If you’ve ever had to give your kitty a pill, you know it can be an unpleasant experience for everyone involved. Fortunately, there are ways to make the process easier for you and your feline friend. Follow these tips to make giving medicine to your cat easier:
When Possible, Opt for Chewable Options
By far the easiest way to administer medication to your cat is to ask your vet for chewable versions of the medicine. These chewable forms often look and taste like treats and many cats will happily eat them without any encouragement from their owners.
Offer the Pill in a Treat
Most cats will eat a pill that is wrapped in cheese or some other treat the cat likes. Experiment with a variety of options in order to determine which your cat likes best. For cats that simply eat the treat and spit out the pill, consider grinding the pill up and sprinkling it on wet food.
Manually Administering Medication to Your Cat
If your cat will not eat a pill encased in a treat and there is not a chewable form of the medication, it is time to resort to “Plan B.” Most cats do not enjoy taking pills and, because of this, it is important to complete each of these steps quickly and gently in order to avoid making your cat more fearful or resistant. When it’s time to administer medication, follow these steps:
- Hold the Cat’s Face: As gently as you can, place your thumb and forefinger on either side of the cat’s upper jaw, just above the whiskers. Place gentle but firm pressure on the cat’s teeth.
- Deposit the Pill: When the cat’s mouth begins to open, use your other hand to place the pill as far back on the tongue as you can. Keep in mind that some cats will try to scoot backwards during this phase and it can be helpful to have someone assist you in holding the cat.
- Hold the Cat’s Mouth Closed and Stroke Throat: Once you have deposited the pill, quickly move to hold the kitty’s mouth closed and gently stroke the cat’s throat. This prevents the cat from spitting the pill out and assists in swallowing.
Tools of the Trade
Since cats’ mouths are so small, some pet parents prefer to purchase a pill administrator rather than depositing the pill with the fingers. Pill administrators are plastic plungers with soft rubber tips. Pet parents place a pill into the syringe’s body before taking step 1 above. When the cat’s mouth is open, the administrator is inserted gently into the cat’s mouth and the plunger is depressed. This deposits the pill further back in the cat’s throat and also prevents the pet parent’s fingers from being bitten inadvertently.
Although very few cats enjoy taking pills, properly administering medication is important and these tips can make giving your cat his pills easier and more efficient. If you have more tips, or cat pill stories to share, please do so below.
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