Cleo's Progress

One Cat's Struggle with Feline Hepatic Lipidosis

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Force feeding your cat: Where to get syringes

When my cat developed feline hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver, in the fall of 2005, I had to force feed her for about 4 weeks before she started eating on her own again. Because I wasn't willing to have a feeding tube surgically implanted, I had to force feed her by mouth using large plastic syringes (without needles in them, of course).

I got the syringes for free from my vet whenever I bought food: They sold veterinary-approved wet food that had a very thin consistency, ideal for elderly cats and small dogs with teeth problems. By mixing this food with a little water, I was able to get it thin enough to pass through the syringe.

I assumed that the vet would be the best place to get syringes for force feeding cats, but last time I was at Petco I noticed that they sold syringes. The package contained two plastic syringes, and said something about "for feeding small animals." The were pretty large syringes, though, so they couldn't have meant too small.

Don't forget, though, that you don't have to use plastic syringes in order to effectively force feed your cat. When I was worried about Cleo developing feline hepatic lipidosis again, I force fed her a couple of times using just a spoon. The same post also talks about another method I read about, where you form little balls with the wet food and put them in the back of the cat's throat to force her to swallow, just like the way you would give her a pill.



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