How to give your cat a medicine?
Scratches, bites, torn clothing and a scared pet sitting in the corner… You know, what we’re talking about? It means you might have tried to give your cat a medicine without frightening your cat and staying safe and sound. Minimum of physical coercion, maximum care – and the success is guaranteed.
Questions to the vet
Before thinking of the question “how to feed the cat will pills?” you should ask the veterinarian about possible ways of using the drug and to ask if it is permissible to:
- mix the medicine with food;
- dissolve the pill in water or other liquid;
- crush the pill into a powder;
- decrease the concentration of the liquid preparation by addition of some water or other liquid;
- mix the medicine with fat-containing liquids or foods (milk, cream, meat).
If it is an anthelmintic, carefully read the instructions.
How to give your cat a pill, if the drug can’t be ground and mixed with food? When the pet is nonaggressive and trusting – then take it, calm it down and put it on your knees so that the cat was pressed with its right side to your body. Put your left hand on the cat’s head grabbing the upper jaw with both your thumb and forefinger. Then gently squeeze your fingers into the cat’s mouth (both sides just behind the canines). The reflex comes into action – the cat opens its mouth and starts to back away. Keep the cat with the forearm and elbow of your left arm and with your right hand put the pill on the cat’s tongue root. Now you only have to hold the jaws closed and to pat you cat’s throat so that it swallowed the pill.
Important! The cat should be in the sitting or standing position. You shouldn’t force your cat to move its head back or to lay the cat on its side – this way the cat can choke.
How to give the cat a pill if the pet is fiercely resistant? It is desirable to try to calm the cat and convince it without violence. If it is impossible, it is necessary to ask someone for assistance. The owner keeps the cat as described above, helping themselves with the second hand. An assistant puts the pill in the cat's mouth. If it is impossible to keep the cat even using both hands, you need to wrap it in a dense blanket in a sitting position (more comfortable to do that on the lap of the owner). The cat’s head is left outside fixed with both hands, and the assistant puts the pill on the tongue root of the cat. It is important to act quickly with no fuss, not to scold the cat, and not to show irritation and nervousness.
Gelatin capsules often stick to the tongue, palate and larynx starting to dissolve from contact with saliva. People make a couple of sips of water to swallow a capsule, but it is impossible to do that for a cat. But how to give such a medicine to a cat so that the drug got into the stomach and didn’t appeared on the carpet or smeared in the pet’s oral cavity? The easiest way is to pour some vegetable oil into a saucer and to put a capsule into the oil lubricating it. Oil doesn’t dissolve gelatin cover but it prevents sticking of the capsule to the oral cavity, making it pass through the esophagus. If the drug isn’t liquid (i.e. powder or granules) and allowed to be mixed with food, you can open the capsule and continue as described below.
Ground pill or powder preparation
How to give a cat medicine in powder form? After all, the powder may be inhaled or stick to the larynx and oral mucosa causing irritation. To avoid this, proceed as follows:
- Put a piece of foil or baking paper on a saucer and form a dent in the center. If you pour the medicine directly into the saucer, it will get smeared across the surface – i.e. the dosage won’t be respected;
- Pour the powder into the dent;
- Add some drops of water and thoroughly mix the powder to mushy state;
- Collect the medicine with the tablespoon handle paper pulp. You can also use a baby size teaspoon to do that (a regular teaspoon is too large for a cat mouth);
- Keep your cat as described above, then gently introduce the handle of the spoon in its mouth with the medicine on it;
- At the tongue root overturn the spoon and shake off the medicine on the tongue. Keep the jaws close to each other, stroking his throat.
If permissible, the medicine can be mixed with boiled egg yolk or a small amount of ground meat. You can soak the dry feed and mix it with the powder.
How to give a cat a liquid medication in order to exclude choking? If permissible, the liquid can be mixed with the same dry feed or yolk to get a mushy substance. If the drug must be given in its pure form, you will need a syringe without a needle:
- Fill the syringe with the medicine;
- Put the cat on your knees so that the cat was pressed with its side to your body and keep the cat in a sitting position;
- Put the syringe under the cat’s cheek so that it was placed between the cheek and teeth (i.e. you shouldn’t press on the syringe directly into the cat’s mouth, forcing the cat to keep the jaws open);
- Lift the cat’s head a little with your hand (but not too much, otherwise the pet may choke);
- Use the other hand to gently push on the plunger making sure that the cat had time to swallow the medicine.
As it is much more difficult to give your cat a liquid medicine than to give a pill, most likely you will need an assistant. It is great, if it is allowed to reduce the concentration by mixing the liquid medicine with water or milk – this way the unpleasant taste can be disguised, at least partially. Always make sure that no liquid penetrates into the respiratory tract. If it happens and the cat starts coughing or shaking its muzzle or sneezing – put your pet on the floor and let it get rid of the liquid got into breathing passages.
As for an inexperienced owner it sometimes seems a difficult task to give their cat a pill, it makes sense to spend some money on one of the simple devices showed on the picture below:
This device is called introducer and is used to give pills to animals. The pill is placed in the slot on the end of the device. A thin tip is inserted into the cat’s mouth so that the rubber part appeared on the tongue root. All you need is to press on the plunger – and the pill will get released. Instead of a rubber part there can be a plastic holder or a thin tube for the introduction of liquid medicines.
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