No one looks forward to taking medication, not even your cat! Hill's Pet has some wonderful tips on how you can make your cat more comfortable and how to administer medication without causing your feline an undue amount of stress.
How to administer a pill
1 - Approach your cat carefully and speak to him/her in gentle tones and wrap her in a towel or blanket (fully supporting the feline's legs)
2 - Try to put the pill in your cat's mouth. Don't force it or she may choke or spit it out. Place it on the center of her tongue near the back of her throat. ASPCA Pet Health Insurance suggests gently rubbing her throat so that it encourages the pill to go down.
3 - Offer her a bowl of water to wash it down with.
If you cat doesn't like taking pills that way, you can always try hiding it in his/her food. This is called the 'Meatball Method'.
Wet or semi-wet food would be best for this. If your feline eats hard food, you can mix it in with a little wet food as a tricky treat!
You can also try putting it in a ball of cat food and presenting it to your cat.
If your feline isn't falling for those tricks, try mixing it in tuna! Human food can cause gastrointestinal distress in cats at times, so it would be best to ask your vet before trying this method.
Another method would be to crush the pill with a spoon and mix in some cat food gravy. Crushing pills can lessen the effects and should always be discussed with your vet before-hand. The strong flavor of the gravy decreases the taste of the crushed up pill.
Administering Liquid Formula
If your cat refuses to try any of the methods above, your vet may be able to prescribe liquid medication that can be given with a syringe. Most medications in liquid form need to be refrigerated, according to Hill's Pet. Never microwave medication. You can warm it up by holding the syringe in your hands for a few seconds.
Hold your cat in a safe, comfortable way and allow your feline to lick the tip of the syringe to taste the medicine. Once she/he has done that, slowly press on the plunger and aim the medicine towards the back of her throat. Petful warns that you should not tilt her head back, because this could cause her to inhale the liquid or choke.
Hold her mouth closed for a bit to make sure that the liquid is swallowed. If she spits out some of the medication, don't worry. Avoid medicating her a second time and wait until her next dosage is due.
Administering Ear Drops
If your feline suffers from infections often, you may have to administer ear drops. VCA Hospital recommends holding the cat in the same way as mentioned above. If you are not comfortable holding your feline while administering the drops, ask a friend or family member to help you.
Draw the liquid into the ear dropper and hold the applicator between your thumb and forefinger while resting your cat's jaw on your palm.
Use your other hand to open the ear canal.
Apply the dose of medication into the ear canal slowly.
Massage the base of the ear canal in a circular motion. You should hear a squishing sound as the medication is massaged into the ear canal.
Release the ear and allow the cat to shake its head. The debris in the ear canal will shake out and you can gently wipe it away.
Administering Eye Drops
If your feline suffers from allergies or infections, you may need to administer eye drops
prescribed by your veterinarian. VCA Hospital recommends taking the following steps to administer the drops:
Gently wash away debris with a warm washcloth.
Place your cat in your lap or wrap him/her in a blanket with only the head exposed.
Hold the bottle with the tip pointing downwards and use two fingers to pull back the upper eyelid. Place your remaining fingers/hand under the cat's jaw to support her head.
Hold the bottle close to the eye (but not touching it!) and squeeze the prescribed number of drops into the eye. Aim for the center of the eye and then release your cat's head. Your feline should blink, causing medication to spread all over the eye.
It is common for felines to blink or paw at the eye after you administer the drops. If this persists and the eye becomes inflamed, consult your veterinarian!
If you have any concerns about administering medication, talk to your veterinarian. He or she may be able to walk you through it at your next appointment.
Cat Haven is not a veterinarian and every pet parent should seek a professional's opinion before administering any medicine to their feline friends.