Somebody said it was fine to put the liquid on the fur around the cat's mouth and she will lick it off. I don't think that's ok. Our vet tried to mix with the medicine with canned food.

I just want to know if putting the medicine on the fur around her mouth, and she licks it, is good ennough?

  • 1- Who's somebody? 2- What kind of meds? antibiotics? what? 3- what? what mouth? what did the vet tell u? 4- If the vet tells you it's ok then try it. Just be careful cathy. This is not a game
    – Hani Gotc
    Commented Mar 29, 2019 at 21:21
  • I'm having trouble dosing a grouchy old cat and wonder this too. But I don't see why the dose would have to be near the mouth. If the dose were on the cat's back, for example, it should get absorbed as the cat grooms, and there should be room for plenty of liquid. One uncertainty is if some of the dose might rub off on the floor, other surfaces or unwary people's hands before grooming. If there is more than one cat then having them groom each other could be a hazard. If this strategy seems silly, consider that the cat already wears a lot of its oral dose because of its fighting. Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 16:30

5 Answers 5


If the medicine can be administered with a syringe (without a needle) then the easiest method is actually sliding the syringe tip along the inside of the cheek, to the back of the mouth (right behind the rear-most teeth).

Squirting the medication there will force the cat to swallow it (cats can't spit), without the risk of inhaling or choking on it that could happen if the medication is just dropped into the back of the mouth.

As an added advantage you will not need to open the cats mouth.

  • 1
    Agreed. To help with this process, I would hold my kittens scruff so he couldn’t move (just be sure to let go as soon as you get enough medicine in so he can swallow properly).
    – Gwendolyn
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 0:00

No, as she would not take the complete dose that way, as she would only be able to lick a little amount.

What I did with my puppies was to make them open their mouths, and pour the medicine quickly with the spoon. You could trick her to open her mouth by showing her some of her favorite food, or open it yourself by using just some quick force of your hands.

  • I think forcing the mouth open is the best method in regards to the pet actually swallowing the meds and the right amount. There are Youtube videos that instruct you on how to do it correctly without causing pain to the animal. [youtu.be/qT5KSmbeho8]
    – Elmy
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 8:43

Most doses are going to be far too large for fur to be an effective dosage vector, so unfortunately, no, adding the medicine to the fur around the mouth (or any other area of the cat's body) is not a good way to administer the medicine.

The good news is that there are other options. If you're just inexperienced with administering liquid medicines via syringe, ask your vet to coach you into how to hold the cat and syringe. With a little practice, it can become a fairly quick process, and a few treats afterward can help your cat get used to it.

If this is a new experience for the cat, you can also let it sniff at the syringe for a while before administering the liquid, or even encourage it to play with the syringe a bit by waving it around and letting them bat at and bite it. If you're lucky, the cat will bite it deeply enough that you can depress the plunger then and they'll barely notice. Additionally, you'll have made the process a little more fun for your cat, so it will resist less next time. (Please note, I have only had one cat so far fall for this tactic, and I can make no promises it will work on your cat.)

You can also speak to your vet about other options for the medication's form, if administering the liquid is just too difficult. Some can be prepared by compounding pharmacies to have a more palatable meat flavor (i.e. chicken), others may be available in a pill form that can be hidden in specially designed treats. If administering the current liquid is too difficult, it's worth exploring what other options are available to you.


No, putting the medicine around her mouth is not enough for most cats.

My elderly cat takes his mixed with his food. He dislikes the taste, but we give him a small amount of food with the medicine in it first thing in the morning, when he is quite hungry. After he has eaten that, he gets the rest of his breakfast without any medicine. He has learned to eat it quickly.


The success of this method may rely on you particular cat's age and temperament, but it may be worth trying my preferred method: train your cat to willingly drink from a syringe. I stumbled across this idea when I needed to medicate just one of two kittens, and the other one seemed curious about trying to drink from the syringe.

Start by dipping an otherwise empty syringe in something smelly/delicious that your cat likes. I use the liquid from a tuna can (a lot of tuna isn't particularly good for cats, but it is safe to give in small amounts as a 'high value' treat), you could also use the "juice" from a can of with-gravy-style cat food if you and your cat prefer.

Let your cat approach at his own pace, and if he sniffs or licks the syringe, give praise and an additional small treat. Then try getting him to let you put a drop of the treat-substance into his mouth. Work up to putting an amount of treat-substance close to a medicine-dose amount into his mouth. The next step is (if you cat doesn't currently need any liquid meds) for him to drink plain water from the syringe, followed by praise and a treat. If your cat does need meds when you get to this point, you should skip the water and go on to giving medicine at this point. When you are done the course of medication, it's a good idea to periodically reinforce the trained behavior with tuna water, or plain water and then a treat, so they remember what the syringe thing is all about.

When my cat does need meds, I draw up the proper amount in the syringe, and then draw in a bit of the tuna water after, so it's the first thing they taste.

You might find it helpful to designate a specific place and time to take medicine so it becomes a normal part of your cat's routine. Once it becomes a normal thing that happens on a predictable cadence, it will be less stressful for your cat, and you may even find him already standing in the designated area when medication time comes, much as he would at mealtime.

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