Felines usually spend their day playing and exploring.
But what if they suddenly leave their playful routine and stick to one corner of the room with denial of food and water?
Watching your kitty getting weak is very hurtful. But we have to make strong moves for a strong kitty and bond.
In such cases, we have to force-feed our cats. This loss of interest in eating could be due to mood, anger, or illness. But being habitual animals we cannot take her non-eating habit lightly.
Though these felines are almost like humans in certain places. Just like humans, our feline needs a proper diet but they can’t always eat like humans. They need a high-fat and protein diet for an adventurous day.
But before force-feeding the cat we need to know when should we start force-feeding our cat and when should we stop.
Here are the 10 most asked questions about force-feeding a cat you should know!
Why My Cat Is Not Eating? Should I Force Feed My Cat?
Cats are habitual animals they like their meals on time so their sudden refusal of food is worrying. When a cat doesn’t eat one day you should start force-feeding them!
Cats are carnivorous animals, but some domestic cats can adjust to their places.
They usually lose their appetite when they are suffering from infection or certain illness, after vaccination, unfamiliar things, psychological issues, anorexia, or dental issue.
Illness like a stomach or intestinal issues, kidney failure, or cancer leads to a lack of appetite. Obviously, the kitty is not eating, so we have to interpret her routine and force-feed her.
Heart disease is also a common reason Most of the time illness is known to be the core problem. A check-up from a vet will resolve the issue.
2. Psychological Issue
Stress or anxiety can also lead to this condition. Like humans, cats are emotional mammals. They can develop depression after facing loneliness and the loss of a relative.
Some recently vaccinated cats sometimes lose their appetite. This could be due to side effects and is not a matter to worry about. In such cases, the loss of appetite is mild. Though they’ll eat the cat on their own don’t let her stay empty stomach for hours.
Interesting Read: Can You Vaccinate A Pregnant Cat?
4. Change In Place Or Travel
Change in place can be another reason behind loss of appetite. When the kitty is new she might be scared of trying to observe her new place.
Under such conditions, she might not eat. In such cases, you shouldn’t get too worried but focus on making her feel welcome. Though they can start eating after setting their eye on the environment.
5. Respiratory Problem
Any kind of respiratory problem can also be the result as they will lose the sense of taste. Symptoms of the respiratory condition are runny nose or watery eyes.
Some kitties who were taken away from their mother can also be bad on diet or is allergic.
Also, know the possible reasons behind cat asking for food but not eating
How To Force-Feed A Cat?
You can force-feed your cat either by making meal balls or by syringe. You can also go for medical care.
Before force feeding tries using treats for cats. The reason behind not eating can be a minor and temporary problem. So the first step should be to let it develop some taste.
If your cat is allergic to a certain food then you have to give her better options. Cat is a carnivorous animal, so try giving them a good amount of meat.
If the cat is not even responding to such things then contact to vet for proper medication and a diet plan.
1. Making Meal Balls
You can prepare the balls of cat food and be ready with the towels. Kitty will obviously not open her mouth for they don’t even want to bite the food. Just make her sit on your lap and feed her.
Caution; it will be messy.
Don’t fall for her pleading meow!
Feeding with a syringe can be less messy and risky so watch out for the sign of choking. Make the cat’s puree more liquid and fill the syringe with it. Make her sit on your lap and start feeding. The tube should be in the back of the throat.
If the kitty vomits out then she could be suffering from pneumonia.
Force-feeding a cat includes steps like; consulting the vet; proper diet food; filling the syringe; feed the cat.
Also, check out can i force my cat to drink water
Should I Force-Feed My Dying Cat?
No, you should never force-feed the dying cat. It can work as a catalyst in death as her organs are already failing. It can also increase her vomiting.
Why do think Does AIDS patients eat medicine? Just to increase their life a bit.
Let’s be clear, you cannot stop the process of death but can slow it down a bit.
A dying cat is already undergoing an emotional journey that can be stressful. In this stress kitty will not like to eat anything. Your forcing might distance it from you and another family. Don’t think force-feeding is a good idea for it will increase her terror.
Instead, serve her small portions of meals, supplements, and treats. A little portion of feed is better than force-feeding and eating nothing.
The best way to treat a dying cat is to maintain a good environment.
You might also like to know reason behind cat not eating food but eats treats
Is It Bad To Force-Feed A Cat?
Yes, force-feeding is not a good thing but a need. It needs expertise. A syringe is painful for cats.
No one wants to eat in a state of distress and your cat cannot even share it openly. Being a proud mammal, the cat will not show too much interest.
A cat cannot survive long without food. This can lead to a liver problem which is not only painful but life-threatening. Your cat can be avoiding food for many reasons so check for the reason then start the treatment.
With the help of proper treatment, your cat will not make the eating process messy.
Force-feeding can lead to vomiting, a nauseous feeling but certain pills can numb the hormone which leads to the nauseous feeling.
Do not think too much before taking your cat to the vet for better options.
Try feeding her her favorite snack and give food in small proportions. Remember we also need to support her emotionally.
Find out more details about how long can cats go without food
When To Stop Force-Feeding Your Cat?
You can stop feeding once your cat starts eating on her own, starts grinding her teeth, vomits, gains weight, and runs away from you. Permanent force-feeding requires the proper guidance of a vet.
1. Eating On Their Own
Often some kitties who are taken away from their mothers at an early age don’t develop properly. Such kitties tend to feel insecure. Out of which they don’t eat in a new environment.
You can force-feed them with a syringe or spoon but after a period of time, they can start eating on their own. Cats who are given good treatment can gain back their appetite.
Force-feeding can lead to feeding and over-feeding will lead to overweight. That is why it is better to force-feed under good guidance and a diet chart of your plan.
Know how many calories your cat needs. Obesity can lead to many other health issues.
3. Grinding The Teeth
Forcing for too long can lead to jaw pain in cats. It is a painful process for cats. That is why forced eating is considered bad. Clenching of teeth is a sign of no appetite and pain. It is also quite stressful for cats.
Know the quantity of your cat. your cat can spill out excessive and extra food. Sometimes vomiting could also lead to the entry of foreign elements in cats. It may lead to respiratory issues.
5. Running Away From You
Will you feel happy if someone force feeds you? No! the Same happens with cats. The cat might start feeling scared around you as force-feeding is painful. So, try to give it treats.
You might also like to read about Why Is My Cat Not Eating After Giving Birth?
How To Force-Feed A Cat A Pill?
An ill cat will need proper medicines. But forcing the pill can be a tough job that needs proper guidance. The cat might spill out the pill or refuse to eat.
We can force-feed a cat a pill by; consulting a vet; feeding with the hand; feeding with food; feeding using tools.
1. Consulting A Vet
It is obvious to consult a vet before starting any medication for the cat. the vet can also guide you on how to properly feed the cat and the dos and don’ts of pill serving.
2. Feeding With Hand
Feeding with hand will be a tiring job. For this, you can either hold your cat tightly assuring that she is not moving excessively or wrap her around the towel if you don’t have any helping hand or the kitty is messy.
But make sure you are holding it on a good and non-slippery table. Hold her from above the forward right shoulder making sure her face is away from you. In the case of the towel, put your kitty on the towel wrapping her from both sides of the towel.
After restraining your cat, put a pill in her mouth and hold up her head high and let it swallow the pill. Always put the pill at the back of the throat.
3. Feeding Through The Tool
Tools like a pill popper; pill giver; galastine capsule can help give pills to the cat. you can fill an empty gelatin capsule with the medicine your cat needs. buttering it a bit will make it easier to swallow.
Pill popper can cut the pill in equal two halves, if your cat is not eating a full pill then try giving it the half piece. A pill giver on other hand is like a syringe in which you have to put the capsule and it can be released by the plunger.
How Long Should I Force-Feed My Cat?
You have to force-feed your cat as long as it doesn’t start eating on its own. Feeding with a syringe can be painful but try serving with hands.
The period depends on the condition she is suffering from. In some cases, the kitty comes out of her bad condition through proper care and can start eating on her own. You can stop force-feeding her.
Unlearned kitty will also start eating after a proper adjustment. If the illness is long then your kitty might feel weak and irritated in such case you have to keep on force-feeding them.
Force-feeding is not only about feeding with the syringe. You can make small rolls of the cat food and serve her with your hands. It will be tough but will not be painful for the kitty.
How Should I Force Feed A Cat With Kidney Failure?
Kidney failure is a renal condition. In such a case, you shouldn’t force the food.
Kidney condition is due to digestive issues and diabetes. We need to be careful while dealing with such patients.
So be soft with her.
If your cat is suffering from kidney failure then consider giving her a liquid diet rather than a solid one. Provide her food in small proportions which will be easier for her to digest.
Her diet plan will be ensured by the vet while you should take care of her water intake.
How To Syringe Feed A Kitten That Won’t Eat?
Kittens learn the basic habits of cats from their mother. But some kittens are taken away from their mother at an early age. In some cases, the kittens are scared in the new environment or ill. In these cases, the human parent has to take care of all the needs of the kitten.
Underage Kitten are small so they can’t eat on their own, in such cases, we have to feed them from the syringe.
For syringe feeding, you need the right amount of food and proper temperature, the right syringe, and proper tackling.
1. The right amount of food and temperature
Underage kittens should be served milk. You have to use kitten formula instead of human food or dairy product as it is harmful to cats. Make sure the food is at a good temperature.
Drop a bit of food in her mouth and see if she’s able to swallow it. If yes, then you can continue to serve but slowly.
2. Right Syringe
Be careful while choosing a syringe. It should be of good quality with a large mouth for proper feeding.
3. Proper Tackling
Once you are done with a syringe and filling food you have to know how are you going to tackle the kitten. She will move a lot so make sure you are holding it tight and with care. Make sure she is not choking.
How To Force Feed Cat Without Syringe?
If you do not want to use a syringe then try making a little roll from the food.
A cat needs a proper diet. If your cat is not eating it could be because of illness or any temporary cause. Such things make your cat more irritatable and the force-feeding will just increase the pain.
What Else Can I Do To Force-Feed The Cat?
There are few options left to feed your cat after the syringe serving; making small rolls; developing taste; or small feeding.
After making a small roll you can feed your cat with your own hand. But you need to handle her carefully as she will keep on moving. Remember to keep your arm away from her teeth.
Your cat has probably lost her taste sense so try giving her some good and tasty food or treats after she eats something. Remember you cannot serve your cat the food that is adequate for you. Serve her cat food or canned food.
Small feeding is quite easy. You can serve her small portions of food after short periods of time. This will ensure that she is eating. Cat is carnivorous so try giving them a good amount of meat rather than a vegetable for they need more protein and fat.
Interesting Read: Cat Not Eating After Spay: Reasons & Solutions
Frequently Asked Question
Is it safe to force-feed a cat?
Yes, it is safe to some extent to force-feed your cat. but this also depends on your way of feeding. You should take care of her habits and expression. Make sure it’s not hurting her.
How do I feed a sick cat who won’t eat?
She needs food so you can force-feed her but try some easy ways like trying to give her treats, canned food, and food in small proportions.
How to force-feed cat water?
Try to add flavor to the water. A changed taste can be helpful. You can even place some ice cubes. Not drinking enough water can cause dehydration. Feed her with a syringe.
Force-feeding is a necessity when your cat is not eating. But before forcing try to give it some encouragement to eat like giving her treats, her favorite meal, adding flavor, etc.
Never take her non-eating habits lightly as a cat can starve itself to death.
Take her to the vet.
Don’t only give her physical support but emotional too as they are draining themselves.