or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › how, exactly, do you open a cat's mouth?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

how, exactly, do you open a cat's mouth?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
hi, all. i just registered a few weeks back, but i've been lurking for a long time!

we adopted mabel back in april.

she was such a sick kitty, we found out afterwards, but what a lover! toxoplasmosis, feline heartworm, ibd and advanced gingivitis. at this point, we're dealing with the gingivitis and the ibd.

i've been pureeing her food for months, because her mouth has been so sore. she laps it up easily, so i was adding her medication to her food.

now that her mouth is feeling better (still not 100%), she's starting to wean off of the wet food, leaning towards the dry.

the vet wants me to give her 2.5mg of pepcid ac (twice a day - crushed and added to .5ml of water) to coat her stomach..."just open her mouth and drop it against her tongue" he said. i'd also have to give her 1/2 tsp of prednisolone every day, too, until her mouth is completely healed! that totals three mouth openings a day.

uh-huh. yeah. okay.

miss mabel does not want me touching her mouth. i think she knows i'm afraid to hurt her (inflammed gums and everything), so she puts up quite the fight. and when she sees the towel, she takes off. i have no idea where she goes, because she'll reappear 1/2 hour later from out of nowhere. (the vet, meanwhile, had her mouth open for a solid minute, showing me how to do it!)

so any tips, tricks, words of encouragement? (i did check out the "ways to medicate a cat" thread...not working for us.) thanks in advance!
post #2 of 12
When I have to give oral meds, I grasp the scruff of the neck, getting as much loose skin as I can in my hand, and lift just a TINY bit (not enough to even lift the front paws off the floor). The pressure pulls the cat's mouth open (and sometimes they open thier mouth just becaues they don't like it) and I can squirt the medicine on the back of the tongue (NOT the throat! i don't want it going in the lungs). They definitely don't like it, but it gets the meds that they need in them! They get over being mad at me within a day or so of the meds being done.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
thanks, amber! this might work initially, but it's going to be ongoing for at least another month...i don't want her to hate me! think it's the way to go?
post #4 of 12
They will get used to it - With my boy I grab him, stick him with his bum towards me between my legs and use one hand to pull his head back and stick my fingers in the corners of his mouth at the back and squeeze - This opens the mouth, and then the use the other hand to pull the jaw down and pop it in! Make sure if it is a tablet you put it right at the back of the throat, and then close the mouth up and rub the throat. This causes them to swallow, taking the medication with it!
post #5 of 12
When I first started my cats on antibiotics, they put up quite a fight. I just wrapped them up tight in a towel, flipped them over in my lap, and tried to get it down as fast as possible. Then, I would give them some of their favorite treats so they would associate the meds with treats. Eventually, I would grab the towel and they would come running for their meds so they could get the treats afterward.
post #6 of 12
We have discovered that you have to put the pill as far back as you can in their throat - almost until you feel their gag reflex, because then you can be pretty confident it's not going to turn up on the floor somewhere else later on...

Also, usually when they lick their nose that means they've swallowed - they can keep it in there for ages until you think it's gone, and then `pop' out it comes...but the nose lick is a dead giveaway. (I think that's a particularly sweet little bit of veterinary lore!)

Oh, and by the way, to open their mouth you need to put your hand above their nose with your fingers facing forward, and then gently squeeze in on the sides of their mouths so that the jaws open and you have a good grip on their heads when you go for the pill-pop with the other hand....it helps if you can wrap them in a towel or something so they can't tear you up or get away!
post #7 of 12
Would something like this be easier?

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
thanks everyone!

i'm going to attempt it again.
i like the idea of rewarding her afterwards, but she's just not a big eater.
treats do nothing for her.
the only thing she wants from me is affection, so i'll make the attempt and then sit in our favorite chair and hope that she comes to me.

one question...my hands are small. when i hold her mouth with one hand, is it okay to cover her eyes with my hand? the vet holds her from behind her head, but his hands are so much bigger than mine.

thanks for your patience!
post #9 of 12
I do it like Jane Vernon said. It also helps to have a "pill-er" from the vet.
Also I hold the cats mouth shut for a few moments until I am sure they have swallowed. Cats are very sneaky, and will hold the pill as long as they can, and spit it out when they think you're not looking.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
i forgot to mention...it's a liquid i'm giving her.
you'd think it would be so much easier, right?
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by hissy
Would something like this be easier?

i'd be afraid she'd think i was torturing her!
post #12 of 12
You can do it one of two ways.

You can grab the scruff so the cat goes limp and you can just open the mouth and poke thepill in.

Or you can squeeze the back corners of the mouth with between your thumb and forefinger. This will open the mouth.

If her gums hurt, though, she may put up one h-e-double-heckuva fight whenever you get near her mouth, no matter what you do.

You could also crush the pill and mix it with baby food or cat milk as a treat.

Personally, I don't see much reason to force the issue of dry food as long as she is eating canned food well. Canned food is better for them anyway.

Has she had full mouth x-rays taken and surgery to remove any diseased/decayed teeth? This would make her feel so much better.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Health
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › how, exactly, do you open a cat's mouth?