How To Get Your Cat To Drink Water When Sick!

In this article, we will be taking a look at how to get your cat to drink water when sick. We all know water is an essential element of your cat’s life, in some cases it is even more important when sick or recovering from surgery. Not only does a lack of water lead to dehydration but it can also have an effect on the electrolytes in your cat.

These tips and tricks have been designed to be as simple as possible. This has been done on purpose in an attempt to guarantee anyone of any ability is able to get water into their cat quickly.

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How To Get Your Cat To Drink Water When Sick

In our opinion, if your cat has stopped drinking water then the best way to hydrate your cat is through a high-quality pet syringe. That said, giving your cat water via a syringe sounds easy but it can actually be quiet a challenge.

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.

How To Give Your Cat Water Via A Syringe.

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.

The Best Pet Syringe To Feed Your Cat Water

When it comes to the best syringe for hydrating your cat, we recommend the Lixit Hand Feeding Syringe. It has been specifically designed to quickly and easily get food or water into your pet with minimal fuss. It has been designed to be easy to clean and very easy to use.

The tip of the syringe has been specifically tapered to allow you to add tubing if required. Although not usually required for cats, if you have other smaller pets such as a hampster then you will be able to add tubing to the end of this syringe to feed or hydrate your hamster if ever required. Click here to read independent reviews of this syringe from independent cat owners.

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The Best Electrolyte Solution For Cats

A dehydrated cat that won’t drink will usually have electrolyte problems too. Thankfully, you can mix Pedialyte into your cat’s water mixture before syringe hydrating your cat to counter this. Pedialyte is a very popular solution of electrolytes that have been designed to be taken orally.

Different cat owners use different dosages of Pedialyte for their cats. In our opinion, it’s always best to seek advice from your local veterinarian on how much to give your cat. This website suggests that you use a 50% water 50% Pedialyte solution. That said, we have seen cat owners reporting a 75% water 25% Pedialyte solution has higher success rates.

Always try to get an unflavoured Pedialyte to increase the odds of your cat drinking it. If your cat spits it out then try adding the juice from a can of tuna to the mixture as explained earlier. You can click here to read independent reviews of Pedialyte if you would like to know more.

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How Much Water To Syringe Feed A Cat

A common question we see asked when it comes to syringe hydrating a cat is how much water should be given and how often. This all depends on the reason your cat is dehydrated. If it is due to illness then we usually advise you aim for normal hydration levels. If it is due to recovering from surgery then we recommend you aim for what your veterinarian advice.

The usual amount of water advice for cats is between 20-40ml of water per kilogram of their body weight. For example, if your cat is six kilograms then you should try to get it to drink 180 ml of water spaces throughout the course of the day.

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