Capillary Refill Time (CRT)

Checking the mucous membranes and capillary refill time is essential to evaluating the health status of any animal.

Note:  Normal mucous membranes should be pink and moist.


With a thumb or finger, apply pressure to the gums just above or below a tooth.


Once the gums under the thumb have been blanched out, the thumb can be removed. The blanched out area should return to normal color in less than 1-2 seconds.

Note:  If the cat is dehydrated, the membranes will be dry and the capillary refill time will be prolonged (>2-3 seconds). A cat in shock will also have an increased capillary refill time.

A video of this procedure can be found below.


Videos Available in Full Book