Giving medicine to your cat: it’s easier this wayDennis Steenbakkers
Almost every cat owner experiences it – your cat needs medication. Which is only logical, as cats do get sick sometimes. And because cats are so smart and stubborn, giving them medicine can be quite a challenge. But don’t worry, there are ways to make it easier for you and your cat.
Most cats run off quickly when it is time for their medicine. This is because they keep a close eye on their owners throughout the day and know their routines like the back of their hand. So once you have given them a pill, next time they know exactly what is going to happen. And what does a cat do? Right, it hides, runs outside or sits in a place where you can’t reach it. Scoundrels they are!
So make sure you have variety
The chances are that you too have a fixed routine when you give medicine – you set everything up at a fixed time and close the cat flap to prevent your cat from escaping. Do it differently. Give the medicine before dinner one day and after dinner the next, and do it in a different place in the house each time. Or prepare everything an hour in advance, as this will prevent your cat from knowing what is going to happen.
A relaxed cat is an easy cat
We humans decide when and how we take our medicines. But imagine your cat – it is picked up without any explanation and suddenly gets a pill in its mouth. It is therefore logical that your cat does not like it and gets tense. Unfortunately you cannot change this, but you can make sure that your cat is as relaxed as possible. So play with him for about ten minutes first and you will see that you can then give the medicine much more easily. Good thing: it is fun to do too!
Administering the medicine
Okay, now you know how best to prepare yourself and your cat. Now it is time to give the medicine. Below you will find several handy ways to do that. Please read everything carefully and consider which way suits you and your cat best.
Give a pill in the mouth
Do you have an easy-going cat? Then sit on your lap while you give the medicine. Take the cup with one hand and open the mouth with the other. Always do this gently and do not pull the head back too far, as this makes swallowing more difficult. Then put the pill on the back of the tongue and keep the mouth closed until you see that your cat has swallowed the medicine. A pat on the head and that’s it!
Do you know that your cat will resist? Then it is better to do it in pairs. Let someone else hold the cat gently and take hold of its head. Open its mouth gently and put the pill on the back of its tongue. Close the mouth and stroke your cat’s neck gently until it has swallowed the pill.
Do you notice that your cat does not want to swallow? Then it may help to carefully squirt some water into its mouth with a medical dosage syringe. And finally, of course, reward your tiger with a treat.
Medicines through the food
If you can’t get the pill to go straight into the mouth, you can ask your vet if you can crush the pill. Is it allowed? Then you can mix it with the wet food. And if you notice that your cat doesn’t like the food very much, you can also crush up some of its favourite sweets and sprinkle them over its food.
Hiding a pill
If you don’t want to crush the pill, you can hide it in something nice – a piece of sausage without spices or a chewable for example. Always give a piece without the medicine first and only then a piece with it. Have the medicines been swallowed? Then reward your little rascal with another treat. And a big hug of course. Make sure you have a cat tree in your house!
Your cat won’t be fooled? Then try Easypill, which you can buy from your vet. Easypill masks the smell of the medicine and is easy to wrap around your cat.
Two more handy tips
1. Is your cat asleep? Let it wake up calmly before giving the medicine. The same goes for a visit to the litter tray – that always takes precedence.
2. Can’t you give the medicine or does it make your cat very nervous? Ask your vet if the medicine is available in liquid form. Good luck to you!
Petrebels is not a vet: all content, information and tips on this blog is meant to inform you. Does your cat have complaints or problems or do you have doubts about your cat’s health? Always consult a vet or behaviourist.