How To Medicate Your Cat
Medicine, oral, pills, capsules, liquids, topical, how to give, refusal, medicate, difficult, swallow, liquid, cream, lotion, tablet
How To Medicate Your Cat
In a perfect world, your cat would never get ill. Ok, life is far from perfect and your pet will require medical assistance at some point in its life. Back to wishful thinking, if your cat does become ill, wouldn't it be spectacular if it only needed one injection that would last until the disease process was cured and oh yes, didn't cost an arm and a paw?
Advances in veterinary pharmaceuticals are amazing. Veterinarians now have an arsenal of lotions, potions, tablets and formulations that can safely and effectively treat a myriad of ailments. How often a medication needs to be given is a function of its unique biochemical nature. Some drugs can only be given in an injectable form, others only as tablets. Giving the correct medication at the proper time, in the appropriate amount, by the prescribed route, for the entire length of time that your veterinarian has directed is essential if the desired effect is to be achieved.
Giving a dog pill is pretty straightforward. Hide it in a morsel of food and poof it's gone. Dogs tend to eat first and think later. Cats are rather persnickety creatures. Hide something in their food, and they may go on a hunger strike.
I want to show you some tricks that I have learned over the years of being the principal concierge to my cats. Tip number one, trim your cats' nails before you need to treat it. Second, sequester yourself and your cat in a quiet room with few places where it can escape to if it gets away from you. Three, wrap your cat in a large towel or sheet `burrito style', leaving only the head exposed. This is a great way to control your cat if you are tending to it by yourself and your kitty likes to squirm. Four, take a deep breath, assume the best and give it a try.
When an oral medication needs to be given, I prefer a tablet. With liquids, I am never sure how much is on the pet, on the floor or me and how much actually got into the cat.
- If you do need or want to give a liquid medication, try the following:
- Place the tip of the dropper or syringe to the side of your cat's mouth, just behind the fang or canine tooth.
- Gently administer a small amount of liquid and give your cat a chance to swallow.If you give too much at one time, your cat may feel as though it is choking, and spew the liquid everywhere.
- To speed swallowing, you can gently stroke your cat's throat.
- You will know when it has swallowed when you see your kitty's tongue quickly appear then disappear.
- Now give your cat lots of love.
If you are going to give a tablet, see if this helps:
- Either have someone cradle the cat in their arms, all the while restraining the paws, or place the cat on a counter or other elevated surface where you can back it into a corner.
- You can also do the kitty burrito routine if you are medicating the cat on your own. With one hand, reach over the cat's head and place your thumb behind one of the upper canine teeth and use your index finger to gently press down on the jaw behind the canine tooth on the opposite side of the mouth. This will result in opening the mouth.
- You will want to direct the cat's nose toward the ceiling.
- Drop the pill into the mouth and try to position it beyond the base of the tongue. If the pill is sitting in the middle or towards the front of the tongue, your cat will have an easy time of spitting it out.
- You can use the eraser end of a pencil to gently push the tablet further into the throat if needed.
- Now quickly close your cat's mouth and stroke the throat to induce swallowing.
If your cat is stubborn and refuses to swallow, you can also for a brief period of time, place a finger over its nostrils. You will know that the pill is on its way to the stomach when the tongue quickly appears and then vanishes.
There is a wondrous device known as a pilling syringe that has saved many a finger from accidentally being bitten by the feline patient. It allows you to place the tablet further in the mouth and will not damage the sensitive oral tissue. Ask your veterinarian about this implement.
Whenever you need to give medication to your pet, be sure you know why you are giving it. What possible adverse side effects you may see and what you should do it you see them.
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