Injecting your cat with medicine is probably the least fun way to follow doctor’s orders, since most likely it’s required on a continual basis. Diseases such as diabetes or allergies often require injectable medications but following your vet’s guidelines will help ensure that your cat is happy and healthy for a long time.
Injectable medications can be prescribed for either subcutaneous or intramuscular use. Most medications that veterinarians dispense for owners to give at home are for subcutaneous use. Discuss the proper route and technique with your veterinarian prior to administering the medication at home.
For drugs that can be administered via subcutaneously, you can try this method:
Coat a cotton ball in alcohol and use it to clean the surface of the medicine bottle.
Insert needle attached to syringe into the rubber top of the medication bottle.
Invert the bottle and draw back the syringe. This will draw up the prescribed amount of medication through the needle and into the syringe.
Make sure there are no air bubbles in the syringe.
Choose the skin between the shoulder blades for the injection site. This spot tends to be the easiest one to work with. You do not need to clean the spot with alcohol.
Hold the syringe with the needle exposed in one hand.
With the other hand, gently lift up a small piece of skin between the shoulder blades, at the base of the neck.
By lifting the skin, an upside down “V” will be formed by the tent in the skin. Insert the needle into the center of this “V” or tented area of skin.
Once the needle is inserted into the skin, draw back slightly on the syringe plunger and make sure no blood flows into the syringe.
If there is no blood in the syringe, push the plunger into the syringe in order to administer the medication. If there is blood, immediately remove syringe and needle – do not push the blood back in. Discard the syringe and start over.
Let go of the skin and make sure there is no liquid on the surface of the skin. If there is moisture on the skin, you may have inserted the needle through one side of the tented skin and out the other side. If this occurs, contact your veterinarian before re-dosing.
Remember, if you feel uncomfortable administering injectable medication; discuss other alternatives with your veterinarian. If you are having difficulty, call your veterinarians office and ask if you can stop by and have the veterinarian or one of the technicians’ demonstrate the technique for you.
Here’s a tip that has worked for some pet owners – If you don’t want to take your pet in, you can sometimes practice with the medication and syringe on a piece of frut such as an orange or banana.