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Service Cats: Medicating Kitty: Training Kitty to Open Wide

WooHoo It’s Monday!!! Hmmmph Nopawdy ever says that, do they? The truth is, me isn’t either. Me hates this clock changin’ thingy. Do you know we didn’t get brekky today till almost 10 am? That’s right, 10 am. T’ween the cold, cuz yeah, that’s back; and the time change, mommy’s body is all wonky. Come to think ‘bout it, so is RaenaBelle’s. Kittens, That girl is a mystery. Anyways, you all didn’t come here today to hear me meow ‘bout the weather and the time change and how our posty is really late and we still don’t have a special graphic. It’s Service Cat Monday, and time fur a trainin’ posty. Ifin you have any trainin’ questions or questions in general, or topics you’d like to see us cover, purrlease leave them in the comments section or send us an email.

 

 Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

We’ve got a topic today that everypawdy will benefit from. We get asked from time to time, how mommy medicates us. Cuz as you all know, we don’t like things added to our food. It’s not a casual dislike, it’s a won’t go near the plate and refuse to eat furever dislike. But as anyone who’s ever had an anipal knows, at some point and time, you will have to give said anipal some kind of medicine or supplement. As with all our Trainin’ posts, the followin’ will be written in human English fur reader and translation ease. And ifin you’ve missed any posts in the series, purrlease click on the links at the bottom of this posty. Our training posts are not intended to be a step by step manual but rather tips, tricks and techniques mommy has used/developed thru her many years of training animals, cats in purrticular. Remember, Training is all about Repetition and Rewards. Okay, the business is done, let’s get to it.

 

 Raena posing in her harness on the small cat perch

 

Medicating a cat is always a chore. Most cat owners hate the thought of it. You want to do what’s best for your beloved furry purrer, but you’d sooner cut your arm off than try to give them a pill. And let me tell you, if there’s an animal that has mastered the “fake out”, it’s a cat. Just when you think you’ve successfully got that horse sized pill down us, we go over to the middle of the floor corner and hack it back up, completely in tact me might add. Mommy is always complaining about feline medicine and how most of the treatments today are based around what works for dogs. Now, we don’t mean any offense to our doggy friends, but there’s no denying we are a completely different species with different needs and personalities.

 

 Raena with her eyes almost closed, looks up from plate of food.

Did you put medicine in mine’s food?

 

While there are some kitties who will eat their favorite foods with medicine mixed in, there are far more that won’t. So, cat parents have to become mad scientists’ and conjure up ways to get kitty his/her medicine. We know this, because it’s one of the most searched and talked about topics in cat forums and the internet. Mommy says it’s obviously easier to start training a kitten, but no matter the age, any kitty can be trained to open wide and gladly accept even the nastiest of medicines. Mommy doesn’t recommend paying the extra money to get kitty’s meds flavored with fish oils or malt. When done correctly, medicating kitty will be over and done with before they ever taste it.

 

 Pill Pusher or Pill popper

Let’s take a look at some of the tools you will need. First up is the magic Pill Push (mommy’s word for it). At approximately 6 inches in length, your fingers are safe. These tools are also called pill guns, pill dispensers, pill poppers and just pillers. They are extremely effective when used correctly and affordable. You can buy a good pill push for as little as a dollar. Mommy loves a good pill pusher and we’ve had the same one for over 20 years. To use the pill push, you would load the pill in the small rubber piece at the tip of the tool and hold kitty’s head back, insert pill pusher as far into kitty’s mouth as is safely possible (should rest at the opening of the throat) and push the depressor end. Immediately close kitty’s mouth and hold it closed while rubbing kitty’s neck in the direction of the belly. A couple of rubs is all that’s necessary. Always follow with a dropper/syringe of water to make sure the pill goes down and doesn’t get stuck in kitty’s throat. This step is a Must!!! Do Not give kitty food or treats until after water is dispensed. Obviously, the Pill Push is only good for pills or capsules. This technique can also be used for all liquid medications given with a syringe or eye dropper. 

 

 Oral Medication syringes

 

Now, let’s tell you how to train kitty to open wide. Start training kitty before kitty gets sick. We want to remind you that all training should start with the bonding technique we discussed in our Training Foundations post (link at the bottom of this post). Load your pill push with a small treat. You may have to cut it down a little. You always want to start with the smallest “pill size” possible. If you’re using a syringe, you might want to fill it with a hairball paste, baby food, butter, or peanut butter. And don’t fill the syringe all the way. A typical dose is about 1cc, so it’s not a lot. Okay, tool is loaded and ready. Call kitty/doggy to you, or retrieve them from their napping spot.

 

 Medicine dropper

Speak calmly and gently and tell them it’s time for medicine and a treat. Mommy’s too old to get in the floor with us these days, so she likes to put us on the bathroom vanity, cat steps or bed to administer medications. Hold kitty/doggy by the scruff of the neck, firmly enough to keep them in place. As you tilt kitty’s head back, firmly but gently say, “open wide” or “say aaaaaah”. Don’t be surprised if kitty clamps their jaws shut. Just continue to speak calmly to kitty. Insert the tip of the pill push/syringe/dropper into the side edge of kitty’s mouth and gently push up on the roof of the mouth. Kitty may initially fight or try to wriggle away from you. If necessary, re-insert pill push/syringe/dropper into kitty/doggy’s mouth towards the back of the throat. NEVER try to insert the pill push or syringe from the front of kitty’s mouth. It’s almost impossible and will cause more tension than is necessary for both of you. Continue to speak gently and inject the treat down kitty’s throat. Follow with the closed mouth, rubbing the neck and a bit of water. Tell kitty how proud you are and how good they were to take their medicine. You may also give them a few treats. Repeat this activity every day for at least a month. At some point kitty’s mouth will open on it’s own as you tilt the head back. At that point, repeat this activity at least once a month to keep kitty trained.

 

 Dezi licks butter/baby food spoon with medicine

 

Now, let’s say kitty’s meds are in a powder form. Mommy likes the butter spoon best for this, but you may use other mediums as well. A few other things you can mix the powder with is: baby food, olive oil, peanut butter, honey, hairball paste or one of the many flavored medicine maskers on the market today. Mix the powder with kitty’s preferred medium and offer it as a lickable treat. If kitty doesn’t lick it or doesn’t like the taste, put the mixture on the back of a child’s spoon and insert into kitty’s mouth from the side and deposit mixture on the roof of kitty’s mouth or their teeth. They will be forced to clean and swallow. And if this is the case, you might want to mix the powder with water or a low sodium broth and give to kitty through a dropper. Always remember to speak gently to kitty and tell them how good they are and how proud of them you are. Always use just enough medium to mix up the powder and no more.

 

Click here to watch on youtube

To train kitty to take “butter spoons”, again, start before kitty is sick. Start by mixing something harmless to kitty as a training treat. Mommy likes to use d-Mannose powder and/or crushed freeze dried treats. d-Mannose has been shown to help with the prevention of urinary tract issues. Offer kitty a small “butter spoon” daily for about a month and then once monthly to keep kitty trained. If using d-Mannose, use 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. daily for 3 days and then switch out to something else for a few days.

 

 Click here to watch on Youtube.

 

We know a lot of you make “treat pills” and the like, but mommy says it’s so much easier to have it done and over with so you’re sure kitty gets their proper dose. No kitty of mommy’s has ever seen a pill pocket, much less tasted one. If pills are prescribed, mommy’s preferred method is the pill push. Once you get accustomed to using it, medicating kitty takes about 10 seconds and it’s over with kitty none the wiser. One thing we might add, is when giving any oral medication, make sure you’re as far back in the mouth/throat opening as is safely possible and that kitties tongue is flat in their mouth. This will keep kitty from spitting the medicine out.

 

There are lots of ways to medicate kitty, and if you’re way is working for you, Great; keep up the good work. But for those of you having problems, or looking for a way to easily and safely give kitty medicines, then give our tips a try. Remember, it’s always easiest to medicate a cat that is accustomed to it and thinks it’s just another day in the life.

 

 Dezi licks her lips

Me luvs a good butter spoon.

 

We hope this post helps some of you. Medicating kitty isn’t anything to be afraid of, and at some point everyone will have to do it. Because cats can be extremely finicky, it’s better to find methods of medicating kitty that don’t include tainting our foods. Remember, training is all about Repetition and Rewards. If you have any questions or training post suggestions, please leave them in the comments or send us an email. And ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, click on the links below or in any previous Service Cat post.

 

Till the next time………………………………………Be Blest!!!

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

 

Service Cats

What to look for     Training Foundations     Train Kitty to Massage

Smelling Disease     Do You Need One     Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws and Exceptions     Accommodations and Common Sense

When the Handler Dies     Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Easiest Task to Train     Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty     Internal Disputes 

Calling Emergency Help     Just What is Kitty Capable of 

Shad: Original Service Cat     Harness or Vest Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair and the Chest     Round and Round We Go

Tumble and Fall Response     Raena Calls For Help 

The Rest of the Story     Raena and the Wheelchair Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

When to Train     Explaining Rewards and Kitty’s Feelings’

Stop Kitty’s Begging     Calling for Emergency Help Options Pt. 1    

Welcome To Your New Home

Meowllo everypawdy, me knows you all are ‘xcited and ready to meet me’s new sisfur, but me is a chatty kitty and so you’re gonna have to hear da whole story okay? Okay. As mommy and me told ya’ yesfurday, we found this little kitty from a newspaper ad. Actually, mommy was callin’ ‘bout a whole different set of kitties, but by da time da lady called us back, those kitties was all gone. Mommy thought we had missed out yet again. But da lady gave us another nummer and told mommy to call cuz they had kitties too. Well mommy called and called and furinally 3 days later somepawdy answered. Mommy got all da infurmation and then we purrayed about it. Da next day mommy called them back and said yes. Of course in da meantime me didn’t really have a clue ‘bout what was goin’ on, so it was life as usual fur this little queen. Okay, maybe me’s not so little, but ‘member, sis Lexi made me da queen when she left. Anyways…

 Dezi the Queen laying on the cat tree sporting her crown

A couple weeks later, Hug Your Cat Caturday to be exact, me’s life was turned upside down. Dat’s right, Hug Your Cat Caturday. Me had plans fur mommy dat was gonna last all day long and into da night, but mommy up and left me late in da afternoon. Can you believe it? Me sure couldn’t. Anyhow, somepawdy came by and picked mommy up so she left me to lounge ‘round da cat tree and snooze. Me had da afternoon off. She was gone fur da longest time. Me’s dinner time came and went and no sign of mommy. Me was beginnin’ to wonder ifin she was gonna leave me to starve, but furinally she showed up. She came in all flustered and rushin’ ‘round and sayin’ she had to go up and feed Buddy real quick and get things all set up here fur da baby.

Baby me thought. What baby? Me loudly meowed dat Buddy could wait and me didn’t want any babies here. Me’s heard purrlenty of ya’ ‘round blogville talk ‘bout da sticky fingers and all these babies have and me doesn’t want any pawrt of dat. Mommy set sis Lexi’s travel carrier on da chair and went about getting da play pen set up. Me calls it sis Lexi’s travel carrier cuz it’s what she used to travel in befur we got da stroller. And lots of ya’ saw her sittin’ in it on our trip home from BlogPaws last year. Well here, let me just show ya’.

Didn’t she look happy? Dat’s why me calls it sis Lexi’s travel carrier. Anyways, mommy set it in da chair and set up da play pen and…Hey, mommy, why are you puttin’ litter in dat little box?

     Well honey the baby can’t reach the big boxes.

  Baby? Uh, mommy, sis Lexi’s travel carrier is makin’ noises. What is dat? (Dezi inches over and smells the carrier) YUCK!!!!! Mommy, sis Lexi’s travel carrier smells like pee pee. Did you have a accident or somethin’? Would dat lady not stop and let you go to da human pawdee box?

     No honey I didn’t have an accident. It’ll be fine, I’ll explain it all to you later, okay? I’ve got to go feed Buddy and get you some dinner too.

  Me doesn’t know ‘bout Buddy mommy, but me’s about to starve to death. You know it’s way passed me’s dinnertime and me hasn’t had anythin’ to eat since those treats right befur you left.

 Dezi stands back and sniffs Lexi's travel carrier

     Yes dear I know. Just give me a few more minutes. 

  Uh, mommy da carrier’s getting’ louder. What is dat? (Dezi runs UTB while mommy finishes setting up the playpen, and then she hears mommy yell from down the hall…)

     Alright Sweetie, I’ll be right back, I’m gonna go give Buddy his dinner. (mommy leaves and when she returns in 5 minutes, this is what she saw)

Dezi and RaenaBelle square off

  Uh, mommy, what is dat, and why is it in me’s house? Do you know it yelled da whole time you were gone?  And dat pee pee smell? It’s dat thing mommy. ( Mommy snaps a photo and then fixes the girls dinner. She sets down Dezi’s plate and then one for the baby) 

     Yes Dezi, I know. That’s your new sisfur and helper, and my new Service kitty. I’m sorry she yelled the whole time I was gone, I didn’t think she would. She was quiet and peaceful the whole way home. And I’ll give her a bath after she eats some dinner, okay?. She had a bit of a rough start to life like you did baby. She’s never been outside of a cage and she was surrounded by huge dogs that peed everywhere. My nose and eyes were burnin’ and waterin’ after just a few minutes in that house.

 RaenaBelle travels to her forever home in mommy's lap

  Is dat why her eye is all matted and she’s got a snotty nose?

     Kind of sweetheart. But don’t worry, she’s gonna be fine. She knew she was gonna be okay a few minutes after we left too. She slept most of the way home. Now I know you need a couple of days to adjust, but I expect you to get a grip soon and help me to start training her to be a good kitty okay Dezi? Dezi?

  Hissssssssssssssssss Mommy, tell her to get away from me’s dinner.

  Hey, you, get back. Don’t you know what Hissssss means? 

 RaenaBelle uses a scratcher for the first time

     Dezi, her name isn’t hey you, it’s RaenaBelle Maycee High.

  Oh mommy, you and your names. What are we supposed to call her? Surely you don’t want me to say da whole thing all da time, right?

     No baby, we’re gonna call her Raena.

  Why mommy? Me knows there’s a reason, so why? 

 RaenaBelle sleeps beside her mommy in the chair

     Yes dear there’s a reason. Raena is the shortened form of Raanan which means ‘New Beginnings’. And that’s exactly what she is for us, a new beginning.

 RaenaBelle plays

  Well mommy me’s just not so sure ‘bout all this, but me will give her a chance fur you. And fur all me’s furiends out there wonderin’ zactly how you say her name, it sounds like Ray-nah. Mommy just has to be different. And needless to say we didn’t get a bit of sleep her furst night here and not much da second either. Maybe it wasn’t all her fault, but dat’s a story fur another day. Let me tell ya’ dat girls got a set of lungs on her and she’s a chatty little thing. You think me’s chatty. Hmmpht Me’s got nuthin’ on her. And she’s fearless, and smart and she’s purretty enuff me supposes. Mommy gave her a bath so she don’t stink anymore so there’s dat. She’s got more energy than me’s seen in a while and she doesn’t back down when me threatens her either. Mommy says she’s a lot like me, specially in dat way. And she even tried to give mommy a head massage her second day here.

RaenaBelle pounces on a Jackson Galaxy rubber ball

But mostest ‘purrtantly, she luvs me’s mommy. She wants to be right with mommy everywhere. So maybe she ain’t dat bad after all. She saw da VET on Fursday when me did and she got a clean bill of health. Her eye and nose is somethin’ mommy be watchin’ to make sure it clears up on it’s own as it wasn’t serious enuff fur medicine at this time. She weighs a whole pound and a half and was born on April 21st. She’s a bi-color Ragdoll, but her points aren’t clear enuff to call yet. Mommy says she has flame patch on her ear just like me does. Another story fur another day.

 RaenaBelle bunny kicks a chicken leg

Anyways, there ya’ have it. And this ain’t even half of what happened in da furst week. So me will give ya’ da 411 on how things be goin’ as we go okay? And yes, Raena will be chattin’ it up with ya’ll from time to time so you’ll get to know her too. And we’ll be tellin’ all ‘bout da trainin’ as it happens. Raena’s already finished trainin’ mommy to be crazy about her so, she should do really well when it comes her time to learn. We have no doubts God sent her to us. So whether you believe God did it, or sis Lexi did it, or whatever you choose to believe, we just hope like mommy said yesfurday, dat you all learn to luv her as much as we do. Me’s gotta go now and remind her dat me’s da queen and she’s da princess; and me was here furst.  

Till da next time………………………….Be Blest!!!

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

Dezi and RaenaBelle        

Did Sumpawdy say V-E-T???

Well now isn’t dat innewestin’.  Mommy sez hers got an email ’bout yeawly check ups and wuldn’t yous know it, it’s time fuw ows.(yous can click on da link fuw infuwmation and questions tu ask yous VET)  Dis hewe email wanted meez tu talk  tu ya’ll ’bout da impurrtance of yeawly check ups and purrventativ medicine.  And while sum of yous may spit, hiss, gwowl, hide, fight, bite, bawk, snowt, skweel, and whatevew els when is time tu go tu da V-E-T, meez tweats it like any uddew adventuwe.   Meez knows, sum of yous feel meez betwayed yous, but weally it can be a good fing.  Now da email didn’t say zackly what meez wus ‘posed tu talk ’bout,  so dis is gunna be meez take on yeawly check ups.  And fuw all meez furiends dats not kittys, meez not leavin’ yous out, but fuw da sake of time and space yous can substitute yous species in da spots whewe meez puts kitty/cat.  

Fiwst let meez say dat when yous bwing a new kitty/cat intu yous home, ‘specially ifin yous alweady hav a kitty/cat (s) at home da fiwst place yous shuld take dem is tu da VET.  Yous wanna purrtect evewpawdy and make suwe evewpawdy’s healffy.  Find a VET yous like and dat kitty likes.  Hopefully dey will be one in da same, and da office staff and techs will be good tu.  Is good ifin yous can, tu make an appointment tu get tu know da VET and maybe touw his/her office afuw yous der on sum kind of emewgency.  And speakin’ ’bout  emewgencies, be suwe tu find out what da emewgency pawlicy is.  Ifin yous wanna see yous VET in those times and him/hers don’t take calls aftew houws den yous need tu find anuddew VET or get tu know da emewgency clinic.  Der awe lots of uddew fings tu considew when choosin’ da wight VET like du yous want a holistic appwoach, cat only (ifin ders any in yous awea),  a full sewvice hospital, etc. but meez finks da most impawtant fing is: dus yous kitty like dem and dus da VET enjoy der job and like yous kitty.  

Hav a Wunnewful Purrsday Fursday!!!
Hav a Wunnewful Purrsday Fursday!!!

So, VET chosen, is time tu talk ’bout what kitty needs.  Yous VET is a powewful and knowledgeable wesouwce, use dem;  dat’s why deys der.  Yous VET will hav opinions ’bout what vaccinations would be best fuw yous kitty based on what yous tell him/her ’bout  kittys lifestyle.  An indoow only kitty isn’t gunna be in as gweat a wisk as an outdoow kitty.   So da indoow kitty may not need cewtain vaccinations.  But yous and da #VET can discuss dis and make da wight decision fuw yous companion.  And membew, yous hav a say so and an opinion.  Ifin yous don’t know/unnewstand why yous VET is weccomendin’ sumfin’, ASK!!  Now wees liv in one of da many States dat wequiwes da Rabies vaccination and it must be given by a licensed VET.  Check wiff yous VET and da CDC tu see ifin yous State is on da list.  Mommy finks one of da mostest impawtant questions is what kind of vaccinations awe bein’ givin’; live, modified, live, etc..  

Uddew den vaccinations da yeawly check up is a time fuw yous VET tu giv yous kitty a good once ovew.  Dis check kuld help tu catch diseases, illnesses or uddew issues eawly on.  And evewpawdy knows dat when yous catch sumfin’ eawly yous stand a bettew chance of  a cuwe or at least longew good quality of life.  Purrventativ tests and tweatments can sumtimes be da gweatest gift yous can giv tu yous kitty.  And ifin yous don’t unnewstand sumfin, ASK!!!  Yous VET (ifin yous chose well) will be happy tu ‘splain fings tu yous and help yous unnewstand.  Yous VET will be glad tu hav yous pawticipation in da well bein’ of yous kitty.  And dey will be able tu go ovew options wiff yous and help yous decide on da bestest couwse of tweatment fuw yous and yous kitty.  

Offen yous VET offews uddew sewvices as well.  Don’t fuwget ’bout da flea tweatments and heawtworm tweatments, all pawt of purrventative medicine.  It’s much easiew tu purrvent a disease den tu cuwe it.  It’s also less stwessful on kitty.    And maybe yous VET offews fings like gwoomin’ or deys hav twainin’ classes, or low cost sewvices.  Welly, get tu know yous VET and makke yous yeawly check up a fun adventuwe and not da “dweaded visit”.  Tumowwo, meez gunna giv yous sum tips on how tu make these visits mowe fun and less stwessful fuw evewpawdy.  Meez suwe hopes you enjoy meez  educational postys.    Til da nex time…Hav a pawsum Day!!! 🙂

 

Copyright © 2014 {Audra High} All Rights Reserved

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses ♥♥♥          

 ♦ Dezi ♦

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