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Administering Medication

Just like you, your cat is going to get sick occasionally and you’ll likely come home from the veterinarian’s with some medication to administer. Learning how to do it right will make the process easier both for you and your cat. Always follow the instructions given by your veterinarian. Be sure to administer the full amount of medication over the number of days instructed by your veterinarian.

Tablets & Capsules

Step 1

  • Place the pill between the thumb and index finger of one hand.
  • Hold the top of the cat’s head and grasp the cheekbones with the thumb and index finger of the other hand just behind the canine teeth.

Step 2

  • Tilt the head back until the cat’s eyes are facing upward.
  • Usually the cat’s jaw will drop open on its own. If not, apply a little pressure on the lower jaw with your middle finger.
  • Bring the pill to the cat’s mouth.

Step 3

  • Keep your middle finger over the small incisor teeth to keep jaw open. 
  • Deposit the pill as far back on the tongue as possible.
  • Immediately close the mouth.

Step 4

  • Gently stroke the throat or blow in the nostrils to encourage swallowing.
  • Work fast to avoid being bitten.

Liquids & Syrups

Read the label for the proper dosage. If instructed, shake the contents of the bottle.

Step 1

  • Fill a syringe or dropper with medication before starting.
  • Liquid medication is poured into the pouch between the teeth and cheek.
  • Hold your cat’s jaw closed and tilt the head back slightly.

Step 2

  • Gently squirt the medication into the pouch with the dropper or syringe.

Helpful Hints

  • Always read the label instructions carefully.
  • Ask your veterinarian if the medication can be given with food or must be given on an empty stomach.
  • Place the cat on your lap or table with a non-slip surface.
  • When administering medication stay calm – your pet can sense if you are nervous making it more difficult to apply the treatment. Always praise and reward your pet with a treat.

Pilling Devices

Should you wish, you can use a pilling device to avoid placing your fingers into your cat’s mouth. It is a plastic tube resembling a syringe used to deposit the pill.

  • Place the pill at the end of the device.
  • Hold the device like a syringe between your index and middle fingers, using your thumb to push the plunger.
  • Tilt your cat’s head back until his eyes are facing upward. Usually the cat’s jaw will drop open on its own. If not, apply a little pressure on the lower jaw with your middle finger.
  • Place the device over the base of the tongue.
  • Push the plunger to deposit the pill as far back on the tongue as possible.
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