Nursing Your Cat At Home
If your cat is sick, it
should be kept in an area that is warm, quiet, draught free and capable of being
easily cleaned and disinfected. Many modern homes are carpeted throughout,
which makes disinfecting difficult. If you do not have a separate utility
room with an easily cleanable floor, you should consider buying a large,
plastic travelling carrier which comes apart so you can clean it easily.
Use cleaning products
that are recommended by your vet, avoid products containing coal-tar,
wood-tar, phenol, cresol and chloroxlenolds. These are fine for people but
can be lethal for cats. If a condition is infection for other cats, wear
some old clothes when handling your sick cat and wash them thoroughly
afterwards. Always dispose of any bandages or applicators that has been used
for your sick cat promptly.
Thoroughly clean any vomit or faeces without delay and disinfect the area.
You can help to speed up your cats
recovery with care, love and attention. Talk quietly to your cat while
maintaining physical contact and ensure that all its bodily needs are
catered for. The cat may be unable to do anything for itself and therefore,
feeding, watering, grooming and assisting with toilet procedures will become
your responsibility. This is very time consuming, but it will make the bond
between you and your cat stronger. The veterinary nurses will give you any advice you
need on the techniques involved with grooming, feeding and toileting a sick
Your vet will give you instructions on
how much and how often you should give medicine to your cat. Medical
preparations come in many forms such as liquids, pills, capsules, drops and
lotions. The secret of giving these to your cat is to do it with the least disturbance
to the cat, so it will have confidence in your ability to do it. Some cats
object to having strange objects put into their mouth. If this is the case,
you will need to ask someone to help you, if necessary, wrap your cat
securely in a towel to help immobilize it.
Liquid medicines can be
given using a syringe that you can get from your vet or most pet stores.
After use it should be cleaned thoroughly and then sterilized. Draw the
amount up the syringe. Holding the cat's head firmly, gently insert the
syringe between the lips, at the side of the mouth. Push the plunger gently
so that the cat receives the dose slowly. This reduces the risk of any
liquid going in to the lungs, which could case pneumonia to set in quickly
in a sick cat. Pill popper, which look like long syringes are available if
you have difficulty opening your cats moth. The pill is placed into the
popper and a plunger pushes the pill to the back of the cat's tongue. Direct
the instrument towards the palate rather than pressing on the tongue. Hold
the cat's mouth closed and stroke its throat until it has swallowed.
Preparations that are designed to be
put into the eyes, normally come with a dropper or dropping nozzle. If not,
droppers can be brought from a chemist. Always read the instructions
carefully before administering any medicine.
The membranes of the
and ears are very delicate and it is important for the cat to be held
securely. Another pair of hands is always hopeful.
With the eye drops, one
drop is usually sufficient. For ear drops, hold the pinna (ear flap) firmly
to open the ear canal, and place 2 or 3 drops in to the ear, then massage
gently. Ear drops are oily and overdoing the drops can give your cat a