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please help- need advice as to pilling my cat

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
my cat emily got extremely sick on friday night. luckily, i took her to the emergency vet. she had a fever of 104.4, and a severe urinary tract infection. she had to stay overnight. they said at one point her urine was wine-colored.

she is extremely stressed and nervous around anyone except me; so in addition to being worried sick about her health, i was concerned at how upset she might be by staying there.

i spoke to the vet the next day, who said he wanted to keep her since she was a "bear" to treat. i explained that i could pill her fine, and he let her come home.

she is doing much better- she had 5 days of an anti-inflammatory/pain med, and is also on an antibiotic tablet- 2 times a day for 2 weeks (about 8 days left). .

she has been ok with me pilling her since saturday evening, but tonight she really started fighting. i want to make sure to get the pill in properly, without stressing her unnecessarily, or doing it the wrong way and hurting her.

what i try to do is get behind her, open her mouth gently, place the pill on the back of the tongue, and hold her mouth closed, stroking her throat while her nose is turned upward. this is hard to do though, now that she is fighting me.

can someone direct me as to whether i am doing this correctly, or is there a place on this site (or another) where i can see a diagram as to how to pill her?

btw, she is on C/D now, probably for life (and only 3.5 years old now). it's better than having her sick, though- the time she was in the hospital were the worst 27 hours of my life. i was so worried she wasn't going to make it.

thanks for any help you can provide.
post #2 of 15
When I adopted Little Miss, she had a pretty bad place on ner back paw, right at the bend where the skin and a chunk of flesh had been ripped off, and I took her to the vet about it, because it was bleeding. They gave me ciloxin(not sure I spelled that right) to give her twice a day. At first, she actually ate it dry. No problem there, right? Well, after 3 days, she refused to let me anywhere near her. So, since I feed her a teaspoon of Friskies pouch food, three times a day, I would just slip the pill in that in the morning and then again before bedtime. She ate the pill without a problem. The last two I had to give it to her, I just wrapped it in a little bit of cheese and she ate it. Maybe try mixing it in your cats food, if you feed wet food.
post #3 of 15
You could try making a 'kitty burrito': Place a towel on your lap, lift her into your lap, and gently wrap her up in the towel so only her head is sticking out. This will prevent her from pawing at your hands while you're opening her mouth. When you open her mouth to give her the pill, if you gently tilt her head upwards you'll see the opening of her throat - aim for that when you drop the pill in. If you can drop it straight into her throat, she'll swallow it without even tasting the pill (the bad taste usually prompts most of the struggling).

Another idea (check with your vet first to see if it's OK for her to have any treats) is to hide the pill in a soft kitty treat - Whisker Lickins are great for that. Caution: this will only work if your cat is not a picky eater - some cats will get suspicious, while others will just wolf it on down. Make sure that the treat with the pill hidden inside is small enough for her to eat without chewing - you may need to just use 1/2 a treat, and if the pill is a big one you may need to use a pill splitter to cut the pill into smaller pieces. Hide the pill in a treat, then, holding another treat where she can see it, give her the treat with the pill in it. Seeing that there's another treat coming usually encourages the cat to eat the treat you've given her quickly, so she can get to the second treat faster. Then tell her she's a good kitty, and give her the second treat.
post #4 of 15
There are several options

You can talk to your pharmacy about if they can mix up the medication into a paste, easier to give it that way. Some pastes you can even spread on their ears, and it absorbs into the system.

Here is a website on it

http://pets.flavorx.com/

Also if you can get the spray can kind of cheese? What you do is put a little bit of cheese on the tip of your finger, and hold your finger up over your cat's head, so she has to reach up to lick the cheese off. Then you take the pill, and spray the cheese around the pill and do the exercise again (making sure the cat's head is up and extended). Once she has taken the cheese ball, hold her mouth gently closed, stroke her throat gently with only the lightest touch of two fingers until she swallows. If she doesn't swallow, blow one puff of air gently into her nostrils (without touching them) that will startle her and she will swallow the pill.

Also use a pill gun, you can buy one at the vet's office for only a few dollars, it will save your fingers

You can pill her by wrapping her in a towel and putting her up on your washing machine or counter (this will make her feel secure). Brace her up there with your body, and with the pill gun shoot the pill down her throat.

Floor method. Kneel on the floor, knees spread, feet crossed behind you. Put her in the wedge between your legs, with her back to you. Scruff her neck gently, then lift her head and open her mouth, shoot the pill down her throat )again a pill gun is a lifesaver) She will backpedal against you but be unable to get away. When finished drop her a tasty treat she can't refuse then walk away
post #5 of 15
i reccomend getting another person with you. my cat would only take a pill if i was holding her and if it was my boyfriend who did it otherwise she would spit it out. she seemed more comfortable with two of us (and only us two!)
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
thanks for the great ideas!

unfortunately, i live alone, and emily is scared to pieces of other people, so if i did have someone to help she'd be more likely to fight.

i think i like the kitty burrito and the pill gun ideas the best. one of the concerns here is that i take coumadin (anti-coagulant), and if she decides to bite (never has- not even the vet) or scratch deep (hasn't done that either, but there's a first time for everything) i could be in big trouble physically.

the reason i can't do the treat one is that emily is very strange, in that she doesn't like regular treats. she has an enormous sweet tooth, and if i bring home a danish with my coffee she will try to fight me for it! (also, since she is on the special diet and recovering from the UTI, she isn't supposed to have anything but C/D).

i told the vet this, and that she has a particular weakness for key lime pie yoplait , he said i could give her a tiny dab after pilling her. unfortunately, she has now associated the yoplait with the pill, and has developed an aversion to it (if she sees me coming with the bit of yoplait on a spoon after the pill, she runs as if it's another pill).

i will try the kitty burrito. the pill gun sounds good too, problem is getting her mouth open.

thanks again!

edit: one thing i thought of just now (and pulled off, just a minute ago) was to pill her in a different location of the apartment. if she sees me putting her on the counter, she knows what's coming and starts fighting. this time i grabbed her and pilled her quickly on the couch without much problem at all.
post #7 of 15
we put a pill inside a prawn before and it managed to trick maverick. i definitly reccomend wrapping her in a towel so she cant struggle. heres a link for a site showing you how to pill a cat http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_pilling_a_cat.html didnt work for me but maybe its worth a try?
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
that's good to see that site, since that's exactly how i do it. i was worried i might be wrong on my technique.

i got the pill in her fine just now; something tells me a towel might make her wriggle around more and make it harder to get ahold of her. i will definitely try the towel or pill gun if it comes down to it though. she absolutely has to have these pills; so was so awfully sick.

thanks!
post #9 of 15
my prefered method http://www.catclinic.co.uk/health/howtogivepills.htm but you need a helper!
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
she's actually been very good so far, just last night she fought me. i definitely have to approach her from behind, grab her, and hold on firmly. she trusts me enough, luckily, that she'll take it (she tries to fake me out though, and sits there for about 5 seconds pretending to swallow it, with me stroking her throat while holding her mouth upward).
post #11 of 15
as a general rule once they've licked thier lips theyve swollowed it. found little spat out pink pills before i learnt that one...
post #12 of 15
I use the kitty floor method that Hissy suggested usually with great success. One addition is I take a towel and put it across the cat's chest and crossed over the shoulders while they are between my knees - just stops that paw from getting up there at the wrong time and redirecting my hand with the pill.

Something I have found helpful in getting the pill down is to put it in a bit of butter, It goes down the throat smoothly -especially if they hold it in the back of their throats :-) - and it helps to mask any inadvertent horrible taste in the pill. Some pills, however are very soft and start to dissolve in the butter so you need to take care of that since even butter won't mask something that tastes absolutely awful and is crumbling:-).

Kathryn
post #13 of 15
If you get desperate, the pill gun is a great tool to have. Hans needed pill-form antibiotics twice daily for two weeks after his surgery. I never had a problem with liquids, but he tried to bite my fingers off when it came to pills. It worked very fast, and he wasn't as stressed. I can pill my other two with no problems, but I know Hans would have sent me to the hospital if I had tried the same with him.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddertatten
my cat emily got extremely sick on friday night. luckily, i took her to the emergency vet. she had a fever of 104.4, and a severe urinary tract infection. she had to stay overnight. they said at one point her urine was wine-colored.

she is extremely stressed and nervous around anyone except me; so in addition to being worried sick about her health, i was concerned at how upset she might be by staying there.

i spoke to the vet the next day, who said he wanted to keep her since she was a "bear" to treat. i explained that i could pill her fine, and he let her come home.

she is doing much better- she had 5 days of an anti-inflammatory/pain med, and is also on an antibiotic tablet- 2 times a day for 2 weeks (about 8 days left). .

she has been ok with me pilling her since saturday evening, but tonight she really started fighting. i want to make sure to get the pill in properly, without stressing her unnecessarily, or doing it the wrong way and hurting her.

what i try to do is get behind her, open her mouth gently, place the pill on the back of the tongue, and hold her mouth closed, stroking her throat while her nose is turned upward. this is hard to do though, now that she is fighting me.

can someone direct me as to whether i am doing this correctly, or is there a place on this site (or another) where i can see a diagram as to how to pill her?

btw, she is on C/D now, probably for life (and only 3.5 years old now). it's better than having her sick, though- the time she was in the hospital were the worst 27 hours of my life. i was so worried she wasn't going to make it.

thanks for any help you can provide.
All I can say is..... PRAY!
post #15 of 15
You and Emily are in my prayers.
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