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How to medicate your cat?

Updated on October 29, 2007

Anyone who has ever had to give a cat any type of medication knows what a nauseatingly difficult process it is. So when you hear the words "your cat has to take these pills/drops/insert appropriate" will not feel anything but dread. And the chances are that more often then not you will end up scratched, bitten or both. I have yet to encounter a cat that does not mind taking medication, still with some simple tips and tricks you might make it a much easier process to deal with for both you and your cat.

In case your cat has diabetes and needs regular injections, your vet will have to show it how to do it properly. It will take some time and more importantly practice, however it can be done especially if you keep in mind you are helping your cat to have the best quality of life it can have with this particular condition. Most often cats will 2 insulin shots daily in a span of 12 hours. It would be wise to settle your cat into a routine, as cats love their routine. Appoint time twice a day when you will administer the insulin shot. Do not shake the vial, just roll it gently in your hands to mix. Place your cat on a surface that is comfortable for her and have her lie down. Then pull the skin on the back of the neck gently and administer the shot.

When it comes to oral medication such as pills and drops the process might be a more difficult. Vet will probably suggest to give the pills with food, but sometimes that cannot be done for a number of reasons so you will have to do it the hard way and that is slipping it in her mouth. That is why it would be advisable to try and medicate your cat while she/he is relaxed instead of playing the chasing game when it is time to take the pill. If they know what they can expect they will run and hide.

So pat and comfort your cat and ease her into the process. Place her on a comfortable surface and take her head with your forefinger and thumb. Till her head slightly up and back and drop the pill in the back of her mouth and close her mouth immediately. You can also try and point the cat's nose down at a sharp angle after you have closed her mouth as this should make her swallow the pill, you will see what works best for you. Remember not to block your cats nose while you do this. Make sure to check after a little while that your cat has not vomited the pill as this means you will have to administer it again. Another thing to consider are pill pockets which you can find in pet stores. But as cats have sensitive smell, make sure to hold the pill pocket with one hand and place the pill in with another. The point is that the hand that has touched the pill does not come in direct contact with the pill pocket so your cat does not smell the pill a mile off. Another thing you might try if possible is to crush the pill and mix it with some tuna fish as they should not notice the change in flavor.

Oral drops are somewhat easier to give to cats. They usually come with a dropper and this is good as it will enable you to give the correct amount of medication. The same process applies, hold your cat's head with your thumb and forefinger and as soon as you administer the drops, close your cat's so she can swallow.

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