Syringe/Assisted Feeding (Videos and Tips)

Discussion in 'Health Links / FAQs about Feline Diabetes' started by Jill & Alex (GA), Sep 15, 2015.

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  1. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

    Dec 28, 2009
    Written by Jill & Alex (GA)
    Originally posted on December 12, 2014

    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 recently found another excellent video: Medicating & Assist Feeding Your Cat. In addition, there is a very helpful Feline Assist Feeding Group with lots of experience and tips.

    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
    Amazon: Another oral syringe source if you're only making up a few syringes at a time: (3 Pack) FourPaws Easy Feeder For Pets (2 Count Per Pack / 6 Feeders Total).
    appetite stimulants and drugs to relieve nauseousness have already been mentioned as well as joining the’s Feline Assisted Feeding group. great suggestions!

    Here are some tips for getting kitty to eat:

    hope this helps... and good luck!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2019
    Reason for edit: added links, yahoo assist feed group changed to
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