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Best way to give your cat a tablet?

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:03 am
by Victoriann
Hi all I was hoping to find out some new ways on giving my cat tablets?
He’s currently on antibiotic for 2-3 weeks, and it’s only day 3. I have tried wrapping him up like a burrito and with no success he still gets out and I get scratched. I’ve now crashed up his tablet and gave it to him with a ml of water and it’s kinda worked until today he’s starting to drool trying not to let it go down.

He’s currently on new medicated biscuits I’ve tried to sprinkle the crushed up tablet on the food but he refuses to eat it. It was so much easier if this food had a wet option as well.

I’m running out of ideas and skin that hasn’t got a cut on it.

Ps my vet cannot even give him a tablet she was impressed that I was able to give him 2!

Re: Best way to give your cat a tablet?

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:51 am
by fjm
I had a cat once who was nigh on impossible to pill - the only method that worked was wrapping her very thoroughly in a thick towel or dressing gown and not letting go until the tablet had been gone for at least 30 seconds. The trick was using something thick and wrapping really well, with her front paws well down to start with. She could smell drugs mixed into food and would refuse to eat it; if I sprinkled it on top she would carefully eat around it, leaving little pillars of food like a windswept desert landscape; she would take pieces of liver happily until we got to the piece with the tablet in, which she would shake till the horrible thing dropped out and then eat the liver. I asked our vet at the time how to do it, and he condescendingly said it was extremely simple, hold the cat like this, take the tablet so, open the cat's mouth, and... There was a sort of cartoon explosion, the tablet was in one corner of the room, the cat in another, and the vet was sucking a gashed thumb. He was a lot less condescending after that, and suggested I continue with the thick towel!

Re: Best way to give your cat a tablet?

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:00 am
by Ruth B
There is no easy way to give a cat a tablet.

Different techniques have worked at different times for me, and wrapping them in a towel is one I've never mastered. Last year one of mine had to have a 4 week course of antibiotics a type which had a problem if they lodge in the throat so I was told to either give her a couple of mil of water or some food after each tablet. Towards the end of the month it was becoming a real battle there was the one time that she had a full tablet followed by a bit of water, then the half tablet followed by water then a few pieces of cooked lamb just to make sure. She ate one piece of lamb fine then the second piece she spat out and I could see the whole tablet attached to the side of the lamb. I still expect to find a hidden pile of tablets somewhere where she had them and spat them out afterwards.

Some techniques I did find that helped.

Vary the timing of the tablet if it is once a day, it doesn't have to be every 24 hours exactly doing it at 20 hours or 28 hours won't hurt and means he will be less expecting it.

If possible try doing it in different places again it stops him anticipating it as much.

Prepare everything you think you will need before hand, get hold of the cat last, if he realises and runs off, then leave it till later, try and have somewhere to put the tablet if you already have it out when he runs off so it will be safe until next time.

One technique I've found can work well is to trap the cat under your arm, elbow towards the cats backend so your hand is at the mouth, that hand can then open the mouth and while the other hand gets hold of the tablet and puts in to the back of the tongue.

Alternatively have someone else hold the cat'paws (if you are lucky enough to have someone else around) so you have both hands free to hold the head and administer the tablet.

Syringe a little water in to the cats mouth afterwards to encourage them to swallow (I think you already tried this).

Hold the mouth shut and stroke the throat area to encourage him to swallow.

Try using something like cream cheese or salmon paste to hide the tablet in, they have a fairly strong flavour and might work once or twice. You can also buy special 'pill pockets' which are meant to be good for giving a cat a tablet, but I have never tried them. I would always suggest giving them a bit a time or two first to make sure they like it and don't instantly associate it with a tablet.

Finally make sure you clean any wounds well with a good antiseptic hand cleaner (or similar, I use the peroxide solution I clean my contact lenses in, it works a treat but does sting), cat scratches and bites are notorious for getting infected, any sign of infection see your doctor.

Good luck and i hope he is better soon, unfortunately, like with humans, cats do need to finish a course of antibiotics if at all possible. If you really do have problems the vets might be able to give him it by injection depending on what antibiotic it is. The injections normally don't have to be given as often, anywhere from twice a week to once a fortnight. When any of my cats have dental work done I always ask for the long term injected antibiotics even though they are more expensive than tablets and require a vet's visit. Giving a cat a tablet is bad enough doing when I think i might be hurting them trying to get it into an already sore mouth is something i find much harder to do.

Re: Best way to give your cat a tablet?

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:31 am
by Kay
the best method I have found is to use soft treat sticks, such as Webbox - squish the tablet, or cut up tablet if it's large, into a segment and give it to the cat after a couple of undoctored segments, and follow up with a couple more - I find most cats swallow them whole and have no idea they have been doctored

this method works best if you are above the cat, and can proffer the segments into an open mouth, as that avoids them getting wedged into the side of the mouth

Re: Best way to give your cat a tablet?

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:38 pm
by Mollycat
Please do not crush tablets unless the vet says it's ok. Actually do not crush human tablets unless a doctor says it's ok. Some tablets are made to dissolve at a steady rate or in a particular part of the digestive system. They can irritate and some can result in 'dose dumping' where the whole lot is received in one go and some dose dumped drugs can be fatal.

I had one who could be pilled by me kneeling on the floor and wedging him with his back to me between my knees, then head back tablet in.

My current boy is on meds for life and takes 2 of us, one to hold him in a towel and the other to open mouth and pop the pill in. Agree with fjm a thick blanket and front legs down along the body. I find he swallows best when I relax grip but still hold his head back.

There are Pill Pockets which is a paste which is delicious and makes the process easier. Also a kind of adapted syringe that puts the pill right to the back of the throat.

Re: Best way to give your cat a tablet?

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:42 pm
by LindaKat
I'm glad it's just not me that has this problem. My previous cat was a nightmare to tablet and spot on flea treatment was nearly as bad. So far I've managed to give my new cat his worming tablet in with a few felix treats and he's just eaten them. You could have knocked me down with a feather when he did that. 🐱

Re: Best way to give your cat a tablet?

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:29 pm
by fjm
Yes, I am amazed at how easy both Pippin and Tilly are, compared to Shouna, the Siamese pill refuser! I did work on it when they were young, popping good things into their mouths until they accepted me holding their mouths - once bitten, twice prepared to take early action with kittens. The little pink AB tablets have always been considered to be very acceptable treats by all my animals, and I also make sure to follow the pill with several really good treats, to blunt the memories a bit, so that the word "medicine" now tends to produce an orderly queue of cats and dogs, but I have to admit to finding the one-jab antibiotic a godsend. Bit worrying the first time, in case of a bad reaction, but once I knew they tolerate it well I would choose it every time.

Re: Best way to give your cat a tablet?

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:08 pm
by booktigger
I use the kneeling on the floor method, Lucy's weekly meds hsve to be followed with 5ml of water, she's very good at letting you think it has been swallowed and bringing it up after 1ml of water! I am wary of the an injection, it is only licenced for certain things so shouldn't be offered for everything, but it's offered for convenience. I've had a few who have needed a second course of abs as the injection didn't work, mainly dental issues.