Objectives: The aim of this study was to use an online survey to obtain information from cat owners about their experiences of medicating their cats. Methods: An online survey containing 35 questions on experiences of medicating cats was circulated to cat owners globally. Results: In total, 2507 surveys from 57 countries were analysed; 1724 from ‘cat owners’ and 783 from ‘cat owners+’ (respondents with significant cat experience, including veterinary professionals). Around half (50.7%) of cat owners were ‘sometimes’ or ‘never’ provided with information or advice on how to administer medication; however, 91.8% of those given information found it ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ useful. Around half (53.6%) of owners sought information from the internet about how to administer medication. Total cat owners (cat owners and cat owners+) administered liquids (61.3%), pastes (45.3%) or tablets (39.5%) directly into their cat’s mouth; fewer (22.6–24.1%) hid these medications in food. Total cat owners rated tablets significantly harder to administer than liquids; 53.0% chose liquids as their first-choice formulation while 29.3% chose tablets. Insulin injections and ‘spot-ons’ were significantly easier to administer than any oral medications. Over half (51.6%) of owners reported that medicating their cat(s) had changed their relationship with them; 77.0% reported that their cat(s) had tried to bite or scratch them when medicating. Other challenges included the cat(s) spitting out tablets (78.7%), refusing medication in food (71.7%) and running away (52.7%). Of the owners who failed to complete a course of medication (35.4%), 27.8% stopped near the end of the course, while 19.3% stopped after a few doses, in both cases as medicating was too difficult. Conclusions and relevance: Owners appreciate being provided with information about the administration of medication. Frequent challenges when medicating cats include potential human injury and damage to the owner–cat relationship. Pharmaceutical companies should provide a range of formulations to ease compliance. Veterinary clinics should provide information/demonstrations and internet links when prescribing medications.
|Journal||Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery|
|Early online date||28 Mar 2022|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2022|