How to Give a Cat Medicine

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Giving a cat medication is never fun, but sometimes administering it in a liquid form can be the lesser of several evils. Follow this blow-by-blow explanation of how to do it, and you won’t even need a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down!

How to Give a Cat Medicine

  • Most liquid medications come with an eyedropper attached to the lid. If the medication does not come with an eyedropper, using an individually purchased eyedropper or oral syringe will also work.

  • Draw up the prescribed amount of medication in the eyedropper or oral syringe.

  • Firmly grasp your cat’s head using your non-dominant hand. Grasp the top of the head, just on top of the ears with the thumb on one side of the face and the fingers on the other. Avoid holding the lower jaw and do not hold it so tight that it is uncomfortable. You may need someone to help hold the front legs and chest of the cat to hold him still. Some people find that wrapping a cat in a towel or blanket is a good restraint technique.

  • Once the cat’s head is held in place, raise the nose to point toward the ceiling. The mouth should then open.

  • Place the tip of the eyedropper or syringe in the mouth just behind the long canine teeth in the area where there are either no teeth or small, flat teeth. Then advance the eyedropper until it is just past the tooth line (jaw bone).

  • Slowly administer the medication and be careful not to give it faster than your cat can swallow.

How to Give a Cat Medicine For Her Ears

Ear disease, infections, and traumas are quite common ailments, and frequently they require prescription medication. For the average person, administering these medications can be confusing and difficult. Some cats resist the medication, especially if their ears are causing them pain.

You need diligence and patience to give the medication. A technique for how to give a cat medicine is outlined below:

  • Have the medication container ready and the cap off.

  • Hold your cat’s head still with one hand, while the other hand is used to administer the medication. Many people hold the tip of the affected ear to help hold the cat still. Be very careful not to hold the ear too firmly, which can cause even more pain. Be prepared for your cat to flinch once the medication touches the ear.

  • Remove the container from the ear opening and gently rub the base of the ear to distribute the medication deeper inside the ear.

How to Give a Cat Medicine When it’s in Pill Form

Your veterinarian can supply you with a handy little item called a pill gun. It is a long plastic tube with a plunger used to deliver pills to our less cooperative friends. Some cats just aren’t fooled by that little piece of tuna or cheese with the pill in the middle. The pill gun keeps you from having to stick your hand/fingers into your cat’s mouth when medicating him. An oral dose syringe will help you give liquid medications accurately. A pill splitter will help you cut large tablets into equal portions if your pet requires a smaller dose.

Some pill medications can be hidden in a small amount of food, such as tuna, peanut butter, small amount of butter, canned cheese spread or cream cheese, but you must make sure that your cat swallows the medication. You must also be sure that the medication can be taken with food. Some cats will eat the food and spit out the pill.

If hiding the pill in food is not working, try the following:

  • Hold your cat’s head in place with one hand, and use your other hand to administer the pill. Place the pill between your thumb and forefinger. Use your little finger, ring finger or middle finger to lower the jaw by applying pressure to the teeth between the lower canine teeth.

  • After her mouth is fully open, place the pill as far back in the mouth as possible. Avoid placing your hand too far into your cat’s mouth. You may stimulate the “gag reflex” and this will make the experience unpleasant and make future medication administration attempts more difficult.

  • Close your cat’s mouth and hold it closed. Gently and briefly rub your cat’s nose. This should stimulate him to lick his nose, which results in swallowing.

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