As a cat owner, a trip to the vets is stressful enough for both you and cat and when you hear the words ‘just give them this medicine’ the whole day just got worse. Giving cats’ medicine can be a battle but sometimes is necessary for their health and wellbeing. So what are the expert tips to help make the process easier?
Pills and powders
The easiest way to give your cat medication is to use a commercial treat designed specifically for the job. Cats are good at finding a pill hidden in their food but these treats are sticky so that taking it away is almost impossible. They are soft in texture so can even be moulded around the pill to hide its presence. This is far easier than physically administering a pill for both you and for your cat.
If you can’t find these treats, then forming their food into little meatballs with the pill inside is an idea. Give them a couple of meatballs of food without the pill so they eat them automatically then slip in the one with the medication inside.
If you have to give the cat the medication without food then it will likely to necessary to restrain the cat to protect you both. Wrap their legs and body in a towel then place one thumb and finger on either side of the face from above and behind their whiskers. Put gentle pressure on the space between the teeth so the mouth opens then deposit the pill at the back of the tongue. Close the mouth and rub the throat gently to cause a swallow reflex or even blow gently in their face, which stimulates the same response. Follow it up with at least 5ml of water from a dropper or syringe to help the pill enter the stomach. If the cat licks its nose then you know it has swallowed the pill successfully.
Liquid medicines including water solutions and electrolytes can be given to the cat into the cheek pouch between the molars and the cheek. Most bottles will have their own dropper but otherwise a plastic syringe or eye dropped can be used. Normally, around 15ml of medicine is a single dose. To administer, tilt the cat’s head upwards once they are secured as above. Put the end of the dropper into the cheek pouch and inject the liquid. The cat will automatically swallow and take the medicine.
Various medicines or treatments need an injection as well as scenarios such as anaphylactic shock. Vets will show you how to give an injection to your cat if you need to but the best places to do this are either under the skin (subcutaneous) or into the muscle (intramuscular). One spot that is quite simple to master is into the skin just below the shoulder blades as this can be gathered in one hand and the injection administer with the other. But your vet will always provide you with all the information for this type of medication of treatment.