Albany Blog

Medicating Moggies

By September 21, 2022No Comments

Do you dread your cat being prescribed oral medication? Trying to administer medication whilst avoiding all those claws and teeth is not always easy! To make things trickier, some medications have restrictions on how they can be administered, for example some tablets must not be crushed to protect the medication inside and some must be taken with food, to protect your cat’s stomach.

There are strategies you can use to help make the process less stressful for you and your cat, particularly valuable if your cat is on long-term medication.

When hiding medication in food at mealtimes, make sure you start off with just enough food to disguise the medication so that you can be sure your cat consumes it all, then go on to give her the rest of her meal.

For medication that cannot be successfully hidden in food, you will need to administer these to your cat.

If your cat is amenable, place the tablet in the middle of her tongue, towards the back of her mouth. Gently rub her throat to encourage her to swallow. Offer fresh water to help wash it down.

For liquid medication in a syringe, let your cat lick the end of the syringe so that she can try the liquid then depress the plunger slowly, aiming the medication towards the back of her throat. Briefly hold her mouth closed to make sure she swallows.

If your cat is less than cooperative, you may need to gently restrain her. An effective way to do this is to use a large towel and it is ideal to have someone else to help you. Follow these steps to secure her, remembering to verbally reassure her during this process:

STEP ONE

Place your cat gently in the middle of the towel

 

STEP TWO

Bring the towel up to her chest and hold it at the back of her neck

STEP THREE

Take one edge of the towel and bring it up

STEP FOUR

And then over, to the other side of her body

STEP FIVE

Repeat on the other side

STEP SIX

Hold the towel in place; once secure, one person should stand behind the cat and gently hold onto her front legs. The other person can then administer the medication

 

 Giving the medication:

  1. Gently but firmly hold your cat’s head with your non-dominant hand, with your thumb on one side of the upper jaw and your fingers on the other side

2. With your other hand, hold the tablet between your thumb and index finger

3. Gently tilt your cat’s head backwards and upwards

4. Use your middle finger of the hand holding the tablet to gently open her mouth by pulling down the lower jaw.

5. Quickly place the tablet to the very back of your cat’s mouth

6. Hold her jaw closed and gently rub her throat to encourage her to swallow.

7. Continually use lots of praise and offer a tasty treat as a reward

 

There are various tools that are available, to make things a little easier:

  • A pill giver – this uses a plastic plunger to deposit the tablet directly onto the back of your cat’s tongue, without the need to put your fingers in your cat’s mouth.
  • A pill splitter – neatly and accurately divides tablets, useful for doses of less than a whole tablet, avoids wastage
  • Putty-like treats that can be moulded around tablets to disguise the medication

 

 In summary :

Remain gentle and calm, yet confident

Find what works best for you and your cat

If necessary, enlist help!