|How to Syringe Feed
|Make sure to have plenty of towels as this gets messy. I use the bed instead of the table so the person holding
the kitty doesn't have to bend over. My mom helps me to syringe feed my sister's cat Midnight occasionally, as
she's older and has suspected IBD and CRF. She gets very nauseated sometimes and even appetite stimulants
don't work. If your kitty isn't eating on their own, you must never wait longer than 36 hours to syringe feed as it
takes less than 48 hours for fatty liver to set in. www.ibdkitties.net/fattyliver.html.
Mom will sit on the side of the bed with at least 3 towels spread underneath where Midnight sits. Midnight is
placed sitting up with a towel wrapped around her front. The opening is in the back and she's wrapped like a
burrito so she can't run away or lift her paws to scratch or move. You can also use a pillow case or a restraint
bag; (if you have a difficult kitty you can buy a special cat restraint bag to put them in so they can't get loose. It
doesn't hurt them and makes sure they can't struggle or hurt themselves). www.ibdkitties.net/Helpfultools.html.
The restraint bag would be helpful to anyone who's doing this by themselves with no help.
If you are doing this alone, either sit on the bed or on the floor with kitty between your legs, someplace where
both of you will be comfortable. You'll be there for at least 10 to 15 minutes so make sure you won't get sore. No
kitty is happy to be syringe fed but if they have to be, most likely they won't have the energy to fight too much
due to being sick. But you'd be surprised at how strong some of them can be when they want out!
|You can get a medicine syringe at any drug store or
someplace like Walmart or Target stores in the pharmacy
departments. I have a medium sized, 10 ml syringe that I use
for syringing food but also for syringing water after pilling. If
you have to give kitty any pills, take the opportunity to do it
before feeding so their stomach isn't empty when you give
their medications. You can also get a syringe from the vet but
do not use a large syringe as you could cause kitty to
aspirate. Large syringes are mainly used when kitty has a
feeding tube inserted.
Have everything you need ready before putting kitty in the
towel or bag. You can get special liquid food from the vet
especially for syringe feeding if you're able to but if you can't,
you can take any pate food and blend it. I like to use Evo as
it's grain free, high in quality protein and low fat/low
carbohydrate. Plus it's already a very smooth pate with no
chunks in it so it's easy to blend. Take a can, put it in the
blender with approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water depending
on the thickness of the food. You don't want so much water
that it's mainly water when you feed it. You want just enough
water so that you'll be able to get the food in the syringe. Put
the blender on liquefy if you have that button or something
similar to get it smooth.
|When you're ready to feed, put your free hand around kitty's head so you can gently lift his or her mouth open
and they can't turn their head too far to the other side. Gently and slowly syringe food into the side of the mouth.
Most likely they'll chew on the food even though it's liquid. Don't stick the syringe too far into the mouth or they'll
chew that as well. Take a short break after about 10 seconds or less as their mouth fills up with food. Syringe for
10, take a break, etc. You don't want your kitty to choke or throw up. This process will take awhile so be patient.
I usually do at least two syringes full to make sure she gets a good amount but not enough to make her too full
she'll throw it up. Syringing usually stimulates their appetite enough to get them to eat on their own but if within
four hours they still aren't eating, syringe feed them again. If you have to do this throughout the day, I'd say do at
least four feedings; no less than that. But if you can get them to eat on their own at any point, make sure they
are still eating enough calories to get them through the day. If they're only nibbling, that's still not enough, you'll
have to syringe again. It's imperative they get enough food.
Food is going to go flying, trust me. Kitty will do a little spitting and you'd be surprised at how easily the food
goes in every direction! Wear something easy to clean or something like a T-shirt that you don't care if it gets
dirty. I take a wet paper towel and wash the side of kitty's face a bit before letting her go as she is going to also
be a mess. Even though they'll most likely groom, they'll miss some of it and you don't want it drying up all over
their fur, it's going to itch and hurt them after awhile. This is definitely not a clean process but it's worth it so your
pet does not get sicker than they already are. You want to speak softly and reassure them during the whole
process so they aren't frightened or think this is a bad thing. Be sure and praise after you're done, even if they
squirmed like the dickens to get out. If your vet is unaware you are syringe feeding, be sure to call them as soon
as possible to let them know what's going on so kitty can be checked out.
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