How to give a cat a pill...

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.

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MacGyver Has- Nothing On Me
Purred: Sat Feb 24, '07 4:42pm PST 
No, it's not a joke. Mom has to give me a special dewormer pill in a pillpocket, but she's not having any luck. I'm not really holdable, and I don't seem to be eating (my sister Marley posted about how we've been sick separately), so does anybody have any suggestions on how to get me to eat my pill? Mom's tried putting it in wet food and in the pill pocket.

Hannah♥- Loves- Catster

My Heart Is True
Purred: Sat Feb 24, '07 5:23pm PST 
It seems rough, but you just have to get it far enough back in the mouth so that the cat can't work it back out. You can "scruff" your kitty, and with someones help, accomplish the task. If the pill gets spit out too many times, it will become unusable. Discard and try with another. Some people coat them with butter, or honey to make them slide down, but warning, this may also cause the pill to start dissolving. One trick that worked for me, was to save the juice from tuna, or a can of cat food, and spoon the liquid in just after the pill. It is really a two person job on most cats. We have one cat who I literally have to take in to the vet, and they give it. Most vets do not charge for this, because the assistants do it, but that is a last resort, because of the stress factor. Lastly, you can use a "piller", which has little rubber tips to hold the pill, and then just pry open the mouth, and get it far back in the throat. My husband is a master with this! Hope this helps a little! Hannah & Mom

♫Lucy&- #9835;- 1998-2012

Don't bother- me, I'm- sleeping
Purred: Sat Feb 24, '07 5:48pm PST 
I take it it's not a capsule? If so, you could break it apart and sprinkle it on wet food.
I've never had pills, only capsuls and liquids. Does your medication come in those forms? Ask your vet if you can change from solid pill to capsule or liquid.

Emmett McGee- 4/15/94- 9/3/08

Outta My Way.
Purred: Sat Feb 24, '07 5:58pm PST 
What does it mean to "scruff" your kitty? This is, obviously, Emmett's mom asking. I've never been able to get any kind of medicine into him -- we have to decide if it's necessary enough to drag him to the vet's office to have six or seven of them hold him down and force it down his throat. Sprinkling or mixing it into his food is a no-go -- he refuses to eat it. He'll starve first. Stubborn, stubborn kitty! It is possible to sneak up on him with a shot, so if he ever needs sub-q's, we're thinking that will be manageable.
Good luck! Let me know if you learn a good way to do this!

Zack Beloved- Angel- (1995-2009)

True Blue to My- Girl Kiwi
Purred: Sat Feb 24, '07 8:02pm PST 
There is a nerve in the back of the neck, that causes the cat to relax. You have seen a momma cat carry her kitten, right? And they just curl up limply? Well, it's the same thing, only with an adult cat you support his body weight with your hands , and grab the scruff of the neck and gently tilt his head back. Works very well.


Did I just hear- the treat jar- rattle?
Purred: Sat Feb 24, '07 9:22pm PST 
Pills... right. I usually have to grind the pills into a power, add a tiny bit of water or natural chicken broth, suck it up with a syringe and squirt it in their mouth while some other brave soul is holding the squirming bundle of claws wrapped in a towel.


- The Mice Slayer
Purred: Sun Feb 25, '07 4:46am PST 
I hate pills, they're evil and icky. Mommie used to give it to me broken up in pieces and mingled with lots of food. But she has this liquid dewormer now, it tastes better too.

♥- Midnight- ♥

I'm a black- panther
Purred: Sun Feb 25, '07 6:07am PST 
When my Mom gives me a pill, she wraps it in cheese and shoves it down my throat.


Leave no- cupboard- unexplored
Purred: Sun Feb 25, '07 7:37am PST 
I recently gave baal his first pill....not fun. His favorite food is raw chicken so I tried wrapping it in there, he still knew something was up, but since he didn't know what was coming I was able to get it in his mouth and make him swallow fairly easily...not so for the next one (i had to give him a pill and a half at once). I was almost sitting on him and tilted his head up and put the pill down as far as I could and made sure he swallowed it. He wouldn't come near me for 2 hours after that, not even to get a treat and he never turns those down.


Too cool for you
Purred: Sun Feb 25, '07 9:48am PST 
Giving my cats a pill can be very tricky. What I usually would do is encase my body around them by knealing on the floor so they can't wiggle away. Then w/ one finger pry open their mouth by sticking it in the corner to open it. Then w the other hand try to push the pill back as far as you can, then try to tilt their head up while keeping their mouth closed. Usually this will work to make them swallow it and not spit it out. They can be very sneaky so keep an eye out to make sure they don't spit it out. If that doesn't work or it's too stressful, buy a pill crusher at the pharmacy. then just mix w/ a bit of water or tuna juice and give w/ a syringe. Good luck!!


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