A minimally invasive and standardized means of resuscitating cats from defined periods of ventricular fibrillation (VF) has been developed using methods little different from human cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques. After a 12 min arrest, the rate of successful resuscitation is greater than 90%, with a resuscitation time of 2.5 ± 0.7 (SD) min, and a 7 day survival of 70%. All deaths could be related to a specific electroencephalographic event observed acutely post-resuscitation, and were not due to obvious non-neurologic complications. The post-arrest variation in a variety of parameters (blood pressure, blood gases, etc.) was minimal, and the degree of neurologic damage was severe enough to permit evaluation. Such a model is clinically relevant, and may be useful in studying the pathophysiology of global ischemia, and assessing different types of post-arrest therapy.