Finger Feeding – Some cats are purrfect candidates for finger feeding. Finger feeding is where you will scoop up a little bit of smooth pate canned food with your finger and then place it on either the tongue or roof of the mouth. Finger feeding in my opinion is the most personal, none threatening way to help a cat eat. I didn’t know about finger feeding when my cat Bubba was alive and he would have definitely preferred this method over syringe feeding. Bubba was so gentle and he never, ever hurt me in any way. Now my cat Allie on the other hand was very gentle, but her teeth were sharp and she pulled her head away in just such a manner that she accidentally cut me sometimes. I refused to syringe feed her because I knew it wasn’t a fit for her personality, so I learned how to get my finger out of the way fast! Read about finger feeding as a feline assisted feeding technique here… Finger Feeding Cats.
Syringe Feeding – Syringe feeding is when you use a feeding syringe (without the needle) to squeeze food into the side of the cat’s mouth. Sometimes feeding for a few days using this feline assisted feeding technique will bring back the urge to eat. If the cat has an underlying illness that ruins its appetite, assisted feeding may be necessary for many weeks or even months. Some people have even assist fed their cats for over a year… a true labor of love. Every cat is different. Sometimes just getting enough good nutrition in your cat may make your cat feel well enough to eat on his or her own. Sometimes all it takes is getting the food going through the system to start to bring back a little appetite. It’s worth a try.
What to Feed, How Much and When?
When a sick cat won’t eat, you may have to try many different types of cats food. Wht is the best cat food for feline assisted feeding? Well, you will want to determine if your cat prefers canned cat food or dry cat food or human food. Not only is it difficult to determine what your cat will eat, it’s also difficult to figure out how much to feed. And when the best time is to try to talk your sick cat into eating when it doesn’t want to eat in the first place. Click this link to read more about feeding cats…
When your cat isn’t eating very much, you will need to come up with ways to get more calories in to protect your cat from losing weight. Click this link for extra calorie ideas.
Preparing the Food
If you are having to assist feed your kitty, gone are the days of just putting a bowl of dried cat food down. Click here to read about different techniques of preparing food.
Just as every child is different, so is every cat when it comes to feline assisted feeding. They all have unique preferences on how they will allow you to interact with them when they are not feeling well. Some cats will want you to finger feed them, other cats like to be syringe fed. Click here to read about different cat Feeding Techniques.
Cleaning Up After Feeding
Just a shake or two of the head can send food flying! I have found food on the wall 3 feet away so be prepared! You will also want to be sure to clean all food particles off your kitty. When a cat isn’t feeling well, it won’t groom itself as well as it normally does so you will need to help your cat groom and dry all wet area to prevent skin irritation. Click here to read about Cleaning Up After Feeding.
Weighing Your Cat
Weighing your cat is so very important because too rapid of weight loss can lead to feline hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease). You don’t want this on top of another illness so be diligent on getting enough food in your kitty and weigh your kitty everyday. Click here to read about Weighing your Cat.
Challenges and Problems
When your cat gets sick, there seems to be several problems that come up… it’s just never one thing. Not only will you need to have extra time to prepare special cat food, you will also need extra time to groom your cat and deal with issues such as kitty constipation. Most importantly, you will need to take care of yourself so you can take care of your special kitty. Click here to read about some of the Challenges and Problems you might face.
What supplies do you need to assist feed? Towels, syringes, washcloths, etc. Also, many sick cats will benefit from giving subcutaneous fluids (also known as sub-q fluids). Click here to read about cat feeding supplies and possible sources.
Disclaimer: Kathy Fatheree is not at all a medical expert. Contents of this web site are a collection of Kathy’s assist feeding experiences as well as the experiences of other cat owners who have assist fed their cats. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, Kathy Fatheree or anyone associated with this web site cannot be held responsible for anything that may happen as a result of using the information on this site.