What to Do If Your Cat Is Choking

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Our pet cats are playful, they used to play rolling objects and other small toys such as pen cap, thimble, or bell. They are like curious about everything they see and trying to figure it out, can cause them trouble.

If they saw something like toys or small object, they play and bite it. For that instance, that object can stock in their throat and cause them to choke.

Aside from toys, their foods can also cause choking especially when they eat fast. They might not bite their food well which can result in choking.

Choking is the cause for the cat to feel a hard time in breathing because something is in the trachea or larynx of the cat which prevents air to flow. It is a rare incident to the cats but it is life-threatening to them.

How would you know if they are choking?

You would know if the cat is choking with these signs:

  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Coughing
  • Panicking
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Fainting
  • Loss of appetite

As a cat owner, you will do something and help them to remove that thing in their throat.

Here are the steps to remove the lodge in their airway.


A. If awake and not too upset

    1. Remove by using fingers

  • If you saw your cat removing something in his mouth and you can feel that he is not too upset. Go near him and if he didn’t move, try to grab him and look for the object he is removing. Hold your cat’s head with one hand, then the other will open the cat’s mouth.
  • Use your thumb and index finger to open the cat’s mouth.
  • If the mouth is already opened, softly pull the tongue out and remove the object with your finger or long-nose pliers.
  • If you have removed it safely and the cat is fine, then you did a great job.

   2. Remove by shaking

  • Grab the back legs of the cat and hold him upside down.
  • shake the cat strongly.
  • While shaking, slap the back of the cat softly to help to remove the lodge.
  • If the lodge is removed slowly bring down the cat.

   3. Remove by pressing the abdomen

  • Lay the cat on its side.
  • Using one hand, place your thumb on the last rib on one side of the abdomen and the remaining fingers on the other side.
  • Press your fingers together three to four times.
  • Repeat until the object will be removed.

   4. If none of the 3 ways can dislodge it, go immediately to the veterinarian.


B. If unconscious and having difficulty breathing

   1. Do the Heimlich Maneuver

  • The cat should be layed on its side.
  • Place your hand along his back.
  • Put your other one on his belly, right below the ribs.
  • Push the belly several times.
  • Open the mouth and remove the foreign object.
  • Close the mouth and give him a small breath through the nose.
  • If you can feel that nothing is in his airway and he is breathing normally, just wait for him to wake up.

   2. Artificial Respiration for a Cat

  • Lay the cat on its side.
  • Remove the object.
  • Inline the head with the neck. Hold the cat’s head and blow safely into its nostrils. Control one breath every five seconds. Do it until you see the chest rise.
  • If you saw the chest rise, stop and look if he can breathe on its own.
  • If not, continue artificial respiration while transporting him to the veterinarian.

C. If unconscious and no heartbeat

   1. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

  • If you feel that his heart is not beating, do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  • Lay the cat on its side.
  • Kneel down near the head of the cat.
  • Hold the chest and let the breastbone rest in your palm, your thumb on one side of the chest and your fingers on the other. Your fingers and thumb should fall in the middle of the chest.
  • Press your fingers together three to four times per second.
  • Every 30 second alternately hold the cat’s head and blow safely into its nostrils. Control one breath every five seconds. Do it until you see the chest rise.
  • You can check the heartbeat between the cat’s elbow and the center of its chest.
  • Continue CPR while transporting him to the veterinarian.

CONCLUSION

Those little four-legged friends are like children we have to be aware of what they are playing. And we have to be responsible for keeping the small objects away from them, for them not to suffer from choking or other problems that a small object can cause them.

There are the steps on how to help your cat remove the object that causes him to have a hard time breathing. We cat owners should be aware of what is happening to our pets.

If you cannot do the steps above on your own. Then all you can do is immediately bring your cat to the veterinarian. Because they are the experts when it comes to our pets.

94 thoughts on “What to Do If Your Cat Is Choking”

  1. My cat who is indoor only and my companion animal -he was a beautiful 12 yr old lilac Himalayan -I spoiled him -never allowed him to go outside other than in a carrier to go to the groomer. I fed him all the best foods -he had more toys than you could ever imagine -and I was at home all the time and I put cat videos on the tv for him that he liked to watch and played Cat relaxing music for him and the other day, he was coughing up a hairball and then fell over, stopped breathing w/ puke coming from his mouth -I panicked -I didn’t know what to do and I called the vet and they could give me no instructions whatsoever and so I ended up taking him to the vet but when I got there they said he was already gone & gave me no information or clarity on the cause of death. It was heartbreaking -I think he was choking. I never saw any signs of any problems whatsoever and he seemed happy and healthy that same day he died so suddenly -I’m still in shock and have not made peace with what happened. I wish that I had read your article so that I could perform these steps before he had to pass. Maybe I could’ve saved him.

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