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Medicating Your Cat

August 26, 2021

When necessary, just like us our cats need some medication. Unlike us they can't administer it themselves so it's up to us to give them what they need.

These days long acting antibiotic injections can be a life saver for difficult to medicate cats. One injection replaces an entire course of antibiotic tablets, eliminating the problems associated with missed doses, either through not being able to administer the tablets or not finishing the course. You can speak to your veterinarian about whether this long acting antibiotic injection is right for you!

If you do need to give your cat oral medication whether it be tablets or liquids, it's important to clarify with your vet what the dosage instructions how much to give, how often and whether to administer with food or on an empty stomach. Always follow the label and keep medicating your cat for the amount of time your vet has instructed.

TIPS TO REMEMBER:

  • Place your cat on a non-slip surface or your lap to medicate them. This is not only handy for you but helps keep your cat calm.
  • Stay calm and in control. If you are stressed or your worried, then your cat will think they have reason to be and become agitated
  • Have the medication ready to administer before getting your cat, the quicker and less fiddly the process the less time your cat will have to get unsettled
  • It may sometimes help to have an extra set of hands, one person can hold the cat and calm them by stroking and distracting them while the other uses both hands to administer the medication.
  • Pill poppers can be used to avoid placing your fingers in your cats mouth.

TABLETS AND CAPSULES:

  1. Hold the pill between your thumb and index finger of one hand (or use a pill popper). Use your other hand to hold your cats head, placing your index finger and thumb on either side of the cheekbones.
  2. By tilting the head back the jaw will normally drop open, you can use your middle finger of the hand holding the pill to place a small amount of pressure on the lower jaw to hold the mouth open.
  3. Bring the pill to the cats mouth and use your index finger/pill popper to push or place the pill as far back on the tongue as possible. The further back you get it the less likely it is for your cat to be able to spit it back out.
  4. Once the pill is in IMMEDIATELY close the mouth. You can gently stroke the throat or lightly blow on the nose to encourage swallowing.
  5. Watch your cat afterwards to ensure they haven't managed spit the tablet back out.

LIQUIDS AND SYRUPS:

  1. Prepare the medication, shake the bottle if necessary and draw up the correct amount.
  2. Hold your cat's jaw closed and tilt the head back slightly
  3. Gently squirt the medication into the pouch between your cat's cheek and teeth with the syringe.

If you are uncomfortable giving medicine to your cat or unsure of the easiest way to administer medications, speak to your vet about possible alternatives or ask them to demonstrate the process for you.

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