So, long story shortish, I recently ended up as the reluctant owner of a slightly used cat. He's 3 or 4 years old, and did have an owner at some point, but ran away, ended up in a cat shelter, where about a month ago, he charmed his way into my home. After spending the past month or so trying to let him get acclimated to his new environment, he still doesn't like to be petted or touched, and we noticed he basically can't vocalize, so we took him to the vet, and found out he's got a severely inflamed throat and upper respiratory congestion.
The vet gave us a big bill (free cat, my ass) and a couple liquid, oral medications to give him. I'm apparently supposed to squirt these medications into my cat's mouth - one comes in a handy syringe, the other in an eye-dropper.
Just did it for the first time this morning, which took an hour, has the cat staring at me like it's trying to figure out how to kill me in my sleep and has me scratched all over from trying to restrain the cat and open his mouth to get any in there. Having read this question, I'm going to try to find something longer and thinner than an eye dropper to give him the one medication, but that still leaves the question of how to best restrain the cat and open its mouth in the first place. I've gotten into the habit of giving him treats doing anything he seems to dislike, including the medicine, as well as the vet visit, and when I had to brush the loose hair off him, but it doesn't seem to be helping much, and of course, since he doesn't seem to like being petted, I can't just shower him with attention to calm him down before trying to medicate him.
At the moment I'm cradling him in my arm, on his back (kind of like you might do with a baby), and trying to get him to open his mouth long enough to squirt some medicine into his mouth. (This is a position he barely tolerates for a few seconds, without trying to squirt liquid in his mouth.) Actually putting the syringe or eye-dropper in his mouth results in him fighting it off with his tongue and or claws... so I end up basically poking at the sides of his mouth until he opens up to hiss at me, at which point, I can squirt a little bit in. Rinse and repeat several times, reposition him after he squirms free, and that's what I've managed to work out as far as actually getting him medicated.
Is there anything I'm missing that might make this easier, or any techniques/positions that might make giving him medication less of an ordeal?