Administering Medications to Cats

How To Administer Medication to Your Cat


Ear Medications

Avoid pinching the ears since they are very sensitive. Best also to avoid pulling on the flap. The hairs surrounding the ear canal are very sensitive also, so try to avoid touching them since the cat will shake the ears if they are brushed. Kitty will shake the head after medication is instilled, so perform the procedure in a bathroom or kitchen so that if medication is shaken out, it does not land on your expensive custom Persian rug.

Oral Medications

Cats and pills can be tricky. Although some have no trouble with oral medication others will take the pill to the back of the throat, and then quietly go to the next room behind the comfy chair and spit it up. While some cats just might find a distant quiet corner of the home and hide out when treatment time approaches. Liquids may end up more on you, or shaken around the room than in the mouth sometimes.

Here are a few tips that just might help you get a little cooperation:

Other Medication Routes


Cats are so fastidious that topical treatments end up being carefully groomed out of the coat promptly. Don’t count on wound powders, creams or lotions to stay there for long! If bandages have been applied at the hospital, or topical treatment must be used, frequently an Elizabethan collar or similar structure will be applied to physically interfere with Kitty’s ability to turn around and lick or chew the offending substance off.


For certain diseases, injections may need to be given regularly. Insulin injections may need to be given under the skin on a regular schedule, or for a kitty with failing kidneys, fluid treatments under the skin may be prescribed. Make sure you are comfortable with the technique and ask to have the injection demonstrated at least once at hospital. Ideally, do it yourself there and have the trained staff give you feedback on your technique. If fluids are being prescribed for a cat with chronic kidney failure, make sure you carefully warm them to room temperature before administration to avoid cold shock to the tissues around the needle. Always use a fresh needle for each treatment as dull or dirty needles are not a cat’s best friend. Avoid air in the administration line or insulin needle. Offering a treat at the time of injection may keep attention off of your manipulations to the point that a happy cat will not even notice your gentle administration.

Remember that cats remember a bad experience like the elephants! Never lose your patience when giving medications. It may take a few extra minutes to take time for praise and attention around treatment time, but this is time well spent to prevent a therapy-shy kitty!

You May Also Like These Articles:

Human Medications That Are Dangerous to Cats

Warning: Topical Medications Containing Flurbiprofen May Be Dangerous to Cats

Safe Handling of Medications at Home

How To Give Liquid Medications

Subcutaneous Fluid Therapy: Giving Your Cat Fluids at Home

Kidney Disease in Cats

Caring for Your Senior Feline

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