Administering liquid medicine to a difficult cat can feel like a herculean task. As a cat parent myself, I fully understand the struggle you’re going through.
I dread it more than my cat when it comes to medicine feeding time.
You just want to ensure your cat gets the care they need to quickly recover but the moment the medicine bottle comes into sight, your cat turns into an agile ninja.
Fear not! With my expertise in feline behavior, I’ll help you decode the art of successfully giving your cat its much-needed medication without having to tear your hair out.
Why Is My Cat Being So Difficult?
Some studies have shown that our cats have a mentality and intelligence of a 2-year-old kid.
And if you are a parent, you are able to further understand how challenging it can also be to give a toddler medication.
To some extent, you can reason why a kid but that’s not possible when it comes to cats.
Medication time often becomes a struggle as cats might associate it with unpleasant tastes, unfamiliar smells or discomfort.
My cat is always able to smell the medication even before he sees it coming his way.
How To Give My Cat Liquid Medicine In A Syringe?
First of all, let’s learn to do it the normal way which is to administer the liquid medication directly into its mouth.
If you have a cat that is really fine with taking medication, this would be the best way to do it.
- Get everything that you need ready like the syringe, liquid medication, towel, tissue, etc
- Place your cat on something firm and secure like on the floor or tabletop
- If your cat has a tendency to struggle, have someone hold it firmly or wrap a towel around it with the head exposed (don’t grip or wrap your cat too tightly or it will feel more stressed)
- With one head, gently lift up your cat’s head so that it is slightly pointing upwards
- Insert the syringe behind the front canine teeth and between the lips of your cat. This will cause your cat to open its mouth
- Gently squeeze the liquid medication into your cat’s tongue and not into the cat’s throat
- Do not forcefully squeeze everything in at one go thinking it will be easier. This can shock your cat and cause it to choke
- Ensure that your cat swallows the medication by gently stroking its chin
- Give your cat lots of praise, pets and some treats for a job well done
How To Trick A Cat To Take Liquid Medicine?
If you are like most cat owners, there’s a high chance that your cat will hate being fed liquid medication this way.
It kinda scares them and you won’t be able to get the proper dosage in your cat.
But fear not!
There are some ways that you can effectively employ to trick your cat into taking its medication without putting up too much of a struggle.
Mix The Medicine With Food
When it comes to administering oral medications to cats, disguising the taste can make a significant difference.
One effective trick I’ve found is using tuna water or broth.
All you need to do is prepare some homemade tuna water, let it cool, and blend it with the liquid medication.
The potent aroma of tuna tends to mask the smell and flavor of the medicine.
You can also offer your cat a small amount of plain tuna water to stir its appetite.
If your cat loves the taste of better like my cat, melt a small amount of butter and mix it with the medication once it has cooled.
An added tip would be to smear the syringe’s tip with a little melted butter, then squeeze the medicine into your cat’s mouth while they enjoy licking the butter.
If your cat’s diet includes canned food, this can be another helpful solution.
The medicine can be mixed directly with a small quantity of wet food. This ensures your cat consumes the entire dose of medication when it eats the food.
To make it more appetizing for your cat, you can warm up the wet food just a tiny bit to make it more aromatic to your cat.
Request For A Pill Alternative
With my current cat, one thing that I have noticed ever since I adopted him was that he seems to prefer pills/tablets to liquid medication.
You might have a cat that shares the same preference as my cat.
However, not all medications will have a tablet alternative. Some medication only comes in liquid form like mixing Miralax in water for constipated cats.
Even if I am lucky enough to get a tablet substitute for my cat, pilling him is still out of the question.
The only way he will eat it is if I crush the pill and mix it in with his food.
The next time you are prescribed liquid medication for your cat, try asking the vet for a tablet replacement.
How Can I Make This Process Easier For My Cat?
The process of medicating your cat can be stressful for both the feline and cat owner.
Having a cat that can tolerate being fed medication can be a godsend especially when you need your cat to finish its course of antibiotics.
You can train your cat to be more tolerable by getting it used to having a syringe in its mouth.
If your cat is still a kitten, feed your cat some tuna broth with a syringe once a week.
Kittens are easier to manage and are more open to such training. Having your cat used to this process from a young age can save you lots of headaches in the future.
Even if you have an adult cat, do the same thing. Start feeding it some tuna water via a syringe to get your cat used to it.
It will probably take longer than training a kitten but who knows, your cat might surprise you.
What Not To Do When Trying To Medicate Your Cat?
In this section, we will highlight the actions to avoid when administering medication to your cat, ensuring a stress-free process for both you and your furry friend.
Let’s ensure that your cat’s health is managed effectively and safely.
Don’t Get Upset
If this is your first or tenth time trying to feed your cat liquid medication, please be patient with your cat and don’t get upset with it.
It isn’t easy for your cat to understand why it has to be force-fed such a horrible smelling and tasting liquid as well.
Just keep trying and be patient with your cat. Most cats will start to get the hang of it after some persistence.
Don’t Mix Random Human Food
Don’t start mixing random food or solutions to your cat’s medicine just to make it more palatable for your cat.
Some types of human food are toxic to cats and should be avoided.
When in doubt, consult your vet first.
Don’t Heat Up The Liquid Medicine
You might think that heating up the liquid medicine in the microwave might make it tastier for your cat.
And by heating up the liquid medication, you can alter the properties of the medication ready which can make it less effective or toxic.
Why Is My Cat Foaming At The Mouth After Being Medicated?
As alarming as it may seem, this is a rather normal reaction by many cats to be frothing at the mouth after taking medication in liquid form.
Your cat isn’t having a seizure or having an adverse side effect. It is their natural defense mechanism after eating something sour or bitter.
But if your cat is foaming at the mouth and vomiting, stop giving your cat the medication and bring it to the vet for a check as it might be allergic to the particular medication.
It is normal for cats to spit out some of the medication. Don’t refeed your cat that amount as it might lead to an overdose.
Just stick to the prescribed amount and try again later when it’s time for medication.