How to Give Your Cat CPR

If your cat loses consciousness for any reason, it may stop breathing and then its heart might stop. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an attempt top restart the heart and restore breathing. It involves pushing down repeatedly on the heart to keep the blood flowing and immediately giving artificial respiration. It's easier for two people to give CPR together, as one person will work on the heart while the other does artificial respiration [source: Glendale Animal Hospital]. If you're doing it alone, you will have to alternate between pumping the heart and providing artificial respiration [source: Foster and Smith]. Here's how to give CPR to your cat.

  1. Put the cat on its side.
  2. Make sure nothing is blocking the cat's airway by checking that there are no foreign objects in its mouth.
  3. Extend the cat's head and neck.
  4. Give artificial respiration by blowing into the nose of the cat, while keeping its mouth shut. Breathe twice into the cat's nose, allowing the air to leave its lungs in between each breath. You should see the chest rise and fall as you give the breaths. Do this about 20 times per minute.
  5. Lay the palm of one hand over the cat's rib cage, over the heart. Place the other hand on top of the first hand.
  6. Push down about one inch (2.5 centimeters) and then release the pressure. You should press and release about 80 times a minute.
  7. Give two breaths to the animal for artificial respiration after administering 30 compressions.
  8. Continue until your cat breathes by itself [sources: University of Washington, Foster and Smith].