How To Help a Choking Cat

first aid sign for pets
Watching our cats cough or choke isn’t all that usual due to the notorious hairball. However it is important not to assume that every time you see or hear coughing and/or choking, it is due to a hair ball. As you know our felines are very inquisitive creatures and sometimes they get into things they shouldn’t. Here are four steps you should follow if you notice that your cat is choking and in distress.
  1. Approach the cat with ease and try to stay calm. Remember, our animals can sense when we are nervous. Of course this will be difficult, but do your best. If your cat is nervous or anxious, restrain the cat if necessary.
  2. Clear the cat’s airway.
  3. Gently tilt the cat’s head back so its nose is pointing upward. Push your thumb toward your finger and the the mouth will open.
  4. Gently pull the tongue out. If you can see the object, try to remove it with your fingers or needle-nose pliers.
  5. If object is a needle and it is embedded deeply in the roof of the mouth, do NOT continue to try and remove the object. Go to your vet ASAP. If the cat is in distress, do your best to keep the tongue pulled out of the mouth (with ease).
  6. If object still cannot be removed, lay the cat on its side, place your palms behind the last rib on both sides of the abdomen, and press your palms together quickly three or four times. If the object is still caught, repeat.
* If you have a difficult time restraining your cat and/or you cannot remove the object,  pick up the cat by grasping its back legs; turn it upside down and shake vigorously. Slapping the back while shaking may help to dislodge the object. (This may sound harsh, you’re not abusing your cat. If your cat is choking this may save their life!)

Do not keep trying to dislodge an object of you are successful after the first or second attempt.  If you cannot dislodge the object, seek veterinarian care STAT.

Always remember to keep small objects out of your cats reach that the suspect they may be curious about. Always use caution when giving your cat certain toys and be sure they are cat friendly. Be sure to share these tips with your fellow cat lovers!

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