Published on May 28th, 2015 | by Debbie Martin0
Giving Your Cat Liquid Medications: A Guide
If your cat ever gets sick then you will want to look after him as much as possible. In some cases, this could mean giving him medication, which sometimes comes in the form of a liquid.
This sort of medication is often given to the pet orally at home. In order to give him the medication he needs safely and effectively the following are the steps you need to carry out.
Store the Medication Properly
It is best that you keep the liquid cool in the fridge, as this will keep it fresh and therefore it will avoid being spoilt. Another important benefit to doing this is that the coolness of the liquid will help ensure that the cat feels it in his mouth when you give it to him. This might not sound like a big deal but it will make sure that he doesn’t run the risk of choking on the medication or inhaling it into his lungs as he swallows it. It is often necessary to shake medicine before using it, so you should read the instructions on the bottle or on the box carefully to see if this is the case. You will want to get the medicine out of the fridge and within reaching distance before you go to get your cat. However you should keep it out of the cat’s way, in case he struggles when you hold him and knocks the medicine over.
Get the Syringe or Dropper Ready
It is essential that you use the syringe or dropper provided rather than try to replace it with something like a spoon or any other alternative. As well as the hygiene risk, there is also the possibility that doing this leads to you giving your cat the wrong dosage of medicine. Even a small difference in the dosage can be bad news. You can then proceed to add the required dosage of medicine to the syringe by slowly pulling it in. Once the liquid is in the syringe you should then gently tap it in order to remove any air bubbles that have been trapped in there. At this point, you will want to make sure that you place the syringe or dropper in the area where you are going to give him his medicine. With that all prepared, it is time to go and get your cat ready.
Get the Cat Ready
It is also necessary to get the cat ready to receive his liquid medication too. What you don’t want to do is have him taking this liquid in an awkward position such as having his head extended too far or looking straight up at the roof. You will want to lift his head gently and support it as steadily as possible with your hand. If you think that there is the risk of your cat getting mad and lashing out by biting or scratching you then you should look for help in restraining him. An extra pair of hands can make sure that he is unable to cause you any trouble and doesn’t spill any medicine while you hold him. If you have to do the job on your own then you might find that wrapping him gently but firmly in a towel helps to keep him under control. If you are going to use this approach then lay out flat a large beach towel, bath towel or similar. Make it at a convenient height so that you can just place him on there and then wrap him up when the time comes. Your local vet will be able to give you specific advice if there is an issue that with holding your cat that you are particularly concerned about. However you do it, you will want to speak to him in gentle, reassuring tones all the time. Keep him relaxed and keep him facing you so that he can see what you are doing.
Give the Medication
You can then place the tip of the syringe next to his mouth and slowly start to dribble the liquid in there little by little. You may need to open his mouth by gently pinching the two sides just above his mouth. Use your forefinger and thumb to do this while the palm of your hand is resting on his forehead, with your hand making an inverted C shape. Be sure to take care not to try and jam the syringe into his mouth or else to shove it too far in. By just squeezing the bulb or pressing the plunger slowly you will give him time to swallow all of the liquid easily and comfortably. The more liquid you need to give the more important it is to give it to him slowly and steadily. If any of the medication is spilled you generally just need to clean it up and wipe it off his fur, unless otherwise indicated. There is a chance that he shakes his head and sprays the liquid about, so it is safest to do this in a room that is easy to clean up, such as the bathroom or kitchen.
After Giving the Mediation
Once you have given him the medication you should keep him steady and with his head in an upright position. You will normally be able to tell that he has swallowed the liquid by the way in which he licks his lips and the fur around his mouth afterwards. Failing that, you can check for when you feel the swallowing movement in his neck. Release your cat and praise him for behaving well once you are sure that he has swallowed his medicine. Let him settle down on his own if he wants to, as he may be feeling a bit stressed about the whole thing.
Arranging for Further Doses
If more than one dose is needed you need to make sure that you give the correct dosage at the designated intervals. Missing a dose or getting the amount wrong could lead to the treatment being ineffective. If you do it right then he should be more relaxed for future doses, as he knows what is coming.