How Much Water to Syringe Feed A Cat that has Stopped Drinking and is Dehydrated

It occurs when the cat excretes too much fluid from its body, resulting in dehydration. However, water isn't the only thing lost when this happens. The body also loses salt, potassium, and chloride, all essential minerals.

Keeping your cat hydrated is essential. Through urine and feces, they lose fluids, which helps maintain good health. Additionally, your cat needs water to circulate, digest, and eliminate waste. Your cat may suffer other serious medical complications if dehydration is left untreated.

For every 5 pounds of your cat's weight, 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water is required. Dig in to find out more details about your cat's dehydration.

The cause of dehydration in cats:

Dehydration in cats can occur for several reasons, including:

  • Not providing your cat with enough water
  • Excessive water loss via sweat
  • Lack of appetite due to illness or stress
  • Diabetes
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Heatstroke
  • Hot weather or overheating
  • Trauma
  • Vomiting

Cats are prone to dehydration because they do not drink much water compared to dogs. They tend to be less active and spend more time sleeping. This makes it harder for them to regulate their body temperature.

If you notice that your cat seems thirsty, make sure that she gets plenty of fresh water. If necessary, put some drops of water into her food. However, do not give your cat too much water; otherwise, she might develop diarrhea.

What is the ideal amount of water my cat should drink?

Approximately 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water should be consumed by cats every day based on their body weight. For example, if your cat weighs 10 pounds, you should drink between 7 and 9 ounces of water daily. But the amount may reduce if your cat eats wet food.

You may notice that your cat drinks less water if it eats wet food frequently. This is because when cats eat, they consume water. Up to 80% of wet food is water.

If you are still confused about the amount, then. Here are some tips.

  1. The first thing you need to do is figure out what your cat weighs. You can find this information online. Then, multiply the number of pounds by five. This gives you the approximate number of gallons of water your cat requires daily.
  2. Divide that number by three. This tells you how many ounces of water your cat needs every five pounds of its body weight or roughly how many ounces of water they need every day.

How to Syringe Feed a Cat that Isn't Drinking?

Syringe feeding a cat that isn't drinking is quite easy if you follow the instructions above to diagnose dehydration. Once you know they are severely dehydrated, the easiest way to start giving them fluids is to syringe feed them. You don't have to put them under anesthesia.

The best way to start is to give them small amounts of water every 15 minutes. Give them as much as they will take at that time. They might drink a bit as they become hydrated or not. You will have to feed them 2% of their body weight daily. So, if your cat weighs 10 pounds, you will have to syringe feed them 200 milliliters – that's 2 percent of 10 pounds.

Here are the steps for your easy understanding:

  • You will first need to weigh your cat and get a calculator to figure out how much water to syringe feed them each day. You can give about 2% of their body weight per day. In other words, if your cat weighs 10 pounds, you could syringe them 200 milliliters – that's 2 percent of 10 pounds.
  • You will need to warm up the water. You want it to be as close to body temperature as possible. Getting it too hot or cold could cause burns in their mouth or esophagus. To warm up the water, you can use a microwave. Most microwaves will have a setting for warming water.
  • You will need to find a good syringe. You don't want a syringe that has a small opening, or the water will come out too fast. It should have a wide, soft tip that won't hurt your cat's mouth. A 20mL syringe is a good choice for a small cat.
  • You will need an IV bottle with tubing attached to it. Make sure that you clean the needle before using it on any animal.
  • Put the water into the IV bag and attach the tubing to the syringe. Hold the syringe firmly but gently. Don't squeeze the plunger too hard. Just push the plunger slowly until all the water comes out. If the water doesn't come out quickly, let it sit there for a few seconds. It will fill back up and continue coming out.
  • Attach the tube from the syringe to the cat's vein. Do this by holding the cat's leg so that it is facing away from you. Use your index finger to hold the cat's paw near the groin area. Open its mouth and start giving water through a syringe.
  • If your cat takes some, leave it alone and wait another ten minutes. Repeat the process again. Your cat may drink a little more after this.
  • Feed your cat a little bit of food. This helps keep them going because they feel better when they eat.

How to Know if Your Cat is Dehydrated?

Dehydration is sure a silent killer but doesn't worry; there is a way to know if your cat is dehydrated or not. Such as:

  • Loss of energy
  • Panting
  • Refusal to eat
  • Sunken eyes
  • Tacky and dry gums

If you see any symptoms, rush for medical help or take steps to help your cat.

The Dangers of Cats Being Dehydrated:

Cats are very sensitive to dehydration. They can't live long without water. As dehydration sets in, the kidneys start to fail. If the kidneys fail, they may develop a life-threatening infection in the bladder called a UTI. They will become very ill and lethargic and may stop eating.

They may also develop an electrolyte imbalance that will cause abnormal heart rhythms. If they don't get fluids, they can go into a coma and die. If they develop a UTI, they will be in a lot of pain and need antibiotics.

The prognosis is poor if a cat has not been drinking for longer than a day. If the kidneys have already failed, nothing can be done. But if they are still working, they can be saved.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Is it a good idea to force-feed my cat water?

If your cat already eats wet food but still needs more water, add a small amount to its food. The best thing you can do for your cat is not to force him or her to eat food that has been flavored with water, as it may lead to an aversion or, worse, a hunger strike.

2. Is it possible to inject water into my cat?

SQ fluids can be administered in various ways, but most commonly, they are administered using a drip bag in which the fluid is placed and a drip tube attached to the needle. SQ fluids are generally well tolerated by cats.

3. Splashing water at a cat is cruel, right?

Your cat will not learn better behavior if you spray her with water, and she could become seriously confused if you do so.

4. What is the best way to say sorry to a cat?

If your cat is upset, give him a few seconds to calm down, then ask him politely to apologize while blinking slowly at him. Your cat will appreciate treats or catnip if you praise and reward them. Playing games with your cat and spending time together should help ease its stress.

5. Are cats capable of forgetting who owns them?

In most cases, cats miss their owners when they leave, and their strong memories will enable them to remember their owners when they return. However, it will depend on your cat's personality and friendliness.


I know a cat is a precious pet to every owner. That's why it's so important to look after them and closely observe cats' activity because cats don't talk about the act. I hope this article has given you enough idea about cats' dehydration. This will reduce the hassle the next time your cat gets dehydration.