If you have a sick cat that doesn’t require ongoing veterinary treatment, it is possible to ‘home nurse’ it and save yourself some money. You might need some special syringes and droppers for eye or ear drops, but these are available from your vet, pet shop, chemist or drugstore.
You should treat your sick cat the same way you would a sick child. It should be kept in a warm area away from any drafts. You will want somewhere quiet, easy to clean and disinfect but not too far away as you will want to keep maine coon cat for sale an eye on it. If you have more than one cat in your home and the condition is contagious, think about using old clothes that are easily washed and making sure the cats cannot mingle.
If your home is mostly carpeted, think about putting down some heavy duty plastic that can either be disinfected or replaced. To disinfect, use something recommended by your vet. Never use products containing coal tar, wood tar, phenol, cresol or chloroxylenol as these can be lethal to cats.
Any used bandages need to be disposed of quickly and safely. If your cat suffers from vomiting and/or diarrhoea, clean up the messes immediately and disinfect the area. Any applicators such as syringes need to be washed and disinfected before the next use as well.
If it is necessary for you to give your cat medicines, your vet will undoubtedly give you instructions and advice on the best way to do this. Cats can be notoriously hard to give a pill to so consider grinding them into a powder form and adding to food. This goes for capsules as well, empty the contents into the food and mix it in well. Always check with your vet first about this as some medications must be given whole.
If the medication is in liquid form, you can draw up the correct dose into a plastic syringe, hold the cat’s head firmly and place the syringe gently between the lips at the side of the mouth, not from the front. Don’t force the syringe in as you will only frighten your already upset cat. When the syringe is in place, gently and slowly push the plunger in until the full dose is given. You will want to do this gradually to allow your cat time to swallow the medicine. By doing this slowly, you are lessening the risk of the medication accidentally going into the lungs which could cause pneumonia.
For pills or capsules that must be given whole, you will need to hold the cat’s head firmly with your fingers going around the head to either side of the jaw. Pull the head back gently until the jaw opens. Please, talk gently to your cat while this is happening as it will probably object strongly. Then drop the pill or capsule at the back of the cat’s tongue. Hold the cat’s mouth closed and gently massage the throat until you see your cat actually swallow. It will be much easier if you have someone to help you during this process.
If your cat fights being given a pill this way, you can use a ‘pill popper’. These look like an elongated syringe. The pill is place into the popper and the plunger pushes the pill to the back of the cat’s mouth. Aim the popper towards the palate rather than the tongue then hold the mouth closed and massage the throat until you see the cat swallow.
If you need to give your cat eye or ear drops, they should come with a dropper or dropper nozzle. If not, you can purchase them easily at chemists or drugstores. Always use the recommended dosage and check for instructions as to when to apply them. It is preferable that you have someone to help you if you need to put drops in as you will need them to hold the eye open or the ear flap (pinna). For ear drops, massage the ear afterwards to move the drops around. As ear drops are usually oily, putting in more than two or three drops could result in a greasy head for your poor cat.