Medicating Cats

So, you took your cat into the vet and we sent you home with medications.  Now what the heck do you do.  There is no way you are getting those meds into your cat, right? 

First thing, before you get to this point, if you have never medicated your cat before, or you try and it is not going well, don't just give up and not give your cat the medication.  There are alternatives to almost all medications, and we can almost always find an alternative that will work for both you and your cat.

The most common medication we send home with cats are pills.  Now some cats are easy to pill.  Most aren't.  If you have never pilled your cat before, then ask us to show you how before you leave the clinic.  If we did, and you still don't think you can, check out our pilling page for some tips and tricks on getting a pill down your cat.

 

Okay, you looked at the pilling page, you had us show you how to do it (gosh we make it look easy, don't we?), but that pill is just not going to go down your cat, don't give up just yet.  We have alternative ways to get medications down cats.  They may cost a little more, but sometimes it is so worth it.  Most medications can be compounded into a flavored liquid.  With the right flavoring, most cats will much more readily accept a medication.  At the very least, most of it will get down them.  But, that isn't working either.  Hmmm.  Okay, next step.  Some medications can be given in a subcutaneous injection.  Believe it or not, it is almost always easier to give a cat an injection than to give them an oral medication.  With a lot of injectable medications you can often even use insulin syringes.  These have such tiny needles attached to them that most cats don't even notice they are getting an injection.

But, the medication your cat is on isn't available in an injectable format, and you are just not going to get an injection into your cat.  Next option please.  With a few medications we can have them made into a transdermal paste that absorbs through the skin on your cat's ear.  Almost all cats will tolerate a paste being rubbed into the top triangle of their ear, and some medications will absorb very readily this way.  This might be an option for your cat.  But, the medication won't work in an ear paste.  Aren't we running out of options?

Not yet.  If your cat likes treats, we can also have your cat's medication compounded into what are called chewies.  These are treats with the medication made into the treat.  A lot of cats will eat these if they are treat eaters and if the medication doesn't have a nasty taste to it.  And, your cat won't eat them.  Do we give up yet?  No.  If your cat was put on an antibiotic, we do have a long lasting antibiotic injection we can give your cat at the clinic that will last up to two weeks, but, it doesn't work for all infections.  If your cat was put on a steroid, we have a long lasting steroid injection we can give your cat at the clinic that will last a month or longer.  However that steroid injection does have a higher risk of side effects than most steroids.

 

As a last resort, if you just absolutely cannot medicate your cat, and this is a medication your cat needs, we still have a few options.  If you can bring your cat into the clinic daily, we can medicate your cat for you, and we do not charge for that service, you just need to get your cat into the clinic.  If you cannot get your cat into the clinic, then we may be able to give you a recommendation of someone that can come to your home daily to medicate your cat for you.  You will have to pay for this service though, and it will not be through the clinic.  Or, if your cat is on a short term medication, you can board your cat with us for however long they need the medication and we will medicate them daily.

While we may not always have a solution to medicating your cat, we do have a lot of options for you, and 99.9% of the time, we will be able to get your cat treated in a way that you can do and can afford.  So, if we put your cat on a medication, and it is just not working, then talk to us.  We will keep trying things until we find something that works.