First Aid for Pets

bandaged face cat in a bag

 

 

 

Most cats won't eat food where pills or paste have been added so learning to medicate your cat is essential. Some cats are easy to pill while some become feral beasts. Many cats respond better to minimal restraint so when medicating your cat start out gently and work up from there. Once you aware how your cat will behave you will know if you need a second person or other equipment. Ask your veterinarian if a paste is available if your cat is impossible to pill.

TABLETS

  • Be gentle but firm. Bullying your cat into behaving rarely works as it does in dogs.


  • Place your cat on a table or bench.

HOW TO PILL A CAT

  • If an assistant is necessary, have him/her hold each of the cat's elbows so that they are locked straight and tuck the cat's body against his/her own. Have him/her gently lean on it to keep the cat against the table. It is a good idea if your assistant is wearing a sweater or shirt so if the cat tries to scratch with the back feet it can't do too much damage.
  • If this doesn't work wrap the cat in a large towel so only the head is visible. Placing your cat head first down the sleeve of something like a dressing gown may also work.

HOW TO PILL A CAT

  • If your cat is well behaved hold the cat's head in the palm of your hand and gently tilt the cat's head back. Most cats reflexively relax their jaw and the mouth will open slightly.
  • In the opposite hand hold the pill between the thumb and index finger.
HOW TO PILL A CAT
  • With your middle or ring finger, gentle lever the jaw open and then place the tablet onto the back of the tongue. Push the tablet over the back of the tongue with a finger.
HOW TO PILL A CAT
  • Quickly close the mouth and rub the throat to stimulate swallowing. Blowing on your cat's nose tends to give it a bit of a fright and may induce it to swallow.

LIQUIDS

  • Restrain your cat as above.


  • Hold the cat's head this time holding both top and bottom jaw. Tilt the cat's nose slightly upwards.

HOW TO MEDICATE A CAT

  • Using an eye dropper or syringe slowly place the medication into your cat's mouth. The tip of the dropper can be inserted just behind the canine (fang or eye) tooth where the jaw does not completely close.
  • Unless the dose is small give the medication slowly allowing your cat to swallow and to lick the medication from its mouth before giving more.


  • Rubbing the throat or blowing on your cat's nose may help to stimulate swallowing.


  • Never inject into the back of the mouth as this may cause your cat to choke.

Remember a cat has five weapons, its mouth and four paws. Cats are also just as likely to injure their owner as a stranger. Its teeth are the biggest risk. The fine teeth can penetrate joints or bone. An angry cat may also use its claws to drag a hand in reach of its teeth as well as creating nasty scratches.


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Send mail to Administrator with comments or questions about this site                Fiona Anderson 2001