Pilling a cat

donutte

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Yes, I've pilled a few cats in my time. However, I've been learning there's a big difference between pilling a sick cat and a non-sick cat.

Maple is on Prozac, 5mg a day. So I break a 10mg pill in half and give it to her. We had good experiences with pill pockets in the past, and for awhile, with Maple. But she's become quite the pro at eating around them. Fine. I started putting it in a little ball with food. I have mixed results with that. Some days she gobbles it up and the whole thing is gone in seconds. Other days she licks and licks at it and eventually uncovers the pill, at which point she decides she's done, and I have a mushy mess of a pill left in my hand. I'll usually try again at that point with more food, and sometimes have success, sometimes not.

I'd really, really like to avoid anything involving restraining her (including pill gun). One, I really hate doing it. And two, she's a big girl and very hard to handle. She can whip her head around like nobody's business.
 
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donutte

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Not sure if this will work, but I'm really hoping (because I'm desperate) to play competitive nature with food. When I feed her later to give her the Miralax, I think I'll try to sneak the Prozac in then.

Edit: Well, that was a massive failure. I ended up stuffing the three pieces of cat food covered pill into a capsule, and using the pill gun. Then she hid from me. I tried to give her a little bit more food but she just waddled away as fast as she could (we seriously have wondered if she was part raccoon, lol). So no chaser for the pill unfortunately.
 
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mrsgreenjeens

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I read very recently here on TCS about someone who tried wrapping a nasty tasting pill in a little bit of american chees slice, then rolled that in FortiFlora.  Have you tried that yet? 

I know the trick is not to let the pill touch the outside of whatever you are wrapping it in so the smell of the pill can't be detected.  might work with the cheese slice.  You can a little bit flat, then put the pill piece on it and fold the cheese around it and then shape it.  Of course, this will only work if she likes FortiFlora and maybe will gobble it up quickly. 

You might also try soaking a piece of Purebites chicken and stuffing it in there (again without touching the outside of the Purebite with the pill. 

Can you get her med in a transdermal get?  Or an injectible?
 
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donutte

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I think Sara had me spoiled. With the exception of when she lost her appetite, she was very easy to pill. And I don't think she even had a sense of taste considering I KNOW I've heard her crunch on the Pepcid. Didn't faze her one bit! Maple though, she can smell it from a mile away.

She takes Prozac, so not sure that would work as a transdermal, or if it's available as injectable. Will have to ask the vet when we see him again. I'll try the American cheese on its own first, and then in Fortiflora if that stops working. She's just gotten too good at eating around these though!

Maybe I need to make them smaller and then feed her multiple little balls of cheese.

And THAT is why I come here to ask. Because I know someone has always found a good way to do it that I've never heard of. And I've heard of a LOT of ways!
 
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stephanietx

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Does she like cheese?  We have great success wrapping cheese around pills and forming little balls.  They love the cheese so much, they just gobble it down.
 

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Gus the Cat has been on 5mg prednisolone for years and in the past we had success with pill pockets like you. After he had all his rotten teeth removed he would not touch the pill pockets and had to find other means to pill him. After many different tries we have had success with the following. Wrap his pill in Vetoquinol Pill Wrap, coat the pill in crushed Meow Mix Soft treats and then cover with a bit of Fortiflora. Well a miracle, he gobbles them down without any fuss. I don't like having to use the crushed up treats but it is better than trying to pill him. Sometimes when you have to give a cat a pill on a steady basis you have to think outside the box. This method worked so far for us. If over time this does not work we'll have to experiment with other methods.
 

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i've recently been struggling to give my cat meds.  for awhile, she needed lactalose (a sticky liquid) and prednisone both twice a day.  because just getting a med in her twice a day was difficult enough, FOUR things a day seemed unlikely.  so put the 5mg pred in a plastic measuring tablespoon (it was also half of a 10mg pill).  then i used a regular spoon to crush it into a powder.  i had to suck 2ml of the lactalose up into a syringe each time, so i did that, then squirted just enough of it into the tablespoon and used the tip of the syringe to stir it until all the crushed pred was mixed into the lact.  then i had to work to get that bit of lact sucked back up into the syringe.  then....i had to get it in the cat.  but at least that way both meds went in at once.  (and the vet said it was fine to do it that way.)

but it makes me wonder if you can crush the prozac and then either 1) mix it in some food/some sort of liquidy treat, or 2) mix it in, say, a ml of water and use a syringe to squirt it into Maple's mouth?  for the first one, it probably depends on whether the prozac really has a taste and/or smell.  (or if Maple is just rejecting it because she found it, or she can see it, or...she doesn't trust you any more and she KNOWS something's in there if she looks hard enough.)  for the 2nd one, sometimes using a syringe to get in a bit of liquid is a lot easier than actually pilling a cat.  but...not always.  as i've discovered very recently.

good luck!
 

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I have the world's pickiest cat. He doesn't care for can food, so it was tough. We got to the point where we just had to restrain him and put the pill down his throat. We also gave him a little water in a medicine dropper to help it go down. You may just have to snug wrap your kitty in a towel and have someone help you with giving him the pill. Or, maybe withhold food and sneak the pill in it like I think you have been doing. Good luck!
 
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donutte

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So, no to American cheese. No to string cheese. No to cheese and then rolled in crushed Temptations. I tried to crush it and put it in some canned food, topped with her Miralax, topped with crushed Temptations and then topped with a little bit more food. She eat some of it but then realized the Prozac was in there.

I'm at the point I'm about to try spray cheese. Or anything softer that I can easily shove in her mouth without traumatizing her. She won't do peanut butter. And the canned food falls apart too easily. I can try the pill paste I have, but I think she didn't care for it when I tried it before. Not sure what brand it is off the top of my head.

This is my big fat cat that you would THINK would eat anything. But no, she's picky apparently. And has a nose that works VERY well. If I had any doubts before, I don't now.

Maple hid for two hours after using the pill gun on her yesterday. I wasn't too happy about that. She's an old girl and my only remaining senior. I lost my other two in the past year and don't want to traumatize her for the rest of her life. I'm hoping they have something injectable. I can do that SO much easier. Although she thoroughly enjoys the idea of being fed extra.
 
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donutte

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Note to self - using Nutrical to try and pill a cat that whips her head around will result in a sticky and hard-to-clean-up cat.

I'm just thankful I was able to catch her before she ran under my bed.
 

colbey

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using Nutrical to try and pill a cat that whips her head around will result in a sticky and hard-to-clean-up cat
lol, okay.  after reading you were thinking of trying spray cheese (do they still make that??) i figured you were trying to find something gooey that you could mix the crushed prozac in, and dab/slip/force a smallish gob into her mouth, and she'd end up swallowing it just trying to get her mouth clear.  and i was going to ask if you knew about the high-calorie cat goo they have.  yes, yes you do!

i was giving lactalose for...about a week, and one time she jerked her head just as i pushed the plunger.  it went all down her neck/chest.  where she couldn't reach it by licking.  and then she wouldn't let me help her clean it off.  this was about a week ago.  they got most of it cleaned off her at the vet's, but there was still some on the side of her neck.  all dried and crusty.  i wanted to snip it out, but she wouldn't let me.  yesterday i kept finding tufts of hair around the apartment and couldn't figure out WHERE it was coming from.  there are no crusty spots today, so at least some of the tufts must have been from her tearing them out on her own.  poor thing.

anyway, if that's what you're trying to do (what i described in my 1st paragraph)--how about cottage cheese?  or yogurt?  plain yogurt; maybe vanilla would be okay?  plain yogurt flavored with tuna water??  she doesn't like peanut butter (does it really matter if she likes it?  i mean, if that's still easier on her than other options?).  what about almond butter?  or...there's some others.  (i don't know if cats shouldn't have almonds.)

frosting?  i know--it would be bad for her, but the amount would be small, and if she licks up the frosting cause she likes the sweet flavor, she'd still be getting in the prozac.  i'm just trying to think of things with that...consistency.  there's always the Gerbers 2nd Foods meats (baby food).
 
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donutte

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High calorie cat goo, lol. I like that. I bought the cat goo back when Sara was sick. She had CKD, which turned into acute on chronic, so six weeks of trying to get her better. This helped a lot with her appetite, but she lost her battle on April 28th. I've been sitting here with this tube of goo on my table since then and saw it yesterday, and had the bright idea to make use of it. Not so bright idea as it turned out!

I think we MAY have found the ticket with liver sausage! I needed something that wasn't too thick in consistency (she's not big on chewy), or too thin to the point it easily falls apart. I needed something that could easily retain it's ball shape AND is nice and soft. This cat is so picky! So I was able to hide it without having it fall apart in the process of her licking it to death before finally picking it up and eating it. She does that with the cat food balls, and they fall apart so fast.

Also learned that NONE of my cats like raw food. Mom made some raw hamburger balls for them to give out, and then a slightly bigger one to hide a pill in for Maple. Not a one of them ate their hamburger balls! That was before I tried the liver sausage. I'm SO glad I was able to get the pill into her today. She and Pea-Pea have been really going at it lately, and Maple is declawed on the front (I'm not sure she realizes it though). And she growls like a panther every time she sees Pea-Pea lately. AND Maple will hunt her down like the panther she sounds like!
 
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donutte

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Liver sausage worked for two whole days in a row! And then yesterday, she decided to bite the ball in half and then eat around the pill. UGH!!!!! I put it in a much smaller ball after that, but she didn't want anymore then. So, being tired of throwing away pills, decided to put the little ball (complete with pill) in the fridge and try again today. I don't know if refrigerating the pill hurts it but god, I am getting desperate. Anyway, I put the small hard ball on a plate today and brought it to her. She attempted to bite into it but it was a bit too hard by that point. So she just swallowed it whole!!! I think I may do that from now on, prepare the pill the night before and then give her the little ball in the morning. I have no idea how long that will work, but I have to try!
 

betsygee

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but it makes me wonder if you can crush the prozac and then either 1) mix it in some food/some sort of liquidy treat, or 2) mix it in, say, a ml of water and use a syringe to squirt it into Maple's mouth?  for the first one, it probably depends on whether the prozac really has a taste and/or smell.  (or if Maple is just rejecting it because she found it, or she can see it, or...she doesn't trust you any more and she KNOWS something's in there if she looks hard enough.)  for the 2nd one, sometimes using a syringe to get in a bit of liquid is a lot easier than actually pilling a cat.  but...not always.  as i've discovered very recently.

good luck!
I don't envy you trying to figure this out, @Donutte.  I ended up liquifying pills, too.  I tried dissolving it in tuna water.  That sort of worked but sometimes Jake wouldn't lap up all the tuna water so he wasn't getting all the medicine.  I ended up dissolving pills in a tiny amount of water and syringing it into the side of his mouth.  Then he got a treat after.  It wasn't fun but it was the only way I could get it into him.  
 

mrsgreenjeens

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Have you checked into injectibles yet?  That still might be the easiest way to go.
 
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donutte

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betsygee betsygee trying to stick ANYTHING in her mouth, or even just trying to hold her head still, is a traumatic experience for both of us. She's a very gentle cat but the moment you try to stick anything in her mouth or hold her head, she just thrashes around. I was successful with a pill gun the other day, but she was so traumatized afterwards that I really don't want to do that to her again. I want her to be a happy kitty, but not at the expense of making her anxiety even worse. She hid under the bed for hours after that :( Unfortunately, she's just too smart for her own good in figuring out how to eat around these!

mrsgreenjeens mrsgreenjeens I did do a search to see if it was available in injectable form, couldn't really find anything. Doesn't mean it doesn't exist, just means Dr. Google doesn't know about it yet :lol3: I'll be going to the vet for one pet or another in the next month (when I have $$$) - I need to take Sugar back for a long-overdue follow-up, plus the boys have their annual visit coming up soon. I plan on asking then, since mom wants to ask about putting Sugar on Prozac too (this poor dog has major anxiety issues). So yeah, gonna ask about it then. I'm hoping this refrigerated liver sausage ball thing works for awhile though.
 

betsygee

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@betsygee trying to stick ANYTHING in her mouth, or even just trying to hold her head still, is a traumatic experience for both of us. She's a very gentle cat but the moment you try to stick anything in her mouth or hold her head, she just thrashes around. I was successful with a pill gun the other day, but she was so traumatized afterwards that I really don't want to do that to her again. I want her to be a happy kitty, but not at the expense of making her anxiety even worse. She hid under the bed for hours after that
Unfortunately, she's just too smart for her own good in figuring out how to eat around these!
 
I do understand.  That's a tough situation.  
 

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i'm so sorry to hear about Sara!  one of my girls had CRF, and she also struggled with either loss of appetite, or nausea.  or both.

you mention all the ways/times Maple has found the pill in some sort of food/treat, and then stopped eating it.  but if you crush a pill and mix it in something, does she do that?  i'm still wondering if she's rejecting the taste of the pill or the 'presence' of the pill.  granted, even a crushed pill is going to have a 'presence' in that it might put a bit of a "powdery texture" into...whatever it's mixed in.

Maple is also taking Miralax, right?  but that she will just eat (with her food)?

you never said why she's on prozac.  there are some alternative treatment/therapies for animals with anxiety issues.  maybe one of those would be...well, as effective as the prozac (not knowing what it's for) and more "acceptable" to Maple.  when one of our high-strung cats had to travel (by car) for 2 days, i looked for something to help her, other than pills from the vet. 

(my history with "anxiety pills" for cats--when i moved with 3 cats and it was going to be a 2-day car trip, my vet gave me pills to help.  i pilled them the 1st day, and it was HORRIBLE.  the pills seemed to make them even MORE anxious/afraid, and they pretty much cried the entire day on the road.  the 2nd day, i didn't give them the pills, and, instead, one of us [i was moving with a friend] would crawl into the back of the pickup [thru the sliding window--the cats were mostly back there although they could also come up front thru the window].  we'd put very little in the back of the truck--litter box and a small mattress and blankets.  with one of us back there, lying on the mattress, they were fine all day.)

for this recent move, i found "anti-anxiety" treats.  i THINK you can give one of those a day.  they did seem to help our cats, although she didn't get one for the 2nd day of travel and she was okay for that day, too.  i know there are also things like...Bachs Essences (that's not the correct name, but i'm sure someone here can fill it in).  they make an anti-anxiety liquid that you can apply transdermally.  it's just a thought/question.
 
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donutte

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I lost two babies to kidney disease in the last eight months, definitely rough. My two rainbow kitties in my signature :rbheart:

As far as Maple, she's had anxiety issues I'm guessing for most of the time we've been here. We noticed it way more after we moved than before. She was always skittish but she got worse after that. Our move was 11 years ago for reference. Last year we had several additions to the family, and I think it was the first canine addition that really did her in. She occasionally peed outside the litter box, but after July she ALWAYS peed outside the litter box. Finally got it confined (for the most part) to a towel. And I finally took her to the vet in, I want to say, February. They couldn't get any urine from her, so treated for a UTI to be on the safe side (since I did see blood on a pee pad once).

Outside of that, I actually got a brand-new litter box, fashioned from a 30-gallon bin, and filled it with Cat Attract litter. She seemed to take to it a bit, but not a lot. Well, we started her on the Prozac, and it took a good 3-4 weeks before we noticed improvement. But over time, I noticed the towel she used being wet less and less. Eventually I actually saw her in the litter box myself! Her mood has also improved tremendously. She tolerates the younger cats so much better when she's regularly on her Prozac. The little bit she's been off of it now (or not taken regularly I should say) I can see a huge difference in her mood. Especially with Penelopy. Thankfully, she's still using the litter box (and for the first time in a long time actually SAW her in it last night, which made me happy).
 
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I find the trick is to use 3 things they like and alternate. Missy is on pills for her thyroid .. has been a year +. We use sandwich spreads, spreading cheese and pill pockets. No drama so far but she does like her food :) Good luck :)
 
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