Celia Haddon - Cat Expert

Understanding animals through their behaviour

HOW TO GIVE A PILL

Getting pills into cats can be difficult.¬†¬†Always ask for spot-on products, palatable or nice tasting pills, or for products that can be mixed with food, if possible. There are now a variety of aids – Pill Pockets, Easytabs, and EasyPill putty. They hide the pill in a treat. Other medications may come in malt flavoured creams that can be wiped on to the cat’s mouth so that it licks it off. If you have to give a pill, ask the vet for the smallest pill possible and the pill which will last longest. ie. you want to give a pill once a day rather than four times a day if possible.

If you must administer a pill, this is how to do it. Kneel and place your cat facing away from you between your knees. With thumb and middle finger, pull cat’s head back until it is facing straight up at the ceiling. It is crucial that the cat’s head must be facing upwards at 90 degrees. Use gentle pressure from thumb and middle finger on either side of the cat’s jaw, at rearmost crease of the lips, to open cat’s mouth. Pop tablet on the tongue as far back down the throat as possible. Close cat’s mouth and keep the head pointing up at the ceiling. Hey presto, the cat will swallow the pill. Other good methods are featured on YouTube and also on www.icatcare.org

For flea and worm treatments, ask for a spot-on rather than a pill. There are now spot-0ns for both.

If you are going to give a pill hidden in food (such as butter or cream cheese) just check with the vet that this food is OK for your cat. Some foods might affect the cat’s illness or stop the medication being properly absorbed.

Some people find a Mikki pill gun or a Catac pill giver helps get pills into pets. There are also pill pulverisers (to grind them up for mixing with food), a pill splitter for dividing too-large pills, a pill cutter and a super dropper for liquid medication available from online stores made by MBS, 51 Manor Farm Rd, St Neots, Huntingdon, PE19 1PW.

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