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    Feeding or Hydrating your Sick Cat by Syringe
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    My fluffy feline friend Oliver who has kidney disease is presently recovering from a feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), which is in Oliver’s case ‘struvite crystals’ in the bladder. Along with some great herbal remedies, I have been feeding him by syringe at home for the last 10 days whilst also following veterinary advise. His strength and vitality is slowly returning.

    Due to times of illness, loss of appetite, dehydration, constipation your cat may need a helping hand to obtain much needed nutrients and essential fluids.
    Whilst the following information in no way, replaces Veterinary attention, it will certainly give you ways in which you can help your much loved cat at home to recover much faster.
    Once your cat has been diagnosed and treatment is underway, the rest is up to you. Your friend needs love, a stress free environment and great nutrition with plenty of fluids whilst he or she recovers.
    When you cat does not have an appetite; to help overcome an illness the following foods can be placed into a syringe and given to your cat over 2-4 sessions (depending on the condition and tolerance of your cat).
    All of the following meals have been tried and successfully tested on my own cats. They are loaded with excellent nutrition and will; without a doubt give your cat every opportunity to boost their immune system and gain the strength to overcome their illness. I do hope they will be of benefit to your special feline friend in times of need.

    Nutrition 1.
    1 raw egg yolk,
    1 heaped tsp live, natural yoghurt,
    1 capsule of fish oil,
    1 capsule of borage seed or blackcurrant oil.
    500mg Ester C
    (non acidic vitamin C)
    Mix the ingredients into a small bowl and fill two, 20ml syringes.

    Nutrition 2.
    2 tsp pureed pumpkin
    (baby food)
    2 tablespoons pureed boiled chicken breast in water (or ready made pureed chicken baby food….check ingredients)
    ¼ tsp Phytogreen powder supplement (wheatgrass, barleygrass, chlorella, spirulina)

    Nutrition 3.
    2 tablespoons pureed cottage cheese
    ½ tsp manuka honey
    1 tsp yoghurt
    500mg Ester C

    Basically the meals can be made of any of the above, mixed and matched whichever way you like. However, be sure to provide as much variance in the ingredients as possible in an attempt to balance the diet.
    Another suggestion, for those of us who just don’t have the time to put together the above recipes,
    Royal Canin have a wet cat food called ‘Recovery Food’ which can easily be placed in a syringe and fed to your cat. It’s high in calories and will certainly sustain your cat through times of sickness. The only problem is its very high in phosphorus, which is heavy going for a cat with kidney disease. I admit, I did use it on occasion and to lower phosphorus levels I mixed in a little ‘phosphate binder’ called ‘Ipakitine.’ (Ipakitine is available from your Vet)

    Nutrition 4 for constipation
    20ml Aloe Vera juice (or you can use water)
    ½ capsule psyllium husk powder (available from health food shop)
    1 capsule flaxseed oil
    2 tsp pureed pumpkin
    This mix can be given over 2 sessions 4 hours apart.

    Supplements which can be added to pureed meals each day are:

    500mg vitamin C (antioxidant and immune system booster)
    30mg capsule CoQ10 enzyme
    (essential for energy production)
    100iu Vitamin E (an antioxidant)
    50mg vitamin B complex (may boost appetite)
    5 drops Catnip tincture
    (also known to boost appetite)
    ½ digestive enzyme
    (bromelain or a multi enzyme to help absorb nutrients)
    1 capsule probiotics
    (to maintain a healthy gut flora)
    1 fish oil capsule (provides Omega 3, a wonderful natural anti-inflammatory)
    1 capsule of blackcurrant, borage seed or evening primrose oil
    (provides Omega 6, also a great anti-inflammatory)
    ½ capsule medicinal mushroom powder
    (powerful immune system booster)

    Eliminating toxins
    If your cat is on medications prescribed by your vet, you can help your furry friend’s kidneys and liver eliminate toxins more readily with ½ capsule of dandelion leaf powder and ½ capsule of milk thistle powder.

    *These supplements can all be purchased from a good health food shop.
    *20ml syringes can be purchased very cheaply from your local pharmacy.

    So how do I get these loaded syringes into my cat?

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    • 1. Most importantly, find a quiet place, preferably where you can kneel on the floor.
    • 2. Take a hand or tea towel and wrap it around your cat’s chest area.
    • 3. Be sure to have some tissues at hand, especially during the first few sessions.
    • 4. Place your cat between your legs whilst kneeling down.
    • 5. Face the cat outwards.
    • 6. The hand towel will keep your cat clean until you get your technique sorted out. It will also prevent your cat from knocking the syringe away with his front paw.
    • 7. Using your index finger, place the tip inside your cat’s mouth between the canine and the premolar teeth.
    • 8. Keeping your finger in place, the other fingers around the cat’s head, tip the head back so that the mouth opens.
    • 9. Do not put anymore than 5ml in your cat’s mouth at any one time.
    • 10. At first, aim for 2-3ml, let go of your cat’s head and allow your cat to swallow.
    Try not the rush the process. Slowly is better and it will ensure your cat keeps the food in the gut.
    It may seem hard at first, but please persevere, its worth it, and just may give your cat the nutrients he/she needs to come through their illness.

    Is your cat dehydrated?
    Check if your cat is getting enough fluids.
    With your thumb and forefingers, pull the skin behind the shoulder blades and then release.
    Does the skin ‘snap’ back into position or does it take a long time to return to its previous position?
    In a well-hydrated cat, the skin will very quickly pull back to the body (like elastic).
    In a dehydrated cat, the skin will take a few seconds to return to its normal position.
    If you suspect your cat is dehydrated, go to your Vet.
    Your cat may need subcutaneous fluids injecting under the skin to rehydrate him/her.
    In my own experience my 19 year old cat Oliver was given 100ml Lactate Ringer Solution subcutaneously once a day plus 20ml Duphalyte (mixture of vitamin B complex, electrolytes, amino acids and dextrose solution) until he regained his appetite and thirst. At first, he went to the Vet for this treatment and then after two days I continued the treatment at home. It really was quite easy to do and certainly saves time, money and stress going to the vets each day for the procedure.
    There are also homemade hydrating fluids that you can give your cat. If your cat cannot or will not accept these fluids by mouth you will most defiantly need to hydrate him/her subcutaneously which your Vet will organize.

    Liquid hydrating fluids:
    Cleansing fluid:
    50ml bottled water
    ½ capsule milk thistle powder
    (cleanse the liver)
    ½ capsule dandelion leaf powder (mild diuretic to flush kidneys)
    1 pinch potassium powder (or you can use ‘LoSalt’ which is potassium based salt)

    Hydrating fluid:
    20ml coconut water
    (available at health food shops), this is a lifesaver!

    Anti-vomiting fluids:
    Make a cup of chamomile or peppermint tea. Wait for it to cool, and then fill two 20ml syringes. These teas will settle the stomach and allow digestion and absorption of nutrients.
    20ml peppermint tea
    20ml chamomile tea

    Do you feel like your cat has given up the will the live?
    When we are feeling sick, have pain, discomfort, emotions usually play a role and cause depression, lethargy and a lack of will to get through the storm. Cats and dogs are no different to us. When they are sick, they can indeed fall into a seriously depressive state.

    How can we lift their spirit during this time?
    As I have been through this myself with a variety of cats and dogs I’ve rescued form the street and assisted back to health these are the methods I have used:
    • 1. LOVE, lots of cuddles, a stress free environment, as much couch time as you can give them.
    • 2. Be happy, put on your favorite music, talk to your pet. Remember, whatever vibe you are giving off, will be picked up by your patient.
    • 3. Bach Flower Remedies. Flower remedies are a homeopathic treatment. If you haven’t heard of Bach Flowers don’t worry. You can purchase the most popular Remedy from most health food shops called ‘Bach Flower Rescue Remedy.’ When my cat was sick and seemed depressed and lost his will to live I gave him a Bach Flower Remedy made up of Gorse, Olive, Mustard and Wild Rose.
    • 4. Keep a note of changes in a notepad, which includes appetite, thirst, litter tray activities, mood, wakefulness, alertness and their interaction with you. This will really help you to see a clear picture on how your cat is going and if improvements are being made.
    A final word
    Nursing a sick, much loved cat back to health will certainly take its toll on you. Be sure to boost your own immune system with lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, herbal teas and time out for yourself.
    No matter what the outcome, you will know in your heart you have done your very best for your special friend
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