Giving cats pills – How do I give my cat medication or a pill – Pet tip 98
It is a simple fact of owning a cat that one day you may need to give your cat some medication in pill form. Giving your cat medication is not likely to be a fun task but some simple preparation will make your life much easier. In fact the key to not turning this event into a nightmare is in the preparation. The very first thing that you want to do is go to the pharmacy and buy a small syringe or eyedropper that will hold 1-2 teaspoons of liquid. Most cats benefit from a little bit of water after the pill is given and there is almost no way on this green earth that you will get your cat to drink from a bowl or glass during this activity. So buy a small empty syringe (without an actual needle) or eyedropper and fill it with water so that it is ready and close by. The next CRUCIAL thing that you want to do is trim your cat’s nails. Cutting your cat’s nails is just a precaution. Normally when you follow the advice in the next few paragraphs all will go pretty smoothly. However cats are feisty creatures so better safe than sorry. If your cat easily tolerates nail cutting, you can give your cat the pill right away. If your cat doesn’t tolerate nail cutting very well though, you would be well advised to wait an extra 15-20 minutes, while your cat settles down again and THEN give your cat the pill.
Once you have everything you need close by place your cat on the kitchen table or counter or on some surface that is slippery for a cat. This will help prevent the cat from digging its claws into the surface if it tries to escape. Alternatively you can try to just go to your cat and get down to its level while it’s resting, but your cat may well have a better grip if it wants to escape. Pet your cat for a couple of minutes before you give the pill as this will help relax your cat. Your goal is to make this as painless as possible for your cat and not to use a lot of force because you may have to go through this a few times a day for the duration of the treatment. Once your cat is relaxed try to administer the pill as quickly as possible.
Gently place the palm of your hand on the top of the cat’s head and slightly tilt the cat’s head upward. Then using that hand, you’ll take your thumb and index finger (the middle finger) and apply slight pressure by pulling the cats upper jaw open just a bit so that your thumb and index finger are resting behind the canine teeth (the longest teeth) of the upper jaw. With the other hand quickly insert the pill as far as you can toward the back of the cat’s throat. Once the pill is inside deep enough, the cat should naturally swallow it. If it is not deep enough, a gentle blow (with your breath) onto your cat’s nose, or rubbing its throat gently usually causes it to swallow. Don’t force your cat’s mouth shut as this won’t allow it to swallow, but do make sure that the pill has been swallowed.
At this point it is a good idea to use the hand in the exact way above and give the cat a quick squirt of water (1 teaspoon should be fine) using a sterilized/clean eyedropper or a syringe filled with water (obviously no needle at the end). Insert the instrument in the side of the cat’s mouth right near where you are holding its upper jaw behind its canine teeth. Squirt it in fairly quickly. This will aid the pill to travel into the stomach as well as ensure that your cat has swallowed the pill.
If you are having a really hard time with your cat, you can wrap your cat in a towel having only its head stick out. This should make it a lot easier to follow the steps above. A second person holding your cat while you give the pill can also help. Ask your veterinarian for a demonstration if you are having difficulty. Once the cat has received the pill, you should end the ordeal with some nice petting once the cat has calmed down. Good luck!