How to check your cat's pulse at home

  • Mochi
  • September 17, 2023

Checking your cat's pulse can provide valuable information about its heart rate and circulation. Here's a guide on how to check your cat's pulse at home:

Finding the Pulse

The most accessible place to feel your cat's pulse is the femoral artery, located on the inside of the thigh.

  • Position: Lay your cat on its side or have someone gently hold the cat while it's standing.
  • Locate: Place your fingers on the inside of the thigh, close to where the leg meets the body. You should be able to feel the femoral artery here.

Measuring the Pulse

  • Counting: Once you've located the pulse, use a stopwatch or your phone to time a full minute. Count the number of beats during that time.
  • Consistency: The pulse should feel strong and regular. Note any irregularities or weak pulses.

Normal Pulse Rate

  • Resting Rate: A typical resting heart rate for cats is between 140-220 beats per minute. However, this can vary based on factors like age, health, and stress levels.

Check for Other Signs

  • Gum Color: As with checking breathing, the gums can provide clues about circulation. They should be pink. Pale, blue, or gray gums can indicate poor circulation or other health issues.
  • Capillary Refill Time (CRT): Press gently on your cat's gum until it turns white, then release. The color should return within 1-2 seconds. A longer CRT can indicate poor circulation or dehydration.


  • Stay Calm: Cats can easily pick up on your emotions. If you're anxious, your cat might become anxious too, which can elevate its heart rate.
  • Regular Checks: Make it a routine to check your cat's pulse every few weeks or if you suspect any issues.
  • Avoid Over-reliance: While checking the pulse at home is valuable, it's just one aspect of your cat's health. If you're concerned about your cat's pulse or any other aspect of its health, consult a veterinarian.
  • Record Keeping: Maintain a log of your cat's regular pulse rate. This can help you notice any deviations over time.

Remember, while home checks are valuable for early detection of potential issues, they don't replace professional examinations. Regular veterinary check-ups will ensure a comprehensive assessment of your cat's cardiovascular health.