Cats are fun to have around the house until they fall sick. When sick, the feline is not as playful as you are used to. However, a more pressing concern for cat owners is when they have to administer pills to their sick cats. For instance, they could try jamming them down the cat’s throat, but that would invite more bites and scratches. Another thing the owner could do is hide the pill in the cat’s food. Unlike dogs, cats are not easily tricked into taking the pill hidden in food. If they discover a pill in their food, they will avoid the food. According to Bernadine Cruz, the cat might avoid a particular food altogether just because they once found a hidden pill. Whichever method you administer the pill, there are some precautions you will have to take to avoid getting attacked by your cat or hurting them. Here are four ways on how to give cats pills.
4. The Direct Approach
This method involves the owner administering the pill to the cat with their two hands. Very few cat owners like this method because of the possibility of the cat fighting back. Additionally, the cat may run away when they detect the owner’s fear. That means the owner has to be very brave. Before giving the pill, first, get a blanket and wrap the cat in it. Wrapping the cat makes it comfortable, and the cat will instantly trust you. Then find a comfortable position to place the cat, preferably on your lap. Next, lubricate the pill with some margarine or butter. This step is essential; otherwise, the pill will get stuck in the cat’s throat. Then, use one of your hands to hold the top of the cat’s head. From this position, the cat will not be able to bite you. Next, use your other hand to administer the pill. As you insert the pill into the cat’s mouth, tilt back the cat’s head. Once the cat swallows the pill, massage its throat to push down the pill further. After swallowing the pill, ensure that you praise and reward your cat with treats. According to Malcolm Weir, praising and rewarding the cat encourages the cat to take the pill without fighting back.
3. Concealing the Pill in Food
Most cat owners are poor at hiding the pill in their food. For instance, some owners hide the pill as it is in the food. As a result, the cat will spot the huge pill and avoid the food or eat the food and leave the pill on its plate. So, if you have to use this method, ensure you break the pill into tiny bits. After that, hide the bits in between their tuna or cream cheese. The cat will therefore consume the pill unknowingly. The best way to administer the pill with this method is by first giving the cat an unadulterated meal. Then, after they get used to the meal, you can introduce the meal with the pill. After that, the cat will not be able to notice a change in its meal. Generally, this method works if the pill is sweet. Otherwise, if the pill is bitter, the cat will spit out its food. Therefore, the direct method is the best way to administer the bitter pills.
2. You Can Feed Your Cat Pill Pockets
Pill pockets are special treats made to accommodate a pill. They tend to be moldable, and they have a hole in which you can place the pill. One concern you may have is whether pill pockets are safe. According to Veterinarians, they recommend them because they contain trace nutrients that are beneficial to your cat. As for the flavors, they are available in chicken and salmon flavors. Therefore, the flavors will be strong enough to mask the taste of the pill. However, it is better to observe your cat; otherwise, they may spit out the pill pocket if they discovers there was a drug in it.
1. You Can Also Use a Cat Pill Gun
When all other methods fail, you can use this method. This method is effective since the pill is immediately swallowed. Unlike the direct approach, you do not have to lubricate the pill or massage its throat. A cat pill gun is a rod with openings that hold the pill. Like the direct approach, you will wrap up the cat in a blanket. Also, you will hold the top of their head. After that, attach the pill to the cat pill gun’s opening. Next, you will carefully insert the opening into the cat’s throat. However, you have to be careful not to insert the gun too deep since it can cause a gag reflex. Once you have aimed the gun correctly, press the plunger, and the pill will immediately go down the cat’s throat. A key thing to note is that you do not need to wrap your cat in a towel with this method and the direct approach method. Sometimes, you may not have one nearby. The aim of the towel is to keep it from struggling too much. If you have no towel close to you, you can ask someone else to hold the cat as you administer the pill. After the cat has swallowed the pill, remember to feed them some tuna water or chicken broth. Either liquid will wash away the taste of the pill, especially a bitter one. Also, the cat will feel encouraged to take the pill since they know they will be fed with any of the two liquids.
Which is the best way of giving your cat a pill? Truthfully, there is none as long as the cat swallows the pill. Administering pills to cats requires patience. So, you have to get used to your cat running away or scratching you. However, with these methods, you may still not succeed in giving your cat the pill. You could always enlist the help of a veterinarian. A veterinarian will advise you on the best way of feeding your cat. Also, they can instead save you that trouble by giving your cat the pill. Though not easy, it is still essential to learn how to do it yourself.