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Giving cat a pill
Old 03-27-2010, 04:12 PM   #1
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Giving cat a pill

Hell with this sh*t man, our other cat takes pills fine but what on earth do you do with a cat who is willing to fight to his last breath to not ingest a pill? Suggestions appreciated.

Problems can be summarized:
1. He has teeth and claws, and will use them in dire pill situation, even defeating the sweatpants on arms (tm) technique
2. Cats are WAY stronger than they look, way worse than dogs measured per pound a 12 pound cat can do amazing amount of push
3. Cat have all seen One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, they hide pills in their mouth like they took 'em then you find random pill on sofa next day
4. Cats can throw up easily, making pill worthless or at least putting that nagging doubt in your mind as to whether it got used properly
5. Cat can sense the pulverize trick and avoid their favorite foods, even if you buy a fresh halibut fillet, if you attempt to sprinkle ground up anything

Insect bastards.

Carry on.
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Old 03-27-2010, 04:21 PM   #2
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We have a pill-avoiding demon cat, and I have the scars to prove it. Ultimately, our vet located a pharmacy in New Jersey that was able to custom make a transdermal paste with the active ingredient. We rub it on the inside surface of her ear (which she doesn't mind) and it is absorbed through her skin. Obviously, we need to wear a latex glove or finger cot when doing it, so it's not absorbed by us.

Here is the web site for the pharmacy. You should ask your vet if it will work.

Stokes Pharmacy
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:18 PM   #3
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I kneel on the floor with my cat between my legs. He can't escape. Then I open his mouth and stuff the pill in. I've been giving him a pill twice a day for over a year now and now he has basically given up the fight.
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:24 PM   #4
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Here is what I have been doing (as instructed by veterinarian). Next time I will ask about the transdermal meds, which sounds like far less trouble.

1. Mash the pill into small amount of "tempt a sick cat" food. Vets sell it by the can. It's made of ground up liver, chicken etc and is irresistible to most cats.

2. Squash the pill-food mixture into a little plastic syringe that the vet gives you.

3. Quickly wrap cat, neck to tail, in a soft, thick towel. He will look daggers at you, but he cannot scratch or bite you, so who cares. You can even mock your cat and he can do nothing about it.

4. Stick the end of the plastic syringe in his mouth, over his tongue, and slowly but steadily push down on the little plunger, squeezing the food mixture into his mouth. If you do this right (took me a couple tries to get the hang of it) your cat will get a surprised look on his face while his tongue is busy going "lap lap lap" and his throat swallows the little stream of food you are squeezing into his mouth.

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Old 03-27-2010, 05:37 PM   #5
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One of our cats has been having recurring bouts of severe anemia so in the past year we've given him a lot of pills. For a while it was 2 pills 2x a day but he's much improved and now down to 1 every other day. He has claws but he's been fairly cooperative even though we both know he hates this!

Kneel on the floor with the cat in front of you, cat facing away from you. Gently pull the cat so he is between your legs. With one hand tip his head up and use the other hand to open his mouth, may have to use a thumb to pry it open. Stick the pill as far back as you can, shut his mouth and hold it closed, his head is still tipped up. Now lean forward and gently blow on his face, while his mouth is closed. He'll blink and swallow.

Or if you have a table or stand that's waist high you can do this without kneeling. We have a carpeted stand for the cats in front of a waist high window. He sits there all the time anyways so I just do the pill there. He's comfortable enough that I don't have to face him away from me anymore.

Th trick is to get the pill in, gently hold his mouth closed and blow on him. Our guy still manages to avoid swallowing and spits it out and we do it again.
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:40 PM   #6
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I always get medications for my cats in liquid form, if available. I find they are much less likely to spit out liquid meds than a pill. Wrapping the cat up in a bath towel—wind it around and around until the cat is swathed like a mummy and then tuck it securely under your arm—can prevent it from using its claws, especially if you wind with the cat's front legs pointing toward the rear of the animal (they can't get a grip on the towel that way). Don't use your good towels, because if the cat struggles, the towel will get all snagged up. Even at that it may take two people to pill the cat: one to wrap and hold, the other to actually give the pill. Unfortunately, there's no way (except speed) to avoid the teeth if you are going to put something into Puss's mouth.

And if that doesn't work, Gumby's suggestion of a topical cream sounds great—I'll have to remember that if I ever have a real wild 'un. I've always been able to get the medicine into the cat one way or another, but I can well imagine some of them might defeat all efforts. My parents' cat hates having her nails trimmed, and even all three of us together couldn't keep hold of her long enough to clip them all in one session. They have to take her to the vet's every once in a while for a trim. I would definitely not want to try to give her a pill!
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:47 PM   #7
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I so feel your pain. I've tried everything except the transdermal meds. I suspect only some meds will that way. I do better crumbling the pill in yummy food too. I also hold the chin up and stroke the throat to sort of force a swallow.

I've tried liquid meds but they are amazingly good at spitting it out. Foaming at the mouth like they're rabid.

The best has been giving shots. They can't get rid of the meds that way.
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:52 PM   #8
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This is a classic bit of humor How to give a cat pill which is worth reading long before you get to step 20. "Arrange for SPCA to get cat and call local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters."

I had to give my previous cat a pill daily for a few months, but she was a sweet-heart and really was no problem. I tried using various tricks including a piller to give my girlfriends cats without much success. The internet does have lots of nice videos demonstrating various techniques although they make it looks so easy that I am sure that cats are drugged.
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountaintosea View Post
I kneel on the floor with my cat between my legs. He can't escape.
That's how to start.

1) With left hand (I'm right handed) pry open his/her jaw using your thumb and index finger. Keep your left wrist against his chest so you can both prevent him from squirming out the front and also prevent him from raising his paw up to try to force your hand away.

2) When his mouth is open, toss the pill toward the back of his throat. If your fingers are small enough you can try to put the pill on the back of his tongue as far back as you can. My fingers were too big to get the pill very far in to his mouth, but the farther back you can get it, the better. If you put the pill on the front of his tongue he'll be able to flick it out of his mouth pretty easily.

3) Once the pill is in his mouth, elevate his chin. When he tries to spit it out, keep his chin up. I've found that my cat wasn't able to spit the pill out with when I kept her chin elevated and she'd often be forced to swallow it.

4) If that doesn't work, try this. Once you get the pill in the cats mouth, keep her mouth closed. Blow gently into her nose. This seems to get them to swallow.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:06 PM   #10
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Feed the pill to a mouse and turn it loose in the house.
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:30 PM   #11
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I do not know what I would do if "Satan's Little Helper" (our black cat) ever needed a pill on a regular basis. After the multiple flea baths required in the Great Flea Incursion of Ought Four, I cannot even imagine what regular pill administration would be like. Either I would look into the transdermal idea or conclude that since the drug just needs to end up in the alimentary tract somehow, using the pill as a suppository should be fine. After all, at least that end doesn't have teeth.
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:40 PM   #12
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The tech at my vet's office suggested putting the pill in a syringe and adding a very small amount of water. Shake the syringe until the pill dissolves. While holding the cat in a convenient, immobile manner (see suggestions above LOL), dose the cat with contents of the syringe.

This was the only way I could get a pill into my cat. Even when she didn't like the taste/smell of the dissolved pill, there was hardly any liquid so there wasn't anything for her to spit out.

Good luck!

omni
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:40 PM   #13
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Incredibly simple. Lull the cat into a false sense of security with a good hold on its neck/mouth. Petting? Food? Whatever it takes.

Lick your pointer finger. Stick said pill to wetspot on your finger. Force pill down cat's throat with the pill stuck to your finger ... like you're shoving a stick of butter up an alligator's ass with a hot poker.

If the cat doesn't know what hit it, you'll be more successful. Otherwise, might take you a pill or two. Cats don't trust you to begin with; not like they'll trust you after any medical administration. Until you've seen four adults wrangle a cat in a veterinary office, you won't know how much of a maniac cats can be.

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Old 03-27-2010, 10:44 PM   #14
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Lots of good techniques.
We use a pheromone spray on the towel. It seems to help calm the cat.
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clifp View Post
I had to give my previous cat a pill daily for a few months, but she was a sweet-heart and really was no problem. I tried using various tricks including a piller to give my girlfriends cats without much success. The internet does have lots of nice videos demonstrating various techniques although they make it looks so easy that I am sure that cats are drugged.
No, they probably just use cats that are sweet-tempered, like yours. My cats are Persians and almost all of them have been pretty laid back. But shorthaired cats, now that's another story...
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Old 03-28-2010, 04:59 AM   #16
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Crush the pill in a spoon and mix it with cat food pate (fish pate works well). You can crush it fine enough and mix is well enough that most odor is not detectable. Give the mix with the regular food.

If your cat is really use to a particular soft food try to switch... the combination of a different food and the pill may be enough that the medicine is undetected.

DW feeds her cat dry food from the beginning so the soft pate is a treat. DW said the vet told her soft food was not good for the animals teeth so she feeds him high end dry food.

Works very well. It will change the situation from your cat fighting it to begging for it!

If you have already spoiled the thing with soft food. Switch the cat to dry food. It may not eat for a few days... but once it gets hungry enough... it will eat it. Then use the soft cat food pate trick. It will be a treat that the cat cannot resist
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:06 AM   #17
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"Satan's Little Helper" (our black cat) .
Funny. My mother would call the cats "Limb of Satan" when they were being especially naughty. She also referred to especially naughty children, though not to their faces, as Limbs of Satan. Things had to be really bad for her to refer to Satan by name!

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Old 03-28-2010, 08:16 AM   #18
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...using the pill as a suppository should be fine....
But if he expels it (in the kitty litter) prematurely, the re-administration of the drug is probably a little messy. You are going to have to really love kitty to help him out with those meds!
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Old 03-28-2010, 09:19 AM   #19
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Thanks for kind suggestions.

Having him in front of me facing away while on knees worked okay, although it was kinda like that scene from Deliverance with him squealing/struggling and me telling him he's gonna take what I got to give him.

The only thing he's got left with that is trying to use his tongue and wag his head to pitch it back out.
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Old 03-28-2010, 10:04 AM   #20
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We use pill pockets for our current kitty (put the pill in whole - don't crush it - inside the pocket and squoosh it shut). Our cat LOVES food. We throw the pill pocket, he chases it, and GULP, down in one chomp. He has no clue he has just swallowed a pill.

I feel your pain. We previously had a cat that was much like yours. Essentially despite all techniques (researched it a lot, and have pilled lots of cats in our past), he just wasn't able to be pilled. And his appetite was down due to being sick...so he wouldn't eat the pill pockets. Had to give up eventually.
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