General Practice & Preventative Medicine
MEDICATING YOUR CAT
Giving a cat medication is never fun, but sometimes administering it in a liquid form can be the lesser of several evils. Follow this blow-by-blow explanation of how to do it, and you won’t even need a “spoon full of sugar to help the medicine go down.” Here’s how:
- Most liquid medications come with an eyedropper attached to the lid. If the medication does not come with an eyedropper, using an individually purchased eyedropper or oral syringe will also work.
- Draw up the prescribed amount of medication in the eyedropper or oral syringe.
- Firmly grasp your cat’s head using your non-dominant hand. If you are right-handed, use your left hand. If you are a lefty, use your right hand. Grasp the top of the head, just on top of the ears with the thumb on one side of the face and the fingers on the other. Avoid holding the lower jaw and do not hold it so tight that it is uncomfortable. Otherwise, your cat can’t swallow. You may need someone to help hold the front legs and chest of the cat to hold him still. Some people find that wrapping a cat in a towel or blanket is a good restraint technique.
- Once the cat’s head is held in place, raise the nose to point toward the ceiling. The mouth should then open.
- Place the tip of the eyedropper or syringe in the mouth just behind the long canine teeth in the area where there are either no teeth or small, flat teeth.
- Advance the eyedropper until it is just past the tooth line (jaw bone).
- Slowly administer the medication and be careful not to give it faster than your cat can swallow.
- Be prepared for some spitting of the medications. If this occurs, do not re-administer another dose unless you feel the entire dose of the medication did not get in.
- The quicker you perform this procedure, the more cooperative your cat will be.
- Always remember to praise your cat and maybe offer a treat after receiving medication. This will help make future medicine times easier.