Artificial Breathing

Artificial breathing is needed when for reasons including shock, drowning, choking, injury or disease your cat stops breathing. Many times when breathing stops the heart will soon stop as well so you should know how to perform both artificial breathing and CPR.

Questions to ask before performing artificial breathing


  • Is your cat still breathing? You can determine this by watching the chest for a ‘rise and fall’. You can also put your cheek against the cats nose and feel for breathe.
  • Does your cat have a pulse? You can determine this by feeling the femoral artery located in the groin, checking the jugular in the neck, or feeling for the heart in the chest.

Use this chart to determine what is necessary to perform:

Pulse – Yes Pulse – No
Breathing – Yes Heart Massage
Breathing – No Artificial Breathing CPR

Artificial Breathing

  1. Lay the cat on a flat surface with its right side down.
  2. Open the mouth and clear the mouth of any foreign objects, mucus, or vomit. If impossible to reach the obstruction, execute the heimlich manuever.
  3. Pull the tongue forward and close the mouth. Hold the cat’s muzzle closed with your hands and place your mouth over the cat’s nose.
  4. Blow gently into the cat’s nostrils. Blow as forcefully as you need to see the chest rise and fall.
  5. Exhale into the animal’s nose at a rate of 15 to 25 breaths per minute (one breath every 2-4 seconds).
  6. Continue until the cat breathes on its own, or as long as the heart beats.