As cat owners, we certainly do our best to take very good care of our feline companions, however accidents do happen and sicknesses can take hold of our kitties.
In the event of an illness or injury your veterinarian may prescribe medication for your cat.
Prescriptions may come in various forms and hopefully with directions on how to use them. In case you need a reminder or extra help, here are some tips to help give your cats their required medications.
There are a number of ways to help your kitty take their medication but the most important thing to remember is that we are taking care of the cat; their health and safety are our main priority. Never force your cat into an uncomfortable or painful position. Be aware of your force in trying to get your cat to behave and take the medication.
Don’t ever block their nostrils or try to force something down their throat. Remember that cats are the sensitive and fragile creatures we fell in love with- even when being obstinate. A great recommendation for all these methods to wrap kitty in a towel or blanket and cradle them while trying to administer their prescription.
This prevents scratches, flailing paws and creates a sense of security having their legs tightly tucked.
Pills and Capsules
Perhaps pills and capsules are the most common forms of medication.
To start, you can wrap food around the pill and try to trick your kitty. Pill Pockets are treats made to disguise pills. You could also use cheese, meat or some favorite treat to distract them from the pill. If they are not willing to take it with a treat then you have to resort to manually feeding them.
Start with your cat in a blanket as previously discussed and lightly direct your cat’s head backwards; kitty will open her mouth. Place the pill as far back on the tongue as you can and close kitty’s mouth. Lightly rub downwards on her throat to encourage her to swallow. If she is unwilling, give a quick blow of breath at her nose and that should get her to swallow.
It may take a few attempts to get this done correctly, just be patient and loving. A device was discovered to help in this process when you don’t want to stick your fingers in kitty’s mouth. A pill syringe can shoot the pill out a little faster and does not risk your fingers being close to your cat’s teeth.
You can cut the end off of an oral plastic syringe (without the needle of course), place the pill in the chamber and plunge the pill into the the back of your cat’s mouth. Repeat with rubbing her throat or blowing on nose.
These are a bit easier. Start with ensuring you measure correctly and take an oral syringe to collect the liquid. There is a pocket behind cat’s teeth that is an excellent path to the back of the throat. For liquid medication it is not as important to get past the teeth, although that certainly would help.
Take the syringe (again, no needle) and place it inside your cat’s lips aiming at the back of the jaw. If you can get the syringe past the teeth a little that is advisable. Squeeze down the plunger fast and shoot the liquid towards the back of their throat. Keep in mind that kitty still has to breathe so shoot quickly and only the prescribed measure of liquid. If this method does not work, talk to your vet about mixing the medication in canned cat food or even a chicken broth.
Sometimes eye drops are needed for your cat. Again, start with kitty wrapped in a blanket and cradled with her back in your lap. Gently clean the area around her eye with a damp washcloth or dry Kleenex so we do not spread germs; also make sure your hands are clean.
Place the hand with the drop bottle near chin level and try to hold the bottle with your thumb, pointer and middle finger. You can lightly rest the side of your palm on your cat’s cheek and use your ring finger to very carefully hold the lower eyelid in place so kitty cannot close her eye. Use your other hand to gently direct kitty’s head back and use your fingers to hold her upper eyelid open.
Drop when you have access to the eye. Try to move quickly but very carefully so you do not injure her eye but also make this as pleasant as possible for your cat. Once you have dropped successfully, let go of your cat’s head and let them blink and move the drop around as needed. Repeat if instructed.
In other cases, ear drops may be necessary. Putting in ear drops is very similar to the process of cleaning their ears. It may be better to have the cat with its legs down in your lap instead of cradling for this technique.
Gently tilt your cats head to the side while gently petting underneath their jaw. Fold back the skin of the ear and keep a finger or two placed on the ear to hold it down. Place the liquid dropper near the entrance to the inner ear on an angle and drop.
Do not place the dropper in the ear or touch any part of the inside of the cat’s ear. If you need to apply a cream to the ear, I would recommend using a cotton ball or gently using a Q-tip to spread the cream instead of your finger. As soon as something touches your cat’s ear, her instinct will be to shake her head and move away from what bothered her. Repeat the process until both sides are treated.
Some treatments require putting a cream or liquid on the back of the neck or down the spine, referred to as the spine line. In these instances, it is important to get the medication on the skin and off the fur as much as possible.
Start with a good petting and have your kitty with her head in towards your body. Split her hair as much as possible to reveal the skin first where her neck touches the back of her head – then place the medication.
Proceed according to directions as to where it should go. For the medication to quickly reach the bloodstream, the recommended spots for whole back treatment are the neck as described, between the shoulder blades and between the hip bones, all along the spine.
It is important to remember that cats can reach their hind to lick if they want. Do not let kitty reach her back, or areas of medication until it dries. Petting her sides, face or just holding her will hopefully deter her from wanting to bathe.
We know that a lot of cat owners treat a variety of conditions with medication delivered in a syringe with needle into the bloodstream; we acknowledge these conditions and the very effective form of giving medication.
However, it is the opinion of EverCats that only a veterinarian should give proper instructions as to how to give medication through a needled syringe. Please do not attempt to treat any injury or illness with any medications listed or otherwise without consulting your veterinarian and receiving a prescription. Only use medication for the time period instructed with only the measured amounts as directed.