Q: What’s the best way to give my cat medication?
A: This is a frequent question with my cat-sitting clients. It really depends on your kitty and her willingness to let you do what’s best for her — and as we know that’s not always easy.
Some time ago one of my client’s cats, Ollie, needed an antibiotic. I was asked whether I thought a pill or liquid was easier and I said liquid, thinking one quick squirt into Ollie’s mouth and we’d be good to go. Boy, was I mistaken. I managed to get the full dropper of bright pink liquid squirted into his mouth, but it must have tasted awful because he proceeded to vigorously shake his head, spraying me and the walls with the sticky pink goo. He then drooled the rest down his face and neck. Yikes, what a mess. But I learned my lesson: A tiny pill is often better than a sticky, unpleasant liquid.
Be it pills or liquid, you must medicate your cats without becoming the enemy. If pills are too difficult or stressful to get into your cat’s mouth, ask your vet if you can crush the pill and mix it into your cat’s food. Make sure the pill does not lose effectiveness when crushed. If all right to crush, put the crushed pill in a small amount of cat food, let your cat finish that and then refill the bowl with the remainder of the cat food. You can purchase pill crushers at the pharmacy.
If you have liquid medication, it would certainly help if it tasted good. Check with your vet to see if it comes in a “cat-friendly” flavor like tuna. This can help if your cat needs medicine daily. Follow all instructions, check the expiration date and if the medicine needs to be stored in the refrigerator, please do so.
After medicine I also give my kitties extra treats — it helps them quickly bounce back and I am redeemed in their eyes. As always I welcome your comments and stories.