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When to Syringe Feed Your Sick Cat

March 17, 2010

Syringe-Feeding Saves Cats’ Lives

A cat will not eat if he or she cannot smell the food, feels too much pain, is frightened the food may have caused the pain (called food aversion), obviously if the food has gone bad (use your sniffer to see if your cat is trying to tell you something), another cat is guarding and patrolling the food bowl (behavior conflict, call the veterinarian!), has a painful or blocked stomach/alimentary situation.

Syringe-feeding saves lives when the reason is not surgically fixed, and the medicine is adequate.  Certain cats just need a little help for a while until they get their kitty “mojo” back.

  1. Kidney disease (hyperparathormonemia)
  2. Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  3. Blocked sinuses (any reason)
  4. Sore throat (any reason)
  5. Post intestinal or stomach surgery
  6. Hepatic Lipidosis (fatty liver disease)
  7. Pancreatitis
  8. Liver disease in general
  9. Painful Teeth (Surgery to fix the teeth, and then gentle feeding during healing)
  10. Cancer

Alternatives to syringe feeding include a surgically-placed feeding tube through the nose, pharynx (at the back of the throat), esophagus, into the stomach, or into the jejunum (second part of the small intestine).  Obviously, these are doctor-prescribed and performed and monitored happenings.

If you think the syringe feeding is “difficult” or “time-consuming,” think of the discomfort you may be saving your cat, and the finances you will have freed up for follow-up care for your cat (or yourself!)

See VirtuaVet’s How to Syringe Feed a Cat.

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