Cats are a favorite animal companion among humans, coming a close second to dogs (even taking the top spot, for other animal lovers) . Many will agree that they make wonderful pets.
They are just as loyal as dogs – some are even known to travel hundreds of miles to get back home to their owners. They can be quite affectionate as well. Plus, their purring is good for you.
So, if you’re a cat owner, seeing your beloved feline get sick is likely to break your heart, and for sure, you’ll do anything to make her feel better. However, there’s no denying that making a cat do something can be quite a challenging task.
Therefore, giving your cat oral medicine is something you need to study how to do correctly. Otherwise, you’ll trigger her fight or flight instinct and you can end up with scratches from trying to restrain her.
What is the Proper Way of Giving a Cat Oral Medicine?
A trusted veterinary hospital shares some tips on giving a cat oral medicine in a non-stressful way.
1. Put it in her food.
Although cats are very discerning, they do not bother much with unknown substances in their food, especially when they are well integrated into the munchies. If you need to give your feline a small pill, try squishing it into a piece of meat or string cheese. The pill will go down easily along with the tasty treat.
2. Use your vet’s strategy.
Place your cat on a table so you can be in a good solid position. Gently stroke the head of the cat before getting a solid grip on it so you can practice opening her mouth. Hold her head upward while also holding the upper jaw. Secure her body under your arm so when you open her mouth and pop the pill in, she won’t be able to flee.
Once you’ve placed her oral medication at the back of her tongue, blow on her nose and stroke her throat. This works as well with liquid medicine that you can administer with the help of a dropper or syringe.
Learning your vet’s strategy may take a while, but get the practice you need and giving your cat her medication will begin taking only a few seconds every single time.
3. Give the medicine before the meal.
This strategy will teach your cat to associate taking medicine with a gratifying experience. It may not always work, but it’s worth giving a try, unless the medication has to be given before food.
4. Be as “loving” with the process as possible.
The best vets recommend preparing everything you need to use first and creating a cozy and comfortable mood for your feline. Pet her for a while and provide her a few of the treats she loves before positioning her for the administration of the medicine.
You can try the ear method wherein you’ll hold her ear back against her skull and tilt her head backward so she automatically opens her mouth. Lower her jaw and pop the pill in at the back of her tongue. Blow on her nose and rub her throat. You’ll be done with the task in no time with this tactic.
If you’re scared of getting bitten, try using a “piller.” It works like a syringe for liquid medicine, but it basically holds the pill and releases it when you press the plunger.
Give your cat another treat once she’s taken her medicine to make her feel better.
5. Trick your cat into thinking she’s having a treat.
This works for liquid medicine because you can coat the syringe with tuna water to have your feline believe that the medicine is actually something she likes.
Use two syringes for this tactic: one filled with tuna water and the other with the medicine. Entice your kitty first with the tuna water before serving her the medicine. When your cat discovers that she’s taking medicine, offer her the tuna water again. Afterwards, give her the medicine again.
She’ll have finished the recommended dose already before discovering the pattern.
Learning these tricks will make taking care of your feline’s health and well-being a whole lot easier. You don’t have to worry about stressing out your cat and straining your relationship, as well as the scratches you might sustain from giving her the oral medicine she needs.
Dr. Max Spicer is the Managing Partner and Senior Veterinary Surgeon at The Veterinary Hospital in Dubai. He has taken strides towards providing comprehensive service by hiring veterinarians that are flexible, approachable, and highly specialised in their respective fields.