How to Properly Give Liquid Medication to Your Cat
Considering how difficult it often is to give a pill to a sick cat, many owners and veterinarians will use liquid medication instead. While administering liquid medicine to a cat often presents problems, it is still often easier than giving a pill. As cats will freely use both teeth and claws when being given medicine, it might be a good idea to trim the cat’s claws before starting. This will at least reduce chances of injury to you. As dear as cats are to us, it would be fair to say that giving medicine to a cat brings out the worst in any feline. A combination of fear and illness can produce aggressive behavior in even the most mild of cats.
When the time approaches for the liquid medication to be given, make sure that everything you need is ready. If the medicine needs to be agitated before use, shake it, then withdraw the proper amount into the eyedropper or syringe. Make sure the syringe is at hand, then go to get the cat.
Sometimes the cat will understand what is in store and hide from you. While the temptation to winkle them out of their concealment is probably strong, you should wait until they come out – dragging the cat out will only increase the tension for both parties. The cat will usually get bored or curious and come out on its own. It would probably be a good idea to have a towel ready in which to wrap the cat if too much resistance is shown. Wrapping the cat will help prevent injury to you and your cat. Be sure to place the cat in a position where it is unable to back away, it should be up against furniture, under your arm, or between your legs.
Once you have the cat immobilized, it is time to give it the liquid medication. Place the syringe or eyedropper in the cat’s mouth behind its canine teeth. This is where the teeth are small. Make sure the syringe is worked in behind these teeth, so that the medicine does not squirt out of the side of the cat’s mouth.
As soon as the syringe is in position, squirt it in quickly, but gently, do not press down abruptly on the plunger. If you go too rapidly, you may cause the cat to choke or vomit. Remove the syringe and hold the cat’s mouth closed while you massage its throat. Sometimes, blowing gently on the cat’s nose will cause it to swallow, too. This should make sure that at least most of the medicine has been delivered.
Sometimes the sheer volume of the dosage will be too much for your cat to handle at one time. In that case, you can administer the liquid in smaller doses, as long as you get the correct amount in for the time frame needed.
If the cat resists taking the liquid medication using the above procedure, it may be possible to mix the medicine with the cat’s food. However, you should speak to your veterinarian about this before you try it, as some medicines must be taken without food to be effective.
Your cat may make odd noises or faces after you have given it the liquid medication, but there is generally no reason to be alarmed at this, a good many of these medicines taste bad and your cat is probably just reacting to that. Foaming at the mouth after getting medicine is also common and nothing to be concerned about. Be sure to gently wipe off the cat’s mouth and chin after you have given it the medicine and also be sure to follow up with praise and some tasty treat. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, the cat will simply refuse to take the liquid medicine. If this happens, it would be best to ask your veterinarian to prescribe a pill instead.