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How to get my fussy cat to take her pill (antibiotics)

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
My 6 mo old kitten (Senja) is rather fussy about eating foods she's not used to (she's used to dry catfood), especially if there is a pill crushed into it... My jasmine would LOVE to have it in Senja's place...
Senja has an absess / infection and needs to be on antibiotics for 10 days at least. The vet asked if I was able to get her to take a pill, and I said yes.... as long as I can crush it into something... But I think this meds has a strong taste, cause she's interested, but licks a tiny bit and doesn't want any more. So both yesterday and today I've had to force it into her. She's not too happy about that, of course, and it makes me feel so bad. Yesterday I blended it with liverworst, and today with tuna. I am unsure how much to blend it into; if I use a small amount, it will taste stronger. If a larger amount, then there is so much to be eaten. Today I've gotten only 1/3 of her dose into her yet.

Do you have any suggestions? The pill is about the size of an M&M, maybe a tiny bit smaller. Alot to force down her throat, and I don't want to traumatize her. Should I give it to her whole, or would it be better to get her a liquid one?
post #2 of 16
Thread Starter 
Sorry, forget that I even posted in the first place. I think I found the answer already... I mixed it into a medium amount of wet catfood, so that it's more diluted, and now she's eating. If she stops eating it after a while, being done with her meal or whatever, I'll just take away other foods and not let her have anything else until this is gone for the day. She seems to like it, so it's a matter of finishing it up, looks like... YEAH!!!!!! Phew!
Thank's anyway!
post #3 of 16
You can also put butter on the pill and put it down her throat, or cut the pill up and put it into an empty gel cap, so there's no taste.
post #4 of 16
I've given both liquid and pills. I have small fingers and usually don't have a problem with shoving the pills down the throat. But I find liquid easier in most cases.

If the vet won't switch to liquid instead (call them) then I'd do the liver/tuna thing and crush up good and mix it in well. I'd only give a teaspoon of the food. You can always force feed her the food by putting it by her gums. You might need 2 people to do this.

My Russian blue had to take pills for awhile and he got to the point where he'd almost take them from your hand and swallow it on his own - smart cat but rare!
post #5 of 16
Pilling cats is tons of fun.
If you do have to force it into her mouth, she'll sometimes spit it out when you're not looking.

One thing I've noticed is that if a cat has REALLY swallowed a pill, she will lick her nose when she is done. Don't know why.
post #6 of 16
If you go to this link and scroll down you will see How To Medicate Your Cat
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, we're down to forcing the pill directly down her throat. She will not finish her food and will rather not eat at all than eat that wet food right now. I tried to encourage her to eat it, but then she understood and took off. Hid behind the couch, and I felt that at 4:30 PM it really was on time for her to get today's dose. I tried getting her out from the coach, she ran to the other side where dd caught her, and she must have gotten scared, so she scrathed up dd pretty well. Drew blood from her forhead, next to her eye and her arm. I was able to get kitty after that, and placed her between my legs while pushing the pill down to the back of her mouth. In that process of trying to get it out of her mouth, she bit me real hard and drew blood from me as well. Poor cat, she's getting panicy easily, and this is not fun for her or for us. Dd is doing real well, realizing that the cat was in a panic. She feels sorry for her. We'll all be alright, but I'm gonna have to just make her take it in one go from now on. Hiding it in food is not gonna work with her. She's too picky and will only take a lick or two and that's it. The vet is a good distance away, otherwise I'd go and get her the liquid. But now one pill is wasted, so I don't know if I'm gonna need to get her a new pill anyway.

I feel sorry for my cat who doesn't understand much of this, and I'm starting to realize she's sicker than I first had thought. She isn't quite herself these days, and though other people probably wouldn't realize she was different, I do. And knowing cats hide their pain and illness well, she can't be feeling good. So the more important that this med. is not delayed.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
I did read your suggestions and did also read the page on that link. Thank you!
post #9 of 16
I use the kneeling method with Polly; she has to take amytriptiline daily. It takes practice, but once you get good at it, it's really not traumatic for the cat. Give her treats and praise when she takes her pill, and try to be as quick as you can.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
So how do you put the pill in there without being bitten? I don't mind being bitten a little bit, but I don't like getting puncture woonds on both sides of my finger...... Do you pin the cat's head down / hold it still, or do you give her a certain freedom to move alittle bit?
The pill is actually a little bit larger than an M&M, now that I looked at it again.
And do you pop it in and wait, or do you hold it still in the back of the throat until it's down?
post #11 of 16
Originally Posted by HappyViking
The pill is actually a little bit larger than an M&M, now that I looked at it again.
have you tried pill pockets? they are a mushy putty type consistency thing that goes around a section of the pill and you feed it to the cat. Mine liked the pocket itself and thought it was a treat so she ate a whole pill cut into 3-4 sections that way. I had tried pulverizing it on wet food and it was too bitter but the pill pockets worked just fine.

I you lived here I would give you a few from the fridge. Good luck, she NEEDs her medicine.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
What a challenge this has been! I tried to put the pill into her mouth, but really got nervous about getting bitten again, so I didn't hold it still in the back of her mouth. She struggled getting it out ouf her mouth again, and it eventually dissolved and mixed in with her saliva. She had this white foam around her mouth, frantically trying to spit it out. She shook some of it out, and of course it landed on walls and carpets.

The next day I crushed it up, tried putting it into sticky vitamin paste and I smeared it onto her "lips", so that she had to lick it up in order to get clean. She eventually got it in her, but it took a good while and the stuff was so thick that it took her forever to get it all off.
Today I put the crushed up pill into whipped cream, because it's thinner. That went much better. I could tell she hated the taste, meowing and crying to get away from it. But the cream made it thin enough that it got licked off easily, so we got it in her pretty quickly. I decided to taste a tiny tiny amount of it myself, wondering just how bad it was. IT WAS HORRIBLE!!!!! It was incredibly bitter, just nasty! The sweetness and milky taste of the cream couldn't be detected at all. Just bitter bitter bitter! Poor cat, this hasn't been much fun for her! I tried giving her a treat afterward, but she would have nothing to do with it.

The happy news is that this absess is really going down! Yahoooooo!!! It is helping, she's getting better!
post #13 of 16
Don't know if this will help, but I pill 2 cats daily & it seems to work for me. They are both to smart to fall for the old "pill-in-the-food" trick, so they get it whole. (I'm right handed, so this is how I do it) Use your left hand & wrap it around the cats head from behind, thumb on the right jaw, & put your 1st or 2nd finger on the left jaw. Push both fingers, at the same time, into the corners of your kitty's mouth, which will force her to open up. Have that pill ready to go! Try to do this part really quickly---put the pill as far back on her tongue as you can, & push it with one finger (I use my thumb) as far as you can, down into her throat. Since your thumb is shorter, it seems as if the cat get a good bite on it while it's in her mouth. Pull your thumb out, put your fingers around the bottom of her face so she can't open her mouth again, and blow in her face. You may have to do it several times; it makes them jerk their head a little & they usually swallow at the same time. Honestly, it just takes a little practice, and if your kitty won't co-operate the first time let her be & try again later after she's had a chance to settle down. Good luck!
post #14 of 16
Here's how I do it, step by step:

1) Grab cat. Kneel on the floor and put the cat inbetween legs. Use legs to wedge cat, so she can't move. Be firm but gentle.

2) Grab pill in between thumb and forefinger of right hand. Use left hand (I'm right handed) to tip head up. (When you tip a cats head up, it disengages the jaw muscle, so the mouth can be opened.) Use right hand middle finger to open mouth. I wedge my fingers into her mouth and grab right behind the canine teeth (big pointy teeth). The other teeth aren't that sharp so it doesn't hurt. Then I put the pill on the back of her tounge. I stick my thumb and first finger into her mouth, so I can actually set the pill on the tounge. This works better than just tossing it into the mouth. Remeber, you're holding the mouth open, so she can't bite.

3) Use right hand to hold mouth closed and head up until Kitty swallows. You can rub under her chin or blow in her face to get her to swallow.

If she can sense that you are scared and nervous about giving her the pill, then she will be scared and nervous about recieving it. Try your best to approach her confidently. Pick her up firmly, but gently. Show her who's boss. And keep practicing.
post #15 of 16
The easy cheese approach works wonderfully in this house!
post #16 of 16
So how do you put the pill in there without being bitten? I don't mind being bitten a little bit, but I don't like getting puncture woonds on both sides of my finger...... Do you pin the cat's head down / hold it still, or do you give her a certain freedom to move alittle bit?
Maybe you could have one of the vet techs show you how to do it?
We usually medicate on a table with the left forearm holding the cats body down (it is the pressing down part that keeps them still) snugly against your body, and hold the upper muzzle with the fingers of the same (left) hand.
Then you have a free right hand- we use the middle finger of that hand to press down on the lower incisors to hold the mouth open, the thumb and forefinger to pop the pill, and the index finger again to make sure it goes down.

It sounds complicated- hence my suggestion that you have someone physically show you.
I feel it is important to learn to do it swiftly, gently, and with a minimum of upset to the cat. On the other hand you have to get it done- each time the cat gets away it learns that it can get away.
I would prefer that they don't learn that

Also I try and schedule meds for right when they wake up from a nap. I have gone as far as to keep the pills by my bed so I can nail 'em first thing before they even wake up completely.

And treat them immediately afterwards- with something good. This is all I ever use tuna for.
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