often present a challenge when giving them medicine. Keeping your cat still
is often the most challenging aspect of this task, whether one is giving
eardrops, pills, or oral drops. Wrapping your cat snugly in a blanket or
towel is an effective way to control the pet. Bundle him up like a baby
so that only its face is showing. This way he will be less likely to wiggle
away or scratch. Having a partner hold the cat while you give the medicine
can also be helpful.
When giving eardrops try to place the dropper in the ear opening without
touching any part of the ear. Be particularly careful not to let the dropper
touch any part of the inner ear. This can be painful and potentially damaging
for your cat. If the dropper touches the ear, the medicine could become
contaminated when the dropper is replaced in the bottle. One trouble with
eardrops is that a cat will often shake his head when the drops hit the
ear. This often results in the person giving the medicine getting wet and
the cat not receiving the proper dose. This is where trying to keep your
cat still is important. However, even when well restrained some cats will
still be able to shake out a significant amount of medicine. In this case
you may want to increase the dosage slightly to accommodate for the amount
of medicine that doesn't make it into the ear.
The easiest way to give pills to your cat is to disguise the pill in food.
Put some butter on it or cover it with cat food. Unfortunately, cats usually
don't fall for this trick. In this case hold your cat and gently tip his
head back, open his mouth with your fingers at the sides of his mouth.
Then place the pill as far back in the mouth as possible. Close his mouth,
and gently hold it shut until he has swallowed. Rubbing your cat's throat
or lightly blowing in his nose may help him to swallow. If your cat is
particularly stubborn, consider buying a pill syringe. This is a tube that
holds the pill to release when placed in the back of the cat's mouth.
Placing the pill in the back of the mouth is particularly important when
your cat has become adept at avoiding pills and has become a pill "spitter." In
this case, your cat will lead you to believe he has taken the medicine,
but often a day or two later you find the pill on the floor. This can be
very difficult to prevent because some cats will walk off with the pill
in their mouth and spit it out only when alone. Besides placing the pill
in the back of the mouth, if you know you have a feline pill spitter, you
may want to check his mouth to ensure that it is empty after the pill has
Administering oral drops is generally a little easier than giving a pill.
Again, if mixing drops in the cat's food works, this is the easiest solution.
Otherwise, as with administering a pill, hold and restrain your cat and
gently tip his head back. Gently open the mouth and place the dropper in
the back of the mouth. Release the drops slowly. If the medicine is squirted
into the mouth all at once, the cat may not be able to swallow it all and
gag. Given a couple drops at a time, the cat is more likely to take it
all in. The "bonus" with oral drops is if some spills on your cat's fur,
your cat wills clean/lick it off receiving the medicine any way.