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Any "Tricks" On How To Give A Cat Their Meds?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
The vet put Maverick on 4 kinds of meds to help with his liver problems, but he just absolutely hates taking them, and usually ends up spitting most of the stuff out. I called the vet yesterday to see if the liquid meds can be changed over to the pill form, and she said all but one could be, so I'll be picking them up on Thursday when we have to take him in to have a blood test done. I've tried "disguising" Maverick's meds in tuna & chicken broth, and also his canned food, but he's too smart for that. I really hate having to force the stuff down his throat: I feel like a bad meowmy.

Does anyone know of any "tricks" that I might be able to use to get Mav to take his meds?

post #2 of 27
I am not sure how to help you.
My Cat hates the pills and get her meds compounded into liquid.
They flavor it with Tuna and it works good.
I do not know how you can get him to take the liquid unless it is flavored.
Have you given pills before?
I use pill pockets for coco but one day she bit into a Baytril and now she hates pill pockets.
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
I am not sure how to help you.
My Cat hates the pills and get her meds compounded into liquid.
They flavor it with Tuna and it works good.
I do not know how you can get him to take the liquid unless it is flavored.
Have you given pills before?
I use pill pockets for coco but one day she bit into a Baytril and now she hates pill pockets.

I've given pills plenty of times. Mav doesn't like taking those either, but at least I can get them down his throat w/o him spitting them back out and foaming all over the place.

I've tried the pill pockets too, but none of my cats like them. I ended up giving them to the next-door neighbors' dogs so they wouldn't go to waste..
post #4 of 27
I am lucky Coco takes the bp meds with no problem.
She foamed with clavamox and cefa drops but turned out she was allergic.
I hope something works for you.
post #5 of 27
One of my cats is on 2 meds for his heart, and the best thing that I can recommend is getting a pill gun. The one we have is a little tube that looks like a syringe that you put the pill in and 'shoot' it down their throats. It's over quickly and he only ever spits it out if I've aimed poorly. You can get them from pet stores or even your vet.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittKatt View Post
I've given pills plenty of times. Mav doesn't like taking those either, but at least I can get them down his throat w/o him spitting them back out and foaming all over the place.

I've tried the pill pockets too, but none of my cats like them. I ended up giving them to the next-door neighbors' dogs so they wouldn't go to waste..
you might try getting some empty gel capsules & putting the liquid medicine inside - it may very well be the taste he's objecting to.
none of mine like pill pockets, either. i always get regular pill form whenever possible!
post #7 of 27
Did you try the syringe with a bit of water right after the pill? The cat will automatically swallow.
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Namo View Post
One of my cats is on 2 meds for his heart, and the best thing that I can recommend is getting a pill gun. The one we have is a little tube that looks like a syringe that you put the pill in and 'shoot' it down their throats. It's over quickly and he only ever spits it out if I've aimed poorly. You can get them from pet stores or even your vet.
I already have one of those. But thanks for the suggestion.
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
you might try getting some empty gel capsules & putting the liquid medicine inside - it may very well be the taste he's objecting to.
none of mine like pill pockets, either. i always get regular pill form whenever possible!
It is the taste that he's objecting to - not to mention the fact that the stuff is slimey. Even I would be gagging on that stuff.

For the life of me, I don't understand why they don't make liquid meds in a flavor that cats like - instead of children's cherry-flavored stuff. They're cats - not kids! It's not as if the powers-that-be don't have the technology available to them..

Where could I get gel capsules from?
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC View Post
Did you try the syringe with a bit of water right after the pill? The cat will automatically swallow.
Yes, I do. It's the liquid stuff that he keeps spitting out...
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittKatt View Post
For the life of me, I don't understand why they don't make liquid meds in a flavor that cats like - instead of children's cherry-flavored stuff. They're cats - not kids! It's not as if the powers-that-be don't have the technology available to them..
it's probably a pediatric formula - i know the clavamox i had [plus some other antibiotic] were both labeled for children... the vets just adapted the dosing for cats.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittKatt View Post
Where could I get gel capsules from?
look around @ local vitamin/health food stores for something like these: empty gel capsules or these: empty gel capsules. you can order online, but it would take longer...
post #12 of 27
Sneakers is horrible about taking liquid or pill meds. Finally I found a way to give her meds without a huge struggle-- my vet gave me "Pill Pockets" and I can stick the pills in one of those are she will just eat it like a treat! I started using that to give Roxy her immune supplement as well and it is working for her too.
post #13 of 27
I always use empty gel caps myself, but the only problem with using them with liquids is...........the gel caps don't hold very much liquid........unless you use a very very large size but then, to me, it's too large to safely go down the throat.

Like if you had to give 1 cc (1 ml) of liquid, the largest gel cap I'd feel comfortable using is a #1.....and there's no way it would hold 1 cc

I used to have a CRF kitty who had to take blood pressure meds. I had a compounding pharmacy mix it up into a liquid format but in a consistency that was so strong that I barely had to give any (like only 0.1 cc). I did have them flavor it w/ Tuna but the tablet itself was still too bitter. Because I had them make the strength of it so 'strong' and I only had to give just a fraction, I could easily give this small amount into a gel cap -- just had to be really quick about it, once I put the liquid into the gel cap.........because within a few seconds it starts to soften and dissolve.

I get my gel caps from www.iherb.com ....go there and type into the search box: gelatin capsules. I use the #1 size for most pills, and the #3 if it's a portion of a pill.
post #14 of 27
I use the Greenies brand Pill Pockets. My wouldn't touch the other brands (even without pills in them), but he loves the Greenies. So much so that whenever he hears a pill bottle rattling, he comes running.

If that fails, you could try a compounding pharmacy, which will mix the liquid with cat-friendly flavors like beef, chicken or fish. It's more expensive, and the compounded liquids need to be refrigerated and only last 30 days. The best chance with this method is if your particular medications don't have a strong flavor/smell. Ask your vet to recommend a compounding pharmacy.
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
I use the Greenies brand Pill Pockets. My wouldn't touch the other brands (even without pills in them), but he loves the Greenies. So much so that whenever he hears a pill bottle rattling, he comes running.

Thanks for the recommendation. I picked up the Greenies Pill Pockets today when I went in to pick up some more meds for Maverick. I gave him one (w/o any pills) to see if he'd eat it, and he seemed to have liked it. Hopefully, he'll gobble it up with the pill. I won't know till tomorrow: he has to take the Denamarin on an empty stomach - which means I'll have to pick up the food before I go to bed so the babies can't eat anything during the night. They're just gonna LOVE me for that - but a meowmy's gotta do what we gotta do.

I'll ask the vet about the compounding pharmacy when I talk to him/her tomorrow (they weren't available today). Thanks for the suggestion, y'all.
post #16 of 27
The greenies pill pocket are the best. I make sure I just coat the pill with them and not make it big enough that they want to chew it. Mine eat them right up.

I also do the gel caps. For some reason Stomper likes the gel caps and will eat them by themselves if I just place them on his food. One company does make tuna flavored gel caps i think,

For the denamarin. I very thinly coat it and Stomper will eat it. That one is hard because it has to be given on an empty stomach.
post #17 of 27
I have used the empty gel capsules before and they worked out well. I had to give 2 different pills that were cut in half and must of been bitter as all get out. It enabled me to put them both into one pill. The gel capsule hid the taste. My other trick was to grease it up with a little butter so it would slide down more easy.

You can get the empty capsules at any/most pharmacy if you ask. They are not all that expensive. It does take a little bit of dexterity to fill them though.
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
The greenies pill pocket are the best. I make sure I just coat the pill with them and not make it big enough that they want to chew it. Mine eat them right up.
Well, unfortunately, Maverick didn't fall for it. He ate around the pill, and left the pill sitting there. Then he looked at me as if to say, "Nice try, Meowmy!" I figured he'd just chow it down b/c he hadn't eaten all night, but he's just too smart to fall for any tricks. So now I gotta figure something else out.


Quote:
For the denamarin. I very thinly coat it and Stomper will eat it. That one is hard because it has to be given on an empty stomach.


The Denamarine is definintely a pain in the butt to give b/c as you say, KittyMonsters, it has to be given on an empty stomach. I felt like such a bad meowmy last night when I had to take their food away from them. Maverick is the only one of course who I need to make sure doesn't eat anything before taking the Denamarin, but in a multi-cat household, it one can't eat, then they all can't eat. I feel bad enough that I have to shove all that stuff down his throat, but now I also have to take his food away. What makes it worse is the fact that he's been coming out at night to eat, b/c he figures I'm gonna grab him to give him more meds during the daytime, so he's not coming near me during the day. As soon as he sees me coming anywhere near him, he takes off to hide under the bed. And Maverick never used to run from me. He's always been my big love-bug.

There's gotta be a better way. I feel like a criminal or something.
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by binkyhoo View Post
I have used the empty gel capsules before and they worked out well. I had to give 2 different pills that were cut in half and must of been bitter as all get out. It enabled me to put them both into one pill. The gel capsule hid the taste. My other trick was to grease it up with a little butter so it would slide down more easy.

You can get the empty capsules at any/most pharmacy if you ask. They are not all that expensive. It does take a little bit of dexterity to fill them though.

Dexterity is something I lack. But thanks for the advice. I'll check with the pharmacist.
post #20 of 27
I guess it depends on the cat. The two cats I've had to give meds to recently (pills and eye ointment) have been cats that wouldn't allow me to pick them up and carry them to begin with. So they were not real cooperative to say the least.

With the pills, the best luck I had:

a) grind the pill up in diluted baby food and put it in a syringe

b) you can get a cat to open its mouth by pressing with your thumb and middle finger on the back corners of his mouth.

c) Once I got the mouth open, I squirted the baby food into his mouth with the syringe

d) Immediately hold his mouth closed by wrapping my hand around top and bottom of his snout. This forces him to swallow.

It was hit and miss with this method. But, this was the only way I found to do it after he caught on to the pill in the food tricks and all the other stuff.

I wish one of my loveable lap kitties would get sick instead. At least I'd feel like I had a fighting chance.

b)
post #21 of 27
I went to the pharmacy that I get my meds from and asked for the 1cc oral syringe. It is small and thin, so it fits in their mouth easily. I just hold their heads and stick it into their mouth as far as I can and they swallow it. Start from the corner of their mouth and stick it in from the side. That should work. It's like a baby...they may not like it but they HAVE to have it so you need to force it. I just gave both of my cats liquid meds the other day, and I thought for sure they would freak out by they took it just fine (I even had to give each of them 2 1/2 syringes full).

Usually, if you can get it to the back of their mouths they will automatically swallow. Just squirt in tiny bits at a time so they don't choke.

Btw - 1/2 tsp = 2 1/2 cc
post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hwc View Post

I wish one of my loveable lap kitties would get sick instead. At least I'd feel like I had a fighting chance.

b)

The thing is, is that Maverick IS my lovable lap kitty. He'll lay in my arms for huggin' & kissin', sit on my lap, and burrow under the covers with me at night. My two FIP cats aren't "lap kitties" like Maverick is - especially Geronimo. But I don't have anywhere near the problem giving them their meds, as I do with Maverick.

Thanks for the advice, HWC. I'll try just about anything at this point!
post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kara_leigh View Post
I went to the pharmacy that I get my meds from and asked for the 1cc oral syringe. It is small and thin, so it fits in their mouth easily. I just hold their heads and stick it into their mouth as far as I can and they swallow it. Start from the corner of their mouth and stick it in from the side. That should work. It's like a baby...they may not like it but they HAVE to have it so you need to force it. I just gave both of my cats liquid meds the other day, and I thought for sure they would freak out by they took it just fine (I even had to give each of them 2 1/2 syringes full).

Usually, if you can get it to the back of their mouths they will automatically swallow. Just squirt in tiny bits at a time so they don't choke.

Btw - 1/2 tsp = 2 1/2 cc

The syringe I use is a small one, and I administer Mav's meds in the way you describe, Kara. But he still manages to spit most of the stuff back out.

I appreciate the advice though.
post #24 of 27
There is a pharmacy in New Jersey called Wedgewood Pharmacy, they take most dog and cat medications and make it into liquid forms or treat forms. Maybe ask your vet about them. They'll ship anywhere I believe.
Good luck, I could imagine how frustrating it is.
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshne880 View Post
There is a pharmacy in New Jersey called Wedgewood Pharmacy, they take most dog and cat medications and make it into liquid forms or treat forms. Maybe ask your vet about them. They'll ship anywhere I believe.
Good luck, I could imagine how frustrating it is.
The meds that Maverick's objecting to the most are the liquid forms. He doesn't do too bad with the pills. It's the taste of the stuff he hates. I've tried disguising it in tuna, chicken broth, pill pockets, & canned cat food, but he's too smart for that. I think I'm gonna ask my vet if his liquid meds can be transformed into some kind of treat form, like you suggested, Sunshne, b/c doing it this way is really stressing him out - and he surely doesn't need any stress right now. My once lovable baby is now beginning to run from me everytime he sees me coming.

Thanks for the tip! If my vet(s) can't come up with an alternative, I'll definitely check into your suggestion.
post #26 of 27
Hi KittKatt,

A good Compounding Pharmacy that deals with Vet meds should be able to make up the pill you have, it's a really good tasting flavored liquid...... there's usually several flavors to choose from; beef, chicken, tuna, etc.

Try doing a search on Google for these words: compounding pharmacy vet meds _________ (in the "blank", enter your state or city). you may not find one local to you but many will compound it up and ship to you....all they require is for your Vet to fax them the prescription for the medication......or, on the case of a med that's non-prescription (say a supplement or amino acid), they would just do it according to your direction.

Here's one that's well known:

http://www.smithspharmacy.com/retail...8D577B01E035A1

They can often also make up the medication into a handy "gel" that you massage into the cat's ear!! -- which not only makes it easy to give but no side effects to the tummy

EDIT:...............sorry, the site above is in Canada (though I'm sure they compound for Americans)....not sure where you live. Here's one in the U.S. and it also gives a list on this page, of the various meds they can compound and what "form" they can compound them into (I'm sure the list isn't exhaustive; it would pay to contact them if one you're giving isn't on the list)............I see the Baytril (Enrofloxacin) can be made into a transdermal gel..........that's awesome, wish I'd known that years ago but glad to know it now!!!

http://www.pethealthpharmacy.com/medications.htm

Here's the page that shows some of the flavors they can make liquids into:

http://www.pethealthpharmacy.com/dosage.htm
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the info, Food Lady! I saved the pharmacy link, and will definitly be giving them a call if my vet can't make the meds into a tasty treat.
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