You love your cat and want to be certain that it gets what it needs to stay healthy. But giving a cat a pill can be a tricky proposition, even for the most dedicated of cat owners. Many cats are finicky at the best of times, and they're liable to turn up their noses at any pill offered to them by hand. And if you drop it into their regular food dish, they're probably going to just eat around it. You can always pick up your cat, open its mouth, and shove in the pill, but it's hard to do this without getting scratched or bitten in the process, even if you take the precaution of wrapping your cat in a towel. Are there ways gentler ways to give your cat a pill? Check out some tips that can help.
Know Your Dosing Instructions
When choosing which method to use to give your cat a pill, you need to know a little something about the medication first. Some pills have to be given whole, while others can be crushed if that's what you need to do to get your cat to take it. Be sure to find out which type of pill you're dealing with before you choose a method of delivery – you don't want to accidentally crush a pill that should be delivered whole. It could be a medication that's designed to break down and slowly release over time, and crushing it could cause your cat to get an overdose.
You also need to know if there are any special precautions you need to take to protect yourself. If your cat needs chemotherapy tablets, for example, it may not be safe for you to handle the tablets without wearing gloves. Ask your vet if there are any special instructions before you choose a method of pill delivery.
Delivering a crushed pill takes a little more preparation, but it's often the easiest way to pill a cat. If you do it correctly, your cat will never know the medication is there, and it will think you're just sharing a new kind of treat. Start by making some gravy, or warming up leftover or already-prepared gravy. Then crush the pill into a fine powder using a spoon and shallow bowl or a mortar and pestle.
Mix the powdered pill into about a tablespoon of gravy (you can use less if it's a small pill). Then suck the gravy and powder mixture up into a needle-less syringe for easy delivery. Pick up your cat and squirt a small amount of the gravy onto its nose. This will let the cat know that there's something good inside the syringe, and they'll happily lap at it – all you have to do is slowly depress the plunger until they've devoured all of the gravy.
If the pill can't be crushed or broken up, you'll need to find a way to deliver it whole. The best way to do this is by hiding it in a treat of some sort. This doesn't work well with ordinary dry cat treats – your cat will be able to detect the smell and taste of the pill within the food. What does work well for hiding a whole pill is flavorful human food. Try enclosing the pill in a bite of some greasy chicken, sausage, or hamburger meat. Cats tend to like greasy meats and often won't be in a hurry to question the treat.
If your cat is extra cautious, however, you may be able to fool them by making it seem like you're offering them scraps from your own meal. Fix yourself a meal that contains the same meats that you're hiding the pill in, and have the piece of meat with the pill in it handy while you're eating. To the cat, it will appear that you're offering a taste of your own meal, and they'll be more likely to gobble it down. You may want to give them a piece of meat without the pill first, as a teaser. Dipping the meat in gravy or sauce (tomato sauce is a good choice; the strong flavor will help disguise the taste of the pill) can also help.
It may take some experimentation to find out which method works best for your cat, but it is possible to give them a pill without ending up covered in scratches. Make sure you discuss your pill delivery methods with a vet at a clinic like Pet Medical Center – Full Service Veterinary Care to be sure that it's safe for your pet.Share
11 December 2015
Hello, my name is Marissa. Welcome to my site about veterinarians. I decided to buy myself a puppy for the holidays. I searched my community for a breeder and picked up my puppy right away. Unfortunately, within a day, I noticed my puppy was not feeling well. The poor animal picked up a virus on the way home due to the lack of proper vaccinations. The vet was able to save my puppy and give her all the correct vaccinations. I will use this site to explore viruses and other conditions that vets prevent through precisely timed vaccination schedules. Thanks.