Originally Posted by GStein
Every time I try to insert the needle into my cat he screams out and tries to run away and I am afraid I am really hurting him. I am inserting it the right way. Now I am in tears and cannot do it. I don't know how to do this without hurting my cat and causing him trauma? I have never inserted a needle before.
All cats are very different...but this worked for my Angel...
Here's what I do:
Ok, at first, I was NOT able to do it myself. You need another pair of hands. So get your neighbor, friend, parent, spouse, whoever...anyone that can help you. Then...what I do is take the cat into my guest bathroom cuz it's small. Bring a small towel. I had my friend cover my kitties head with the towel...and hold her down gently behind her head. For whatever reason, my kitty is less likely to go feral-crazy on me if she can't see what's going on. While her head is covered, I grab a bit of her skin, poke the needle in...and voila!
Getting the needle in right might take several tries. My very first time, I poked the needle straight through a fold of skin...so fluid is spraying on her hair instead of under her skin! If you get it under the skin JUST right, kitty shouldn't cry that loud. These days, I'm usually able to do it pretty good. But sometimes, I still poke somewhere that makes my Angel cry a bit.
Another thing that might make it easier is the gauge of the needle. At first, I used 18 gauge needles. They're pretty thick. I think those hurt more. After I ran out of those, I went and bought 20 guage needles. They seem to work a bit better...they're skinnier...I think they're less painful.
Anyways, after a couple times doing this with help, I am now able to do it myself. I do pretty much the same thing...take her to the guest bathroom, cover her head with a towel (but no one holds her down anymore since I'm by myself), grab skin, poke, voila. Once the needle is inserted, I can usually take the towel off her head and just restrain her by the simple act of petting her. Sometimes I get a slow drip...when that happens, Angel might lose her patience and try to rise but then I can gently restrain her by leaving my hand on her back or head.
There's definitley some trial and error involved in doing this...but I've figured out a method that doesn't seem to stress my kitty very much at all (anymore, that is!). I'm sure you'll figure something out!