How to syringe feed a cat? 3 basic steps!

How to syringe feed a cat

Your cat might not be consuming well on her own for numerous reasons, for example, current surgical treatment or not feeling well. You can syringe feed a cat or assist-feeding to make sure that your cat is well-fed. This is achieved by feeding a cat her regular wet food or recommended cat food as suggested by the veterinarian through a syringe. In this article, you will learn how to syringe feed a cat. So, lets straight to it.

When you have to syringe feeding a cat?

Cats facing dental pain or improving from injuries can also reduce their hunger. Furthermore, stress, nervousness, and psychological problems can produce your cat’s hunger loss. Some kittens also require milk, which can be provided via a syringe.

Once your cat stops consuming by herself, you’ll have to get ways to aid her for feeding. Help feeding your feline will support her fulfill her every day nutritional requirements.

You should syringe-feed your cat in the following situations:

  • if your feline loses appetite as she is ill
  • when your cat is not eating food after the operation
  • kittens that are detached from their mother earlier
  • when your kitten is not eating for a whole day or hardly eating for two days

Things to consider before syringe feeding a cat

You will require a feeding syringe, a bath towel to wrap the cat with, wet wipes, as well as cat food along with a little water to ensure a liquidly mush. You must follow the useful tips below to make sure the right syringe feeding.

  • The feeding syringe must contain a big and extended opening and you can generally obtain it from a vet.
  • A bent tip syringe is also appropriate which is commonly used for flushing injuries.
  • An O-ring feeding syringe is also suggested as it lasts longer; however, its tip is not fairly long or extensive
  • A ringless syringe that is long-lasting and remains for a longer period

When selecting the appropriate feeding syringe for your cat; you should think about the power of your hands. So, if you have a weak hand, don’t go for a longer syringe; however, select a medium-sized syringe that will let you push it simply. Like this, you can feed your cat very effectively, as well.

Steps to syringe feed a cat

While syringe-feeding a cat, you will require an assistant to aid you to grasp your cat whenever you feed her. Some steps on syringe feeding a cat are:

  1. You should prepare the meal that you feed a cat.

Prepare your cat food that you will offer your cat and ensure that it is of room temperature, plus with accurate uniformity.  For small cats, the food must be extra liquidly for quick digestion. Mature cats can benefit further with only the precise consistency.

Make sure to ask your veterinarian first before offering any kind of cat food to your sick cat.  Your veterinarian will give good advice when we talk about the right food for a cat.

Two ways to load the cat food to the syringe:

  • One approach is to completely close the feeding syringe which is by keeping the tip of the feeding syringe into the food and, at that time, sucking it by drawing back the plunger
  • The second way is to eradicate the back of the plunger and by putting the food into the feeding syringe, then sliding it into the rear end by using a small butter table knife
  1. Get your cat to prepare for the syringe-feeding.

Keep your cat in a relaxed position, then place a bath towel around her, and you can put your cat in the middle of the table, whatever is relaxed for you.  Additionally, you can feed your cat by yourself or with the help of your friend.

If you want to feed your cat alone, then you should know the following things:

  • Manage the same level with a cat and ensure that the towel is covered warmly around her
  • Place your cat under your non-prevailing arm and utilize that arm’s hand to firmly hold your cat from behind
  • Slightly tilt your cat’s head back and start feeding her by syringe

If you want to feed your cat with the help of your family member:

  • Ensure that your family member is closely attached with your cat, for example, your hubby
  • Position a towel on her to create a burrito and it must be around your cat’s neck similar to a bib; however, must also curtain and cover her forepaws
  • The person handling the cat must utilize both hands to grasp the front paws
  • you might start syringe feeding when your cat is controlled and in a peaceful and relaxed position

Always ensure that you are comfortable while syringe-feeding your cat. You can talk to your cat in a calming voice, thus she won’t be nervous and aggressive. Similarly, ensure to hit the feeding plunger to prevent air bubbles.

  1. Carry on syringe feeding your cat in a peaceful and controlled way.

When you syringe-feed a cat, always target the feeding syringe at the back, otherwise, side angle of your feline’s mouth.  Ensure to distribute the food cautiously from the feeding syringe.  When you feed your cat a small quantity of food, eliminate the syringe from your cat’s mouth to provide her time to accept it. If she is weak enough to take the food inside, you can utilize your hand to close the cat’s mouth to facilitate the ingestion.

Always have paper towels accessible as there’ll be confusion as you continue with the feeding method which must be repeated during the day to make sure that your kitten still obtains the essential nutrients that she requires.

Important things to consider while syringe-feeding a cat

If your cat usually eats around 4.5 ounces every day, it means that you must feed a cat with nine feeding syringes with 15 ml food capacity. You can go for this by feeding your cat one each hour to at least 60 minutes and 30 minutes.  Also, you can feed two syringes with 15 ml food capacity every few hours.

Keep in mind

Look for your vet’s advice concerning the kind of food you have to puree for your feline and how much liquid food you can offer in one session. Do not force solids, fluids, or medicine down the throat of an insentient cat and one that has trouble swallowing.

If your beloved cat cannot keep her food or has declined to consume for above 24 hours, search for help from her vet immediately. Her doctor can perform physical checks, examinations, X-rays, or ultrasounds to find the cause of the issue.


Q: How much should I syringe feed my cat?

A: Syringe feed should be at least around 55 ml each time. You should do this for at least five meals daily.

Q: Is it safe to syringe feed a cat?

A: If your cat is not consuming food for a day, or hardly eating for several days it is serious that you start assisted feeding. This involves placing your feline’s food into a syringe and offering it moderately through your cat’s mouth.

Q: How long can my cat survive without eating?

A: Just like humans, cats can survive longer without eating food than water. Felines can live for approximately two weeks without food; however, they can survive only three days lacking water.

The longer your furry friend goes without appropriate food; however, the weaker they become, thus it’s essential to ask your veterinarian if you notice they haven’t consumed in a day.

Take away

It’s good to syringe-feed a cat when she is not eating well because of illness or she’s excessively weak to swallow food as she just had a surgical procedure or recovering from a wound.  Be calm when you syringe-feed a cat; however, also be patient as every cat contains a different manner, and it requires time for them to become used to the method.

What is important is that your feline will still have the diet she needs to make sure of her quick recovery.

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