Anyone who has ever lived with a cat knows they tend to hold grudges.
So when it comes to giving a cat medication, our volunteers at FUR aim to make the process as easy and, well, non-traumatic as possible — for both the feline AND the human involved. I asked one of our senior volunteers, Syd, for her tips and tricks for medicating our loveable but persnickety furballs.
How often do volunteers have to medicate cats at FUR?
We have several cats that have daily medications – some are twice a day. We continually monitor the health of our animals and medicate based on their symptoms. Some will require a vet visit and then we follow the recommendations of the veterinarian’s office.
What’s the hardest part?
The hardest part of medicating cats is that some of the animals are not receptive to being held. We need to sometimes be creative, as not all cats will take a pill or even a liquid medication. We work with vet offices and pharmacies to have some medications compounded or prescribed in a different format for easier dosing. For example, there is a thyroid medication that comes as a cream that we can rub on a cat’s ear.
Say you have to give a cat a pill. With which approach or approaches have you had the most success?
With some cats, you can pop a pill in their mouths easily. But for others, we will mix a pill in with food or dissolve a pill in water and feed it to them in a syringe.
Are liquid medicines any easier to administer? How do you typically give those types of medicines?
That is very cat dependent. My opinion is that liquid medications are the easiest but you do what you need to do to get it done.
Are there ways you can get a cat used to being handled so that it’s easier to give medicines when needed?
The majority of the cats in our care are able to be handled, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are easy to medicate. We sometimes need to wrap the cat in a towel or blanket, making sure that their paws are secured, before we give them their dose. At times, it can be a two-person job.
What would you say to a person who doesn’t medicate their kitty because it is too hard?
The cats must get their medicine. I recommend working with their vet to come up with the least stressful way of administering medication.
Any final advice you’d like to share?
Do your best. If you are having trouble, ask for help. Vets, local rescues and even the internet can all be great resources.
Let’s face it: medicating our feline friends is one of the hardest things we have to do. But it is essential for their well-being. If at first kitty tempers soar, try try again.
How do YOU give medicine to your kitty? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below.