Cats can Learn to Enjoy being Medicated

Question:

Our veterinarian provided us with eye drops for our cat. She demonstrated how to apply them. She did it so quickly that the cat did not know what was about to happen. However, we can not apply the drops without a big 2 person struggle.

 

Dr. Nichol:

Your cat feels overwhelmed and trapped. The solution is to teach him that eye drops are a predictor of great things. He will earn exceptionally tasty food in exchange for his cooperation. I suggest Boniva fish flakes (available at pet supply retailers like Long Leash on Life).

 

Start by handing him tiny bits of Boniva with the medication bottle sitting next to him. After about 30 seconds, put the eye drops and the treats away. Repeat this, moving the bottle a little closer each time, as often as every 20-30 minutes. When your cat no longer cares that you’re holding the dreaded potion next to his eye you can enlist the aid of a willing accomplice.

 

As your helper proffers succulent tid bits you will tilt your kitty’s face toward the ceiling. Proceed with patience, only forking over the goods when he willingly gazes up at the bottle that’s poised above his open eye. When you’re feeling lucky release a drop and remain calm and quiet as your cool cat accepts another treat.

 

I can’t say how long all of this will take but be assured that progress will accelerate if you take your time at the beginning.  When pushed, scared cats dig in their heels and fight hard-a most stressful and unproductive mindset for a patient. You are the leader. If you need one-on-one help you are welcome to contact my office.