The Best Pill-taking Secret I Know...

LuvDeezKittez

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Our cats have been on a variety of medicines over the last few months. They wised up pretty quickly to our attempts to hide pills and force-feeding the pills was traumatic for both of us. When I lamented about our recent problems giving metronidazole to our boy, our vet surprised me with 3 little words:

Ham Baby Food

hamspoon.jpeg


:eek: um what???

I thought, "yeah right, sure..." But she told me that was exactly what they used at the clinic to feed pills to picky, stubborn, scared, indifferent, fussy and feral kitties. No more purritos, no more scratches, no more lost trust, and cats think they are getting a delicious treat and come running over for it.

I thought, "HOLD. THE. PHONE. All of this time? How did I not know this? It's so simple. Am I the last cat owner on earth to know this??? You have got to be kidding me?!!" :whistle::whistle::whistle:

Of course I ran to the grocery store immediately to buy some. What did I have to lose? My sanity? Already gone. Only 99 cents? Time for an experiment...

***5 IMPORTANT caveats here***

  1. The vet recommended Gerber brand specifically. Not because she gets a kickback (ha!) but because they've had more success with the majority of cats using their recipe.
  2. Must be the Ham and Gravy flavor-- just ham. No peas and carrots, etc. Ham Ham HAM.
  3. Ham is important because most cats have not eaten it as a protein and are less likely to have a food allergy/intolerance to it.
  4. ONLY GIVE TO YOUR KITTIES DURING PILL-TIME. I can't emphasize that enough. It's not harmful in any way or super-fattening for regular feeding but you do not want it to lose it's *specialness* and *treat status* with your cat. Treat it like the gross liquid gold that it is.
  5. It's gross. You've been warned. It smells and looks disgusting. Cats love it. Go figure.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not promising it will work for you and your cat, I'm just telling you it was a game-changer for our family. We serve it to them on a spoon and call it "Ham Spoon". Because we're creative like that. We even made up a song to the tune of "I Want Candy".

"I know a treat that's really good.
It smells like poop, but it tastes like food.

It's kind of gray, it's kind of pink.
It's even grosser than you think!
I WANT HAM SPOON! I WANT HAM SPOON!"


I've probably lost you after that. But trust me. It works. They love it. I love that THEY love it. Just try it. What do you have to lose?
Now go get your kitty some "Ham Spoon"! :petcat:
 

m3rma1d

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Thanks a lot, I'm in bed getting ready for sleep and I know dang well I'm gonna wake up tomorrow singing "Iiiiiii want ham spoon" in my head..


Who am I kidding, I'll be singing it out loud.
 

LTS3

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Plain meat baby food in general works to get meds into a cat :) Besides ham, Gerber chicken, turkey, and beef baby foods are also good to use. Unless a cat has a specific intolerance to chicken or turkey or beef, you don't have to use just ham. Pictures are here: Anyone else have an Only-Gravy-Licker?

Pill Pockets and other pill dough work, too. Most cats think they're just getting a yummy treat.

Even better than hiding a pill (usually. Some cats just hate being medicated in any way) is to compound the pill into another form such as a flavored liquid or transdermal gel. A compounding pharmacy can do this. Wedgewood Pharmacy is a popular one but a local compounding pharmacy works well.

Metronidazole (Flagyl) is available as a chew treat, capsules which you can open and sprinkle directly into canned food (or give like a pill), and tiny pill size, among other forms. I'm surprised your vet didn't suggest compounding the metronidazole, only to try ham baby food.

  1. It's gross. You've been warned. It smells and looks disgusting. Cats love it. Go figure.

And apparently Human babies too since it's baby food;) The poor parents who open up a jar of ham baby food and have to deal with the unappetizing goo.
 
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LuvDeezKittez

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Unless a cat has a specific intolerance to chicken or turkey or beef, you don't have to use just ham.
True true. Unfortunately, my boy does have so this was one of the few acceptable proteins we could have him ingest with the pill. His sister just thinks it's awesome (we pretend to give her "medicine" too). :rolleyes2:
I'm surprised your vet didn't suggest compounding the metronidazole, only to try ham baby food.
Our cat clinic found that the majority of cats in their care preferred this delivery method over the others, the approach was easy, stress-free and convenient for the pet parents to apply to other medicines they had to administer in conjunction. We've compounded other medicines in the past but the liquids and gels were just as stressful for us. Metronidazole is fairly bitter in any form but the ham baby food is just STINKY enough, *ahem*, I mean palatable enough to render it edible. :woohoo::drinking:
 

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I’m not sure if Krista likes any baby food but she’s usually very sick every time it comes down to that. What she does like is tuna water but I don’t think that’s going to be powerful enough to cover up the awful ursodiol I just tasted. She does have a feeding tube for the moment but she’s starting to resent it because only medicines that make her sick seem to be going down it lately. :(
 

LTS3

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I guess I'm lucky. Both my cats will take pills covered with bacon flavored dough. Leroy was a pain when he was on liquid Flagyl. He just drooled most of it out because of the taste :cringe: Hiding it in canned food didn't work. The vet pharmacy didn't have the pill form.

artiemom artiemom have you tried coating Geoffrery's Flagyl pill in baby food? Or would that cause a food aversion?
 

daftcat75

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Transdermal bupe is the best. I wish I could get all her meds compounded transdermally. And add an extra ear or two for me to put them all in.
 

artiemom

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I really do not know of any secret 'tricks' for medicating.. It is just the luck of the draw.

I did not try adding flagyl to baby food. I did try some baby food, on it's own, to see if Geoffrey would eat it.. no go.. so I did not want to waste a pill trying it..

Flagyl has a horrible taste. Cats can smell it coming.. so I do not think mixing it will any food will disguise it.

I tried, the bacon mask, pill pockets, regular food, butter, cheese, peanut butter, tuna, tuna water.. no go to all...just destroyed pills.

I also tried crushing the pill, adding it to all of the food; and just trying to hide it, while it is in pieces.. nope.. no go...

I tried the liquid suspension-- it was a mess.. no go...

For Flagyl, I have found the pills are easier.

I have empty gel caps. I cut the pill into the appropriate dose, put it in an empty gel capsule, and use a pill gun.

I did find some chicken (artificial) flavored gel caps.. no chicken used.. made with boar.. weird.. but..
I am currently using those to mask the taste of the flagyl

I really do not think anything can mask the horrible taste. Even with a liquid suspension, I heard it was nasty. Never get it unflavored.

I also heard that cats usually refuse fish based flavoring.. never heard of that.. but...

I think I read where someone had Flagyl compounded into treats.. some cats will eat them, some will not. and it is too expensive to play around with..

Transdermal med seems to be really easy.. just make sure you wash your hands really well after dosing or use a finger covering (finger cot)..
If using transdermal; remember to wipe off the residual, before applying a new dose.. (cotton ball rinsed in warm water; dry ear after).. There can be a build-up, which is irritating.
~~~~~~~~~~
For pilling, I use a pill gun.. just a regular one you get at the pet store. nothing fancy.

I sit on my recliner, with the cat behind my left hip--I am right handed. I am turned into him.. He is blocked from the back and left side by the chair; from the right side and front by my body.. makes it easier for me..

Sometimes I have to use a towel wrap of some kind.. Paws love to come up to push me away. Sometimes I use the towel as a kind of 'bib' to cover his front paws; holding it down with my body..

I touch the pill gun to the front of the mouth, saying, "Open, Open".. putting my left hand around the top of the head. I kind of force the mouth open with my index or 3rd finger and my thumb. I quickly get the pill gun on the back of the tongue.. be quick because they can easily spit it out..

I push the capsule down, close mouth.. making certain the mouth stays closed, and the capsule is swallowed.
I put a bit of water, from a syringe on the side of the mouth, to aid swallowing..

Sometimes I have to blow on his nose, keeping his mouth shut, to make certain he swallows.. this is a trick even the NVet's sec suggests.

I keep the cat behind me.. for a minute, or as long as possible.. to make sure the medication does not get out.. I tell my baby,
"What a Good Boy you are!! Good Boy".. just trying to calm him down, and try to give him a kiss before I allow him to run away...

This is the easiest way I can describe what I do..

All I can say is; Good Luck.. it is so hard to do..

Geoffrey will eat Greenies Dental Treats in Tuna flavor, but refuses the tuna pill poppers.. and the bacon mask..
 

Teri122

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I guess I will have to get some Gerber ham this weekend. Tabitha is on metronidazole twice a day, along with Pred and Baytril. We are at close to a month, and have another to go at least. Biggest problem, she is my feral. So I can't give her meds in any way other than she has to eat them. I can't touch her. Right now I cover the pills in cheese then stick a temptations treat to the cheeseball and keep trying until she eats them. I'm willing to try anything she will eat, but still need to use the cheese, nothing else seems to cover them well enough to mask the horrible taste. But maybe putting the cheese/treat mass in ham will help her want them.
 
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