How to get a finicky cat to take it’s medicines

Giving medications to cats can be daunting, but there are alternatives to  make the process easier. Many people have success hiding medications in their  cat’s favorite treat or in commercially available treats designed with a pouch  for hiding pills.

Another option is to have medications compounded into a form and flavor that  works for your pet. This involves dissolving or suspending medications into a  palatable liquid base that can be given directly into the mouth or hidden in the  food.

Cats are sensitive to bitter tastes or strange smells in their food and may  not get the full dose if this approach is used, but specially trained  pharmacists at compounding pharmacies can add sweeteners, or use a different  form of the base medication to offset bitterness or acidity. They also have a  large range of flavoring agents, from meat to fruit flavors, in order to appeal  to many different species of pets.

Some medications can be made into a chewable, flavored treat. Compounding  pharmacies are available throughout the Bay Area. Ask your veterinarian if this  is an option the next time a medication is prescribed.

Compounding pharmacies can also put some medications in gels or patches where  the drug is absorbed through the skin or ear flap. While this route is not  available for all medications and the dose actually absorbed can vary depending  on ambient temperature or blood flow to the skin, it’s a nice option and avoids  the owner dealing with sharp teeth.

Finally, some owners find it easier to give injections, especially if they’ve  had prior experience. Your veterinarian can show how it is done if they feel  that’s an appropriate option.

Kirsten Williams, DVM, Creature Comfort Holistic Veterinary Clinic,  Oakland


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