How Much Water To Syringe Feed A Cat

How Much Water To Syringe Feed A Cat

If your cat is refusing to eat, they may need to be syringe fed. It’s a good idea to understand how much water you should syringe feed a cat so you can help them out.

Syringe feeding is the process of administering fluids to a cat by way of a syringe. This can be done to replace lost nutrients, or to provide water to cats who are dehydrated. In some cases, syringe feeding may also be used as an alternative when force-feeding (also known as gavage) is not possible due to dental conditions or other oral health issues that make ingestion difficult. Some cats require syringe feeding every day for their entire lives, while others only need it in times of illness.

In order for you to properly administer water through a syringe, you must know how much water should be given at each feeding and how often your cat should receive them. Here are some general guidelines:

  • If you’re giving all necessary nutrients via tube feedings instead of using both forms together (like we recommend), then one full tube will contain enough liquid for one mealtime plus two snacks throughout the day—and that’s with an average sized adult cat! With tiny kittens who eat very frequently and large older adults who eat less frequently, this ratio changes slightly though still remains close enough that one full tube usually suffices for all three meals; just make sure there aren’t any extra snacks in between before starting your next set of tubes so they don’t get too bloated!

How To Give Your Cat Water Via A Syringe

First and foremost ensure that you have a source of water near you that you will be able to fill your syringe from. This can simply be a mug filled with water directly from your tap, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Next, fill your syringe with the initial amount of water you are going to be giving to your cat.

This process is often much easier if you have a partner to hold your cat while you focus on getting the water from the syringe into your cat’s mouth. If you have to do this alone then you can wrap your cat in a blanket or towel similar to the image below.

This will help you control your cat’s movements alone and also prevent your cat from scratching you or running away.

The Hydration Process

Once your cat is secure focus on the position of your cats head. The ideal position is to have your cat’s heal level looking forward. Some cat owners will tilt their cats head up slightly to assist with the process. Never do this as it increases the chance of the water entering your cat’s breathing tract and entering its lungs rather than going to the stomach.

The vast majority of cat breeds have two bumps in their skull behind there eyes. Try to place your dominant hand on these bones to get a firm grip on your cats head to restrict struggling. Ideally, you will have your thumb and forefinger on each of the bumps in your cat’s skull.

Now that you have control of your cat, bring the syringe in with your non-dominant hand. Rather than aiming for the center of your cat’s mouth, aim for the side. Once the syringe is in place, apply pressure to push water into your cat’s mouth.

It is normal for some cats to initially spit the water back out at you or try to escape. Consistency is key, remember water is essential for your cat to live, this has to be done. After your first few attempts, your cat will begin to understand whats happening and swallow the water without protest.

If your cat keeps refusing or spitting the water out try to add the juice from a can of tuna to the water. Although not guarenteed, a number of cat owners have reported having increased success with this trick. Repeat this process until you feel your cat has had enough water.

Although the below video is based on giving your cat liquid medication, it is a good example of the process. Just fill your syringe with water rather than liquid medication.

Syringe feeding a cat

Syringe feeding a cat can be done at home or in the veterinary hospital. There are a few things to consider before you start:

  • Make sure you have the right size syringe. You want one that’s small enough for your cat to easily swallow, but large enough so that it won’t clog with food particles or water.
  • Make sure you have the right amount of water and food in your syringe, as well as any medicine(s) and supplements that need to be administered.
  • Practice on yourself before trying this with your kitty!

How much water should you syringe feed your cat?

How much water should you syringe feed your cat?

The amount of water to syringe feed a cat depends on the severity of their dehydration. If your pet is severely dehydrated, you should give them more fluid so that they can recover more quickly. You should use 1-2 ml per day for every 1 kg of body weight. For example, if your cat weighs 10 pounds (4.5 kg), they will need 10-20 ml of fluid daily.

It’s critical to syringe feed your cat with the correct amount of fluid for the severity of the situation.

The best way to get fluids into a cat is by syringe feeding. A veterinarian can show you how to do this, and many clinics offer both classes and hands-on training before you start. If there isn’t a clinic in your area with these services, we recommend buying a book on syringe feeding (like the one below) or purchasing the supplies online.

Syringes are available at any veterinary clinic or online pet supply store, but they’re very easy to use: just squeeze the bulb until it’s full of liquid, hold the tip of it down against your cat’s mouth or nose—wherever you prefer—then release as much as possible into their mouth as quickly as possible without spilling over onto themselves or their fur. Your goal here is fast delivery of fluid under high pressure; if you have trouble getting used to this technique right away don’t worry about it too much—it will come with time (and practice!).


So, how much water should you syringe feed your cat? The amount depends on the severity of the situation. You might be wondering if it’s possible to give your cat too much water. You may be surprised to learn that this is possible and can lead to issues, so keep a close eye on how much fluid you’re administering.

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