Getting Cat To Take Pills... Post Tips Here.

Bird

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We had to battle my cat to get pills in her, and she would spit/vomit them up and foam at the mouth. Pill Pockets didn’t work. Hiding pill in a piece of chicken didn’t work. So we had her medicines compounded into a transdermal cream that can be put on the inside of the ear, but it’s quite expensive to do that. Now I’ve got two sick cats, with decreased appetites, that need to take medication. Oh boy.

Enter Meow Mix Irresistables soft cat treats. If you break one in half you can push a small piece of pill in, then smash the two halves back together so the pill is completely covered in treat. This has worked well with the small fractions of pills. It probably helped that my cats rarely got treats normally, so they really are an unusual treat. Even my picky eater gobbles these treats. My husband gives them the treats—the cats don’t associate him with yucky medicines. Psych!

These treats are junk food with questionable ingredients, and you should review the ingredients first before using. At least it gets the pill in my cats with no stress. I doubt that I would do this long term but I am dealing with a limited duration course of medication.
 

Furballsmom

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I don't have this issue with my boy yet but for sure he'll be a handful. I'll be interested in replies. Good on you!
:woohoo:
 

catlover73

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I have had some luck wrapping pills in cheese. You want it to look like a ball of cheese with the pill completely hidden.

My vet mentioned covering pills in butter but I have not tried this yet personally.
 

LTS3

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There are additional tips here:

Pilling Cats: Must-know Tips For Hiding Pills
How We Give Our Pill Hating Cat A Pill
The Best Pill-taking Secret I Know...

Compounding medicines that are needed long term is the best option if expensive. Sometimes a medicine is available in a liquid form but the vet just defaults to prescribing the pill form out of habit or vice versa. Always ask the vet if the medicine is readily available in another form and discuss how to best get the medicine into the cat. Some liquid medicines taste horrible even if flavored so the pill form is usually the better option.
 

Boris Diamond

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I have a cat, Diamond, that gets 5 pills a day. He needs to take them. Sometimes he just won't.

One day he was in the back room where he could see me through the glass door. I put the pills in pill pockets and also I counted out supplements that all the cats enjoy. Diamond got excited, moving around quickly and bobbing his head. This looked like it had possibilities. I gave the supplements to my other two cats and Diamond got frantic. When I took the supplements and pills to Diamond he gobbled them up with no hesitation! Ever since then, the only time I have had trouble getting him to take pills is when I did not put him in the back room and have him watch me give supplements to the other cats.

It seems mean sometimes, but I really need him to take these pills for his heart. And it has worked every time for almost two years. :bunnydance:
 

Furballsmom

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Ever since then, the only time I have had trouble getting him to take pills is when I did not put him in the back room and have him watch me give supplements to the other cats.

It seems mean sometimes, but I really need him to take these pills for his heart.
Oh my word!! Well, sometimes it really is one of those ya gotta do what ya gotta do LOL
 

jcat

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This thread is something I started years ago when our cat with HCM had to take several pills a day: Ideas for "hiding" pills?

I've been working at an animal shelter for over 4 years now and constantly have to pill cats. I've had the best results with liverwurst, but you have to figure out what kind (veal, chicken, etc.) that particular cat likes best. Cats that don't like liverwurst often find some kind of soft cheese irresistible, like mozzarella, cream or cottage cheese.

For those who live in Europe, Vitakraft Yums treats are perfect to hide ground or whole pills in. A lot of cats don't like the types with catnip in them, but go crazy over the liver or cheese ones.
 

cat princesses

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Pill pockets gave both my girls horrible diahreah. I really like the Inaba brand Ciao chicken filet in scallop broth. They have multiple flavors soaked in various broth mixtures virbthese worked like a charm. I break small pieces up and make one meatball with the pill with one piece and put the rest plain around on a plate and she eats the pill without even knowing it’s there in a little meatball. I also like using freeze dried treats and wet them under the tap and you can make a meatball that was too.
 
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Bird

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I guess my cats are a bit weird because they aren't interested in cheese, fish or eggs. I actually looked for the ham baby food and couldn't even find any!
 

rubysmama

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My Ruby is horrible to give medications to. So I will be bookmarking this thread, plus the others that were mentioned, for future reference. :compsurfing:
 

MargoLane

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My cat thinks Pill Pockets are delicious so I use those for day to day. But when she has an IBD flare up, she doesn't put anything in her mouth willingly and I have to syringe feed her. So I just crush up her medicine in the syringe of food - two birds with one stone. She puts up with the syringe feeding much better than with pilling. Since a lot of food gets wasted when syringe feeding, I will crush up an extra half a pill, just to make sure she gets close to her dosage.

It's probably not the best way to do it, but her IBD flare ups are terrible, with multiple medications. She's in pain, and the less I have to wrangle her, the better.
 

LTS3

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For anyone with a cat who has an intolerance to chicken, don't use Pill Pockets. Both varieties of Pill Pockets contain chicken, even the salmon one. Don't use Tomlyn or Vetoquinol pill masks / dough either. The "dried liver powder" is chicken.
 

VinceL

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I'm surprised no one mentioned a pill shooter.

2 of our cats think of Pill Pockets as treats. Giving them a pill is easy. However, we have to give Loki a capsule every day to prevent seizures. If put in a Pill Pocket, he bites into the capsule and all the medicine goes all over the floor.

Trying to get a cat to swallow a pill is generally a big challenge...those canine teeth are sharp. :eek2: Several years ago our vet gave us a pill shooter (similar to picture below).

The tip is rubber with 4 fingers to hold a pill. Just put the pill shooter in the cat's mouth and firmly push the plunger. The cat's gag reflex will cause him/her to swallow. No more bitten fingers.
Over time the rubber tip hardens a bit and gets pretty gross from saliva. We replace it about once a year. They only cost a few dollars.

Each evening all of our cats get some treats (some Fancy Feast kibble). But, before any of them get the treats, Loki has to get his capsule. He has learned to accept this. When he sees that I have the pill shooter in my hand, he sits down and waits for me to give him the capsule.
 

denice

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A lot of people use the pill shooter. When I had to give my IBD cat a pill every day I used a variation of the pill shooter. I put him on a counter, held his mouth open with one hand and dropped the pill in with the other. I then closed his mouth and blew on his face which made him swallow.

You certainly aren't the only one who has issues with pilling a cat, cats are very very independent and really could care less about pleasing people. There is even a hilarious poem about pilling a cat, it has been repeated so often.

How to Give a Pill to a Cat

  1. Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.


  2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.


  3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.


  4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.


  5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.


  6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.


  7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered Doulton figurines from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.


  8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.


  9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.


  10. Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.


  11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Throw tee-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.


  12. Call fire department to retrieve cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil-wrap.


  13. Tie cat's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed, force cat's mouth open with small wrench. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of filet mignon. Hold head vertically and pour 1/2 litre of water down throat to wash pill down.


  14. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture store on way home to order new table.

- This piece was originally written by Bob Story for the Laguna Beach, Calif., Coastline NEWS.
 

Rhall

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Just reading through this as I need to give some lysine chews to my Ollie, who wants no part of them.

denice denice - that was really funny. Similar experience just trying to get Ollie's eye ointment in his eye. Had to incorporate my husband's help!
 

sidneykitty

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These are all great suggestions!

My first cat, Sidney (in my avatar) was hyperthyroid so she got pills twice a day. They were really small, but I put them on a spoon in a wee bit of yogurt and 9/10 she just licked it right up in her yogurt! We had made it a bit of a routine each day.

The rare times that didn't work, I could crush up a few temptations or kibbles and mix the pill in with them and she'd just gobble them all up, pill and all.

My current cat, Amber, however... is impossible to pill. Capsules especially are just impossible. Sometimes I just don't know how vets expect people to get these huge capsules into a cat. I have to get liquid medications for her or injections or she won't get it. I've tried a lot of things, but she won't eat food with medication in it. She can always smell/taste it. She is even quite fussy just getting her Revolution applied and tends to give me the cold shoulder for a while after I do it. Sidney didn't mind stuff like that at all!
 
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