Hands Free Way to Give a Cat Medicine
Giving a Cat Medicine: The Old Way
Fear No More!
We are here to proclaim you CAN give a cat medicine without hassle, headache, OR using your hands.
Sound too good to be true? Let us introduce our very own Jackie Nelson. Jackie loves to train her pets.
Really. Loves. Training.
Her dog, Roxy, does agility and is currently learning to skateboard (we are waiting patiently for the video). Jackie is also the instructor of our StartRight puppy class and she knows her stuff.
Recently Jackie’s heart was stolen by little Leo, a Waverly Pet Rescue kitten.
Leo had a rough start to his nine lives. Consequently, he had an upper respiratory infection. Nothing serious, but he needed medication. Jackie was reading an article about a fear free way to medicate a cat and thought she’d try it.
The Easy Way to Give a Cat Medicine
Here’s what Jackie has to say.
My senior cat, Claudia, begrudgingly took part in our video “How to Pill a Cat“. In that video, we were able to show the traditional ways to give medications. It worked well enough, but it also wasn’t hands free. The article intrigued me and I knew if I can train Leo while he is still young, I will be preventing years of arguments in the future.
I focused on liquid medication first. I use what we call a TB syringe to give his meds. These are tiny, 1 cc syringes with easy control over the amount or force of the liquid coming out.
You can use a dropper if you like, but I find I have more control with a syringe. Pick what works best for you and your cat.
To get him interested and excited in the process, I chose tuna water (you could use chicken broth, salmon juice, whatever will entice your cat). I drained the water from a can of tuna into a tiny container I could keep in the fridge. (The tuna itself was for my lunch–waste not…)
I put tuna water in a syringe and let him approach it at his own pace. Slowly, I allowed a drop to fall out. Then another. And another onto the floor.
To help him understand that I wanted him to drink from the syringe like a hamster at a water bottle, I enlisted some help. I showed the syringe to my dog, Roxy, who was eager to show him how it was done.
After a few tries, Leo figured out how to lick the drops as they fell. Once he was comfortable drinking the tuna water from a syringe, I introduced a second syringe with his medicine. I swirled the syringe tip in some tuna water first. As he took his meds, I encouraged and praised him, following up with a little more tuna water as a treat.
If he stopped taking the meds (some do have a taste to them), I would give just tuna water to keep him interested and cooperative. He caught on quickly, but if your cat needs more time, just keep offering the syringe with tuna water a few times a day for several days in a row. He will catch on, just be patient!
I was amazed how well this works and I don’t have to restrain him. He comes running to get his medication when I call him. He takes it quickly and without any fuss. Who knew I could give a cat medicine this easily?!?
I know we both will appreciate hands free medicating in the years to come!
See For Yourself!
Way to go, Jackie! This short video—unedited mind you—shows you Jackie’s routine with Leo. Notice she never once has to touch him or restrain him. He voluntarily drinks on his own!
Jackie is working on some techniques for getting him accustomed to swallowing a pill should he need to down the road. We are also experimenting with different flavors cats may like. We will keep you posted!