CHOKING

 

Warning: Cboking is one of the signs of rabies. if a strange cat appears to be choking but has no obvious injury, rabies is a possibility. The same is true of any cat that has not been vaccinated. If you do not know the cat, stay away from it and call the nearest animal control center.

Method I

If the cat is one you know and you believe that an object, such as a bone, might be in its throat and obstructing the cat's breathing, reach in with your fingers or tweezers and try to remove it. if the blockage is further down, lay the cat on its side, place the heel of your hand just behind the last rib, angling slightly upward, and push firmly, but not so firmly as to break the ribs. Four quick thrusts should dislodge the obstruction; if not, try again. If unsuccessful, take the cat to a veterinarian.

 

Method II

Immediately look inside your cat's mouth for any obvious foreign body. DO NOT poke about in his mouth without looking, or you may push a foreign body back into his throat.

If there is a foreign body in the mouth, attempt to remove it (use the tweezers (dull point) or pencil (eraser end) in your first-aid kit if appropriate). However, if the object appears to be deep in your cat's throat, leave it alone or you may push it further down towards his airway.

If your cat is choking, quickly lift him up by his hindlegs so that his head is dangling down, and slap the side of his rib cage with two fingers of your free hand, in sharp, 'cough-like', jerky movements. You should only move your hands a little, in order to stimulate a sudden rush of air from his lungs: this should help to dislodge any foreign body stuck at the back of the throat. Be sensible about the amount of pressure that you apply, particularly with a kitten.  Do not slap too hard or you may break the ribs.

As soon as your cat coughs out the foreign body, settle him on the ground and let him calm down in his own time.

Ensure that your cat cannot leave the house.

Continue to watch over your cat. Be careful not to stimulate him in any way, and try to discourage him from moving about.

Contact your vet to tell your vet what has happened. There is little point in doing so sooner (unless you have someone with you who can make a telephone call), as this will waste precious time: your cat's best chance of survival rests with you.

 

This Section was inspired by and dedicated to Mickey.

 

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