April 2013 Issue

Be Ready to Act in a Choking Emergency

Common hazards are string, needles and large amounts of dry food.

Our cats don’t live in a protective bubble, and their feline curiosity can create potential choking hazards. Some cats can start to choke if they gobble large amounts of dry food too quickly or accidentally swallow string. Witnessing your cat in a wide-legged stance, coughing, gasping for breath can be frightening. That’s why it’s vital to know the proper response to keep him safe. “Cats can choke on kibble or toys, but most commonly, they come to the emergency room choking on a foreign object due to chewing on thread or swallowing needles,” says Dan Fletcher, DVM, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Emergency and Critical Care at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

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