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Artificial Respiration and CPR in Cats

When and How to Perform Artificial Respiration or CPR on Cats

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Artificial respiration is an emergency procedure that is performed when a cat is not breathing. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), on the other hand, is performed when a cat is not breathing and does not have a heartbeat. Therefore, CPR requires the use of artificial respiration and heart massage.

Both artificial respiration and CPR are emergency procedures that can save the life of a distressed cat. However, it is important to look out for the signs of an emergency situation before beginning either of these procedures, as they may inflict extensive damage on a healthy cat.

Types of Emergencies

  • Choking
  • Coma
  • Electric Shock
  • Poisoning
  • Severe injury or trauma
  • Neurological disturbances (e.g., seizures)

Artificial Respiration for Cats

  1. Lay the cat on a table, ground or flat surface, making sure its right side is down.
  2. Open the cat’s mouth and airway, removing any obstructions.
  3. Gently pull the tongue forward and close the mouth.
  4. While holding the cat’s mouth gently closed with one hand, place your mouth over the cat’s nose.
  5. Blow into its nostrils in a gentle manner. (The cat's chest should expand. Also, excess air will escape from the cat’s mouth, so make sure you have not closed it hard.)
  6. If the chest does not rise and fall, blow with more force.
  7. Blow once every 4 to 5 seconds (12 to 15 times in one minute).
  8. Repeat the procedure until the cat begins to breathe on its own.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

  1. Repeat steps 1-7 from Artificial Respiration
  2. Place your fingers and thumb on both sides of the cat's chest (sternum), behind its elbows.
  3. Compress the chest three times every two seconds, and then blow into the nose again.
  4. Repeat the procedure until the cat has a heartbeat and it begins to breathe naturally.

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This article has been approved by the PetMD.com Veterinarian Board. Reprinted with permission from PetMD.com.

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