Here at Gilbertsville Veterinary Hospital we understand that medicating your cat can be a stressful activity. Cats are quick and can easily slip away from you and hide. Medicating your normally angelic cat can quickly turn into a confrontation with a small mountain lion. Below you will find quick, easy to follow instructions on how best to complete this task.
Before attempting to medicate your cat find a place where you will be able to retrieve him if he should run away. A bathroom or other room with minimal places for your cat to hide is the best choice. Make sure all medications are ready and any other supplies that may be necessary such as a towel or blanket to wrap your cat in. If your cat is wiggly, uses its claws or is aggressive wrapping them in a blanket is a good idea.
Tablets or Capsules:
The easiest way to administer a tablet or capsule is by hiding the medication in some form of food. Two options we recommend are inside of a meatball of wet cat food or a pill pocket. Pill pockets are cat size chewy treats that have built in pouches to easily hide medication. They are all natural, mess free, require no refrigeration and make pill giving more enjoyable for you and your pet. Pill pockets are available at the hospital and can be picked up during normal business hours.
If hiding the medication does not work or your cat is not interested in eating, you will need to administer the medication to your cat. One option is a pill popper. The pill popper holds the medication in the rubberized end and when you push on the plunger the medication will pop out. When administering medication with the pill popper, open his mouth placing your fingers on either side of his mouth to open it and then pop the medication into its mouth with the pill popper.
The second way is to administer the medication is by using your fingers. Again place your fingers on either side of his mouth, extend his head back and with your non-dominant hand, push the pill as far back as you can in his mouth.
With both of these techniques, after administering the medication hold his mouth closed and rub his throat gently blow into his face to encourage him to swallow.
When administering liquid medication make sure that you are pulling up the proper prescribed dose into the syringe or dropper. When administering liquid medication, place your thumb and pointer finger on opposite sides of your cats jaw to open it and then squirt the medication into his mouth.
As will pills, after administering the medication, hold your cat’s mouth closed and message his throat or gently blow into his face to encourage him to swallow. Most cats will automatically swallow the medication when it is placed in their mouth.
Medication Administered on the Gums:
If your pet is prescribed medication that needs placed on the gums it will be all ready drawn up for you in pre-dosed oral syringes. When administering medication on the gums, you will need to open his mouth by placing your thumb and pointer finger on opposite sides of your cats jaw to open it and then apply the medication into the gums. Because the medication is being applied to the gums there is no need for the cat to swallow.
When administering eye medication gently hold your cat’s head by placing your pointer finger under the eye and your thumb above the eye to keep it open. Place the proper number of drops or ointment into the eye. Once the medication has been applied it is ok for your cat to close his eye to allow the medication to distribute evenly across the whole eye. Repeat the process if both eyes are being medicated.
When administering medication gently hold your cats head and grasp the opening of the ear. Place the proper number of drops or ointment into the ear. Once the medication has been applied gently massage the ear to allow the medication to distribute evenly through the ear. Repeat the process if both ears are being medicated.
With topical medication when wrapping your cat up you will need to leave the affected area exposed to be able to treat the area. It is best to wrap the cat up fully and then extract the area that needs treated from the blanket wrapping.
When applying topical medication apply or spray the medication to the affected area. Do not allow your cat to lick the area if possible. If your cat licks at the area after applying the medication, you will need to keep the cat busy for a few minutes to allow the medication to be absorbed. You can give him a small snack, play together with a cat toy, or have some special snuggle time.
Medicating your cat can be extremely stressful for you and your cat but with some patience, organization and planning you will be able to make the experience as pleasant as possible. If you have any questions, feel free to call and a technician will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
– Meghan, Veterinary Technician