Have you ever had to give your cat oral medication? Perhaps antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection, long term medication, or a dewormer. If you have not, consider yourself blessed. However, at some point, “Muffins” will probably need some sort of medication. Here are some tips and tricks on how to keep from turning medication time into a hassle.
Have proper instructions
Before leaving the veterinarian’s office with medication, be sure to ask specific questions about the dose and if your cat needs to eat with the medication. Have the veterinarian or the technician show you how to administer the drug – give the first doses together.
Believe it or not, your cat can smell fear. Make sure to keep your mind in the game and not think negative thoughts when it is time to get the job done.
Use treats if possible
If your cat is food motivated, hide the medication in a treat or a pill pocket. You can also use canned food to make a meatball. If you choose to use this method, make sure that your cat eats the treat and not other pets are around to steal it.
Properly “pilling” a cat
If you are nervous about making sure your cat gets the full dose of medication, pilling them is definitely the best option. Here is how to properly pill your cat:
Pill Gun: Before leaving the veterinary clinic, be sure to buy a pill popper or pill gun. This is an apparatus that every cat owner should have in their household. If you are unable to buy one, simply cut off the hub of a syringe for a DIY pill gun.
Syringe of Water: When pilling your cat, you MUST chase it with at least 2mL of water to ensure your cat swallows the pill and it does not get stuck in their throat.
Towel or Blanket: To swaddle your cat if needed. See How to Safely Restrain Your Cat here on Cattitude Daily for more information.
Now that you have the supplies needed, here is how to get the job done.
- First, place the pill in the pill gun and have the syringe ready.
- Hold your cats head like a baseball, placing your middle finger and thumb at their temples and lift their head up towards the ceiling. If needed, you can also scruff your cat.
- Start to wedge the pill gun through the corner of their mouth enticing them to open their mouth.
- As soon as they open, pop the pill down the back of their throat or as far back in the mouth as possible and immediately chase the pill with the syringe of water. Speed is going to be the trick – the faster you can do this, the better for you and your cat.
Medicating your cat may not be the most fun activity to do with them, but sometimes it is necessary. Remember to give medication exactly as instructed by your veterinarian. If you feel that pilling them is not an option, call to see if a liquid form is available.
If you found this information useful, don’t forget to share it with other cat owners that you know!