Mon-Fri: 8:00am to 6:30pm
Sat: 9:00am to 12 Noon
Tabletting your cat
The direct approach:
- Have an assistant hold the cat in a sitting (sphinx) position. It may be necessary to restrain the front feet as well. Be gentle as cats will struggle, sometimes violently, against excessive force.
- Form a ‘3-finger hold’ with your thumb on one corner of the mouth, your index finger on the other, and your remaining finger/s behind the cat’s head. This will give good control of the head.
- Pinch the tablet between the thumb and index finger of your other hand, and with the second finger of that hand gently open the cat’s lower jaw by pulling down on the bottom teeth.
- Using your index finger, push the tablet as far back as possible, over the base of the tongue. Close the mouth and, from the outside, press/rub your finger upwards firmly between the lower jaws, effectively raising the tongue against the roof of the mouth and encouraging the cat to swallow. Easy!
NB. You might want to use a Pill-Popper to save your fingers. These can be bought at the clinic.
- Hide tablet in food: Choose your cats favourite food, preferably something flavoursome that smells strongly to mask the taste and odour of the tablet. Cooked chicken, salmon, sardines, etc. Preferably break the tablet rather than powdering it. Powdered tablets are easier to taste and might make the cat suspicious. Maybe mix some cat biscuits in with the food so that the cat doesn’t easily detect the tablet based on texture, much as we might detect a fish bone and remove it from our meal.
- The Shell Game: Hide the tablet in your cats favourite treat. Have several treats on hand, but only one is laced with the tablet. Present the first treat so your cat eats it, then repeat this one or two times before presenting the treat containing the tablet. Go on giving another couple of treats so your cat doesn’t become suspicious of the treats themselves if it tastes something odd in the last one it was given. Keep treats as small as possible to encourage swallowing without excessive chewing.
- Paste: Crush and powder the tablet. Mix the powder in a small amount of something sticky and flavoursome to form a paste. Vegemite, marmite, honey are good choices. Place the paste on your finger and ideally smear it inside the cats lip, along its teeth so it will swallow it. Alternately smear the paste on the upper lip where the tongue will collect it. As a last resort, smear the paste on the foot so the cat licks it off. This technique is not ideal but it employs the cat’s instinct for cleanliness.
- Ask a Professional: If it is a short course of medication then the vet or nurse can give the tablet if you can’t, though often we employ injections so you don’t need to bring the cat in every day. There is a cost for this service, and obviously it wouldn’t be useful on a long-term basis.
- Get a Dog: They will eat anything!
IMPORTANT. The medication has been prescribed for a reason. It is essential your cat gets the full course. If you are struggling, or missing doses, the drugs will not work. If you are having any problems PLEASE contact your vet about alternate treatments or routes of administration.