How to administer eardrops to extremely disgruntled cat
December 14, 2021 1:14 PM   Subscribe

My cat has an ear infection and a prescription for eardrops. We started the drops two weeks ago and stopped after about four days because she was having such a hard time letting me put them in. Her symptoms are back and I know we have to restart the treatment. How do I subdue her? I have tried scruffing her and kind of bear hugging her but that has made her afraid of me and that sucks. Advice please!

Cat tax has been paid in previous posts.
posted by Hermione Granger to Pets & Animals (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Forgot to add: drops need to go in twice daily for two weeks. I feel very bad for letting that routine lapse.
posted by Hermione Granger at 1:15 PM on December 14, 2021

Best answer: Try rolling her up in a towel to make a "purrito" so that you aren't having to be as hands on, which will reduce the association between you and the treatment. She might feel more safe being bundled up as well.

Try rewarding her with super high value treats immediately after putting the drops in and giving her lots of gentle pets, so that she knows she will get a nice comforting treat the next time you have to do it.
posted by WhollyMatrimony at 1:33 PM on December 14, 2021 [14 favorites]

Best answer: I have to give my cat ear drops weekly, the vet told me to use a cotton ball soaked in the drops and gently clean her ear and squeeze the drops in. If she shakes her head, that's a good thing, it helps the drops drip down where they need to be.

I wait until she's relaxing on my lap and so far it hasn't been traumatic, she might get a little miffed but she'll come back a few minutes later and then I get the other ear.
posted by Fuego at 1:42 PM on December 14, 2021 [8 favorites]

Response by poster: Just tried the towel method and it worked! Hopefully it will work again in 12 hours...

Evidence of success
posted by Hermione Granger at 1:49 PM on December 14, 2021 [36 favorites]

Beautiful kitty!
posted by mightshould at 2:10 PM on December 14, 2021 [5 favorites]

the worst part of eardrops is how cold and slimy they feel when going in - it helps a lot to keep the bottle in a pocket close to your skin for a while beforehand to gently warm the liquid up. (or tucked into your bra, if that's a thing that you wear...)
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:27 PM on December 14, 2021 [10 favorites]

I have also had luck sitting on kitty if the towel doesn’t work. I kneel down and sit onto my heels with my heels together so I have a little triangle area in between my legs. Kitty goes in the triangle, head sticking out so he can’t back out. Then I can gently use my legs / body to hold kitty in place. Your mileage may vary depending on your specific kitty.
posted by hilaryjade at 4:06 PM on December 14, 2021 [4 favorites]

I came here to Nth the purrito -- but will over-reach to ask for cat-tax of the wrapped handsome beast.
posted by k3ninho at 5:06 PM on December 14, 2021 [2 favorites]

Definitely give her favorite treat right after. My cat hates her ear meds but will come and bother me if I don’t give them to her on time because she wants her treat. That will help prevent any running and hiding during med time. Warming the meds with your body helps too.
posted by brook horse at 5:14 PM on December 14, 2021 [5 favorites]

What a wretched task for the drop-giver. I'm getting ear drops myself right now and I make my housemate put them in for me because it feels so gross and intrusive I just can't do it myself. (I have passed on most of this advice just in case it is helpful to her in her efforts) (especially the bit about providing me with my favorite treat right afterward!)

I'm glad the purrito worked for your cat. Beware complacency though; my cat can now see a purrito coming and Takes Steps (read as: runs away really fast). I find that this sort of thing is best managed when it comes in the middle of a nice, long petting session, and is over quickly, followed by a great deal more petting.

Also, best managed with two people: One Caregiver to provide most of the petting, and one Villainous Betrayer to sneak in fast with the drops and get out so the Caregiver can express dismay and anger on cat's behalf and resume the petting immediately.
posted by invincible summer at 5:49 PM on December 14, 2021 [8 favorites]

Does she like having her ears rubbed? Like where you squeeze the base and kind if massage it? If you warm up the drops and introduce them mid-massage, she'll likely not even notice. I used a similar technique to give my cat and dog subcutaneous injections.

If she hates ear rubs, or doesnt trust you to leave her ears unmolested during a pet session, I fully support the caregiver/ villainous betrayer plan from invincible summer.
posted by ananci at 7:43 PM on December 14, 2021 [2 favorites]

Some cats will eventually connect the ear drops to feeling better and then the giving of ear drops will get easier, so don’t give up hope! In the mean time, everything that has been suggested above.
posted by eviemath at 12:02 PM on December 15, 2021

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