The easiest way to give a pill to a cat depends on your cat’s personality and preferences, but here’s a simple method that works for many cats:
- Use a Pill Dispenser or Your Fingers: Start by holding the pill between your thumb and index finger. If your cat is calm and cooperative, you can use your fingers to gently hold the pill.
- Position Your Cat: Place your cat on a flat surface, such as a table or countertop, with its back against your body. Alternatively, you can place your cat in your lap if they are comfortable and not too squirmy.
- Hold Your Cat’s Head: Gently hold your cat’s head with your non-dominant hand, using your thumb and middle finger to hold the upper jaw behind their canine teeth. Your middle finger should be under your chin.
- Tilt the Head Back: Gently tilt your cat’s head slightly upward. This will help create a gap between the upper and lower teeth, making it easier to insert the pill.
- Open the Mouth: Use your dominant hand to open your cat’s mouth by gently pressing on its lower jaw with your thumb. Use your middle finger to gently pull down on the lower jaw to further open the mouth.
- Place the Pill: Quickly place the pill as far back on your cat’s tongue as possible. Try to avoid placing the pill too close to the front of the mouth, as cats are skilled at spitting out objects from this area.
- Close the Mouth: Hold your cat’s mouth closed and gently stroke its throat to encourage swallowing. You can also gently blow on their nose to encourage swallowing.
- Praise and Treat: Once your cat has swallowed the pill, offer them a tasty treat or a small amount of wet food as a reward for their cooperation.
Patience is key. If your cat becomes stressed or resists, it’s important not to force the pill into their mouth. For some cats, methods like using pill pockets or asking your veterinarian for a liquid form of medication might be more effective.
If you’re finding it difficult to give your cat a pill, consider enlisting the help of a second person to assist with holding your cat or using a towel to gently restrain them.
Aids in helping to give a cat a pill
Administering pills to cats can be a challenge, but there are several aids and techniques you can use to make the process easier and less stressful for both you and your feline friend. Here are some options:
- Pocket Pills: As mentioned earlier, pill pockets are soft treats with a hollow center where you can hide the pill. They come in various flavors and can help mask the taste and smell of the medication.
- Pill Dispensers: Pill dispensers are devices designed to hold the pill securely and allow you to place it directly into your cat’s mouth. They often have a soft tip to prevent injury.
- Crushing Pills: Some medications can be crushed and mixed with a small amount of wet food. However, always check with your veterinarian before crushing a pill, as some medications should not be crushed due to altered efficacy or safety concerns.
- Pill Crusher: If crushing the pill is an option, a pill crusher can help you finely crush the medication, making it easier to mix with food.
- Liquid Medication: If your cat refuses pills altogether, ask your veterinarian if the medication is available in liquid form. Liquid medication can be mixed with wet food or administered using a syringe.
- Compound Medications: Some pharmacies offer compounding services that can turn medications into more palatable forms, such as flavored liquids, transdermal gels, or even treats.
- Manual Pilling: This involves manually placing the pill in your cat’s mouth and encouraging them to swallow. It can be tricky and requires practice. Hold the pill between your thumb and index finger, gently tilt your cat’s head back, and place the pill as far back on the tongue as possible. Then close their mouth and gently stroke their throat to encourage swallowing.
- Pet Piller: A pet piller is a tool designed to place the pill directly at the back of your cat’s throat. It’s less likely to be spat out compared to placing the pill in the front of the mouth.
- Hiding in Treats: Some cats may accept medications when hidden in their favorite treats, cheese, or other soft foods.
- Using a Towel: For particularly difficult cats, you can wrap your cat in a towel (burrito-style) to prevent scratching and make it easier to hold them while administering the pill.
Remember, regardless of the method you choose, it’s important to be gentle and patient with your cat. If you’re having trouble consult your veterinarian for guidance. They can recommend the best method for your cat’s specific needs and provide demonstrations if needed.
Cat relaxants to calm cat
Cat relaxants or calming aids can help ease the process by reducing your cat’s anxiety and making them more receptive to taking medication. Here are a few options to consider:
- Feliway Diffuser: Feliway is a synthetic feline facial pheromone that helps reduce stress and anxiety in cats. It comes in both spray and diffuser forms. Using a Feliway diffuser in the room where you’re administering the medication can create a calming environment for your cat.
- Zylkene: Zylkene is a natural supplement derived from milk protein. It has calming properties and can help reduce anxiety in cats. It comes in capsule form, which you can open and mix with your cat’s food.
- Composure Pro Chews: Composure chews are treats formulated with calming ingredients like L-theanine, which helps reduce anxiety without causing drowsiness. These chews can be given to your cat before pill administration.
- Rescue Remedy: Rescue Remedy is a blend of flower essences that is often used to reduce stress and anxiety in pets. It’s available as drops that can be added to your cat’s water or food.
- Prescription Medications: In some cases, your veterinarian might prescribe mild sedatives or anti-anxiety medications to use before administering a pill. These medications should be used under the guidance of a veterinarian and are typically reserved for more challenging cases.
Before using any calming aid or medication, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian. It’s important to start using the calming aid well in advance of administering the pill. Some products may take time to build up in your cat’s system and have an effect. Always follow the dosing instructions provided by your veterinarian or the product manufacturer.
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