Giving Liquid Medicine To A Cat

by Michael

A friend of mine in the United States, Sylvia, asked about the best way to give liquid medicine to a cat. We know that pills can be difficult to administer to a cat. You veterinarian will decide when and why liquid medicine is appropriate but he or she may not explain the best way to give it and the following method works and comes from the best source of information on cat health care at home: Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook (ISBN 978-0-470-09530-0). Buy this book!

Sometimes liquid medicines are needed for rehydration, for example. The liquid contains electrolytes. Dehydration in cats is serious and can be difficult to spot.

You’ll no doubt be given a plastic syringe (without needle) or plastic eyedropper by your vet. Plastic won’t hurt the cat if she or he bites it. Measure the amount carefully and per prescription. Up to 15 ml can be administered at one go.

Hold your cat’s head by placing “one thumb and forefinger on either side of the cat’s face from above and behind the whiskers”. Tilt the chin slightly upward with the other hand and using the same hand administer the liquid medicine by inserting the end of the dispensing device in to the cheek pouch – the area between the molars at the back of the mouth and the cheek – and slowly dispensing the liquid.

That is it. Your cat should swallow the liquid and not spit it out. Liquid medicine can be expensive! It’s a loss for the cat in health and a loss for the person in money, if it is spat out.

Hope this helps a bit.

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Giving Liquid Medicine To A Cat

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Sep 04, 2011 Update
by: Michael

Sylvia says that she used a syringe twice the length but only a third in diameter, which fits perfectly between the cheek and molars.

Sep 04, 2011 Liquid meds and Bigfoot
by: Dorothy

It was a nightmare giving Bigfoot liquid meds. I thought it would be easier than pills, but he is a fussy one. The liquid never went down properly. Then he would foam at the mouth for about 10 minutes and was very mad about the whole affair. In the end, Popping the pill down his throat with a pill popper was much more efficient. At least I knew he was getting the proper dose. The pill popper works the same way the liquid dispenser does. I think Bigfoot’s problem is more that he doesn’t like anything wet besides water. There isn’t a wet cat food, home made, best money can buy or any other that he will eat. Fortunately, he drinks lots of water.

Thankfully, he hasn’t needed any medicine for over a year. I hope it stays that way. Good luck to all who have to administer meds to their cat! Not easy.


Sep 04, 2011 Useful
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the useful info. I have struggled in the past.

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About Michael Broad

Michael is retired! He retired at age 57 and at Aug 2018 is approaching 70. He worked in many jobs. The last job he did was as a solicitor practicing general law. He loves animals and is passionate about animal welfare. He also loves photography and nature. He hates animal abuse. He has owned and managed this site since 2007. There are around 13k pages so please use the custom search facility!

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