrier? Where do you put the shoebox and litter, not to mention food and water? This is my dilemma with my own cat. Dogs are much easier in this regard.

    • Our cat has his own “bug out bag” at the front door next to ours. However, we have everything for him packed into a 2 gallon bucket. He is harness trained (yes…a harness trained cat!). His cat carrier is collapsible and he even has a small litter box that fits inside it. He has traveled with us in the car, so he is used to long trips and we know exactly how to set up the car to accommodate him, and all our bug out stuff, if ever needed.

      As we are also on a very tight budget, we were able to get his complete ‘kit’ done with many free or inexpensive items (yay Dollar Tree!), yet still include the regular food, litter & toys he’s used to. When showing our preps to our local disaster prep agency, they immediately asked if they could use our kit info when instructing others how to set up their pet prep bags!

  2. JLynn216 says:


    Great question! There are several options for your Cat 72-Hr Bag. I worked the scenario that you had to leave NOW and had enough time to grab the carrier and the cat. My cat Karzi is pretty docile so I could have carried him into the car with no fight.

    If your particular cat is troublesome in the car, or a biter, then pack his/her 72-Hr bag in a separate bag from the cat carrier and place them in the same location. If the bag is small enough, you may even be able to fit it inside the cat carrier filled with the items.

    As for what to do with the items once you get inside the car, I would recommend several things (depending on time frame): If you are bugging out to a location within one hour, your cat will be fine without food/water/litter box.  Anything over that, I would recommend unpacking the food/water/litter box and placing the items on the FLOOR of your car, as they are less likely to spill or fall over and make a huge mess. If you are going to be traveling 2 or more hours, I would let the cat out of the carrier and leave the cat a “seat” or a place to lay. Essentially, your cat should have his own seat in the car for a longer ride.

    If that isn’t an option (because you have a full car), someone can HOPEFULLY sit crossed legged in the car so you can place the cat items on the floor. Another option is to unpack the shoebox litterbox, food and water and arranging it neatly into the carrier (litterbox in back) and fit it somewhere in the car where the cat can access it.

    Another safety issue, to ensure cat does not end up under your feet and cause an accident, is to place a barrier between the back and front seat; a sweater or pillow will suffice to keep your cat contained to the back seat so they have a bit more room to roam.

    As for calming your cat down, there are several options: restraining the cat ( or giving them Diphenhydramine ( From personal experience, I have learned the cat will generally stay calmer is they can see you. When I used to make an 8-hr trip from VA to NY with my cat I would generally put her cat carrier facing me from the passenger’s seat.

  3. Todd Eastman says:

    Good answers. Thank you!

  4. Ellen says:

    Great ideas. We are doing our own b-o-b’s now and wanted to know what others are doing for their cats. We keep our cat on a “h” style harness at all times. We have a cat run out side that she loves. We attach her to the leash and out she goes, with us checking on her every few minutes. She also bangs on the screen door when she wants to come in. So getting her in case of an emergency shouldn’t be much of a problem – we just need to “hook” her up to a leash and that is that. We traveled about 500 miles with her camping in our vintage travel trailer and know that she pretty much won’t eat, drink or use her litter box. We were thinking of training her to use a rabbit bottle for her water for traveling. Has anyone ever done this? As for a litter box, do you know if anyone has ever used a long empty tissue box with the top cut out of it? Thank you for your suggestions on what to include in a cat’s bug out bag.

  5. Ellen says:

    I forgot to mention that we keep her on a leash at all times. It can be attached to a buckled seat belt which will limit the area in a vehicle. If it is in a back seat, then she can’t get “under foot”, but she pretty much stays in her cat tunnel carrier or the side of the seat next to the door.

  6. Ellen says:

    Sorry, but I need to clarify a few things: 1-We traveled over 1500 miles on our trip (not 500); 2-the carrier we used is called a “Pet tube” (not tunnel) and 3- we keep her on her leash while in the car at all times and when moving her from the trailer to the car and car to trailer. She also has a micro chip and several tags on her harness.
    She sleeps in the Pet Tube (very roomy) at night because my husband didn’t like to have his head jumped on all night! Cats are so smart. I put her in the trailer’s bathroom, took her paws and scratched the litter box and closed the door for her to use the little box (door is kept open unless someone is using it so she had access to the litter box all the time) The next night, she knew what to do before “going to bed”! Thanks for reading. Ellen