Types of home remedies for cats
Home remedies for cats come in a variety of forms. There are freshly chopped, dried or powdered loose herbs, liquids such as teas and tinctures, tablets or capsules as well as externally applied remedies in compresses and poultices. As most cat owners will know, the challenge is to get your cat to take its medication as cats are not very co-operative. But with the right technique you can outwit moggie and successfully administer all forms of home remedies.
The easiest home remedies for cats to administer are chopped, minced and grated fresh or dried herbs, powders, capsules and pills. They can be mixed into food. To make them completely go unnoticed, hide them in strongly flavoured foods such as fish or pate. Sticky foods like honey also work very well. For some conditions powders can also be mixed with water or tea to make a paste to be applied externally.
Administering tablets and capsules directly is slightly more challenging and may require some practice. It is easier to give your cat a tablet or capsule if you place the cat on a table. Then grasp the head from above, at the corners of the mouth where the jaws meet, and with one hand, tilt the head back and open the mouth wide by pushing on the lower jaw with your forefinger and pulling it down.
Place the pill in quickly at the back of the mouth, close it and keep it closed until your cat has swallowed the pill. To facilitate this gently stroke its throat to activate the swallowing reflex. To make the whole procedure less traumatic, you could offer your cat a treat after the treatment and praise it for its co-operation.
Some liquid home remedies for cats present more of a challenge than others. Herbal teas and tinctures are easy to give as they can simply be added to your cat’s food or drinking water. You have to be careful with the amount though. Don’t overdo it or your cat will notice and not touch it. Another way to give liquid remedies is to fill them into capsules which can then be given directly or hidden in food. However, this is not an easy process.
If your cat does not accept liquid remedies in food or drinking water you will have to learn how to administer liquids directly. There is a special technique which will enable you to do this successfully but it may require some practice.
The correct way to administer liquid home remedies for cats is to grab your cat by the scruff of the neck and tilt the neck backwards so that the mouth opens. You then have to make a pouch with the lower lip and squirt the liquid alongside the lower back teeth and onto the back of the tongue.
Make sure that the cat swallows after each squirt. Some cats hate this and may salivate a lot during the procedure, so by emptying the medicine onto the back of the tongue most of it will be swallowed.
Some liquid home remedies for cats can also be administered by ear using a dropper. This works well for teas and tinctures. The liquid should be at body temperature. It helps if your cat is lying on its side for this procedure. Once you have poured the liquid into the ear, close the ear and massage it. Keep your cat quiet as long as possible. Don’t worry if the cat shakes its head. Any liquid in the ear canal will gradually be absorbed by the body.
If your cat puts up strong resistance to being given liquids and pills in the manner described above, wrap a large towel or blanket firmly around the cat’s body but let the head stick out at the top. Talk to your cat to re-assure and calm it and administer the medication.
Some home remedies for cats such as poultices and compresses are administered externally. This is relatively easy to do. Poultices are wet herbal packs of fresh, mashed herbs which are applied cold to the affected part of the body. Place a bandage, muslin or cheesecloth over them to hold the poultice in place. To prevent liquid seeping through and staining fabrics you can apply an outer layer of plastic wrapping. If you cannot apply the poultice this way, hold the poultice in place by hand for as long as your will cat let you.
A compress is similar to a poultice but uses cold herbal tea or diluted tincture on a cloth instead of solid herbal matter. Simply saturate the fabric with liquid and apply to the affected area like a poultice. You can hold the compress in place using the same techniques as for a poultice.
By practising the above techniques you should soon be able to administer a variety of home remedies for cats with confidence.