Liquid Diet for Cats

A liquid diet may be required at times if your cat has a health problem or has undergone a surgery. The diet will be prescribed by the vet and administered at the hospital, but you may have to administer the food at home in some cases. The food may be purchased, but it can also be prepared at home if the cat has certain requirements.

Cats Requiring Liquid Diet

A liquid diet can be prescribed to cats for a short time or a longer period for the following reasons:

  • Post surgery care
  • Cancer
  • Kidney problems
  • Hepatic lipidosis and other liver problems
  • Dental problems
  • Tumors located in the mouth that make swallowing difficult
  • Coma

Ingredients of Liquid Diet

The liquid diet can help in the recovery and will provide the essential nutrients the cat requires. The liquid diets may have different formulas, adapted for each cat's needs. Some formulas may be high in fats, others may have fewer proteins and will be selected depending on the cat's condition.

The food may be purchased in pet stores or recommended by your vet, and may include products such as Rebound liquid diet, RenalCare or CliniCare. In some cases the vet will recommend liquid diets formulated for humans, which may contain ingredients essential for the cat's well being. However, most diets formulated for humans are poor in proteins, so the cat will require an additional source of protein.

You also have the option of preparing the food at home, but make sure to discuss your cat's dietary needs with the vet and include all the needed nutrients for your cat's recovery. Chicken broth or baby cereals may be included in a liquid diet for an ill cat, but make sure to check with your vet first.

Benefits of a Liquid Diet

A liquid diet can have many benefits for a cat including:

  • The food is easily digested and will not cause intestinal problems or constipation
  • It will take off workload from the kidneys or liver
  • Will provide all the needed nutrients
  • Can be fed to a cat that is in a coma

How to Feed a Cat

You will have to feed the liquid diet to your pet if the treatment is long term. You will need a syringe. Fill it with the amount indicated by the vet and introduce the syringe into the cat's mouth, making sure he ingests the food. Alternatively, you can use a feeding bottle. You will have to be extra careful so that the food doesn't get aspirated in the lungs, as this can cause extra complications and may also be fatal. Ensure you get all the indications from your vet and get the food the cat requires.

If the cat is in a hospital, the vet will opt for a feeding tube, which is more practical and will be introduced in the cat's esophagus or the nose.