Fluid Therapy for Your Ailing Cat

Fluid Therapy for Your Ailing Cat

When your cat gets injured or sick, you may start to worry about what you can do to make them feel better. If you decide to take them into your vet, one of the first things the vet may decide to do is start fluid therapy for your cat. This fluid therapy is safe and is a simple way to help your cat feel better while the vet figures out what is wrong and how they can better help your cat.

Editor’s Note: Learn facts like Persian cat lifespan here.

What is Fluid Therapy?

The first thing we need to look at is what fluid therapy is all about.  Fluid therapy will involve a subcutaneous or intravenous administration of fluid to your animal to assist in keeping them hydrated. This is often done to help replace fluid that your cat may have lost during a disease or injury. Vets will use this type of therapy often because it will make it easier to treat common medical issues that the cat may come into the office for.

The 2 Types of Procedures to Administer Fluid

There are two main ways to make sure the fluids can get to your cat and start to help them feel more like their normal selves. The first one is intravenous and the second is subcutaneous. Your vet will determine which one will be the most effective for your cat. Let’s take a look at each one.


IV therapy is one of the best when it comes to taking care of your cat. The fluids can get to them right away through the blood. Be aware that your vet will give the cat some medication to sedate them and then will shave around the vein to make it easier to add the needle inside without complications.

Once the vet has been able to complete that step, they will insert a catheter with the help of a hypodermic needle, taping it down in place and then attaching it over to a drip. They can then connect the drip to a bag of fluid, which is usually some sort of saline solution, which is then elevated above the cat.

Placing the bag up higher allows it to slowly go downhill and reach your cat and provides a steady pace for the saline solution to enter the body of your cat. Over time, the bag will deplete of all the solution. This is when the vet will remove the catheter and then swab and clean the injection site to avoid any potential issues.


A second option that the vet may choose to use is subcutaneous fluid administration. This is similar to the other method but instead of having the catheter go right into the vein, the needle is used to put the fluid right under the skin of the cat, somewhere near the spine. This is often done in the vet’s office but can be done at home to help cats who have chronic health conditions including kidney disease.

Does This Therapy Work?

Cat owners will notice that giving their cat fluids is an effective way to make the cat feel better. And the IV option is much more effective than trying to get a sick cat to drink water on their own. This is not a treatment on its own though and your vet will still want to do a checkup to see what else is bothering your feline friend. The saline solution will provide some relief to your cat though and can make it easier to treat any other condition that may make them sick or cause the infection in the first place.

Final Thoughts

If your cat is not feeling well or has something else wrong, it is likely your vet will want to start with this kind of therapy. These procedures do not cause a lot of pain to the cat. They will most likely be a little spooked from being in that environment.

Once the cat has some fluids in them, they will start to feel better and be more receptive to the other treatments your vet will want to try. The fluids are not often the treatment that the cat will need on its own, but it can provide some relief and most of the time it will make your cat feel better.


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