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Suggestions for giving my cat his pill

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Okay, I've read a lot of the threads, and tried most of them. I'm at my wits end, and have wasted 4 pills.

Swanie is a large male almost 16 pound cat, very strong, and does NOT like having anything done to him.

So far I've tried:

Hide the pill in food
crush the pill and hide it in food
hide the pill in cheez whiz
Hide the pill in butter
Hide the pill in chicken
Hide the pill in a pill pocket
Dissolve the pill in water and squirt the water down his throat
Sitt on the floor with him between my knees
Then I got DH involved. We tried it with me holding Swanie, DH holding Swanie, wrapping Swanie in a blanket, You just cannot hold that cat if he doesn't want to be held.
Normally a very gentle cat, he certainly can hiss, growl, and bite when he has to (lol)

I have one more idea. I'm going to try dissolving the pill in water and mixing that in a little bit of food. If that doesn't work, I don't know what to do other than take him to the vet every day and pay them $2.70 to give him his pill.

So if anyone knows of anything I haven't tried, please help!
post #2 of 21
You have been trying, at least!!

What is the name of the drug ...and/or how big is the pill?

What happened when you both worked on it, with Swanie in between your knees?
post #3 of 21
My heart goes out to you. I am terrible at pilling even with help. They seem to turn into possessed demons.

I learned with my last antibiotic go round that if I use the liquid and put it in "cat milk" my girl would drink it. She will drink KMR when she has kittens. She likes to lick an eye dropper filled with it. It may be that she is trying to keep it from her babies, I don't know. But I was at my whit's end with her when I decided to give her the KMR one dropper, then I put the liquid med in the dropper and sucked up KMR with it and mixed it in the dropper and gave it to her the same way. She took it all no fight.
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misty8723 View Post
I have one more idea. I'm going to try dissolving the pill in water and mixing that in a little bit of food.
Make sure you check with the vet first to make sure that is ok to administer in that fashion. Depending on the pill it may or may not be. Some pills are time-released, some need to dissolve in the stomach not the throat, etc.

There are a couple of things I would recommend:
1) Pill Dispenser - Petco, PetSmart and your vet should all carry these. Personally, I can't use them and do better pilling with my hands, but that's me.
2) Pill Pockets - Tasty treats that have a hole you can put the pill in and squeeze the hole shut around it. Petco and PetmSmart and some vets carry them. They have different ones for dogs and cats. Just make sure your cat has no diet restrictions where they can't have them.
http://www.petsmart.com/media/ps/ima...0627_4a8c1.jpg
(Salmon flavor has wheat gluten, chicken does not)
post #5 of 21
I know exactly how you feel. It's so frustrating when you know they need the meds and it seems impossible to medicate them.

I've tried a Pill Dispenser with no luck. If Swanie doesn't like having your fingers in his mouth with a pill he sure won't like the Pill Dispenser. Pill Pockets worked for Kolohe when he was recently on an antibiotic.

One other thought. Have you tried hiding the pill in Nutra Cal? It's a high calorie gel food supplement. The vet suggested I try to hide Palekana's meds in it. It didn't work for her but it may be worth a try for Swanie.

Good luck in your search for a solution to the pilling a cat problem.
post #6 of 21
Oh man, I feel your pain! Our new cat recently had to take a bunch of medications. We found that administering a pill was definitely a two person job, and we needed a pill gun (feel free to send me a PM if you want a more detailed rundown of what worked for us). The best pill guns (imo) are the ones you can buy from your vet's office. They're pretty inexpensive - should be less than $5.

You can certainly try crushing some medicines (ask your vet if this is okay), mixing them with a little water, and hiding them in wet food. Personally, I have never had any success with 'hiding' medicine in a cat's food. It seems like they are too darn smart for their own good, in this regard!

As a final resort, I recommend asking your vet if the medication your kitty is taking is available in injectable form. Sofie vastly preferred an injection in her skin to us trying to force pills/liquid into her mouth.


Good luck!
post #7 of 21
We use a pill dispenser that looks like a pen. My hubby modified a pen and made bigger inners on it and it works wonders with our four. It just looks like a regular pen but it stays in the cat's med box.

Just our way

Fluffee
post #8 of 21
I've done a lot of pilling and Chloe and Katy get pills every day so they're used to it. Bailey though is another story and at over 30 pounds at one point, it wasn't something I looked forward to, but sometimes ya' gotta' do what ya' gotta' do!

When I pill my cats, I put them on the kitchen counter as that's the perfect height for me. I use the piller that I get from the vet, it's a thin plastic thing with a soft blue rubber end on it that you can fit nearly any pill in and it will hold it. The only pill I've run into trouble with is Baytril which is just huge! At least the dose that Bailey gets is. I'm right-handed so I put my left hand over the top of his head with my thumb and forefinger at the corners of his mouth. Then I tilt his head back as far as he'll let me, stick the piller in the side of his mouth and pop the pill in! Then I always give a syringe full of water to wash the pill down.

Both you and your kitty just need to get comfortable about doing it. I've had a lot of practice and with Chloe and Katy I don't even have to open their mouths, they just let me slide the piller in and take their pills. Bailey though hasn't had to take many pills so it's a little harder and it's especially hard when you've got such a big cat because they're so strong!

Good luck!
post #9 of 21
When you sat on the floor with cat between your knees, did you do it this way:

Kneel on the floor with your ankles crossed under your butt. Put the cat between your thighs with his head pointing away from your body. (assuming you are right handed) Open his mouth by placing your hand on top of his head with a finger on one side of his mouth and thumb on the other. Using the pill gun (recommended above), plunge it in with your right hand.

If they start to try to wiggle away, he can't move backwards because of your crossed ankles, can't move side to side because of your thighs, and doesn't dare go forward as that is where the pill is coming from.

This works for me when all else fails.
post #10 of 21
I'll throw in a few random thoughts...

I use the method Momofmany described. I'll add that it helps to get kitty secured completely before trying to give the pill. If you can get them still, it goes better. Once they are in postion and mouth open, you should be home free. If they're squirming already, it gets worse.

The piller from the vet that DebsKats described is the GOOD one. The ones I've seen at the pet stores look clumsy and awkward. When you go in their mouth, a little to the side, get it in far enough that you're at or over the hump of their tongue. I've never choked them with that...the gagging/choking happens when I don't insert it far enough, then the pill doesn't go down right.

Get psyched up and tell yourself that it's going to work. The quicker you can get it over with, the easier it will be next time. Beandip is used to our routine and submits willingly every day. On my earlier repeated failed attempts, it was tough. Once I figured out how to make it quick, it got much easier...because Beandip knew there would be no struggle.

Some will say to trick the cat by interuppting a meal or petting the cat first, etc...but I don't agree with that. I used to do that and what happens is that kitty gets more suspicious and crafty every day. I save the sweet stuff and treats for after the pill.

If other methods fail, see if he will eat an empty pill pocket. Ball it up as if there is a pill in it. If he will eat that, then try this a little later. If the pill is even as big as an Advil tablet, cut it in fourths and put those pieces in individual pill pockets. If he balks at that, try again later, with the pocketed pills mixed in with some messy cat food.

I've had very little luck hiding the crushed pill in food. There is an interesting method described here that is supposed to trick the cat's tastebuds (see 2nd paragraph, under the 1st pic). I have not tried it, but it may be worth reading.

If it's a nasty tasting pill, see if you can get some small gel caps (empty) from the vet. I think the size is "number 4". You can cut the pill and put it in one of those...then there's no nasty taste. As a bonus, those gel caps fit perfectly in the piller.

Big strong cats can be hard to pill, but if it's any consolation I have more trouble with little cats...they're harder to hold on to.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black&Tan View Post
My heart goes out to you. I am terrible at pilling even with help. They seem to turn into possessed demons.
Possessed demon describes Swanie perfectely. He doesn't like having anything done to him. My teddy bear will turn into a wild cat, and he'll fight with all he's got - squirming, wiggling, hissing, growling, and if that doesn't work, biting (hard enough to break the skin).

The reason I can't give him his pill is that I can't hold onto him long enough to even try!

I may look into that Natural Cal. I'm taking Cindy in to the vet today, so I'll ask her about it then.

Swanie won't eat the pill pockets, even without a pill, and he won't eat the treats I got from the vet for that purpose either. I couldn't get the towel wrapped around him fast enough (he escaped), putting him on the table didn't work. Putting him between my knees - he jumped over me (no backing up for this dude).

Whoever said get a cat, your stess level will be reduced, obviously never had to give one a pill!
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misty8723 View Post
Whoever said get a cat, your stess level will be reduced, obviously never had to give one a pill!
I'm so sorry Swanie is making it so touch for you, but I definitely got a laugh out of this!!!
post #13 of 21
My daughters cat Chester was recently released from the animal hosp. where he was due to tainted recall food. Anyway Chester is a monster he won't let anything be done to him without scratching, biting etc.. At the hosp, they used a pill shooter to get the meds in. My daughter is using a Pixie Stix straw which is large enough to hold the pills. She has to be fast otherwise he's gone. If you have kids maybe you have the Pixie Stix. Good Luck
post #14 of 21
Did you know in pet catalogues they sell a sack you put the cat in that has fasteners so the cat can't move or get out of? They are used when you're in need of restraining your cat. If you're interested I'll try to find the catalogue.
post #15 of 21
When Humphrey had to have antibiotics the vet gave him some treat things that you hide the pill in, it worked a treat!! lol excuse the pun
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misty8723 View Post
Swanie won't eat the pill pockets, even without a pill, and he won't eat the treats I got from the vet for that purpose either. I couldn't get the towel wrapped around him fast enough (he escaped), putting him on the table didn't work. Putting him between my knees - he jumped over me (no backing up for this dude).
I know it can be frustrating. Silly question, but when you had him between your knees, were you and Swanie both facing the same direction? That's how I do it. You said he jumped over you...so I thought maybe he was facing you. I hope you're having better luck today.
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3cats1dog View Post
Did you know in pet catalogues they sell a sack you put the cat in that has fasteners so the cat can't move or get out of? They are used when you're in need of restraining your cat. If you're interested I'll try to find the catalogue.

Hmm. I wonder if I could manage to get him into it. It might be worth looking at.

Tonight I mixed his med with a little bit of water in a little bit of his food, and he actually ate it. So I'm
post #18 of 21
I have a "pill shooter" Got it at a pet store. It looks similar to a syringe, pull the plunger back, secure the pill in the tongs of the plunger and quickly push pill in. Be sure you have in the back of the throat. Your baby will have no choice but to swall. I have a strong cat and at first I put her on my lap while sitting on the floor. I used my legs to hold her down. Open mouth and quickly push pill in. Good luck. It does get better, now we play games but she takes it
post #19 of 21
Gosh...you've tried about everything I was going to suggest...lol I don't know what else to tell you except the vet makes it look so easy and when you get home and try to do it it is never as easy....Have you tried breaking the pill and mashing it in wet food?
post #20 of 21
I haven't read the whole thread but i did read about putting your cat in between your legs and that does help. Isis gets pills every day and the easiest way is to have her mouth open and then drop the pill when she starts to swallow and the pill just goes right down. It's usually a matter of holding her mouth open for a few seconds before she tries to swallow.

I read your first post about holding him, you might have to have the vet show you how they do it.
post #21 of 21
The pill shooter was the only thing that worked for me. And if you're using the knee method, you really do have to hold the cat down and make sure that he can't move.

I agree that asking your vet for a demonstration might help. Or there are some very helpful videos on the Cornell Feline Health Center site that are probably just as good (it's a great health site overall). Videos on the various pill giving methods are here:

http://www.felinevideos.vet.cornell.edu/index.shtml
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