Three Tips for Giving Your Cat Medicine

Giving cats medicine is notoriously difficult. However, with the right approach and some tried and tested techniques you can do it successfully.

Cats are renowned for being aloof creatures with a reputation for expecting to be treated like royalty. Those who live with a cat will know this attitude well. While this is amusing and one of the reasons we love cats, this resistant streak can make giving medicine to them challenging.

Cats attract many different kinds of ailments, from bacterial infections and organ problems through to topical injuries and diabetes. Medications to treat these ailments come in many different forms, such as capsules, pills, eye drops or oral liquids. Many owners will need to administer one of these basic medicines to their feline companion at some point in their pet's life, so here are some tips to make the experience a little easier.

For cats who are food-oriented and not too sceptical, a stealth mission to hide their medicine in their meal is a good approach. Try hiding the pill in a favourite food that has a strong scent and flavour. If the pill is small, your cat will most likely gulp it down without even realising it has swallowed it.

The next method requires a bit of cuddling and an extra pair of hands. Get somebody that your cat knows and likes to pick her up. As she is being picked up, wrap her gently in a towel to protect yourself from her claws and scratching. Gently and calmly open her mouth and place the pill at the back of her mouth, then gently rub her throat to encourage her to swallow it. She may need some water to wash it down and a treat to get the aftertaste off her tongue.

Liquid medicines are often regarded by cat owners as easier to administer than other forms of medication. The first step is to fill an eyedropper or syringe with the prescribed amount of medicine. After you’ve done this, hold your cat's head still in one hand and insert the tip of the syringe into the corner of her mouth, between the teeth and cheek.

Squirt the medicine gently towards the back of your cat's head and hold her mouth closed gently while she swallows the medicine. After she has done this, give her a vet-approved treat to apologise.

Cats may not understand or appreciate what you are doing at the time but giving medicine benefits their health and wellness. Administering medicines is an important part of owning a cat. By learning to do it yourself, you are demonstrating your affection and responsibility.