The tidal volume and corresponding efferent phrenic activity of spontaneously occurring and provoked "augmented" breaths, AB, and the subsequent post-augmented breaths were studied in cats anesthetized with pentobarbitone during hypercapnia and hypoxia. The augmentation phase (phase II) begins at, or close to, the crest of what appears as a "normal" inspiration (phase I). The amplitude and duration of phase II remained fairly constant whereas the amplitude and the duration of phase I changed with chemical drive just as in control breaths. The smaller amplitude and shorter duration of post-augmented breaths as compared to control breaths seems to be due to both a lower-than-normal inspiratory "off-switch" threshold following the AB and an increased rate of rise of inspiratory activity. With increasing hypercapnia and hypoxia both the time interval between AB and the refractory period following an AB during which a new AB cannot be provoked were reduced. Following bilateral vagotomy AB was temporarily abolished but reappeared after 1-2 h. The relatively low rates of occurrence after vagotomy still showed the same type of dependence on chemical stimuli. The refractory period was not abolished although usually decreased by gallamine paralysis or high thoracic spinalization.