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Best ways to make a cat swallow antibiotics?

(19 Posts)
574ejones Wed 02-Dec-15 17:16:28

My cat has had some teeth and an abscess removed and now needs antibiotics. It's a long time since I tried to get a cat to take his meds. Please can you share your best tips for making this as painless (for me and him) as possible?

claraschu Wed 02-Dec-15 17:22:45

The trick is to be quick, unhesitating, and to push the pill right down his throat in one quick motion.

I put the cat on my lap, have the pill held on the end of my right index finger. With my left hand I hold his mouth open and with my right index finger I put the pill past his tongue right down into his throat. The cat hardly notices because it takes 1 second. I have done this to dozens of cats over the years, in fact I often think it is my one truly valuable skill.

The main thing is not to hesitate and to be very quick so that the cat doesn't have a chance to start protesting.

Simply putting the pill into the cat's mouth doesn't work; you have to put it down the throat.

Good luck- it's surprisingly easy actually...

BrennieGirl Wed 02-Dec-15 17:23:40

I would crush the tab and mix it with a tiny bit of tuna. Then give him another small bit of tuna to start him off, then add the medicated tuna to his bowl. And if he eats it, give him some more.

Don't give the tuna all in one go, as the buggers have a way of eating around the nasty bit and leaving it.

villainousbroodmare Wed 02-Dec-15 17:26:29

Option 1:
Hide the pill in a blob of liver pate or cream cheese.
Option 2:
Take a thin bath towel and a capable assistant. Put the cat on a table. Drop the towel over him from the neck back iykwim. Swiftly bundle him into a tight cat burrito with just his head out. Get your assistant to hold the burrito in two firm hands. Use your left hand with finger and thumb in a pincer action on the corners of the mouth and gently pinch to open the mouth. Drop the pill in with the other hand, ideally without placing your finger inside the mouth. Close the mouth and watch for a swallow. Follow with above treat if cat in the mood for it.
Option 3:
If you think you may struggle, go back to your vet and ask for a long-acting antibiotic injection which will obviate the need for antibiotics and is not very much more expensive.

574ejones Wed 02-Dec-15 17:27:11

Thanks for the tips. I have to give him 1 1/2 pills each time, so I may try the throat technique first, then use the tuna as my back up plan.

chemenger Wed 02-Dec-15 17:28:50

Long lasting injection. Not helpful, I know but both my cats are difficult to pill (according to the vet, never mind me) and having the injections has saved a massive amount of stress for cats and humans. I have had cats who you could simply offer the pill to and they would eat it, others could easily be fooled with cheese or ham. Pill Pockets (like Dreamies but designed to have pills hidden in them) are another option. You can get away with embedding the pill in one of those treat sticks as well. This is the time when you wish you had chosen a dog.

GreenSand Wed 02-Dec-15 17:36:53

Yep, bury in a treat stick, and mix up dosed and plain lumps of treat stick.

Lots of suggestions here grin

villainousbroodmare Wed 02-Dec-15 17:40:26

It's not worth a fight. If you are battling and you or the cat are getting upset, go back and get a long-acting shot. They should not charge you an additional consult fee. One and a half tabs is a pain too confused

FishOn Wed 02-Dec-15 17:53:16

DH holds cat and opens their mouth - I drop pill in followed by a teeny squirt of water from a pipette - they can't help but swallow

ClaraM Wed 02-Dec-15 17:57:22

Crush up pills and mix with a small blob of butter. Smear on the cat's lips and they have no choice but to lick it off! This works for me on a daily basis for my cat who has to take steroids.

Agree though that a long-acting AB shot is by far the easiest option.

GRW Wed 02-Dec-15 18:24:34

My 18 year old cat has been on twice daily tablets for over a year for an over active thyroid gland. She takes them squashed into a small piece of cheese. They are small so usually go down easily.

Holstein Wed 02-Dec-15 18:28:35

My Mil prepares smoked fish for hers, then wodges the tablet inside and hand feeds the cat. Gets a little expensive if its a long course though.

574ejones Wed 02-Dec-15 19:23:36

Brilliant. Really appreciate all the suggestions. First lot is due in the morning so will report back then.

574ejones Thu 03-Dec-15 17:33:14

So, I went for the path of least resistance and mixed it in with his wet food. As he normally only has dry, he can't tell its "contaminated". But at least I have lots of back up options if he starts to get suspicious. Thank you.

villainousbroodmare Thu 03-Dec-15 17:36:04

Well done grin

TendonQueen Thu 03-Dec-15 17:37:20

The crushing up and mixing with tuna always works for me. It's strongly flavoured enough to disguise the pill. Only a small amount though so they don't get bored and leave any.

Oldraver Fri 04-Dec-15 23:01:38

We were told to put it in a piece of cheese but we used his Hi-Life treats (they are pieces of dried chicken. I moistened it a bit slit it in half and shoved the tablet in between. He knocked the first bit on the floor but then ate it..though I think that was a fluke grin

This is what he thought of the booklet the vet gave us

Oldraver Fri 04-Dec-15 23:02:32


bertsdinner Sun 06-Dec-15 17:30:30

I use a bit of cheese. Cat loves cheese and is on meds at the moment, I cut the tablet up and squash it into a bit of cheddar, he wolfs it down.
The vet administered a tablet with what looked like a syringe, just stuck it down the cats throat. I noticed them for sale in the vets, think they're called Buster. Its like a giant pea shooter to force the pill down them so they cant do that old feline favourite of spitting it out.
Mine hated it though, so we will stick with the cheese.

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