If possible, kneel and hold the wrapped cat between your knees to free up both hands. This method is not foolproof, but is certainly worth trying, especially if the tablet has to be given whole. I have met a few cats with exceptional upper body strength for whom this method is unsuitable — they even defeated the efforts of the vet who called me defeatist. Check your pet store for a cat restraint bag — these are made of mesh and have a zip and a hole for the cat’s head. They are designed for restraining a cat for bathing, but some are sturdy enough to be used when giving medication. A couple of drops from an eye dropper is usually enough.
To make the «tablet-in-a-treat» method work, your cat should be used to getting occasional treats of the food in question and view the treat as something desirable e. Many cats are suspicious of new foods and if you try to hide a tablet in something unfamiliar, you probably won’t succeed. Experiment to find out what treat foods your cat likes before you ever need to give tablets. Crush the tablet and mix with strong smelling canned food or with sardines in tomato juice or a similar very strong smelling treat. Cats have much better senses of taste and smell than we have, hence the need for strong smelling, strong tasting foods. Hide the whole tablet in a small piece of greasy cooked sausage, greasy cooked burger or greasy cooked chicken.
Larger tablets will need to be broken into pieces and fed in several treats. Some cats will take tablets crushed in butter or even in cooked pork fat. These methods won’t be suitable if your cat is sensitive to fat — vomiting or diarrhoea will prevent the tablet being digested. This method is only suited to cats which can tolerate dairy products. Hide the whole tablet inside a hollowed out soft cat treat. Liquid medicine can be mixed into strong smelling foods such as sardines or pilchards. The varieties in tomato sauce or often most successful.
Crush the tablet and mix with a tablespoon of raw chicken mince or raw beef mince. Slowly spoon or syringe the liquid into the cat’s mouth. It is likely to swallow this by reflex. If your cat accepts being spoon or syringe fed, but won’t swallow tablets, ask the vet if the medication is available in a liquid form. If your cat is a sucker for titbits from your meals, try some psychology. Cats will often eat titbits from your plate when you are having a meal, but won’t eat the same things when served in their usual bowl.
They have a concept of these things being treats. Put the pill in a piece of sausage or greasy chicken and have this handy when you eat a meal containing the same types of meat. Give the cat a tiny piece of meat from your own meal as a «loss leader». Having successfully begged for that titbit, most cats will want more. Give it the piece containing the pill. Maybe drip some gravy or baked bean sauce etc onto the meat so it seems like a genuine leftover.
If you have a multi-cat household, you must ensure that only the patient gets the medication. It won’t do a sick cat any good if a less fussy house-mate eats the tablet. It doesn’t matter if the «different room» is the bathroom or conservatory, just so long as it is isolated from the other cats while the food is eaten. Give the other cats unmedicated treats to distract them from trying to steal the medicated treat from the patient. This may also make the patient less suspicious of the special treatment. The competitive nature of cats at mealtime may encourage it to gulp down the medicated treat before another cat tries to steal it. These are specialist methods used and if this is the case, the veterinary staff will teach you what to do.
Chemotherapy tablets are also special cases. You may simply have to wear gloves when handling them or your country’s medical regulations may go as far as to prohibit women of child-bearing age from handling them. These restrictions are for the owner’s safety since the substances can cause mutations in embryos. There are a very few cats who resist all attempts to medicate them until the cat is so far in the course of its illness that medication will not benefit it. If this is the case, discuss with your vet whether the condition can be managed without medication. Where medication is stressful for both cat and owner, it may be decided that quality of life for a shorter term outweighs longevity and the stress of daily battles. This is also true of managed feral cats where medication cannot be administered to a single cat in a colony. If you have any medication tips you’d like to share e. I think I’m a genius. My Jackson Henry, a 9 year old Domestic Shorthair, was recently diagnosed with a severe liver infection, requiring liquid Clavamax twice a day. I swaddled him, tried pill pockets, tried pinning him on the ground. He would end up spitting the liquid all over the place. It was so difficult that I switched to the pill format. HAD to clean it off of his fur.