by Barbara George
Tellington Ttouch Behaviourist
Accidents and emergencies happen so quickly. While we can be prepared for the most possible ones it is always a shock for us as well as our cats when something unexpected happens. Cats can die from shock as well as from the trauma that caused it.
Shock occurs when the heart does not supply sufficient oxygen-rich blood to vital organs. This can be the result of a trauma or accident and requires immediate veterinary care as shock can cause brain damage and even death. If your cat is still responsive, wrap him up in a towel to keep him warm until you can take him to a vet. Keep his head lower than his heart to encourage blood flow to the brain.
While taking them to the vet, or waiting for the vet to come to you, it seems as if time stands still and we tend to feel helpless. In all situations of trauma or shock professional veterinary care is imperative. These suggestions are intended as additional and can in no way heal your cat, they may help to keep him conscious and stable until he can reach a vet. It is also calming for owners and carers to have a task instead of feeling helpless.
Be as gentle and calm as possibles so as not to cause additional stress for him. Breathe deeply and slowly. Talk softly and lovingly; if he can hear it will help him to know you are there.
Depending on the injuries and you access to him, ear touches from Tellington Touch can help with shock. Stroking the ears, especially the tips, is known to reduce the effects of shock and make him more comfortable as it influences the circulatory system and can aid with respiration.
To do the ear TTouch, support your cat’s head with one hand. With the other hand, hold the ear between your thumb (on top) and the rest of your hand (curled underneath to provide support) and gently slide with your thumb from the base of the ear to the tip, covering the whole ear in one or more strokes. Include the base of the ear as this can help with breathing. The pressure should be firm but gentle, making contact without tickling or pressing too hard.
Use the same principle to work on your own ear, sliding it between your index finger and thumb, and covering the whole ear from the tip to the lobe. Use comfortable, gentle pressure – it should not hurt! Doing this when you feel the first signs of stress can help settle your emotions.
The whiskers are a major sensory organ providing the brain with information. Cats that are conscious but not responding may be helped by touching and manipulating the whiskers. This may help with seizures too.
For more information on the Tellington TTouch method, visit