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How To Give Your Cat Medication

Aug 17, 2007
There will be times when you will need to give your cat medicine whether they like it or not. Some cats will be more agreeable than others, but the following tips should help:

Giving Pills: First, try deceiving your cat by hiding the pill in some baby food. If that doesn't work, try kneeling on the floor and putting the cat between your knees. Make sure your cat's front legs are tucked in between your knees so it can't claw you. Put the palm of your hand on top of its head, and thumb and index finger on either side of its mouth; your cat's mouth will fall open as you tilt the head back. If it doesn't, gently push down on the cat's lower front teeth with your middle finger of your other hand. Drop the pill in your cat's mouth as far back as you can. Keep its head tilted back until the pill is swallowed.

Giving Liquids: To administer liquid medication to your cat, use the same procedure as for pills using a needleless syringe that you can obtain from your vet or a pet store. Squirt the medicine down its throat. Since cats do not breathe through their mouths, don't worry about it choking on the medicine. As cats can vomit easily, it might help to give it a cat treat after the medicine.

Topical Application: This should be a fairly simple procedure. However, if your cat is less than agreeable, you will need to restrain it. Try wrapping it in a towel or holding it by the fur on the back of its neck with one hand. Hold the head down and clean/medicate with the other hand.

Burns: If a cat suffers minor or major burns, immediate veterinary treatment is necessary. In the case of minor burns, keep the burn covered with cool compresses never use ice as you get the cat to the veterinarians office. In the case of major burns, protect the burn with a thick layer of gauze or cloth, cover the cat with a blanket and get veterinary treatment as soon as possible. Cautions: Do not apply antiseptic ointments, butter, margarine, or any other product unless advised to do so by your veterinarian.
Never use cotton balls or cotton batting to cover any type of burn since particles of cotton will stick to the damaged skin.

Choking: A curious cat or playful kitten may become a choking victim when bones, string or other objects become lodged in the cats throat. If this occurs, he may paw at his mouth, gag and drool. Unconsciousness may follow if complete obstruction persists. Be careful to avoid being bitten. If possible, have someone help you. Hold the cat upside down, press his chest with both hands until the object pops out. Caution : Never attempt to remove string, thread or a needle to which a thread could be attached. These kind of obstructions should be removed by a veterinarian. If a linear object such as string or thread is lodged with one end in the mouth and the other end in the stomach and intestines, the material can cut through the walls of the intestines.

If the cat is unconscious, open his mouth and look for the obstruction. Remove it with needle-nose pliers. If you cannot do this, rush the cat to your veterinarian or an emergency animal clinic. In rural areas, remember that rabies can also cause signs of choking. Use great caution in handling a cat who is not known to you.

Cuts And Bites: In cats, most skin wounds do not bleed profusely unless a larger underlying blood vessel is opened. Excessive manipulation can lead to further injury to the cat or injury to the owner. Getting the cat to your veterinarian as fast as possible is recommended.

If a cat receives a wound that results in deep bleeding, put direct pressure on the wound and rush the cat to a veterinarian. If prompt veterinary treatment is not possible, apply a sterile bandage or clean gauze or cloth directly over the wound. Bandage the area firmly with a two-to three-inch gauze roll or strips of clean cloth made from a sheet or soft material. Secure the bandage in place with adhesive, electrical or masking tape, or by tying the gauze or cloth. Avoid frequent removal of the bandage to check the wound because bleeding may start again. In applying a bandage, avoid excessive manipulation of the cat which can lead to additional injury. A tourniquet should be avoided. It is not as effective as properly applied pressure and the prolonged interruption of the blood supply may cause additional damage to the limb.
About the Author
Tristan Andrews writes useful articles about cats and kittens. Discover and explore the feline world. Find out how to better care for, train and live with your cat at the cat forums at http://www.i-love-cats.com
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