What to Do If Your Cat Is Drowning in the Pool

Cat Drowning

Most cats avoid the water. However, they can wind up in it anyway for various reasons. A cat owner who sees their cat in their pool should get it out as soon as possible, particularly since it may or may not be able to get out on its own. That should be simple if the cat is in waters shallow enough for the cat owner to wade in.  Unfortunately, things become much more complicated if the cat is in waters deep enough to pose a problem for the cat owner because PetMD says people shouldn’t put themselves at risk.

Instead, the cat owner might want to use an object to assist. For example, a fishing net on a pole can scoop the cat out. Similarly, a pool noodle or some other floatation device can give the cat something to hold onto. If these things aren’t possible, there is always the option of calling for help.

What Should You Do If Your Cat Is Drowning Somewhere Else?

Of course, cats can fall into bodies of water other than pools. Cat owners should only move to get their cats out on their own if they are 100 percent sure the waters present no danger to them whatsoever. It isn’t enough for them to think they will be fine because staying afloat is a very different matter from staying afloat while trying to rescue a panicking animal. Instead, cat owners need to know they can just wade in to grab their cats before wading out. For example, there is no issue with getting a cat that has fallen into a toilet bowl. Similarly, there is no issue with getting a cat that has fallen into a pond shallow enough for a person to walk in.

Otherwise, people should stay out of the water. Their desire to save their cats is understandable, which is why they should call for help as soon as possible. The single biggest issue is that they could put themselves at risk if they head in on their own. As reported by the BBC, it isn’t unknown for pet owners to get themselves killed while trying to save pets that eventually manage to get themselves out of the water. Furthermore, if people encounter trouble, they will hinder other people’s efforts to rescue their pets. After all, if emergency responders have to choose between a pet and a pet owner, they will choose the pet owner every single time. That means holding up the rescue of the pet, thus increasing the chances of a poorer outcome for said animal.

Instead, people should stick to things they can do without putting themselves at risk in the process. Calling for help is the first step. Subsequently, they should check for branches and other long objects for their cats to latch onto. That may or may not be enough to get their cats out of the water. Even so, buying time is valuable in its own right.

What Should You Do Once Your Cat Is Out of the Water?

Once the cat is out of the water, the cat owner’s next steps should depend on whether the cat is breathing fine or not. If the cat is breathing fine, the cat owner should rinse it off using warm water, dry it, and then do their best to keep it warm. In contrast, if the cat isn’t breathing, the cat owner should hold it upside down by the hind legs for about a minute. That might sound brutal. Unfortunately, it is necessary to facilitate the draining of water from the cat’s lungs. After the minute is up, the cat owner should provide artificial respiration and CPR.

Cat World says artificial respiration involves opening the cat’s mouth, clearing the cat’s mouth of any obstacles, and straightening the cat’s neck. Then, the cat owner should use their fingers to keep the cat’s snout closed, place their mouth over the cat’s mouth, and then blow hard enough to make the cat’s chest rise while remaining gentle about it. They are supposed to do one breath every 4 to 5 seconds.


As for CPR, the cat owner should put the cat on a flat surface, cup hands over the cat’s chest, and then press down on the chest about 1 inch. They are supposed to do about 100 to 120 chest compressions in a single minute. Moreover, they are supposed to give one breath for every 5 chest compressions or so.

Whatever the outcome, the cat owner should bring their cat to the veterinarian. Even if the cat seems fine, it might not be so. Indeed, near-drowning can be lethal, which is why veterinarians like to observe cats for 24 hours after such incidents. Besides this, veterinarians also have the expertise, experience, and equipment needed to figure out whether there are any lingering issues before providing treatment for them. The exact treatments can see enormous variation from case to case.

The veterinarian might provide the cat with oxygen if it is still experiencing breathing problems. Similarly, the veterinarian might provide the cat with IV fluids and warming blankets for hypothermia. Ultimately, the situation won’t be clear until veterinary professionals perform the relevant tests.

How to Prevent Cats From Drowning?

Summed up, being in the water is an extremely dangerous experience for cats. As a result, cat owners should put serious thought into preventing such occurrences. Pool fencing is a great way to prevent entry, but please note that pool fencing meant for keeping out children isn’t necessarily capable of keeping out cats. Oftentimes, it is a good idea to install a path where cats can walk out of the pool as a just-in-case precaution.

Of course, people can also keep their cats indoors, which should minimize the risk of their cats falling into pools. Sadly, that won’t eliminate the risk of their cats getting in trouble in water altogether. After all, they can get into trouble in sinks, toilets, and other things filled with water, so interested individuals should keep a watchful eye out even for their indoor cats.

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