My cat knows i sneak his medication into his wet food and now isn't eating it

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mxphs

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Hi everyone, just an update

Im thinking about stopping this medication giving journey entirely.
My vet switched me to clomicalm which comes in tiny tablets and do not have as much of a bitter smell or taste as gaba. I was hopeful but nope, humphrey can even detect this in his treats and he's becoming even more wary and suspicious of wet food in general now.
I've never had to throw out wet food that has been left overnight, this is definitely as a result of trying to trick him into eating his meds that way.

Today, i tried to give him a syringe filled with water and crushed up clomicalm. I managed to get a bit into his mouth when he tasted it and just absolutely freaked out. He was smacking his mouth in distaste. I'm honestly already at my wits end with this. I don't know if i should persevere for his own good or stop because it's just traumatizing him.
 

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Feeby seems to know, or sense, all kinds of meds. I don't know if you have reasons to rule out the suggestions I made earlier, but if you want to look at them (again), they are Post # 6 above. What I have done in that post are the only ways I have been able to be successful in getting meds down her that she is on permanently.

I won't do syringes; they are just plain a 'no go' for Feeby. I can't get her to take meds in some sort of capsule covered by some sort of wet food, be that her own food, or that special A/D food everyone raves about.

In addition, I was told by my husband not to act like it is a big deal with the approaches I take, as he feels she is sensing that too. There is some truth to what he said, and so I've stopped being so anxious every time I have to give her a med. So, maybe part of your problem is the anxiety and apprehension coming from you.

The other thing that was mentioned by another member, is getting your cat used to treats - the kinds that can eventually be used for meds - before you just start giving them to him with the meds.
 

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Feeby seems to know, or sense, all kinds of meds. I don't know if you have reasons to rule out the suggestions I made earlier, but if you want to look at them (again), they are Post # 6 above. What I have done in that post are the only ways I have been able to be successful in getting meds down her that she is on permanently.

I won't do syringes; they are just plain a 'no go' for Feeby. I can't get her to take meds in some sort of capsule covered by some sort of wet food, be that her own food, or that special A/D food everyone raves about.

In addition, I was told by my husband not to act like it is a big deal with the approaches I take, as he feels she is sensing that too. There is some truth to what he said, and so I've stopped being so anxious every time I have to give her a med. So, maybe part of your problem is the anxiety and apprehension coming from you.

The other thing that was mentioned by another member, is getting your cat used to treats - the kinds that can eventually be used for meds - before you just start giving them to him with the meds.
Definitely agree, especially with the bolded part.
mxphs mxphs could you discuss with your vet what you're going through? Trust me, vets understand that sometimes cats are perfect angels for them and not so for the owners. (I'm a groomer and I have so many dogs that the owners swear I'll have to muzzle, because they bite the owner for brushing or nail clipping and they just don't do it for me, and I don't need the muzzle ever.) Talk to them about why he was on the gaba in the first place and see if they have any other options, even something like a calming treat?
 

Mac and Cats

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Hi everyone, just an update

Im thinking about stopping this medication giving journey entirely.
My vet switched me to clomicalm which comes in tiny tablets and do not have as much of a bitter smell or taste as gaba. I was hopeful but nope, humphrey can even detect this in his treats and he's becoming even more wary and suspicious of wet food in general now.
I've never had to throw out wet food that has been left overnight, this is definitely as a result of trying to trick him into eating his meds that way.

Today, i tried to give him a syringe filled with water and crushed up clomicalm. I managed to get a bit into his mouth when he tasted it and just absolutely freaked out. He was smacking his mouth in distaste. I'm honestly already at my wits end with this. I don't know if i should persevere for his own good or stop because it's just traumatizing him.
Honestly, I would not go the way of mixing it into food or water. I would just try the surprise tactic and be ready with an actual treat. How this works: Wrap the pill in a thin layer of pill pocket or "pill masker". Don't offer it to him as a treat. Preferably, try to catch him while he is napping and relaxed. Come up to him and gently grab his face like this:

1676769278042.png


Applying a gentle pressure at the jaw will cause your cat to open his mouth. Once you get his mouth open a sufficient amount, pop the pill/pill pocket as far back in his throat as you can get it. Let him close his mouth, but hold on to his face until he swallows. You can gently pet his throat to encourage him to swallow. Offer him a wet food/liquid treat afterwards. This will help prevent the pill getting stuck in his throat and also will give him a reward. It's important to make sure they have something to "chase" the pill that they will actually eat. If you don't follow up with this, the pill can get stuck in their throat and disolve there. This can cause damage to their esophagus if it happens too often and make them unable to eat. If you don't have a wet food/liquid treat that he already likes, go buy a few and offer them to him a few times before attempting this with the pill. It doesn't have to be a lot, just a tablespoon should be sufficient. Once you know he likes it, use it as a reward and don't ever mix anything nasty in it. I have a cat that was EXTREMELY difficult to pill at first. I'm talking, I was afraid for my life at first. After a lot of failed attempts in other ways and her not accepting treats for MONTHS afterwards, I ended up doing this and while she still doesn't like it, she is more compliant when she knows she's getting a treat and it becomes less traumatizing over time. I did have to find other treats she hadn't had before and give them to her several times before she trusted that I wasn't mixing anything nasty into them. Good luck!
 
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mxphs

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Definitely agree, especially with the bolded part.
mxphs mxphs could you discuss with your vet what you're going through? Trust me, vets understand that sometimes cats are perfect angels for them and not so for the owners. (I'm a groomer and I have so many dogs that the owners swear I'll have to muzzle, because they bite the owner for brushing or nail clipping and they just don't do it for me, and I don't need the muzzle ever.) Talk to them about why he was on the gaba in the first place and see if they have any other options, even something like a calming treat?
I did with my vet, she suggested the clomicalm instead. Calming treats don't do anything for humphrey tbh which sucks
 
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mxphs

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Honestly, I would not go the way of mixing it into food or water. I would just try the surprise tactic and be ready with an actual treat. How this works: Wrap the pill in a thin layer of pill pocket or "pill masker". Don't offer it to him as a treat. Preferably, try to catch him while he is napping and relaxed. Come up to him and gently grab his face like this:

View attachment 443970

Applying a gentle pressure at the jaw will cause your cat to open his mouth. Once you get his mouth open a sufficient amount, pop the pill/pill pocket as far back in his throat as you can get it. Let him close his mouth, but hold on to his face until he swallows. You can gently pet his throat to encourage him to swallow. Offer him a wet food/liquid treat afterwards. This will help prevent the pill getting stuck in his throat and also will give him a reward. It's important to make sure they have something to "chase" the pill that they will actually eat. If you don't follow up with this, the pill can get stuck in their throat and disolve there. This can cause damage to their esophagus if it happens too often and make them unable to eat. If you don't have a wet food/liquid treat that he already likes, go buy a few and offer them to him a few times before attempting this with the pill. It doesn't have to be a lot, just a tablespoon should be sufficient. Once you know he likes it, use it as a reward and don't ever mix anything nasty in it. I have a cat that was EXTREMELY difficult to pill at first. I'm talking, I was afraid for my life at first. After a lot of failed attempts in other ways and her not accepting treats for MONTHS afterwards, I ended up doing this and while she still doesn't like it, she is more compliant when she knows she's getting a treat and it becomes less traumatizing over time. I did have to find other treats she hadn't had before and give them to her several times before she trusted that I wasn't mixing anything nasty into them. Good luck!
I tried to open his jaw today but itjut wasn't workign at all. I tried to do the pressure on the jaw thing whcih was seamless when the vet did it but they were locked tight. It was honestly so stressful. He ended up eating the wet food which i put out that had the clomicalm mixed into it. The wet tube treats might be permanently tainted though.
I don't know what's going to happen going forward. I don't think i have the mental strength to do the maneuver you just listed. I feel weak as an ownerfor not being able to do it but it just freaks me out and scares me so much.
 

Mac and Cats

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I tried to open his jaw today but itjut wasn't workign at all. I tried to do the pressure on the jaw thing whcih was seamless when the vet did it but they were locked tight. It was honestly so stressful. He ended up eating the wet food which i put out that had the clomicalm mixed into it. The wet tube treats might be permanently tainted though.
I don't know what's going to happen going forward. I don't think i have the mental strength to do the maneuver you just listed. I feel weak as an ownerfor not being able to do it but it just freaks me out and scares me so much.
What about it freaks you out? That you will hurt him or that you'll get hurt? It takes some practice. I suggested doing it as a surprise tatic because he may be more compliant when he doesn't realize what is coming. Just don't give him those tube treats for awhile. If you want to get him a treat for after pills, try a different brand and flavor and he may be open to that as a treat so long as you don't "trick" him with that specific treat. Do you have any friends or family members that has experience with giving pills? Maybe they could help/show you a few times so that you feel more comfortable. I would also bet that there are loads of YouTube videos that show you various ways of pilling a cat. Try doing some searches and watching some videos. Maybe that will help you to feel a bit more comfortable?
 
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mxphs

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What about it freaks you out? That you will hurt him or that you'll get hurt? It takes some practice. I suggested doing it as a surprise tatic because he may be more compliant when he doesn't realize what is coming. Just don't give him those tube treats for awhile. If you want to get him a treat for after pills, try a different brand and flavor and he may be open to that as a treat so long as you don't "trick" him with that specific treat. Do you have any friends or family members that has experience with giving pills? Maybe they could help/show you a few times so that you feel more comfortable. I would also bet that there are loads of YouTube videos that show you various ways of pilling a cat. Try doing some searches and watching some videos. Maybe that will help you to feel a bit more comfortable?
Hey, thanks for the advice! What i'm scared about is just that, hurting him or myself.
I got a pill popper from my vet today. She says to just feed him the wet food that he is still eating w/o giving him any meds today.Noone aroun dme has experience doing it besides the vet, just gonna have to ride this out slow and steady and gain more confidence
 

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No one aroun dme has experience doing it besides the vet, just gonna have to ride this out slow and steady and gain more confidence
I completely understand since our cat had to recently start taking a pill every day. He's probably the most docile and affectionate cat we've ever had that is until I have to medicate him. There is a transdermal form which I can rub in his ear that's a breeze for me but unfortunately our vet does not recommend it since it's not as effective - it's Amlodipine for high blood pressure. Like you I tried every trick in the book and he was dead set against swallowing the pill. I realized I have to stay as calm as possible and if he doesn't get it one night it's not the end of the world. That's the only way I can get through it. He gets it's most of the time so I try not to feel guilty about the one or two times he holds it in his mouth and I find it hours later on the stairs or somewhere other than the room I gave it to him in. I also keep a syringe with water close by to give him after the pill to wash it down as well as his food. Hang in there, you're doing the best you can. 🤗
 

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There have been a couple of times when Casper needed to take pills (antibiotics) but he refused everything we tried.

Pill Pockets worked one time. The second time, he ate the treat and spit out the pill. After that, he wouldn't go near them even if there wasn't medicine inside. He wouldn't eat his food if there was medicine in it. We tried every trick!

Finally I decided that it was time to make Casper take his pill whether he wanted to or not. Either that or we would have a sick cat on our hands.

I just put on a pair of heavy pants, grabbed the cat, plunked him down in the middle of the living room floor, threw a blanket over him, sat on him and MADE him take his pill. He didn't like it any more than I liked having to do it but I got the medicine down. After that, Casper learned that "pill time" is not optional.

Casper's Girl-Human can give him pills by sneaking up on him while he's dozing. She pets him and makes nice for a minute. Then she pops the pill in his mouth and holds him shut until he swallows. He usually runs away and goes to his hidey hole for a while but, after he calms down, everything goes back to normal.

As I said, above, Casper's daily medicine goes in his food and, now, he comes to expect it.

Be it in food, using treats or doing it the old fashioned way, cats need to learn that medicine is not optional. They can do it the easy way or the hard way. It makes no difference to me. The cat WILL take his medicine! Once they learn that, things get easier but, if you let them off the hook, even one time, they learn that they can avoid taking medicine if they are stubborn enough.

Whatever method you decide upon for giving your cat his medicine, stick to it and don't let him off the hook.

He'll learn that he has to take his medicine, like it or not, and will eventually settle down to take his medicine when you tell him to.

Just stick to your guns. ;)
 

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neely neely - not saying it would work for your cat - and I am sure you have already seen me suggest it - but I get Feeby's amlodipine (1/4 pill @ 0.625 g) down her by putting it in pill masker then rolling it in Forti Flora and placing with 4 or 5 treats that she likes. I shape it so it is about the same size as the treats. So far, so good (knock on wood).
 

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They can do it the easy way or the hard way. It makes no difference to me. The cat WILL take his medicine! Once they learn that, things get easier but, if you let them off the hook, even one time, they learn that they can avoid taking medicine if they are stubborn enough.
Yeah, that is why Feeby eventually started throwing up her meds that were given to her in the manner to which you are speaking. But, if this approach has worked for you, that is great.
 
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mxphs

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He's probably the most docile and affectionate cat we've ever had that is until I have to medicate him. I realized I have to stay as calm as possible and if he doesn't get it one night it's not the end of the world.
Thank you so much for the supportive words! It feels so good to know that other owners also find this to be so incredibly sh*t and awful too. I really hate doing it. Humphrey is such a lovely boy, but he is so high strung and anxious that to make him go through with this just takes it to another level. Also good to remind myeslf that 1 night missed isn't the end of the world, for sure!

Be it in food, using treats or doing it the old fashioned way, cats need to learn that medicine is not optional. They can do it the easy way or the hard way. It makes no difference to me. The cat WILL take his medicine! Once they learn that, things get easier but, if you let them off the hook, even one time, they learn that they can avoid taking medicine if they are stubborn enough.

Whatever method you decide upon for giving your cat his medicine, stick to it and don't let him off the hook.

He'll learn that he has to take his medicine, like it or not, and will eventually settle down to take his medicine when you tell him to.

Just stick to your guns. ;)
Agreed.
I'm a very laid back but also firm parent when it comes to the important stuff like this.
I also need to start priming myself to be firm and start making it a non negotiable. Problem is, i'm such a soft pushover parent and hate making my little boy go through this kind of thing so i gotta toughen myself up too!
 

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FeebysOwner FeebysOwner : I also said, "Whatever method you decide upon for giving your cat his medicine, stick to it and don't let him off the hook."

Methods may vary but, in the end, but it's either the cat takes his medicine or else we've got a sick cat on our hands. If the cat learns that he can avoid taking his medicine by putting up a fuss, he'll never learn to do it.

On the flip side, the human also has to learn how to give the cat his meds in a way that both can live with. By that same token, if the human doesn't do it, the HUMAN won't learn how, either.

I'd rather clean out a stinky litter box ten times a day than give the cat his pills just one time but I do it anyway because I want Casper to be healthy.
 
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OK UPDATE:

After about 10 goes, I managed to get the tip of the pill popper into humphreys mouth. Not deep enough to administer the pill but still this is progress.
 

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I know you said you tried the method Mac and Cats Mac and Cats suggested in his photo but you may want to practice and give it another go. The vet tech showed us the exact same way to get our cat to open his mouth. I do it slightly different but the idea is the same. I know it's easier said than done but try as much as possible not to get anxious since your cat will be able to sense it. Choose a time when you are not rushed and your cat is relaxed. Glad you're making progress with the pill popper. :crossfingers:
 

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Hey, thanks for the advice! What i'm scared about is just that, hurting him or myself.
I got a pill popper from my vet today. She says to just feed him the wet food that he is still eating w/o giving him any meds today.Noone aroun dme has experience doing it besides the vet, just gonna have to ride this out slow and steady and gain more confidence
Have you also tried the burrito method? It's where you wrap their little body into a towel like a "burrito". Here's a video that may help. If you have someone else at home with you, it may help to have two people. One to do the burrito and one to pop the pill in. After doing this a few times, the cat may ease up and give you an easier time. I had a cat that was EXTREMELY difficult to pill as he hated having his head held in place and this is what I ended up doing with him. After 10+ times of me doing this, I was able to start pilling him without wrapping him like a burrito. This was back in 2020, so I could be misremembering how many times it took before I was able to stop wrapping him like a burrito.
 
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mxphs

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Hey! nope I live alone (things like this would be so much easier with two people tbh) and i've been wrapping him up in a towel so he doesn't escape!
 

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Hey! nope I live alone (things like this would be so much easier with two people tbh) and i've been wrapping him up in a towel so he doesn't escape!
That's good! Keep trying. Like I said, my current cat is not an easy gal to give pills to. I have timed her pills to when I know she will be napping. So, I just come up behind her or on her side and do the face grab/pill pop quickly before she realizes what I'm doing. She used to fight me a lot, but now that she knows the drill and realizes she gets a treat after, she has been a lot more compliant. She still does throw a claw up at me if I have to do two pills, but I've never been one to be afraid of a little cat scratch. 😂 I can usually do it quick enough to keep clear of any major injuries.
 
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OK PROBABLY LAST UPDATE:

I have successfully administed humphreys pill using the pill popper.:woohoo:

It's so lucky the clomicalm is so tiny. I didn't actually manage to get the popper to the back of the throat, i actually administered it into his mouth and then he swallowed it himself. I really hope to be able to aim the popper to the back of the throat as i go forward but this is a big achievement for me.

I immediately followed this up with serving of his wet food that he's really been enjoying lately. It's such a bummer he has been rejecting all his favourite foods that i've been putting his meds in and so doing it the hard way really was the only option.
 
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