Signs Your Cat is Choking & What to Do


We all love our feline friends and want to keep them safe and healthy. But what happens when your beloved cat starts choking? It can be a terrifying experience, but don’t panic! In this article, we will discuss the signs to look out for when your cat is choking and what steps you can take to help them. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so we will also explore how you can minimize the chances of your cat choking in the future.

Signs Your Cat is Choking

Most cats will exhibit a combination of the following symptoms if they are choking:

  • Coughing
  • Distress
  • Salivation
  • Blue mucus membranes (cyanosis)
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Gagging or retching
  • Rubbing their face against the ground

If you notice any of these signs, it’s crucial to act quickly. Follow the steps below and seek emergency care for your pet at our trusted Katten TrimSalon animal hospital.

What To Do If Your Cat is Choking

Remove The Object if Possible

The first step is to restrain your kitty gently. Choking cats may panic and harm themselves in the process. If the choking is caused by a cord, string, or any other item wrapped around the neck, carefully use a pair of scissors to cut it off.

If your cat is choking on an object lodged in their mouth or throat, try opening their mouth to see if you can locate the object. If it’s visible, attempt to swipe it away with your finger.

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However, if you cannot see the object, please avoid attempting to poke your finger down your pet’s throat as this could potentially cause injury. If swiping doesn’t dislodge the object, refrain from pushing or poking it further down the throat.

Heimlich Maneuver for Cats & Dogs

If you are unable to remove the choking object, you will need to perform the Heimlich maneuver:

  1. Lay your pet on their side.
  2. Hold your pet’s back against your stomach (head up, paws down).
  3. With one hand, find the soft hollow under the ribs (your closed fist should fit into this spot).
  4. Use the hand on your pet’s stomach to pull up and in two or three times, toward your own stomach, using a sharp thrusting motion.
  5. Check the mouth to determine if the object has been dislodged.


If the previous steps haven’t worked and your cat loses their pulse, it’s time to begin CPR. Administer approximately 120 chest compressions per minute and continue until you reach the veterinary practice.

What to do After the Choking has Stopped

Even if you manage to successfully remove the choking object from your cat’s airway, it’s always wise to bring them to the vet. Only a professional can ensure that no internal harm was caused by the choking incident.

Preventing Future Choking

To minimize the chances of your cat experiencing another choking episode, it’s important to be proactive. Keep an eye out for anything that could be a potential choking hazard.

While dog and cat food is generally formulated with the animals’ size in mind, it’s still a good idea to monitor them during mealtime. Additionally, be cautious with the toys you provide for your pets. Ensure they don’t contain small pieces that could break off and become potential choking hazards.

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Remember, accidents can happen, but with proper care and vigilance, we can keep our furry companions safe and sound.

Note: The advice provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice for pets. For an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, please make an appointment with your trusted vet.

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