How to Give Your Cat Liquid Medicine

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Cat getting liquid medicine
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Giving a cat his medicine is rarely easy, but knowing the proper procedure and what to expect can make the process more pleasant—for you and your cat.

Many people find liquid medicines easier to administer than other types, such as pills, capsules, eye drops or injections. But it still takes patience, precision, and a bit of strength to get your cat to sit still and swallow the right amount. Here, how to make the medicine go down easier.

The Basics

Liquid medications are prescribed to treat a variety of conditions. Some medicines that are usually prescribed as pills or capsules can be changed, or compounded, to a liquid formulation for easier administration. If you have trouble giving your cat pills, ask your veterinarian if compounding is possible.

Follow Recommendations

It’s important to use only medicines prescribed by a veterinarian and to treat for the full length of time prescribed. Don’t stop treatment early, even if the problem seems to be resolved. You can ask your veterinarian to demonstrate how to give the medicine.

Technique

  • Liquid medications should come with a dropper or syringe for administration. Fill the dropper or syringe with the prescribed amount of medicine.
  • Holding your cat’s head still with one hand, insert the tip of the dropper or syringe into a corner of the mouth, between the cheek and the teeth, aiming toward the back of your cat’s head.
  • Do not tilt your cat’s head back; this may cause him to inhale the medicine. Squeeze the dropper or depress the syringe plunger to empty it.
  • Hold your cat’s mouth closed and stroke his throat or blow on his nose to encourage swallowing.
  • Reward your cat with a treat approved by your veterinarian.

Restraining Your Cat

You may need help keeping your cat still while you give the medicine. If you don’t have a helper handy, try wrapping your cat in a large towel and hold him against your body, leaving only the head free. Be sure not to wrap your cat too tightly.

If your cat struggles, talk to him calmly, and stop administering the medicine if he becomes extremely agitated. Contact your veterinarian if you have questions or run into any problems.


This article has been reviewed by a Veterinarian.

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