Three Vet-Approved Tricks to Get Your Cat to Take Medicine
Find out the trick to getting your cat to accept medication from a veterinarian in this article. Each product that we showcase has been picked and vetted by our editorial staff after being thoroughly researched and tested. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of the links on this page, we may receive a commission. Giving medicine to cats may be a test of patience for the majority of us who care for them. But why is it proving to be so difficult? “There are a lot of reasons why cats may be resistant to medicine administration.
Jennifer Freeman, DVM, PetSmart’s resident veterinarian and pet care expert, explains how it works.
Freeman suggests consulting your veterinarian about the many formulations that are available and which “may work best for you and your cat.” In addition, you should get a prescription with the shortest feasible interval dosage intervals.
Due to the fact that we are unable to inform our cats that the medicine would help them feel better, we must come up with inventive ways to get them to take the medication.
Freeman the next time Kitty has to fill a prescription!
Hide pills in treats or food.
“There are a few different methods for giving pills or tablets to cats. The simplest method is to ‘Trojan Horse’ it and conceal the whole or crushed drug in a treat such as a Pill Pocket ($5.48, Chewy.com), tuna juice, cream cheese, or yogurt, among other things “Dr. Freeman expresses his views. The aroma of the delicious delicacy may be able to mask the smell of the medication. Your cat will happily consume the pill or tablet in addition to the goodie. “The use of moderate restraint and a pill gun, or the use of fast finger work, are two alternative options.
Give a taste introduction.
“Droppers or syringes for administering liquid medicine may be provided to you by your healthcare provider. You may start by allowing your cat to taste the beverage to see if they are interested in drinking it “Dr. Freeman explains more. “If they reject, you will have to adopt a technique that is identical to that used for oral pilling.” Some liquid medications are available in a variety of tastes that may be more appealing to your cat; thus, you should always inquire with your veterinarian whether this is a possibility for you.
Tuna may be a favorite flavor of your cat’s. Offering her a tuna-flavored liquid medicine may be all that is required to get her to take it readily and without any anxiety.
Apply with a gentle touch.
As Dr. Freeman explains, “a transdermal formulation is administered topically to the cat’s ear skin in order to allow absorption into the circulation.” “Remember that not all drugs are easily absorbed in this manner, so check with your veterinarian to see whether this is a realistic choice. Always wear gloves or thoroughly wash your hands after administering this sort of medicine to avoid absorbing any of the drug into your body.” Wait until your cat is calm and purring before gently putting the medicine to her skin if your cat enjoys a good snuggle session with you.
How to Give Medicine to a Cat (Yes, Even to a Difficult Cat)
Do you understand how to administer medicine to a cat? Before you attempt it at home, make sure you have explicit directions from your veterinarian. David Herraez Calzada is shown here. As a veterinarian, I’ve had the privilege of medicating hundreds of cats throughout the course of my career. And whether I’m attempting to teach others how to administer medicine to cats or medicating my own loving felines, it’s a difficult task to do! Over the course of 40 years, I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my home with several wonderful cats.
- (not all at the same time).
- Moreover, why did these individuals lose up on them?
- I’m here to tell you that this is a very important subject, and it’s one that’s very dear to my own heart.
- That’s not a good sign.
The Veterinarian’s Job
- Discuss with you how much you know about administering medication to a cat in an open and honest manner
- Inquire as to how much experience you have with this particular cat’s medication. Examine all of the medication’s various formulations, including tablet, liquid, and transdermal forms, before making a decision. If your cat requires polypharmacy (a number of drugs for a difficult disease or a number of illnesses), discuss honestly with your veterinarian about which treatments are the most necessary and whether it is feasible to have many medications compounded together. Make an appointment with a veterinary technician who will spend time with you to demonstrate how to deliver medicine to your cat.
It’s simple for veterinarians to send a customer home with a week’s worth of medicines without discussing the situation with them. In many circumstances, these cats will not receive the whole amount of medicine prescribed for them.
So, What’s the Trick Here?
It’s time to face the painful truth. There is no “one approach” that can be used to administer medicines to all cats by all persons. Several approaches will be discussed in detail below, beginning with willing cats (which should be straightforward) and on to the reluctant cats (impossible to pill). First, let’s go over some of the most significant information:
- Fact: Some cats are incapable of being pilled. Fact: Some people are unable to pill a cat due to physical or emotional limitations. Fact: It is critical to create a medication schedule as soon as possible to ensure that the cat will be able to obtain the medications they require in some form or another. Fact: The link between humans and animals is extremely vital, and administering medication should not undermine that bond. Fact: It is up to you and your veterinarian to figure this out.
The first step is to cup the top of the cat’s head with the palm of your right hand (if you’re right-handed; left hand if you’re left-handed) and place it on the floor. It should be possible to get the cat to open their lower jaw by tilting their head back slightly. Photo:stratman2
How to Give Medicine to a Cat (When the Cat Is Willing)
Some cats are easy to pill than others. When I take the first medication, I am frequently able to determine this during the office exam. Despite the fact that it may not be as simple for the pet parent at home, I can typically tell if this is going to be a pleasant and effective pilling situation or if it is going to be a catastrophe. A right-handed person (which is what the most of us are) is shown in some internet instructions for how to give a cat a pill while holding the cat in their right arm and administering the pill with their left hand.
That does not work for me because I am a right-handed individual. After pilling thousands of cats, I’ve discovered that the most effective method for me is to snuggle the cat in the crook of my left arm while delivering the pill with my right hand into the cat’s mouth with my left.
Instructions for Giving a Cat a Pill
While you should always follow the directions supplied by your personal veterinarian, the following is a summary of the detailed instructions offered by Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine:
- Cup the top of the cat’s head with the palm of your non-dominant hand. With your head tilted back, you should notice the cat’s bottom jaw opening. If this is not the case, you will have to pry the lower jaw open. Place the middle finger of your dominant hand into the cat’s mouth, over the little incisor teeth — NOT over the sharp fangs — while holding the pill between the thumb and index finger of your dominant hand (canines). Caution: The cat has the potential to bite. Work as rapidly as possible
- Toss the pill as far back as you possibly can over the cat’s tongue
- Close your mouth as fast as possible. Make gentle strokes around the cat’s neck to urge it to swallow, or blow into the cat’s nose.
According to Washington University, “When giving a cat oral medicine, exercise caution to avoid a bite.” The mouth of a cat carries a large number of microorganisms, therefore cat bites are frequently severe punctures.” If you are bitten by a cat, go to the doctor as soon as possible, even if you do not believe the bite is serious. Why? We must do so since there is an extremely serious risk of infection. More information may be found in my post “Did a Cat Bite You? “It’s a Much Bigger Deal Than You Might Expect.”
Additional Tips and Reminders
- Never approach the cat from directly in front of it. Cats are not fond of being approached in this manner. Instead of approaching the cat from the front, wrap your arms around it or approach from behind
- Devise a strategy that will reduce tension. Figure out what works best for you and your cat, and make sure this pilling exercise is completed as soon as possible. The phrase “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” does not hold true when it comes to cats. It’s like this in your cat’s head: “If at first you don’t succeed, try again and I’ll be beneath the bed.” Incorporate medicine into an existing regimen that includes food, treats, and other rewards for the cat. Even while technique works better with dogs, some cats may accept a medication in exchange for their supper.
Pill guns, such as this one for cats, are highly recommended by many people (even veterinarians). I’m not convinced by what you’re saying. Photograph by PETHOUZZ
How to Give Medicine to a Difficult Cat
Some cats are apprehensive about taking a tablet or capsule. As a result, it is virtually impossible. It’s just not going to happen with these cats, therefore you’ll have to come up with an other solution.
I really don’t know. Perhaps they will be effective? For certain people, perhaps? Apill gun, sometimes known as “pet pillar,” is a short plastic device in which you place the pill and then insert a little plastic tube into the cat’s mouth and push, causing the pill to pass down the cat’s throat and out the other side. DACVECC member Dr. Tony Johnson, DVM, DACVECC recommends doing so because it keeps your hands away from your mouth and increases your chances of getting the pill in the sweet spot where swallowing is simpler than spitting it out.
Many individuals prefer to provide liquid meds to their cats, and this is achievable with a wide variety of treatments. So, what is the best way to provide liquid medication to a problematic cat? You administer the medication in the same manner as you would administer a pill: you attempt to open the cat’s mouth and administer the dropperful of medication directly to the cat. Keep an eye out. The experts at Washington University warn that “liquids are more prone than tablets or capsules to unintentionally enter the windpipe.” Keep the cat’s head from being tilted forward to prevent the cat from breathing fluids into the windpipe.
Can you put liquid medicine in cat food?
When I prescribe a liquid, the most often requested question is “Can I combine it with her food?” The answer is yes. Probably not, to be honest. The reason behind this is as follows:
- Not even kitty-flavored medication is particularly appetizing. Even if you combine liquid medications with cat food, if the cats don’t consume the food, they will not receive the medication! It appears to be a “Duh!” moment to me, but many people continue to put the medications in their meals and don’t seem to comprehend. Although the cat consumes part of the food, they are not receiving the recommended dosage
- Food aversion. A large number of cats that require medicine are not feeling well. It is not a good thing if something causes them to avoid their food. When medications are mixed into food, it might cause food aversion. However, even if you cease placing medicine in the bowl, the cat may continue to shun the bowl for several days.
Do you want to know how to feed your cat liquid medication in food? It is not something I would suggest. Because medicine has a bad flavor, the food also has a bad taste. It’s possible that your cat will quit eating the food completely. Photo:SchweitzerKarl
Compounding Pharmacies: An Alternative for Impossible-to-Pill Cats
Pets, particularly fussy cats, are now the focus of a specialized business that has emerged.
These specialist pharmacies can synthesize practically any drug into a form that you and your veterinarian have both approved upon.
Pros of Compounded Flavored Formulas
- Pills and liquids may be transformed into flavored medicines to suit your cat’s tastes and preferences. You can eat tuna, salmon, chicken, or whatever you like. The variety of flavors available is enormous, and transdermal gels are also available. These are the most common when it is necessary to provide drugs for an extended period of time, as is the situation with hyperthyroid cats. In some cases, a little quantity of gel can be applied to the inner ear and absorbed via the skin. It is possible to mix many drugs (polypharmacy) together, which means that instead of administering three prescriptions, you may provide just one. A cat suffering from renal failure, heart illness, and/or hyperthyroidism may find this to be useful.
Cons of Compounded Flavored Formulas
The expense of having a drug compounded is higher. Some drugs we may give to cats on a long-term basis may be extremely affordable in tablet form, but they can cost up to three times as much if they are compounded.
Short Shelf Life
Whenever you combine a medication, it is typically only effective for 30–45 days. Because of this, you must be attentive in terms of phoning ahead and keeping up with your cat when it requires refills.
Working with a compounding pharmacy can be a rewarding or frustrating experience. You can typically have your cat’s medications delivered to your home, but doing so requires planning ahead and ordering refills well before you run out. Some veterinarians may store the most widely used feline medications in a compounded form, but you must discuss this with your veterinarian before you run out of medication.
There are evil actors in any profession where money is to be earned, and the financial industry is no exception. Compounding veterinary pharmaceuticals necessitates the use of an ethical and highly qualified pharmacist who understands how to get the best medication and how to formulate it into a stable solution, flavored tablet, or gel. The pharmacy should be selected by your veterinarian, and you should follow his or her recommendations.
Is your cat receiving the right dose of medication in the form that has been prescribed, and is all of the medication being absorbed effectively in their body?
- Liquid suspensions must be constantly shaken to ensure that they remain in a uniform suspension. It is possible that transdermal gels are not as effective as administering an oral dosage of medicine. Follow all instructions (such as refrigerate or store in a cool, dark location) exactly as they are written.
Certain medications have the potential to become lodged in the cat’s throat, which can be problematic. Consult with your veterinarian about this. Photo:clickphoto
A Possible Problem With Dry-Pilling a Cat: Esophageal Strictures
Pills can readily become lodged in a cat’s esophagus, causing serious complications. The esophagus is the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach, allowing food and drugs to pass through. Cats are particularly susceptible to having tablets become trapped in their throat and unable to move. It is irritating to the cat’s throat when a pill becomes lodged in its esophageal passageway. It is possible that the irritation could progress to the point where a type of scarring (known as a stricture) would form, narrowing the esophagus and making it impossible for the cat to get food down into the stomach as a result of the restriction.
- Doxycycline is an essential and commonly used feline antibiotic.
- Recent research on feline esophageal strictures has advised that pet parents feed their cats around 5 mL (1 teaspoon) of water after giving them a medication.
- You didn’t think the pilling was severe enough, did you?
- Wishing you the best of luck with that.
Final Thoughts on How to Give Medicine to a Cat
I’ve been doing this for quite some time. One of the most frustrating experiences a feline veterinarian may have is working up a wonderful kitty, diagnosing what is wrong, and recommending medicine – only to discover that the caring pet parent is unable to provide it. And they don’t tell me anything.
So, if you don’t mind: Consult with your veterinarian. If you are unable to administer the drug as prescribed, get further instructions. Take a look around for alternatives. If you are unable to communicate openly with your veterinarian, locate another one. We’re out there somewhere.
- “How to Administer Oral Medications to Your Cat.” “Medicating Your Cat,” Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington, D.C. The Ryan Veterinary Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
- Catherine Sumner, DVM, DACVECC
- And the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine “Drug Interactions” is an abbreviation for “drug interactions.” It is the responsibility of the MSPCA-Angell to ensure that the MSPCA-mission Angell’s is carried out in a professional and ethical manner. « Pill-Popping Pets: Is It Safe to Feed Pills to Your Dog or Cat?» Tufts University is home to the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center. Johnson, Tony, DVM, DACVECC
- 4th of September, 2018. “Pilling Dogs and Cats,” as the phrase goes. The 17th of September, 2014, Veterinary Partner. id=6448413 Boothe, Dawn Merton, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVCP
- Boothe, Dawn Merton “Transdermal Gel Delivery in Cats: Is It a Pain or a Necessity?” (Proceedings).” 1st of May, 2011. dvm360. sk= date= pageID=4 sk= date= pageID=4 sk= date= pageID=4
- Marty Becker, DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine). The article “Something You Might Not Have Known About Pilling Cats” can be found here. Dr. Marty Becker’s Blog, published on September 17, 2014
- German, Alex, BVSc, PhD, DipECVIM-CA, MRCVS, published on September 17, 2014. Doxycycline-induced Oesophageal Strictures in Cats,” a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. In the February 2005 issue of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, pages 33–41 are included.
Dr. Debora Lichtenberg, VMD, a veterinarian, has prepared the following information about pet health. The most recent inspection was performed on July 30, 2019. If you have any questions or concerns, you should consult with your veterinarian, who is the most qualified to guarantee the health and well-being of your animal companion. Please remember that this material is intended just for informative reasons and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Try These Tricks the Next Time You Have to Give Your Pet Medication
Have you ever observed that your pet’s jaws seem to harden when it’s time to give him or her a medication? You realize that you just have one chance to place the tablet in his or her mouth or pour the contents of a dropper full of liquid medication into his or her mouth while you battle to pry open his or her teeth. If you don’t take advantage of the opportunity, the pill will end up on the floor or the liquid will flow down your pet’s face. It’s not necessary to be stressed out when administering medication to your pet if you follow a few of the tips listed below.
A common tip for getting your pet to take his or her medication is to conceal it in food.
The following points should be kept in mind if you intend to use this covert approach:
- It is important to be large. Hide the pill or put the liquid medication in a little piece of food that is easily hidden. If you feed your pet a substantial meal, it is possible that he or she will never eat the portion of the dish that includes the medication. Consult your pet’s veterinarian before combining any medications into his or her diet. Some prescriptions are less effective if they are not taken in their original form
- The more stinky the medication, the better it is. Pets have the ability to detect odd odors in their food and may reject even their favorite goodies if they do not smell properly. If your pet has thwarted your intentions in the past, conceal the pill or prescription in a smelly meal, such as salmon or a particularly stinking sort of soft cheese, to avoid detection. In the presence of strong culinary scents, it will be simpler to ignore the unique medical fragrance
- Make use of a capsule. If you have prescriptions that smell or taste terrible, consider concealing them in an empty capsule before putting them in your meal or drink. Once the pill is sealed within the capsule, your pet will be unable to detect its presence.
Change the taste of the food The flavors like cherry and bubblegum make drugs more appetizing to young children, but they are not appealing to your pet’s taste receptors at all. Fortunately, compounding pharmacies may incorporate flavors that dogs appreciate, such as steak, fish, chicken, cheese, and liver, into their formulations. If your pet like the flavor of the pill or liquid prescription, he or she may swallow it gladly. Make it simple for yourself. Some of the following suggestions may make administering medication to your pet less difficult:
- Distract your pet’s attention. During a stroll, give your dog a medication-infused treat
- When your cat is entranced by the birds outside the window, deliver a mouthful of a tuna-encrusted medication to him. Keep Him or Her on his or her toes. If you only give your pet a certain treat when it’s time for the next medication dose, he or she will quickly learn to recognize the pattern. Utilize peer pressure by providing your pet with a few goodies throughout the day to make him or her more responsive when it comes time to provide the next dosage of medication
- Other pets don’t enjoy it when they’re left out while the food is being distributed. Use the competitive mentality of your group to your advantage by providing rewards for the entire gang. Using the Paw Method, slip in the treat that contains the medication while the patient is rushing to keep up with his or her friends. Toss broken tablets or liquid medication into a bowl of peanut butter or any other sticky food, and watch your pet lick the mixture off his or her paws.
Placing the medication in your pet’s mouth should be the last resort if all else fails. Despite your best efforts, your pet may refuse to take the medication or drink the liquid prescribed for him. It may be necessary to place the drug directly into his or her mouth if this occurs. Raise your dog’s head back, hold the top of his jaw between your thumb and index finger, and pull up on the jaw. Gently pull the lower jaw open with your middle and ring fingers, and insert the tablet in the dog’s mouth.
- Avoid putting your fingers over the canine teeth, which are sharp and fang-like.
- At this time, many cats will reflexively open their jaws, allowing you to place the pill into their mouths.
- If you’re concerned that your pet could bite you, a pill gun, which is a gadget that fires a pill into your pet’s mouth, is a smart alternative to consider.
- To use, place the dropper on one side of your mouth, between your teeth and your gums.
Please contact us to make an appointment for your pet’s next visit. On 1/23/13, VetStreet published an article titled “How to Give Your Dog Medication.” How to Administer a Pill to Your Pet Giving Oral Medications to Your Dog – State University of New York
How to Give a Cat Liquid Medicine
How to Administer Liquid Medications to a Cat The majority of animals despise having to take drugs. The situation was made even more problematic by the fact that the liquid antibiotics provided by the veterinarian, despite being labeled for veterinarian use, were clearly diverted from normal human use due to the fact that it was pink in color and smelled like bubble gum. It is one thing for a cat to take regular medicine, but bubble gum-flavored antibiotics are a another story. There are two things that a person may do to make medicating a cat a lot more enjoyable experience for both you and the cat: Firstly, make the drug more appetizing by improving its taste!
If you follow these two tips, you will significantly boost your chances of success while also ensuring that you and your cat stay friends.
I recommend that you follow the procedure detailed in the next two stages.
Step 1: Make the Medicine Taste Better
1. Improve the taste of the medication Making the medication taste better by mixing it with the liquid from a can of tuna fish is a simple tip to improving its flavor. Was there ever a cat that did not enjoy tuna? You will require the following materials: A.Medicine is the first step. B.Tuna can in water with ice cubes (and can opener) Syringe for administration of medicine orally D.Two little ‘cups’ of liquid Measure the necessary amount of medicine into the oral syringe and then dispense it into one of your cups, as shown in the diagram.
(3) Draw up a substantial amount of ‘tuna juice’ using the oral syringe, but be mindful of the overall capacity of your syringe so that the medicine and ‘tuna juice’ do not total more than the capacity of your syringe, unless you want to give your cat the medicine in two doses.
In a separate bowl, combine the medication and ‘tuna juice’ and fill the oral syringe halfway with the combined concoction.
Step 2: Use the Proper Technique
2.Administer the medication in the proper manner using the proper technique. A quick search on the internet will reveal that the most effective method of administering liquid medicine to a cat is to fill an oral syringe with the appropriate amount of medicine, gently insert the syringe into the side of the cat’s mouth, and gently pull the syringe back up into the corner of the cat’s mouth. In this position, the medicine may be distributed slowly as the cat eats it. Once the syringe is in this corner-of-the-mouth position, the drug can be delivered slowly as the cat swallows it.
My cat was sitting on my lap in the video, and I wasn’t even holding her; she simply sat there and gladly took the medication. I hope you have similar success with these ideas for keeping your cat happy and healthy as I have.
Be the First to Share
Medicating your cat at home is something that no one enjoys, especially if you have a difficult feline companion. Do not be disheartened if you are going through a difficult moment, though. Things is possible to make it much easier with the appropriate strategy!
- Make sure you are familiar with the medication’s usage instructions. If you have any queries, don’t be hesitant to ask them of your veterinarian or pharmacist. Note – If you’ve tried all of these suggestions and are still having difficulties, consult your veterinarian to see if there is another type of the medication you may give your cat (for example, a liquid, pill, injectable, or transdermal gel) that you can try.
- All of your materials (medicine, syringe/piller, towel, and reward) should be available when you pick up your cat. Prepare your cat’s food in advance.
How to Give Medication with Food
First, check with your veterinarian to see if it’s possible to provide the prescription together with meals. In fact, it is possible that certain drugs will have to be administered with food! Others, on the other hand, cannot be administered in this manner, so always check with your veterinarian. Start by dissolving the tablet or liquid in a tiny amount of your cat’s favorite canned food, or another comparable treat. Maintain a safe distance between them and any other pets. 3. Keep an eye on them to ensure that they consume all of the food.
How to Give Medication by Hand
If you are unable to include the medicine into your cat’s diet, you will need to provide it to them directly. It might be beneficial to enlist the assistance of a second party on occasion. 1. Gather your materials and equipment. 2. Stand with your back against the wall and your cat’s back against you (i.e. nestled into the crook of your arm) so that they are unable to back away. 3. If they have a tendency to wriggle, consider using a towel to keep them still. Place them on the towel and wrap the towel over the front of them so that they can’t pull their front legs out and scratch you while you’re sleeping.
- When you have restrained them, it is now possible to provide their medication to them.
- 6 – Gently raise their head to enable their mouth to drop open completely.
- In the rear corner of their mouth, insert your syringe or pill dispenser, then give them the medication.
- (Occasionally, cats will not consume everything on the first attempt.
- Once you’ve finished, give your cat a treat so that they may begin to associate this with a happy experience.
- We’re here to assist you!
How To Give Cats Liquid Medicine
Every cat, at some time in their life, is likely to require the administration of a medicine dosage or many. And for many cat owners, the notion of delivering medication to their feline companion is enough to cause a shock of fear. Unlike other animals, cats are fiercely independent creatures that do not like to deviate from their regular rituals and traditions. In addition, they have a good sense of smell and taste. It is frequently difficult to deliver any type of medication as a result of this.
We’ll go over the reasons why they’re important for certain cats, the most common liquid drugs, how to administer liquid medication to a cat, and what alternative choices are available if your cat refuses to take medicine.
Why Cats May Need Liquid Medicine
Many oral treatments for cats are available in tablet and liquid formats, and they are all effective. If this is the case, your cat’s veterinarian may provide you the option of choosing between the two options available. A lot depends on the prescription, the particular cat, and the pet parent’s comfort level when deciding whether to use a tablet or a liquid to administer the medication. The results of a recent study revealed that the majority of cat owners preferred feeding their cat a pill rather than a drink, but that cats preferred the taste of liquid over pills (1).
The liquid form of some drugs, such as the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug meloxicam, is the only way to get them into your system.
Veterinary professionals may be more willing to recommend a liquid treatment for a little kitten than a tablet in some cases, because pills may contain an excessively large dosage of medication.
Taking some prescriptions in tablet form and without immediately following up with water, such as the antibiotic doxycycline, can cause caustic reactions.
Common Liquid Medicine for Cats
There are many various types of drugs for cats that are available in liquid form, and they may be used to treat a wide range of problems in cats. Here is a list of the most regularly given liquid drugs, as well as an explanation of what each one does:
- Gabapentin is a medicine that is often used to relieve pain as well as to reduce tension and anxiety connected with veterinarian appointments and other stressful situations. It is a steroid that can be used to treat or control a number of illnesses, including allergies and autoimmune disorders. This is an anti-inflammatory medication that is often used to reduce short-term pain, such as post-surgery recovery discomfort, as well as to assist control chronic inflammatory disorders such as arthritis. The antibiotic amoxicillin or amoxicillin combined with clavulanic acid is used to treat a range of diseases ranging from respiratory illnesses to wounds. Dewormers (pyrantel, sulfadimethoxine, and fenbendazole) are medications that are used to treat or prevent intestinal parasite infestations in animals.
How to Give Cats Liquid Medicine
It is ideal (for both pets and their owners) to begin educating cats on how to take medication when they are kittens, rather than later in life. A excellent place to start is by getting your kitty acclimated to having frequent oral exams performed on him. Once you’ve opened your kitten’s lips gently, reward them with snacks, stroking, and positive reinforcement. The benefit of doing so is that it not only allows you to discover any problems with your cat’s oral health, but it also allows your cat to feel more comfortable opening their mouth when it is time to provide medication.
- You’ll need a thick bath towel, gloves, the right syringe or dropper for measuring and administering the medication, as well as your cat’s favorite treats or wet food, among other things.
- In the meanwhile, if your cat is feeling well and eating normally, you can try concealing the liquid medication in a little amount of yummy wet food—about the size of a meatball—to see if that works.
- Do not use the medicine on a full meal’s worth of wet food at the same time.
- As an added precaution, if you have numerous cats, you should be certain that none of them consume medication that is not intended for them.
- Addition of medication to the food of an unwell cat who is not eating well may result in the development of food aversion.
- If this is the case, or if your cat does not fall for the meatball trick, the next step is to gently wrap your cat in a towel and place them on your lap with their head facing away from your body.
- As opposed to a direct confrontation, this may appear less intimidating to your pet.
Afterwards, offer your cat the syringe or dropper and allow them to take a sip of the medication.
Many cats, on the other hand, may continue to resist.
Depress the syringe or dropper into your cat’s mouth once they’ve begun to lick the reward off their tongue.
If none of the above mentioned approaches are successful, here is another approach: To begin, use your non-dominant hand to keep your cat’s head stable as you move your dominant hand.
Using your dominant hand, grab the syringe and, working from the side, insert it into the cheek pouch of your cat’s mouth via the corner of its mouth.
You can touch the back of your cat’s throat or softly blow into their nose to urge them to swallow.
Make sure their head is not cocked back when giving them liquid medicine.
As usual, try to make this a happy experience for your cat by rewarding him or her with something he or she enjoys once the medication has been administered.
If you have a cat that is growing increasingly agitated with you while you are attempting to medication them, it is a good idea to take frequent breaks and experiment with alternative approaches.
Your cat’s method of telling you to back off is to pin his or her ears back and growl or hiss at you. If you are ever bitten by your cat, be sure to carefully treat the wound and call your doctor as soon as possible.
What if My Cat Won’t Take Liquid Medication?
If you have tried all of these approaches and are still unable to offer liquid medicine to your cat, consult with your veterinarian about alternate options for providing the medication. When possible, it is possible to combine the drug into a new form, such as a liquid with hints of tuna taste, a chewable treat, or a flavorless pill. Certain drugs are also available as transdermal lotions, which are applied to the skin on the inside of the ear flaps to treat the condition. Some drugs are not accessible in any other form than their prescribed form.
Alternatively, inquire as to whether a veterinary technician will be able to come to your home and give the prescription.
It’s important to remember that cats are extremely sensitive to our emotions.
Continue to work gently and seek guidance from your veterinarian if things aren’t going as well as they should.
How to Give Medicine to a Cat (Liquid or Solid): 6 Easy Tricks
Lizzie, a worried pet parent, contacted me today through email. Lizzie’s two 5-month-old kittens are in need of oral deworming medicine for the next week and she wanted to know if I could help. What exactly is the problem? As I’m sure you all guessed – even if you didn’t read the headline of this piece – the reason for these cats’ refusal to take their medicine is rather simple. All of this culminated in a battle of wits, in which the human (as we frequently do) surrendered and sought for a better alternative.
- It could be due to the fact that the medication tasted terrible, or it could be due to the fact that the medication was administered via a syringe, and that the entire syringe experience was probably not the most comfortable for the two kittens.
- Despite the fact that they are both quite affectionate, they despise having their oral medications administered using a syringe (sulfadimethoxine for certain worms; the lady who rescued them provided it to me; I have one week left to administer it).
- After a brief skirmish of sorts, I’ll concede defeat, but both cats will remain enraged for the next couple of hours.
- Achieve you have any suggestions about how to do this effectively?
- You’ve come up with some excellent ideas.
- One of the two options is workable provided you approach it in a certain way, which I’ll go into in further depth later.
All of you will hopefully benefit from at least one of these solutions, which will eliminate the need to waste time waiting for kittens to stop being upset at you. Best of luck to you and your loved ones!
Techniques for Administering Medicine You Should Avoid
Injecting medicine into a cat’s drinking water is never a good idea. At least, that’s what I’d assume. It is the choice that is least likely to result in your cats ingesting medicine, and it has the unfortunate side effect of causing your cats to dehydrate. Kittens are notoriously sloppy when it comes to drinking water. Many cats really require encouragement to consume the recommended amount of water. If the flavor of their water is changed, such as by adding nasty medicine to their water supply, your cat is likely to become desensitized to drinking to the point where he or she may stop drinking completely, resulting in even more troubles for you.
Basically, this one is a no-go for me.
All right, let’s get into it.
2. Don’t: Mix Medication Into Your Cat’s Regular Food
In the end, the problem with adding medication into your cat’s food boils down to how you go about doing it. Including medication in a cat’s usual food meal and expecting the cat to consume the full meal, drug and all, may result in your cat refusing to consume the food altogether (if the cat can smell or taste the medication and does not like either the scent or the taste of it). This is obviously not a good thing, as you don’t want any cats to go on a hunger strike at the same time. A food strike is a game in which your cat may triumph over the opposition.
Because they are such finicky eaters to begin with, modifying the flavor of their usual food with medicine runs the risk of the entire meal being thrown away, which is not ideal.
Your cat may end up eating some of the food/medicine but not all of it, and as a result, he or she may not receive all of the medication that he or she is entitled to receive.
Alternatively, if the drug is not mixed in evenly, it is possible that your cat will eat around the medicine completely.
When it comes to making the combination of food and medicine effective, the key is to disguise the medicine as a snack rather than a full-blown meal. If you’re attempting to feed your cat on a daily basis, here’s how you deal with it: Allow your cat to go without food for a few hours (if you open feed), wait till he or she is happy and hungry, then spend a lot of time playing with your cat until he or she becomes exhausted. Finally, pass over a little piece of food that has been combined with the medicine.
If everything works smoothly, you may repeat the process the following time around. If your cat is refusing to eat, you might want to try one of the alternative remedies I’ve come up with. I can see this working out really well, and it’s what I’d recommend doing in the vast majority of situations.
3. Don’t: Use Milk or Cheese to Get Your Cat to Ingest Medication
Some cats like the flavor of milk and/or cheese, and while most cats are lactose intolerant, some cats may consume a significant amount of milk and/or cheese before experiencing any negative side effects. Nonetheless, you should never offer cats milk or cheese to disguise medicine because, as Dr. Tawnia Shaw, DVM explained in an interview with PetMD, “certain medications do not work well when given with high calcium meals.” “Doxycycline, an antibiotic, for example, binds to calcium and is not absorbed,” says the researcher.
Yes – but I don’t believe it’s ever worth the danger in the first place.
How to Easily Give Liquid or Solid Medicine to a Cat Using Snacks
For the time being, assume you’re already feeding your kittens kitten pate, but if you aren’t and instead are feeding them kibble, try mixing in a tiny piece of kitten pate (a few licks’ worth, to ensure they eat it all) with the medicine instead. Cat owners with older cats might consider obtaining kitten pate to use as a treat when administering medication. Cat owners with younger cats should avoid using kitten pate as a treat. Kitten pate is a product that has been particularly created to be incredibly delicious to cats, and in my experience, all of my adult cats go completely nuts for it.
Kitten pates, on the other hand, are often tempting to cats, removing that obstacle.
2. Pill Pockets for Getting Cats to Eat Medicine
Pill pockets, how I love thee. Those tasty, kibble-lookalike products you can open up, pop a pill into, seal up, then hand over to your pet and watch as both you and your kitty get a treat at the same time. If you’ve got quite a lot of medicine to be delving over, and don’t want any fuss or hassle, you just want to see that medication go down, pill pockets are where it’s at. I can’t imagine a more convenient thing to have on hand for cats who take medication regularly.
3. Using a Wet Food to Get Cats to Eat Medication
Cats can be coaxed into eating medicine by feeding them ordinary wet food. Again, only a tiny amount of medicine should be administered with the medication to ensure that it is completely absorbed in a few licks. Even if you have a cat who eats wet food already, you might want to consider getting him or her something with a strong smell and taste to help mask the smell and taste of the medication. If your cat already eats wet food, you might consider getting him or her something with a strong smell and taste to help mask the smell and taste of the medication.
4. Petroleum Jelly as a Snack to Get Cats to Ingest Medication
Okay, this one may seem a little strange, but I’m going to include it anyway. I use petroleum jelly to keep hairballs at bay, and a number of my cats are completely obsessed with the stuff. If the cats are coughing a lot, I only use a glob the size of two pieces of kibble, once a month to once a week, and it makes everything go down a lot smoother that way. Because my cats adore petroleum jelly, I know that if I had to, I could use it to disguise medicine if I really had to.
It would be ineffective in masking poor tastes, though, and I believe that there are better solutions available. This is especially true if you are unsure whether or not your cat like petroleum jelly.
5. Using Peanut Butter to Get Cats to Eat Medicine
Some folks have cats who truly like peanut butter and will eat it as a snack whenever the opportunity presents itself to them. If you know this to be true for your pet – and you are certain that your pet does not have a peanut allergy (yes, cats may have peanut allergies, though it is unusual) – this is an excellent alternative for concealing the flavor of medicine so that your cat will absorb it more easily and effectively. Just be sure you don’t offer too much! You don’t want your cat to overindulge in this snack or to use it as a substitute for his or her main meal.
6. Use Another Well-Loved Snack to Get Cats to Eat Medicine
As long as it contains no dairy and you are confident that whatever is on the menu is suitable for a cat to consume – such as grilled chicken – you may experiment with a tiny amount of the food combined with medicine to see whether your cat would gladly consume the medication on his or her own own. I would absolutely avoid liquid treats and instead choose for pastes or other more solid choices, because cats may be fussy when it comes to drinking. However, you are the one who is most familiar with your cat, and you would know what he or she would most likely enjoy eating.
Your Thoughts on Giving Medicine to Cats?
Have you ever had to provide medicine to a cat? If so, how did it go? What method did you use? Would you do things differently if you had the chance again? Do you have any suggestions for Lizzie, or for anybody else who may be in the same or a similar situation to Lizzie? Do you have any anecdotes of cats accepting or refusing to take medicine that you would like to share? What if you have some ideas up your sleeve that weren’t included in this list? In the comments section below, I’d love to hear your ideas and personal experiences on the subject.
I’m having trouble giving my cat liquid meds with a syringe
The effectiveness of this strategy may be dependent on the age and temperament of your specific cat, but it may be worthwhile to attempt my favourite way: educate your cat to drink from a syringe on its own own. I came up with this concept when I needed to medication only one of two kittens at the same time, and the second kitten looked intrigued by the prospect of drinking from the syringe. Make a starting point by putting an otherwise empty syringe into something odoriferous or delectable that your cat like.
- Allow your cat to approach at his own speed, and if he sniffs or licks the syringe, reward him with praise and a tiny treat on top of that.
- Work your way up to placing an amount of treat-substance into his mouth that is comparable to a medicine-dose amount.
- If your cat is in need of medication by the time you get to this phase, you should skip the water and immediately begin administering medication.
- When my cat does require medication, I draw up the appropriate amount in a syringe and then draw in a small amount of tuna water afterward, so that it is the first thing they taste when they wake up.
As soon like it becomes a routine event that occurs on a known schedule, it will be less stressful for your cat, and you may even see him standing in the designated place when medicine time arrives, just as he would at mealtime.
How to Give a Cat a Pill
IStockphoto If your cat is accustomed to consuming a range of meals, introducing her to a new and delectable soft food might be an effective method of concealing medications. Cat owners are well aware that getting a kitty to swallow a medicine may be difficult. In fact, when it comes to catcare, it is likely to be one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome. Finding a low-stress technique to provide medicine to your cat is critical to her overall health and wellbeing. Fortunately, there are several basic ways for disguising medicine in foods and snacks that may be implemented.
Consult with your veterinarian before implementing any of these suggestions.
Hide it in Her Food
Prepare your cat to consume a range of foods by providing him with opportunities to do so. So long as there is no medical problem that needs your cat to be on a special diet, gradually increasing the range of cat foods available can make it simpler to discover treats and soft meals that are suitable for hiding medicines. One approach to broaden your cat’s food options is to mix in a little quantity of new cat-safe food with her regular meal in her dish, or to feed the new food at the same time as her regular food but in a separate bowl altogether.
Your cat may become more tolerant of — and even appreciate — new meals if they are exposed to them on a regular basis.
If your pet begins to vomit or has diarrhea, stop feeding the new food and contact your veterinarian.
I’ve had the most success concealing pills in treats that have a strong taste and flavor that can be molded around the edges of the pill to completely hide it.
Make use of the three-treat trick.
The first treat is completely devoid of medicine, whilst the second treat includes the medication that has been carefully disguised.
All three treats should be identical in appearance and should be administered in a same manner in order to prevent the cat from guessing which treat contains the medication.
Change the Form
It should be cut into bits. Ideally, your cat’s medications will be tiny enough that they can be eaten whole by your cat without any difficulty. For big pills that cannot be swallowed whole, consult your veterinarian about the use of a pill cutter to split them into smaller bits that may then be divided into as many swallowable treats as needed. It should be crushed. Some medications can be pulverized, but consult with your veterinarian before attempting this. Make certain that the drug will not be harmed by crushing it, and keep in mind that crushing a tablet may cause a bitter flavor to be released.
It is also possible to dilute the crushed drug in a liquid, such as low-sodium chicken broth or the water from a tuna or clam can, to make it less potent. Consult with your veterinarian to determine which treatment option is best for your cat.