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
- Electric Shock
- Severe injury or trauma
- Neurological disturbances (e.g., seizures)
Artificial Respiration for Cats
- Lay the cat on a table, ground or flat surface, making sure its right side is down.
- Open the cat’s mouth and airway, removing any obstructions.
- Gently pull the tongue forward and close the mouth.
- While holding the cat’s mouth gently closed with one hand, place your mouth over the cat’s nose.
- 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.)
- If the chest does not rise and fall, blow with more force.
- Blow once every 4 to 5 seconds (12 to 15 times in one minute).
- Repeat the procedure until the cat begins to breathe on its own.
- Repeat steps 1-7 from Artificial Respiration
- Place your fingers and thumb on both sides of the cat's chest (sternum), behind its elbows.
- Compress the chest three times every two seconds, and then blow into the nose again.
- Repeat the procedure until the cat has a heartbeat and it begins to breathe naturally.
- Shock Due to Decrease in Circulation in Cats
- Insufficient Blood Flow in Cats
- Antifreeze Poisoning in Cats
- Heat Stroke in Cats
This article has been approved by the PetMD.com Veterinarian Board. Reprinted with permission from PetMD.com.