Instructions for Administering Medications to Your Cat

It's never fun to be sick, but it's even less enjoyable when you need to take medicine in order to get better. It is exactly the same for your four-legged friends. Medicine, whether it be for an illness or allergies, is sometimes necessary to treat cats in order to improve their overall health.

Use these helpful tips on how to give your cat a pill to make the process less stressful for both of you and to assist her in returning to a more healthy state as quickly as possible.

While You Hold Your Cat

Simply holding some cats can be enough to trigger stress in them. You should approach your cat with caution and pick her up while speaking to her in a voice that is reassuring and soothing. Marilyn Krieger recommends to Petcha that she wrap the baby in a towel or blanket and fully support her legs so that she does not have her legs dangling freely, which can cause the baby to feel uncomfortable and insecure.

How to Administer a Medication to Your Cat

Pills are the most common delivery method for feline medication. When you have the medication in hand, it is important to keep the following in mind: cats are intelligent creatures that do not like having changes made to their normal routine, and they will not make it easy for you. Your dog, on the other hand, will gladly wolf down a pill if you hide it in a spoonful of peanut butter; however, you will need to approach your cat in a manner that is calm but strategic.

Hand holding out pills over the top of a gray cat.

If you have a cat that is willing to cooperate, you can try to give her the pill by putting it directly into her mouth. If you shove the pill into her mouth, you run the risk of her choking on it, or she may just spit it back out at you. Therefore, you should avoid doing this. According to the advice offered by the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, you should instead position the pill in the middle of her tongue, close to the back of her mouth, and then rub her throat gently to coax the pill down. Give her a clean bowl of water to help her get rid of the taste.

The so-called "meatball"

Putting the medication directly into your cat's mouth is only one way to administer medication to her. There is also an alternative method that requires more stealth. First, conceal the pill by placing it in her regular dish alongside her regular food. The best results are achieved with wet or semi-moist cat food; however, if your fur baby only consumes kibble, you can make the moist food she takes the pill with into an exciting treat by giving it to her at the same time.

The pill can also be concealed by rolling it up in a small ball of cat food. You can play this version of hide-and-seek with your cat by concealing a pill in her wet food inside of a ball that you will then roll up and give to her as a tasty treat.

If the pill that was put into your cat's food is refused by your cat, you may be tempted to feed her people food, such as tuna, to entice her to take the pill. Cats are susceptible to gastrointestinal discomfort from a wide variety of foods. Before feeding your cat anything that wasn't made specifically for animals, you should always consult your vet.

Gravy made from cat food

If you are looking for an alternative method to administer a pill to your cat, you might be tempted to try grinding it up into a powder. This could be an option for you. However, Animal Planet warns that you should never crush or grind pills and put them in your food or water unless your veterinarian recommends doing so. Your cat won't consume the full amount of the medication if you crush it because it will taste bitter. Before giving medication to your cat in this manner, you should always get permission from your veterinarian first.

You can crush the pill by placing it between two spoons, or you can consider making an investment in a pill crusher or cutter at your neighborhood pharmacy. This apparatus makes crushing a little easier and cleaner, as the medication is contained within the device, and they only cost a few dollars each.

Mix the medication that has been crushed up with a little bit of the gravy from the cat food, which (hopefully) your cat will eat right up. The unpleasant flavor of the pill will be less noticeable thanks to the robust flavor of the gravy. Never give your cat medication that is already in milk because many cats are unable to digest dairy products. If she turns her nose up at a spoonful of gravy, try incorporating it into her regular diet by creating a unique topping for her kibble or by mixing it in with her wet food.

Liquid Formula

If a sick cat will not take her medication or if she is ill and unable to eat normally, the veterinarian may recommend that the medication be given to the cat in the form of a liquid that must be injected using a syringe. However, cats are more likely to take medicine that has been allowed to reach room temperature because most liquid medications need to be stored in the refrigerator. Never heat medications in a microwave. You can preheat it by either holding the syringe in your hand for a few minutes or placing it in a cup of warm (not hot) water for a few minutes.

As was mentioned earlier, make sure that you are holding your cat in a secure and comfortable manner while also having the syringe in your dominant hand. First, give your cat the opportunity to taste the medication by allowing her to lick the end of the syringe, and then slowly depress the plunger. Petful advises that you direct the flow of medication toward the back of her throat, but that you should be careful not to tilt her head back. Because of this, she runs the risk of choking or taking in some of the liquid.

After the medication has been placed in her mouth, you should ensure that she swallows the liquid by keeping her mouth closed for a short while. It is normal for children to vomit after taking medicine, so you shouldn't be concerned if she does that. Even if some of it gets on your lap, you should refrain from giving it to her and wait until it is time for her next dose.

Ophthalmic and Aural Drops

It's not uncommon for a cat to require medication for her eyes or ears, especially if she suffers from allergies. When you give your cat a shot, just like when you give them a pill or liquid medicine, you'll need to make sure that they're in a safe and secure position.

When administering eye drops, Dr. Ernest Ward of the Newport Harbor Animal Hospital suggests placing a hand on the top of the cat's head (it is typically best to approach them from above or below their head). rather than directly at their face so that they don't see it coming) "use the last two fingers of the same hand to pull back the upper eyelid." [T]he phrase "use the last two fingers of the same hand to pull back the upper eyelid." Place the cat's remaining fingers under its lower jaw to provide support for its head. The lower eyelid will serve as a pouch to hold the drops as they are administered. " Under no circumstances should you put the eye dropper or your fingers near the cat's eye.

Dr. Ward recommends the following method for applying ear drops: "Gently massage the base of the ear in a circular motion." As you continue to work the medication further and further into the ear canal, you should hear a "squishing" sound. " Neither one of these approaches is going to be enjoyable for your cat, but just like with any other medication for cats, it is essential to her well-being.

Pair of hands in blue latex gloves injects a calico cat in the back. Injections

Pet owners are required to inject their pets with medication subcutaneously in order to treat certain conditions, such as diabetes. When administering shots, it is helpful to have a second set of hands, so enlist the assistance of a friend or family member to hold your pet still with a towel or a firm but gentle grip.

Depending on the medication, a cat may need an injection in the hip, the neck, or another location; therefore, it is important that you ask your veterinarian to demonstrate to you how and where you should administer the injection. In addition to this, you will need to determine whether the injection should be administered into a vein, a muscle, or a fold of the skin. Always use a fresh needle for each injection, and make sure to keep a record of the time and date for each one.

After you have finished giving your cat its medication, make sure to give him or her some extra attention and affection. It's possible that she just wants some time to herself, so if she says she needs some privacy, give her as much of both as she requests. When you're done using a needle, you should never toss it in the trash. Put it in a sharps container that has been approved for disposal, or bring it to the local pharmacy or the office of your veterinarian.

First and foremost, if you suspect that your cat is ill, you should get in touch with your local veterinarian to set up an appointment for an examination, and you should only give your cat the medication that has been specifically recommended by the veterinarian. You should never give your cat any over-the-counter (OTC) medications designed for people (including eye drops), as many of these medicines can be harmful to cats and other pets. Eye drops are one example. The sole purpose of these guidelines is to serve as helpful thought starters. When it comes to giving your cat medicine, you should always discuss the matter with your veterinarian to determine the most effective method. In addition, getting your cat examined by a veterinarian in great detail is the best way to accurately diagnose any illnesses it may have and get it the appropriate treatment.

It is sometimes necessary to give cats medication, whether it be a brief course of antibiotics or a method that must be used for the rest of the cat's life to manage a condition. Even if she doesn't show her gratitude, your cat will be grateful to be in good shape.

Christine O'Brien

Christine O'Brien

Writer, mother, and long-time cat parent Christine O'Brien has two Russian Blues, and they absolutely run the show around the house. Additionally, her work has been published in Care. com, What to Expect, and Fit Pregnancy, where she writes about family life, pregnancy, and animals in addition to those topics. You can find her on social media at @brovelliobrien on both Instagram and Twitter.

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