How To Force Feed A Cat That Won’t Eat
Cats are known for their picky eating habits, but when your furry friend refuses to eat, it can be a cause for concern. A cat that won’t eat can quickly become malnourished, leading to a host of health problems. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to get your cat eating again, including force feeding. In this article, we’ll discuss how to force feed a cat that won’t eat and answer some common questions about the process.
Why a Cat Might Refuse to Eat
Before we dive into how to force feed a cat, it’s essential to understand why a cat might refuse to eat. There are several reasons why a cat might stop eating, including:
– Health issues – Cats can stop eating due to health issues such as dental problems, digestive issues, or illnesses.
– Stress – Cats are sensitive creatures, and stress can cause a loss of appetite.
– Changes in their environment – Changes in their environment can also lead to a loss of appetite, such as a change in food or moving to a new home.
– Aging – As cats age, they can lose their sense of smell and taste, leading to a loss of appetite.
When to Force Feed Your Cat
Force feeding should only be used as a last resort when your cat is refusing to eat and is at risk of becoming malnourished. If your cat is still eating a little bit, it’s important to continue offering them food and monitoring their appetite and behavior. However, if your cat has completely stopped eating for more than 24 hours, you should take them to a veterinarian for a check-up.
How to Force Feed Your Cat
Force feeding a cat can be a challenging and stressful experience for both you and your furry friend. Here are some steps to follow to make the process as safe and comfortable as possible.
Step 1: Choose the Right Food
When force feeding your cat, you want to choose a high-calorie, nutritious food that your cat will like. Wet food is often a good option, as it’s easier to mix with water and administer through a syringe. You can also try adding a little bit of tuna juice or chicken broth to the food to entice your cat to eat.
Step 2: Get the Right Tools
To force feed your cat, you’ll need the following tools:
– A syringe without a needle
– A bowl of warm water
– A towel
– Gloves (if necessary)
You can get the syringe from your veterinarian, and you can use a regular baby syringe for smaller cats.
Step 3: Prepare the Food
Mix the food with warm water until it’s the consistency of a thin gruel. The gruel will make it easier to administer through the syringe and will be less likely to cause your cat to choke.
Step 4: Hold the Cat Securely
Wrap your cat in a towel and hold them securely with one hand. Make sure your cat is comfortable and not struggling.
Step 5: Administer the Food
Using the syringe, slowly and gently squirt the food mixture into your cat’s mouth. Be careful not to squirt the food too quickly or too forcefully, as this can cause your cat to choke. You can also gently rub your cat’s throat to encourage swallowing.
Step 6: Monitor Your Cat
After force-feeding your cat, it’s essential to monitor them for any signs of distress. Watch for signs of vomiting or difficulty breathing. If your cat shows any signs of distress, take them to a veterinarian immediately.
Q: Can force-feeding harm my cat?
A: Force-feeding can be stressful for your cat, but with proper technique, it should not cause harm. Always monitor your cat for any signs of distress.
Q: How often should I force-feed my cat?
A: Force-feeding should only be used as a last resort. If your cat is still eating a little bit on their own, it’s important to continue encouraging them to eat and monitoring their behavior. If your cat has completely stopped eating for more than 24 hours, you should take them to a veterinarian.
Q: What if my cat doesn’t like the food I’m force-feeding them?
A: If your cat doesn’t like the food you’re offering, try offering something different. You can also try enticing your cat with extra tasty treats or a little bit of tuna juice or chicken broth.
Q: Can I force-feed my cat at home, or should I take them to a veterinarian?
A: Force-feeding should only be done at home as a last resort and under the guidance of a veterinarian. If your cat is not eating, it’s essential to take them to a veterinarian for a check-up.
Force-feeding a cat that won’t eat can be a challenging and stressful experience, but it’s important to ensure your cat is getting the nutrition they need. If your cat has completely stopped eating for more than 24 hours, it’s essential to take them to a veterinarian for a check-up. With proper preparations and technique, force-feeding can help ensure your cat stays healthy and happy. Remember to always monitor your cat for any signs of distress and consult with a veterinarian if necessary.