Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tips and Techniques on Giving Your Cat Liquid Medicine

I have to give Mittens cat medicine (Flucanozole for her nasal fungal infection) in liquid form twice a day. The medication came in pill form at first, but I asked the vet to prescribe liquid medicine instead because it was a real struggle to pill Mittens.

I’m always looking for tips and techniques for medicating your cat.

So I was delighted to discover another demonstration video on the topic. Again, by “Partners in Animal Health,” courtesy of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Go to this link:


This video is specifically about giving your cat liquid medicine. The first thing you do is to get out everything you need, such as syringe, dropper, towel, and kitty treat. That’s exactly what I do for Mittens.

The video says to place the cat on an elevated, slippery surface to make it hard for the cat to get traction. Since Mittens is almost always on my bed and since she tends to freak if anyone picks her up, I just medicate her right on my bed.

First, I drape a towel around Mittens like a bib. The towel makes it hard for her to escape. It also protects my bed in case any medication spills.

She doesn’t struggle at all now. She’s been on the medication now for a good 6 months and by now she’s pretty much resigned to her fate.

And most importantly, she’s so eager for the treat to follow, she seems to almost anticipate the medicine. (Well, maybe that’s a stretch, but she definitely looks forward to the treat.)

What I’m trying to say here is that I don’t need to restrain Mittens like the video suggests. Nor do I bother tilting her head – what I do is insert the syringe in the corner of her mouth, in the pocket between her cheeks and gums.

If you’ve never medicated a cat before, get a friend to help you. It’ll make a difference. In my case, my friends got injured trying to medicate Mittens – and I didn’t.

So having friends help did indeed make a positive difference.

For my story and tips on medicating your cat, click the link to my earlier post, “The Trials and Tribulations of Giving Cat Medicine.” http://cat-tales-blog.blogspot.com/2008/04/medicating-your-cat.html

To find the video link on giving your cat medicine in pill or capsule form, go to:


You’ll discover how fun it can be to give your cat medicine. Not.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Tales of the Weird -- Animal Communicator

Talking Telepathically to Your Cat!?

A friend suggested hiring an animal communicator to help me decide what I should do about living arrangements for Mittens, my resident cat.

The mention of animal communicators brought back a flood of memories.

A Pet Psychic in Boulder, Colorado

The first time I ever heard about animal communicators, I was living in Boulder. I saw a flyer at a pet store. A woman named Teri was going to be at the store for a few days offering her services as an animal communicator. My curiosity piqued, I signed up.

I automatically assumed that Teri was an animal behaviorist who could help me with some behavioral issues with my cat Saki, the black cat who had been my constant companion back then.

On the day of the appointment, I stuffed my cat Saki into my backpack (yes, I left air space!) and pedaled to the pet shop. I couldn’t lug the cat carrier with me on the bike so I resorted to the backpack whenever I biked. Saki actually seemed to prefer the backpack. At least she was quieter than she was in the carrier.

When I arrived at the pet shop, Teri – a friendly, normal-looking middle-aged woman – told me that she would be talking to my cat telepathically.

“You’re going to what?” I thought to myself, incredulous. I was skeptical of telepathy between humans was possible, let alone with cats! But this was Boulder and I decided to go with the flow.

As I was to discover, an animal communicator – a.k.a. pet psychic – claims to have the ability to speak with pets and other animals through the use of telepathy. Unlike animal behaviorists who approach pet behavioral issues as a sleuth would, trying to puzzle things out, a pet psychic goes straight to the source – to the cat herself. (Or, Straight from the Horse’s Mouth: How to Talk to Animals and Get Answers, as one popular book on interspecies communication is titled.)

So far so good. Or not.

I sat down and placed Saki on my lap.

Saki remained remarkably quiet and cooperative.

Fu Gordon, the Renegade Siamese

First, I asked Teri about Saki’s manifest hostility towards a neighbor’s Siamese cat. His name was Foo Gordon (not Flash Gordon!) and he always came to my house to play. That’s because both my then boyfriend and myself showered him with attention.

That made Saki really mad. She’d growl and hiss at Foo, and the Siamese retaliated in kind.

I knew cats were territorial but wasn’t there a way that Saki and Foo could get along better? (I was pretty clueless back then!)

“Okay, let me ask Saki,” Teri said and closed her eyes. After a few minutes, she opened her eyes and relayed to me what she’d gotten from Saki.

“Saki says you don’t understand. Foo is really mean to her. You’re not aware that he’s making faces at her through the French door.

And, she fails to see what you could possibly see in that Siamese. He’s not in the same class as her, not in the same league. Not even. He’s just too far beneath her to even consider.”

(Here I thought Saki snorted every so slightly.) I must say that Teri did a credible imitation of the way Saki would sound if she could talk.

Not a conclusive evidence that telepathic communication took place, of course.

Snacking on Kitties

After that, I discussed my concerns about letting Saki outside to play. When I first moved to Boulder from Tokyo, I had believed that it would be safe to let Saki out. The town house we lived in was right up against the foothills, and the neighborhood was inaccessible to cars. It was an absolutely gorgeous area. An idyllic place for cats, or so I believed.

What I hadn’t counted on was the presence of mountain lions, foxes, and raccoons. Cats sometimes went missing in our neighborhood, apparently eaten by mountain lions. A neighbor even got footage of one eating a pet cat.

I was worried about Saki. But I didn’t want to have to coop her up indoors. I didn’t think she would stand for it anyway. The solution, I thought was to impose a curfew on her. She needed to come home before dusk – when predators were most active – say, 4 p.m. would be a good time. Could Teri communicate this to Saki?

What, Me Worry?

“I’ll try,” she replied. “But cats do their own thing so I’m not sure if she’ll listen.” Once again, she closed her eyes. Minutes later, she relayed Saki’s message to me:

“Saki says not to worry. She can take care of herself. For your sake though, she’ll try to come home earlier.”

As it turned out, about a week after the session with Teri, Saki began coming home earlier. Soon, she was regularly home by 4 p.m.

Did Saki actually understand my concern? Who knows? Whatever the reason for her change in behavior, I was pleased.

Besides, it was fun talking to an animal communicator.