Syringe feeding

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by corteza, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. corteza

    corteza Member

    Nov 1, 2014
    Thought I would start another topic to see if there are suggestions out there. I am presently syringe feeding my cat and he absolutely hates it! He doesn't even want to be near me anymore and is highly stressed, which is not good as he is trying to get over a bout of pancreatitis flare. Does anyone know of another way to get food into him? He is not ready to eat on his own yet? Thanks for your thoughts...
  2. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2014
    Per my post on your other thread, Corteza, for completeness it would help to post here the meds that you are giving your kitty. In particular, it would be very helpful to readers if they know what drugs and dosages are being given for appetite stimulation and nausea mitigation, and also how long you have been giving the meds. Also, it would help if you could let us know how much food and fluids you are managing to get into your kitty at the moment.
  3. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
  4. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

    Dec 28, 2009
    i think most of us have trouble with syringe feeding initially. i know i did. i remember sitting on the floor crying after alex bit me during one of my first attempts to syringe feed.

    i don't know if anyone has shared the link to one of the best assist feeding videos i've ever seen: How To Assist Feed / Force Feed Cat By Syringe . there are some very good tips in it. i never in my wildest dreams thought my cat would EVER act like the cat in the video, but with a little practice she took to syringe feeding like a champ.

    i think there were a few things that helped me to become successful with syringe feeding:

    • i found it was easier to syringe feed at kitchen counter top height. i was able to use my body to block her from jumping down. i'd put my left arm around her using my left hand to gently control her while operating the syringe with my right hand (i'm right-handed).
    • i stopped adding water when i blended the food. instead, i syringe water separately. adding a little water while blending had a tendency to make the food mixture too runny and it was hard to keep it in her mouth. she'd shake her head and i'd end up wearing most of it. when blending without water, the mixture is almost fluffy and a thick pudding like consistency. note: insert the syringe into the side of kitty's mouth. syringe small amounts at a time. you don't want to squirt the food down kitty's throat and you don't want to rush. at first it will take awhile, but once you both get comfortable it won't take long at all.
      EDITED TO ADD: i had better and a more even control of the oral syringe if i used the palm of my hand to depress the plunger to dispense food.
    • kitty may object to a syringe being put in his mouth. you can offer kitty a little food on your finger tip. some cats like that. alex liked when i repeatedly offered her a dime-sized amount of food placed on the back of my hand. she'd lick it up and seemed to enjoy the one-on-one time we spent together.
      EDITED TO ADD: sometimes alex liked to eat the syringed mixture off a plate/saucer if i held it up to her mouth.
    • some kitties will eat if their food dish is raised off the floor. you can use anything to raise the dish... a box... books... telephone books, etc. do a search for raised pet dishes. you'll find quite an assortment available.
    • i used 10mL oral syringes (on the left in pic) that did not have an O ring:

      they glide smoothly and don't usually clog. oral syringes that have caps or "wagon-wheel" tips are nice because they allow you to make up syringes in advance (a real time saver) and store them upright in the fridge.. two 5.5oz cans of cat food (blended without water added) will yield approximately 20 - 24 10mL syringes which can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. if you can't find 10mL oral syringes without O rings, here's a couple internet sources: Medi-Dose EPS and SKS Science

    appetite stimulants and drugs to relieve nauseousness have already been mentioned as well as joining the Yahoo's Feline Assisted Feeding group. great suggestions!

    Here are some tips for getting kitty to eat:

    hope this helps... and good luck!
  5. Loelle

    Loelle New Member

    Dec 1, 2014
    Try not to get too stressed out as your cat will be able to sense that! And don't give up! My kitty has a reduced appetite so I have been supplementing him with syringe feeding. He barely tolerated it at first and I would end up with more on the towel than in him, but now he actually tries to eat it from the syringe! I put the capped syringe in a mug of hot water for several minutes to warm the food up and the one time I left it at room temperature, he spit most of it back out! He still won't eat the food from a plate but I feel hopeful that it might happen one day. He is a definite dry kibble addict but I am going to do my best to convert him! Good luck!
  6. corteza

    corteza Member

    Nov 1, 2014
    Nelson passed away yesterday....but thank you for your reply.

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