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My Cat is Choking! What Can I Do?

This week, we’re continuing with our collaboration with First Aid for Life. Last week we shared information on what to do if your cat is unconscious. If you haven’t checked out that blog, we recommend you do as the information is useful for all cat owners to know. Today’s topic is what to do when your cat chokes.

Cats can choke and it’s important to know what to do in case of this emergency arising. Watch the short and informative video from First Aid for Life below. You will be shown how to hold the cat and all the steps to follow. It’s a great video that can be shared with friends and family online.

How to Help a Choking Cat

Firstly, it’s important to know that the cat will be in a state of panic. You will need to restrain the cat and take care of your own safety in this situation.

  • Open the cats’ mouth and look to see if there is an obvious object that is blocking the airway that you can remove.
  • If you can’t see anything and the cat is struggling to breathe, call the vet immediately.

Make your way to the vets as soon as you can. Don’t let the steps you may take get in the way of the journey to the vets. The following actions can take place as you travel to the vets.

Heimlich manoeuvre (abdominal thrusts)

Similar to what you do to a human, the Heimlich manoeuvre can help to dislodge an object that is blocking the airways. Make a fist and position it under the rib cage of your cat. Hold your wrist with your other hand and pull in and up in a J shape. Look in the mouth again and you see anything in the mouth you can use tweezers or forceps to reach into the mouth to retrieve the object.

  • There are bones at the back of a cat’s mouth, don’t try to remove these as they are part of the cat’s anatomy.
  • Don’t poke around in the mouth or use a finger sweep, only try to remove anything that is obvious.

You can perform two or three abdominal thrusts. If this works and your cat is now breathing it is important to still take your cat to see the vet. Abdominal thrusts can cause damage and the cat will need to be checked over to ensure they are okay.

Please take a minute to watch the video and share this information with the cat owners you know.