Anonymous asked in PetsCats · 1 decade ago

My 13 lb sick cat won't eat or drink. How much of each do I have to force both into his mouth with a syring?

I have a 7 yr old, 13 1/2 lb. (indoor) red taby cat who stopped eating and drinking and got very lethargic 3 days ago. He's been to the vet. They examined him & did blood tests. Everything looked good exept a minor elevation in white blood count and a very slight fever. His belly was sensitive. They put him on antibiotics for intestinal bacteria. They gave us a high calorie canned food & told us to forcefeed him. They said he needs nearly 2 cups of water (including what's in the food) every 24 hours. They also said we need to get 1 to 1 1/2 (5 1/2oz) cans into him every day. I've been using a 3cc syring and can get 6cc of soupy food into him before he's completely 'fed up' with the process. I'd have to do that all day long to get 1 whole can into him & even more to equal 2 cups of water. Is this really necessary? I don't want to let him get dehydrated or anything else. But I also don't want to stress him out by forcefeeding too much or too often. Please help! Thanks.

12 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    FOR THE WATER QUESTION: Yes! He can get dehydrated iwthout that fluid! If you cant keep it donw, ask for fluid treatment bags. They are easy to use -- your cat can get really sick and harm his kidneys if he doesnt drink. If you cant just get that water in him slowly thorughout the day (adding it to food can help) then do ask about IV fluids, I gave those to my kitty at home two years. Some people are afraid to, but it's not hard and email me for any tips.

    AS for food, is it Science Diet AD? As long as you get even a quarter can in him as a start, that's good, cause that stuff is very high calorie. Try to give a little more each day. Make sure you do it when you are not stressed out, and explain to him what you are doing. Hold him still but comfortably, and possibly cuddle first. Mix the food with the water, and only syringe about 1/3 ml at a time. I would give about a shotglass full at most at a time when I had to do this -- even less. And just do a handful of meals thorughout the day to keep the calories in there. If your kitty looks like he is getting sick, don't overdo it, let him go for a while. Also, pepcid AC could be helpful if he is nauseous as he starts to eat again. Don't worry about the full can -- I know you are supposed to do it, but my cat survived on one half can for a few weeks before she recovered and ate again. More hte better, but important thing is to get him to eat. Cats eat differently anwyay. There are also high nutrient and high cal vitamins you can rub on his teeth to help out. Good luck! I know it's not fun, but it will help him recover.

    PS, ignore the comment about not forcefeeding a cat. Even if you haven;t gotten to the vet yet, a cat can get terminal liver disease if he doesn't eat for two days or more. It's just temporary and he will appreciate it when he is recovered and playing again. Cats don't ever like to be "told" what to do, so he is just offended, he will get over it. (he may not feel well either, but food in his tummy will calm it down)

  • 5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    My 13 lb sick cat won't eat or drink. How much of each do I have to force both into his mouth with a syring?

    I have a 7 yr old, 13 1/2 lb. (indoor) red taby cat who stopped eating and drinking and got very lethargic 3 days ago. He's been to the vet. They examined him & did blood tests. Everything looked good exept a minor elevation in white blood count and a very slight fever. His belly was sensitive....

    Source(s): 13 lb sick cat won 39 eat drink force mouth syring:
  • 1 decade ago

    I am not happy with the thought of your syringing food into your cat. The amount sounds entirely too high. I would judge you have the Hill's a/d to feed him. That has plenty of moisture in it. See if he will eat it from your finger every hour to two hours throughout the day. It is highly palatable and he should like it if he is feeling at all hungry and may even eat some on his own. It is very important that he eat SOMETHING every day and the amount if not important.

    His antibiotic should help with any infection that is making him feel punk right now.

    Do keep in touch with the vet and be sure he eats a little bit of his food every day. It is not fair to you or the cat to be under the stress that comes with forcefeeding a reluctant animal.

  • 1 decade ago

    Force feed him? That sounds terrible. I am surprised the vet said that. I've had cats for over fifty years and was never told to force feed a cat. IV's, yes. Fluids can be quite easily administered to him under his skin at home by you.

    I wonder what made your cat stop eating. Cats don't just stop eating unless there is a reason, especially a cat who obviously loves to eat, like a thirteen pounder. A minor infection doesn't seem like it would make him stop eating. Maybe his mouth hurts. What about a throat or mouth problem? What if he has cancer in his abdominal area and that makes him sensitive? Is he using the litter box for either "job"? He could have crystals in his urinary track that block his urination. My cats stop eating then and spend a great deal of their time in the litter box trying. This can be fatal. Did the vet check your cats urine? When my cats are constipated, they will not eat. Perhaps he ingested something that is stopping him up. He could have a blockage in his digestive track that could kill him. I know someone who had a cat who "ate" a plastic garbage bag, stopped eating and died after the failed surgery to get it out. Did your vet check him for that possibility?

    I would get another opinion if one of my beloved cats stopped eating for three days and the vet was that vague, and had no better suggestions how to solve the problem.

    Good luck with your cat and I hope you discover what is wrong with him!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Your vet would probably not recommend this, but it saved my cats life. I sat on the floor with her for 3 days because she would not eat and drink. She really hated the food the vet gave me at first and would spit it out. I opened a can of chicken broth and use an eyedropper to give it to her. it covers the calories and the fluids at the same time. I managed to get about 1 and 1/2 can down her a day for three days and one day she just started licking it on her own. She only weighed about 6 pounds at the time. I figure you need at least twice that with a 13 pound cat, but get as much as humanly possible inside this cat. It will be worth it and in the long run will save on vet bills. As soon as you get the cat to lick the broth, show it the food again and it should lick it. Be prepared for this to last a couple of days. It turned out that my cat was FIV positive and they tried to put it to sleep. If this turns out to be the case with yours, if you love it do not let them put it to sleep. Mine is fine now and has been for 7 months. She has not been sick again. The vet tried to tell me that she would be sick all of the time and she is not.

  • 4 years ago

    Sick Cat Won T Eat

  • 1 decade ago

    first off, how are you holding him when you are feeding him? hold him gently but firmly by the loose skin at the base of the neck ( do this on the floor!) he should go fairly limp, it's instinct. how else do you think a mother cat manages to hold a kitten? then put the tip of the syringe to the very corner of his mouth and gently push it in. make shure you are squirting it straight down the back of his throat, not into his mouth.

    Source(s): this is advice from the vet who saved my 20 year old cat! Sheba's still goin strong!
  • 1 decade ago

    I wouldn't try to force feed a cat. However, if the vet told you to do so, then you need to contact the vet for further help. They know the situation and can help you.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    He may need to go to the veterinary hospital for IV therapy. Or you might want to get a second opinion just to be safe if there has been no improvement since your last vet visit.

  • 1 decade ago

    Just give him enough that he can take, just make sure that he will get plenty enough supplement, hope he's okay.

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