Different Ways of Administering Prednisone to Cats

Although your kitty might inspect prednisone while it's in your hand, don't expect her to eat it willingly.
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If your kitty's suffering from allergies, immune disorders or inflammation, there is, as a certain technology company might say, a medication for that. And that medication is prednisone. From swallowing a pill to sitting patiently as you rub a gel onto her ear, your can can take prednisone several ways.


When you think of medications, the first image that probably springs to mind is a pill. And when you're dealing with a cat, the second image probably involves a wide-eyed feline who is meowing, batting your hands away and trying to flee as you make her swallow the pill. Prednisone is fairly small in pill form, but you'll still typically need to open up your kitty's mouth and place it on the very back of her tongue so she'll swallow it. Some felines are a bit less dramatic about the ordeal and may eat the pill in a pill pocket—a treat with a compartment that holds the pill—or a tiny amount of tuna that conveniently hides the pill. Chewable prednisone pills and pills that melt on your kitty's tongue also exist, flavored like tasty foods your cat loves, such as fish and chicken.


Pills don't have all the glory of fixing up your kitty's allergies, autoimmune disorders and other illnesses prednisone keeps in check. The corticosteroid can also be administered orally via a syringe or as an oil spread over your kitty's food. The syringe may be more difficult, since you have to keep her mouth open as you administer the medication, but some felines are a bit picky about eating something foreign on their food.


For kitties who simply will not put up with taking prednisone orally, there's still hope of administering the medicine without putting your feline in a straitjacket. Prednisone in transdermal gel form enables you to apply the gel, also known as paste, to the inside tip of your kitty's ear. Because blood vessels are close to the skin at that location, the prednisone quickly gets absorbed into the blood. Administering a prednisone paste may require a bit of preparation. You'll have to outfit a finger or two with a finger cot—a sort of single-finger glove—ready your kitty, apply the medication to your protected finger and then apply the gel to your cat's ear.


As they are for people, corticosteroid injections are also available for felines. Unlike administration via pill, oral liquid or topical gel, your vet typically oversees the injection. Injections normally have a longer-lasting effect than other administering methods, but they are also usually more costly, largely because of the vet visits. Your vet may prefer to give your kitty an injection if she has a serious condition that needs to be controlled quickly, because an injection takes effect significantly faster than other methods.

Talk to Your Vet

If your kitty refuses to take prednisone in its current form, talk to your vet. He's the one who can work with you and try to make the lives of you and your feline easier while she's on her medication. If he prescribes her a liquid form of prednisone, ask him about flavoring options. Unflavored prednisone will have your kitty sleeping with stray dogs before she'll have that nastiness come anywhere near her tongue.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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