How to Give Subcutaneous Fluids to A Cat

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Cats with chronic kidney disease pass large amounts of urine and become easily dehydrated. Dehydration can be prevented by feeding canned or raw food, and by encouraging cats to drink. A fountain can be a good option for this. However, frequently, these cats don’t feel well enough to eat or drink enough to combat dehydration, and your veterinarian may prescribe fluid therapy. Fluid therapy also aids in flushing waste products through the kidneys.

Your vet will determine the type of fluid your cat will receive. A veterinary staff member will show you how to administer the fluids to your cat, and you will be able to do this at home. Most cats will tolerate receiving fluids from their guardians. The frequency of fluid administration will be determined by how advanced your cat’s renal disease is and can range from once a week to several times a week.

You will need a fluid bag, tubing, and needles. Fluids are administered under the cat’s skin. The fluids will pool in a little “lump” and will be gradually absorbed by your cat’s body over the course of a few hours.

The following video from the Cornell Feline Health Center provides a comprehensive overview of how to administer subcutaneous fluids, with step-by-step instructions:

The following tips will help make fluid therapy easier for you and your cat:

  • Always warm the fluids before giving them to your cat. The best way to do this is by putting the bag of fluids into a sink filled with warm water. Microwaving the bag is not recommended, as the fluids may get too hot.
  • Vary the injection site slightly each time.
  • Never reuse a needle. Always put a fresh, sterile needle on the end of the tubing prior to giving fluids.
  • Follow each fluid administration with your cat’s favorite treat.
  • Remain calm! If you feel anxious about administering fluids, your cat will pick up on your anxiety.

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The photos in this post were provided by Robin A.F. Olson, founder and president of Kitten Associates, a small rescue group on Newtown, CT and author of Covered in Cat Hair. They show Nicky receiving fluids from Sam Moore, Vice President of Kitten Associates. Nicky is 13 years old and is in chronic renal failure. He has been getting fluids for 1 ½ years. He currently gets 150 cc of fluids every other day. “We treat fluid administration like Nicky’s Spa Day,” says Robin. “We have a very soft blanket for Nicky to sit on, he gets special food, which we elevate so he sits up, making the needle insertion easier and the needle stays put. We also try to be very very quiet during the time he gets his fluids.”

Fluid therapy can make a dramatic difference in cats in renal failure and extend quality of life.

Do you have any tips for giving subcutaneous fluids to your cat? Share them in a comment!

All photos ©Robin A.F. Olson, used with permission.

56 Comments on How to Give Subcutaneous Fluids to A Cat

  1. Lynette
    July 9, 2017 at 12:46 pm (3 months ago)

    A month ago my cat Mandy of 17 years was diagnosed with chronic renal failure . I was really upset by it . I have taken her to the vet for 17 years and 16 of them she always had a great weight and healthy . In the 2 months leading to her yearly vet appointment I noticed some changes . She was acting more lethargic and I just knew something was off . Still eating and lovable but something wasn’t the same . And it was confirmed by her physical and labs . She lost 2lbs in a year . They told me fluids was an important part for the dehydration that kidney disease beings and it will extend a happier quality of life. Also they gave me sample boxes of special kidney wet food for her to try if she will eat it .

    Now the food wasn’t a success . She is a picky eater . But I throw in a can as much as I can with her normal fancy feast . Which is like ice cream to these animals . We got one iv done at the vet and then I bought the bag and needles to do at home . I was only successful to do it one time that week . They wanted me to do 100ml every day for one week since she was severely dehydrated then once every 3 days . But it wasn’t working . She would run and fight me . I was getting so frustrated and defeated . You can’t tell these animals why it’s important and also I didn’t want to stress her out daily . That’s not a good quality of life . I took her in a paid $12 ( this is now a total of $600 I have spent in 3 weeks on everything ) to have them do it since she is an angel with them . I expressed my concerns and the vet told me try the bathroom where they can’t escape .

    So a couple of days later I did that and it was a success! I had her lay on her favorite bath mat and I have the bag on a Hanger hanging off the towel rack . She was in a great position to insert the needle in the loose skin and it was great . That night she had great energy and was feeling good . I have now been successfully giving her the subcutaneous fluids every 3 days in the bathroom and she lays there and is purring . Her energy is up , her appetitite is good and she seems happier .

    I know she has chronic disease and I May not be able to fix that but giving her a happier daily quality of life makes me happy . I have to get labs done in month to check how her weight is and also if her kidneys show signs of improvement and I will hope at least for stability . Fluids is so important and if anyone is having issues try the bathroom . The door is closed and so they know they can’t escape and at least for my cat she sits still . And she isn’t unhappy after . It’s business as usual and she is fine .

    Reply
  2. Val
    January 24, 2017 at 1:24 am (8 months ago)

    Thank you so much for sharing this information! Our cat peewee is 14 and suffering from the early stages kidney disease :(. Over the past week and two emergency visits to the vet for dehydration I learned how to administer the fluids. What a scary thought- but we love him and never want him to suffer (the dehydration has been getting bad and it really becomes obvious in both his physical structure and personality). It was really great to read everyone else’s experiences and tips and to know that others have gone through a similar (if not the same) experience. I’ll be honest in saying that when I left the vet I was so overwhelmed- but just knowing that others are giving their cats fluids as well is really comforting

    Reply
  3. Milos mom
    July 4, 2016 at 10:37 pm (1 year ago)

    We have been giving sub-q fluids to our kitty Milo for 4 years now — started out 2X a week, then three, now every other day — soon we will move to every day. She is nearly 18 now and doing very well indeed. She eats raw chicken and canned food. I think most people are super nervous at first —we sure we’re! Our learning curve was steep! At first both my husband and I were very uncertain, and we had to do the procedure together, one holding the cat and one administering – and Milo cussing a blue streak the whole time. I didn’t feel confident enough after watching the vet techs, so I watched a bunch of you tube videos over time – and finally a few months in I saw one where the vet gave the cat treats during the whole procedure and that was a GAME-CHANGER; from then on we fed Milo turkey or tuna during the procedure and she not only stopped cussing, she even started purring! Incidentally, We got pretty good at in within several weeks. Then time came when only one of us could be there to do fluids, and by then she was so used to it we were able to move smoothly into solo work: just put a towel on the table, warm the fluid bag, hang it on a coat-hanger on a high nail, make a generous tent in her scruff, swift poke with Terumo thin-gauge needle parallel to her body so it won’t go down into her muscles, feed her with one hand while holding the needle steady with the other, then stop flow, remove needle and stick it in towel while pinching her skin to seal it off for one minute to avoid leakage…then lift her off the table, give her a titch more food, then change the needle to a fresh one ready to go for next time, and dispose properly of old needle, fold up towel and all is well. Takes about 5 minutes. Now she knows it makes her feel better so she is fairly calm. There does have to be food every time though – and the few times she has had fluid at the vet in the past couple of years, she still screams bloody murder. (They don’t feed her during the procedure.). IT IS so WORTH DOING THIS. We order fluids by the case so they’re cheaper, see Tanya’s website for loads of info including buying supplies. We have gotten to spend several more quality years with our beloved kitty, and once everybody gets used to it , you’re talking at most a 15 minute procedure stop to finish and the cat feels great and goes on living life ! THe way you would if you had to have an IV every day for 15 minutes. Big deal, compared to hours/days/months/years of joyful LIFE?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 5, 2016 at 5:44 am (1 year ago)

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Milo’s Mom, and all my best to you and Milo!

      Reply
    • TheCatWhisperer
      September 20, 2016 at 5:22 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Milos Mom can you tell me what size (gauge) the needle was? 21? 22? 23?

      Reply
  4. Karen
    January 24, 2015 at 1:29 pm (3 years ago)

    When I learned my cat Gustav would need SubQ therapy I thought he was near the end of his life and took it as a major blow. Being deathly afraid of needles myself , I actually fainted in the vets office when the tech first tried to teach me how to administer. Now three and a half years later my cat and I are still going strong. Even the most depressing and scary scenario can turn into a lifesaver for your pet. You can do it!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 24, 2015 at 2:37 pm (3 years ago)

      Good for you, Karen, and thank you for sharing your experience.

      Reply
  5. Rica
    September 28, 2014 at 10:18 pm (3 years ago)

    We have 2 cats on SubQ fluids, and the costs were sky high at our vet.

    It was $28 per cat to have a vet tech administer fluids in the office, so we started at-home treatment, but the costs were still ridiculous: $26 per fluid bag, $1 per needle, and $7 per IV set.

    Luckily we found “Scooter’s Mail Order Supplies for Chronic Renal Failure (CRF)” at http://www.zzcat.com/CRF/supplies/. That site is such a blessing. We asked our vet for prescriptions, and used Thriving Pets and MVI to order Hospira IV sets for about $2 each, and Terumo thin wall needles for about $6 for a box of 100. Best of all, our local Costco pharmacy only charges about $24 for a CASE of Hospira fluids (the same brand our vet uses), so we now buy 12 bags for less than the price of 1 bag from the vet. Thanks to Scooter and David Jacobson, we are saving hundreds per month, and the Terumo thin wall needles are so much easier on the cats than the Monoject harpoons the vet sold us. Please pass this info on to anyone you know with a CRF cat!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 29, 2014 at 6:39 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you for sharing this resource, Rica.

      Reply
    • TheCatWhisperer
      September 20, 2016 at 5:27 pm (1 year ago)

      Do you know what gauge needle you were using instead of the “harpoons”? Terumo is no better than Monoject, it was the gauge (thickness) of the needle that made a difference. The higher the gauge the thinner the needle. So the Monoject “harpoon” was probably a very low gauge needle and thus it was thicker. I am trying to figure out what gauge needle I should use for subcutaneous injections of LTCI for my cat.

      Reply
  6. Haley
    June 19, 2014 at 1:41 pm (3 years ago)

    I have watched a lot and videos about this and this has been the most helpful. As well, my vet said that said warming the fluids was optional, now I realize it’s not. My baby is 19 and when the fluids would start going into her she would always flinch, I assume because the fluids were cool. Knowing that these fluids help is what motivates me to give them to her. I want her to feel better. It has gotten to the point that she will now sit under the bag of fluids and meow until I give them to her. Thank you for all the great info and support, it really does make a difference in our cat’s life. If I know it makes her (Share is her name) feel better then I can do it. Thanks again…

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 19, 2014 at 2:06 pm (3 years ago)

      I’m so glad this was helpful for you and Share, Haley.

      Reply
    • Lynn N.
      June 19, 2014 at 6:56 pm (3 years ago)

      Another tip is to use the thinner gauged needles, If I remember right, the larger the number, the thinner the needle, doublecheck to make sure! We tried two different sizes and consulted with a supply company and they helped us choose a thinner needle gauge.
      If you can sit them on a cat tree by a window, we did that so they had distractions, and that helped. Also, giving them a favorite treat afterwards is a good thing! Anything to make it more positive for them..
      Good luck to everyone who is helping their babies this way..It’s very helpful for them to feel better with kidney disease…

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        June 20, 2014 at 6:24 am (3 years ago)

        You are right, Lynn, the higher the number, the smaller the needle. Smaller needles definitely make it easier on the cat, but it depends on how well the cat tolerates getting fluids in general. Since it will take longer to administer the same amount of fluids through a smaller needle, some cats may get fussy before the full amount has been given, and you may be better off using the larger gauge needle.

        Reply
  7. Lynn Neuberg
    November 16, 2013 at 1:32 am (4 years ago)

    We had to do these fluids with two of our senior kitties because of kidney disease and kidney failure. The one thing our vet DID NOT tell us which was soooo vital was to WARM the fluids beforehand. I noticed the bag was too cool one day, and so we simply placed the bag into a large Rubbermaid mixing bowl and filled it with very hot water and checked the bag every 2 minutes to make sure it didn’t get too hot..We always squirted a bit of water out onto our own skin to make sure it was just right too. These fluids do make a real difference. One trick we used was since we have a nice cat tree in front of a Southern exposure picture window facing our backyard, we would place them on there and it was the right height for us to give the fluids. They could watch the birds and squirrels outside or just bask in the warm sunshine. We always gave treats when done and praised them and gave them pets and cuddles…Don’t be afraid to do this for your cat. If I can do it, anyone can! There are great resources, like this page to help us all…..your cat will feel so much better for it..

    Reply
  8. Corinne Marie
    November 14, 2013 at 5:13 am (4 years ago)

    Carly, my 13 year old cat was the hardest to get water into. I tried everything! Then one time I just poured water into her wet food…..viola!! She drank it and loves it. So she is fully hydrated all the time now. (and gets upset if I don’t put the water in her food) 🙂

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 14, 2013 at 8:07 am (4 years ago)

      Corinne, the fluids that are given subcutaneously are not water, they’re balanced electrolyte solutions. Adding water to your cat’s food is a great way to add hydration, but in the latter stages of renal failure, it may not be enough.

      Reply
  9. rose
    November 14, 2013 at 12:53 am (4 years ago)

    This video is great. I had to give my 20 y/o guy fluids for a couple of years. He did great and put up with my learning curve like a champ. He did die from his illness eventually, but he had a good quality of life at home with less vet visits. I miss him like crazy, but I have another 20 y/o girl who is drinking and peeing a lot now. we are going to the vet, but she does not have the easy going personality that my boy did and i am worried that she will not tolerate a lot of fussing. I guess i will have to see what the vet says. I have a 9 y/o diabetic on insulin, a 3 y/o perfectly healthy (thank you), and an 8 month old kitten, also healthy. Add a blind deaf tiny old dachshund to the mix and I have a hospice, acute care, day care, nursery, Are there any telethons for situations like this?

    Reply
  10. kim
    November 13, 2013 at 9:35 pm (4 years ago)

    Hi all,
    We had to give our angel Minnow subqs the last 4 or 5 years of her life.She had CRF I learned as much as I could about the disease.She didn’t like them as well but they made her feel so much better.my partner taught me how to give them as she used to work at a vet hospital and she learned how to do some vet tech stuff.
    A few hints get the termo (not sure of the spelling)short bevel 20 gage needles.as its easier on the cat and doesn’t take longer.I hated the kitty harpoons the vets would give us.
    Always warm fluids .your cat is stressed enough they don’t need the extra shock.
    Always have treats they can eat to keep their mind off of what’s going on .
    And as others have stated be calm …..it usually only took 10 min or less for 100cc of fluid

    Reply
    • TheCatWhisperer
      September 20, 2016 at 5:33 pm (1 year ago)

      A 20 gauge needle is a very thick needle. What gauge needle are you referring to as a “harpoon”? Are you calling it a harpoon because of the length? Terumo needles, as with any other brand of needles, come in various thicknesses and lengths.

      Reply
      • Bonnie
        September 21, 2016 at 11:01 pm (1 year ago)

        The terumo needles are sharper and come in thin wall and ultra thin wall. You can use a 20 gauge and the flow is a out the same as an 18 or 19 gauge regular needle. That’s why people recommend them so often. They really do make a difference

        Reply
        • TheCatWhisperer
          September 22, 2016 at 10:00 am (1 year ago)

          Thank you Bonnie. I never knew about thin and ultra thin wall needles but you are right it does make a difference from what ive read. Im going to pick some up for my cats LTCI injections. Thanks again!

          Reply
  11. Krista
    November 13, 2013 at 7:18 pm (4 years ago)

    This definitely hits home with us in the sense that we are SO glad that we have averted my cat’s health from having to result to this. Our 13 yr old, Damien, was starting to have signs of kidney failure and was forming crystals in his urinary tract. By switching him to an all canned diet with more of a gravy style filling, he has come around almost full circle. He has lost weight from where he used to be (22lbs, and fyi he is a very large, but not fat cat) and he’s more around 15-16 lbs now.

    I want to tell those who have to do subcutaneous fluids that it is so worth it, and you are amazing for putting that much effort into your pets well being. It’s lovely to hear about people loving and properly taking care of their pets instead of all the negative things the news reports.

    Reply
  12. Sheri
    November 13, 2013 at 5:56 pm (4 years ago)

    My cat, Loki, was diagnosed with CRD 4 years ago and, over time, she’s gone from Sub Q fluids a couple of times a week to our current daily regimen. She’s gotten so used to it now that she actually handles it better than the meds we have to give her orally. I think she knows that it’s helping her to feel better, but I discovered a new treat this week, Greenies digestive health, and she is in heaven!!! She fought off her brothers to consume quite a few last night. She also gets at least a can of wet food a day (more if she’ll eat it), and I’ve added energy work too.
    To Michele, my vet charges me about $60 for 4 bags with tubing and needles. You might see if you can get someone to help you. I have my daughter and son-in-law who usually do the sticking while I hold her and tell her what a good girl she is! Loki refuses to eat the kidney diet, so I feed her the Purina Pro Plan that she likes. From what I understand, it’s better that they eat something, even if it’s not as gentle on their kidneys as the prescription food.

    Good luck with Rascal!

    Reply
    • Michele
      November 14, 2013 at 10:53 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks Sheri,

      I have such a selection of food here for him. You’d think I own a pet store lol. He eats stuff then turns his nose up at it other days. What he doesn’t eat my 2 1yr old cats eat. That’s great pricing for the fluids. It heart breaking my vet is ripping me off. I have referred so many people to them, plus I bring my other pets there.

      Rascal REALLY doesn’t tolerate me giving him the fluids lol. I used to do it but I can’t handle it. Not to mention he could care less about food or treats. My mom used to help me. He would flip no matter what we did.

      He hates the k/d food. I may try it again soon because he’s eating less. It breaks my heart. He’s so sweet.

      Reply
  13. Michele
    November 13, 2013 at 3:18 pm (4 years ago)

    I have been taking my sweet 16yr old baby boy Rascal to the vet for fluids for about 1 1/2 years to get fluids. I have tried to do it myself, but I get sick to my stomach. It’s so sad watching him shrink down in weight. There are days he hides on me because he knows he’s going to the vet. We can’t even say vet or the techs name, he goes into hiding. I have bought SOOO many different types of food for him because he gets picky and won’t eat.

    My vet charges me $18 per visit to give him the fluids and $40 every time he needs a new bag. It’s expensive, but he’s my baby and I love him to pieces! Kidney failure in pets sucks!

    Reply
  14. Darcie
    November 13, 2013 at 1:13 pm (4 years ago)

    I had to do SQ for the first time at home last night on my 15 yo Maine Coon, Esau. I did OK at the vet’s office with the tech talking me through, but my husband was nervous. Made the cat nervous, made me upset… The one thing she did not say was to warm the liquid. Esau jumped when the liquid went in, the needle came out and sprayed everywhere. He then was restless. It was awful. I had to poke home three times to get it all in. My friend sent me this video. I sat down and cried after it was over. I need to get it so Esau can have a few more good years. He is his old ornery self after getting fluids. Thanks for the info. Kidney disease is scary at first. But, we will get through it.

    Reply
    • Beth
      November 13, 2015 at 5:21 pm (2 years ago)

      I have just started my 12 year old, Hoss, on fluids. He is terrific about it. He just curls up in my lap and tucks his head down. I, on the other hand, have cried afterwards both times so far. My friends who have done this say it gets to be second nature over time. <3

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        November 14, 2015 at 11:48 am (2 years ago)

        It’s great that Hoss accepts the fluids so readily, Beth. I know it’s not an easy thing to do, but try to remind yourself that you’re helping him by giving fluids.

        Reply
  15. Kathy
    November 13, 2013 at 12:32 pm (4 years ago)

    My husband and I tried this for two weeks and it was terrible for us and our male coon cat. I sometimes had problem getting the needle in and even when I was successful it was so stressful for all concerned. Afterwards, our cat would hide from us for most of the day. We eventually stopped it because we saw it as a quality of life issue for him and for us. Right now his kidney levels are holding steady without this treatment. Perhaps if he does require fluids in the future, some of the tips here will help but we refuse to torture him if it doesn’t work.

    Reply
  16. Suzanne Geer
    November 13, 2013 at 11:38 am (4 years ago)

    These are great tips. I had to do this with my 20 years old cat Mathilda, and it was a nightmare. I wound up with a pincushion cat, and water literally spraying out of her little body. I don’t think it bothered her nearly as much as it did me, but I was traumatized. It was much easier with my cat Callie, who just went to the vet’s office for the day and the techies did it, and she was a little princess. Mathilda got car sick and I couldn’t transport her 30 miles to the vet without her getting sick.

    Reply
  17. Katie
    November 13, 2013 at 11:25 am (4 years ago)

    A number of years ago I had to give fluids to my sweet Gracie. My vets are greatest people in the world and showed me how to do it. When I first did it at home I felt confident with what I was doing because of their careful instruction. This video makes it look as simple as it really is. Gracie never complained or struggled because she just figured it was bonus cuddle time. She unfortunately lost her battle with cancer, but being to make her more comfortable during her last year by doing this made not only her feel better, but me, too.

    Reply
  18. Alicia
    November 13, 2013 at 10:46 am (4 years ago)

    I give my baby kitty Cleo (13 y.o. DSH) sub-Q fluids twice every week. She hates them and always gets very upset which of course breaks my heart. She seemed to be getting used to them but then we had to start doing them twice every week instead of once and since then she hates it. Some tips I’ve found helpful: #1 ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS warm the fluids! I was told that this is optional, but it shouldn’t be! Warming the fluids (in the sink with warm water for a few minutes) makes a HUGE difference in Cleo’s comfort. It doesn’t seem to shock her as much when the fluids go in. #2 Because Cleo hates getting her fluids and still needs to be restrained, we do the fluids in the bathroom on the bare floor. I set up a heating pad for her to lay on but I don’t give her a blanket because she used to dig her claws into the blanket to try and stand up. We have tried doing the fluids with her standing up but she won’t hold still. #3 We whisper the entire time. I have found that talking even at a normal level stresses her out. #4 Cleo wears a calming collar and I spray Feliway (a pheramone meant to reduce stress in kitties, you can buy it at a Petco or on Amazon) in the bathroom beforehand. #5 I use an 18-guage needle. I started with 20-guage to ease Cleo into it but she doesn’t seem to be bothered by the size difference and the 18-guage goes a lot faster. #6 There are 3 people giving fluids. One of my friends does the poking and while the fluids are flowing she adjusts the needle just a tiny bit to ensure the flow stays steady. She also massages the bolus (the big “hump”) very gently during the administration. My second friend is scruffing Cleo, making sure her head is down against the floor so she’s not straining her neck. I hold Cleo’s arms and legs. (Hopefully your pet doesn’t squirm as much and you don’t have to do all this!) If your kitty seems stressed you can try tapping on their head. This seems to distract them (the vet gave me this tip).

    I hope some of these tips help someone out there! It’s definitely been a learning experience.

    Reply
  19. Tami Amburn
    November 13, 2013 at 10:26 am (4 years ago)

    I was so afraid of this when my vet gave me the news that Cali was going to need sub q’s for the rest of her life. Its been about 9 months and I am getting used to it and so is she. I still cringe a little when the needle goes through. The best thing is her levels are steady and she has had no UTI in 9 months. Eating pretty well too. This video and explanation is great. Ingird you are the best!!

    Reply
  20. Ruthi
    November 13, 2013 at 10:10 am (4 years ago)

    Something you should also do, make sure the bevel end of the needle is up when you put it under the skin…I can’t count the number of people that tell me “no one told me that”

    Reply
    • Lynn Neuberg
      November 16, 2013 at 1:29 am (4 years ago)

      Hi, By Bevel end, do you meant the one side of the needle end that has the opening where the fluid comes out? I wanted to clarify this for others. We gave SubQ fluids to two of our senior cats and the one thing I wish our vet would have told is that is so VITAL in our opinion is to WARM the fluids before giving them! I learned this one day by feeling the bag and it was too cool, cooler than body or room temperature so we placed the bag of fluids into a large rubbermaid bowl with very hot tap water, and checked the water temp every 2 minutes, being careful it was not too hot, then let the fluid come out onto our own wrist to make sure it was just right before giving to our kitties..

      Reply
  21. kathy
    October 26, 2013 at 12:12 am (4 years ago)

    I have been giving my cat fluid for several weeks now on a daily basis. He is loosing weight and it is becoming more and more difficult to get the needle in without going through the skin on the other side. My cat is also whimpering when I put the needle in. Any thoughts?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 26, 2013 at 6:53 am (4 years ago)

      If he’s losing weight, you need to check with your veterinarian. Unfortunately, kidney disease can cause skin to become thinner. You can try varying the location of where you give the fluids, and use a smaller needle.

      Reply
    • Laurene
      January 14, 2015 at 4:59 am (3 years ago)

      This post is old, but for those of you with the same problem of the needle going out the skin on the other side, you don’t need it all the way in. Just fare night to get the point well under the skin. Half way works fine for my kitty.

      Reply
  22. Penny
    September 1, 2013 at 7:50 am (4 years ago)

    Very good video! This is my fourth kidney cat but the first one needing subq fluids on an ongoing basis. My vet showed me how to do this yesterday and I admit to a big case of nerves today! I hadn’t realised that I am trying to just get the fluids under the coat -I thought I was meant to be aiming for a vein like with people. Tissueing is bad in people but I guess good in cats!

    Reply
  23. Trouble and Mischief
    August 24, 2013 at 2:33 pm (4 years ago)

    Excellent article. Pet parents need to know that they needn’t lose a beloved companion because they fear giving this kind of treatment. It’s not difficult, and my dear Albert (predecessor to these two dervishes) lived to 18, the last six years with diabetes, thanks to caring vets and vet techs who took the time to teach and answer questions. Done right, administering fluids (or insulin) is not painful to the cat. Albert used to come to me at the same time every night and sit patiently until his fluid treatment was done.

    Reply
  24. The Island Cats
    August 19, 2013 at 9:49 pm (4 years ago)

    Great info! One of my previous cats needed sub-qs and I learned to give them to him. One of the things I did was use a smaller gauge needle. Most times an 18 gauge needed is recommended. I used a 20 gauge. It was easier to insert and the fluids really didn’t flow that much slower.

    Island Cats’ mom Sue

    Reply
  25. Minakitty
    August 19, 2013 at 12:37 pm (4 years ago)

    We are very fortunate to live only a 5 minute drive from our vet’s office. Our 16 y/o grande dame has mild CKD and our attempts to administer fluids at home were disastrous! At the vet, she’s nervous to the point that she will not move one bit while the techs give her fluids. With us, she’s comfortable enough to squirm around knowing where she can run and hide given the chance.

    Also, they charge only $7 per session. We just file it under “there is no such thing as a free cat” and are grateful for our proximity!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 19, 2013 at 3:59 pm (4 years ago)

      That’s great that you’re so close to your vet’s office that it makes it possible for them to give the fluids.

      Reply
      • Kathy
        November 13, 2013 at 12:24 pm (4 years ago)

        Hi,

        We also had a very difficult time with this and our cat hated us and would hide from us a lot. We ended up stopping the fluids and so far so good. It was a quality of life decision for us and our cat but I will inquire about bringing him in to our vet and having them do it for a fee if he gets worse.

        Reply
  26. Vickster
    August 19, 2013 at 11:28 am (4 years ago)

    How wonderful that you all love your kitties enough to do this for them! I’ve wiped butts and put stuff in their eyes and nose, plus I am a daily litterbox detective, so I’m sure when and if I will have to administer fluids like this, I’ll jump in wholeheartedly too. I’ll admit that I’m rotten at remaining calm or hiding my feelings sometimes, but everyday I remind myself that it’s not about ME; it’s what my cats need…and that makes it clear.

    Good luck to Gayle and Debra, and their cat friends!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 19, 2013 at 3:58 pm (4 years ago)

      I have no doubt that you could do it if you had to, Vickster – but hopefully, you’ll never need to!

      Reply
  27. Sue Brandes
    August 19, 2013 at 10:02 am (4 years ago)

    So far I have not had to do this. I have had two cats who were very sick get them at the vet. Very helpful info to use if I ever need to do this. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 19, 2013 at 3:57 pm (4 years ago)

      I hope you’ll never need the info, Sue!

      Reply
    • Athena Mizelle
      November 24, 2013 at 3:43 pm (4 years ago)

      When Miss Maya was first diagnosed w/ renal failure, I started out having her get her fluids at the vet’s– this worked well until her regular Saturday morning infusion turned out to be on July 4th… and what a surprise, the clinic wasn’t open… the only good thing here was the discovery that she was doing well with only 1 infusion/ week — but that was a wake-up call that I needed to be able to do this; there would be other holidays, there would be the odd home football game, the odd tropical storm. She was a LOT better about it than I was, and, I think happier not being schlepped to the vet.

      I was able to give her another year this way before the disease caught up with her.

      Reply
  28. Gayle S
    August 19, 2013 at 7:13 am (4 years ago)

    Me too! Supposed to learn today for 17 year old sweetheart of mine.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 19, 2013 at 3:57 pm (4 years ago)

      How did it go, Gayle?

      Reply
  29. Debra
    August 19, 2013 at 2:56 am (4 years ago)

    Great timing! We just adopted Peaches, who is about 12 yrs old and looks amazingly like Nicky. Peaches has CKD and we’ve just started with her fluid therapy. It’s still kinda scary for us, so the video and tips really help. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 19, 2013 at 3:57 pm (4 years ago)

      I’m glad this was so timely for you, Debra. All my best to you and Peaches!

      Reply
    • Dana Kumar
      May 2, 2014 at 1:20 pm (3 years ago)

      Please google a product called Tripsy. They have since changed the name but it will come up. This is MIRACLE stuff. All natural.

      My cat Oliver had chronic kidney disease and after beginning Tripsy he improved dramatically. Two specialists were AMAZED, they had told me to put him down because there was nothing they could do but I refused to give up on him.

      In fact, they have started recommending it to all of their other patients.

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        May 2, 2014 at 4:11 pm (3 years ago)

        This sounds like an interesting product, Dana. I’m glad it worked so well for Oliver. As with all herbal remedies, I recommend consulting with a veterinarian prior to using.

        Reply

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