First Aid for Coughing and Choking in Cats

A choking cat needs immediate aid.

Coughing does not require immediate intervention in cats. You should make an appointment with a veterinarian to have the cough diagnosed and treated.

If your cat is choking, you will need to render first aid immediately.

What Does Choking Look Like in Cats?

A cat that is choking is unable to breathe or cannot get enough breath if it's a partial obstruction of the windpipe. If your cat is choking, you will likely see him gagging, retching, and attempting to cough. He will probably start showing signs of panic; he may paw at her mouth.

If an object is completely blocking your cat's airway, you won't have much time to intervene before he passes out and then passes away.

First Aid for a Choking Cat

If you can quickly pull the object out of your cat's mouth, do so. Be aware that your cat might accidentally bite you by closing down on your fingers without meaning to. If you can, use an instrument such as tweezers or a hemostat to grab the object and pull it out.

Do not try to put your fingers into the mouth of a cat that is growling at you.

To get your cat's mouth open, place your hand over the top of his muzzle, then gently press his upper lips with your thumb on one side and your fingers on the other. Then use your other hand to gently pull down on his lower jaw and use a finger to pull his tongue forward so you can see into the back of his mouth.

If you are unable to get into your cat's mouth safely or you can't get the object out, hold him firmly by the back legs and hang him upside down; this may allow the object to fall out. Don't shake him because you may injure him.

If you can't pull the object out of your cat's mouth and it doesn't come out when you hang him upside down, you will need to perform a Heimlich maneuver on him. Here is what to do:

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