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Normal Cat Pulse

by Michael
(London, UK)

The normal cat pulse for an adult cat runs at a rate of 140 to 240 beats per minute. However, a resting cat might have a pulse rate of 80. The pulse is the number of times the heart beats in a minute. The pulse is a “transmitted heartbeat”2.

The human pulse runs at 72 beats per minute for an adult at rest1. Heavy exercise raises it to variable higher levels such as 140 beat per minute.

How to check a cat’s pulse rate?

It is “easily detected”2 by feeling the femoral artery – an artery that runs down the inside of the hind legs.

It can be checked when the cat is standing or lying on his or her back.

You feel along the inside of the thigh at the point where the leg and body meet. The finger should be pressed against the leg to locate the pulse.

Checking for a normal cat pulse can also be carried out by feeling for the pulse while pressing against the rib cage over the heart. While the cat is standing “feel behind the elbow”2.

Diseased or enlarged hearts may produce a buzzing or vibration over the chest wall.

The pulse should be strong and steady.

Slow pulse: indicates, heart disease, pressure on the brain or “an advanced morbid condition causing collapse of the circulation”2.

Fast pulse; indicates, excitement, high activity, infection, heat stroke, heart disease, fever, anemia, blood loss, dehydration or shock.

Irregular pulse: indicates an arrhythmia. This is an abnormal heart rhythm.



2. Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook

From Normal Cat Pulse to Cat Health Problems

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Normal Cat Pulse

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May 05, 2011 Would appreciate advice for F kitten
by: Anonymous

Greetings, Michael; Our 10 mo kitten, Felicia, was missing for three hours this morning. When she appeared, she seemed in great pain in her abdomen, chirrups a lot, and licks both nether regions almost constantly…husband was upset last night, lost his trmper w/me, and the cat was highly upset..could she have Brucella Abortis?

She ate beef twice this week. Many thanks,
and thecat pictures are pure enchantment. B

Aug 29, 2010 Hi Michael
by: Ruth

Hi Michael,we are fine thanks,we took some time off yesterday after our extra busy week and feel ready to face the fray again now.
Walt and Jo are fine too,they are sitting on the lawn enjoying the sun as we speak.

Aug 28, 2010 Hi Ruth
by: Michael

Thanks for the comment. I hope you and Babz are well – and the cats, of course.

Aug 27, 2010 Thank you Michael
by: Ruth

Your articles are always well thought out and educational and this is another I’ll save as a link to use for explanations on questions about a cat’s pulse.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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