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Cunning cats and huge pills - help!

40 replies

Brangelina · 28/03/2011 17:20

My cat has been prescribed these mammoth pills to help manage his fatty liver disease. I'm not kidding when I say my 5yo (human) child would have trouble swallowing them, they are about the right size for a small horse. Coupled with that I have the fussiest and stroppiest cat on earth so have to use all sorts of subterfuge to get him to ingest any medicine at all, including his (thankfully petite) thyroid pill.

How on earth do I administer this monster tablet? The biggest joke is that it is supposed to be ingested an hour from mealtimes, so not with food. So far I have tried:

  • crushing and mixing with favourite food (sod the recommendations). No joy there, he just ate around the "contaminated" bit
  • crushing and mixing with water and syringing it in his mouth. Unfortunately the quantity of crushed pill is such that a lot of water is needed and my hulking puma cat doesn't sit still nicely while you squirt 100cc of water in. Plus he spits it out and I get most of it in my hair and on the kitchen walls.
  • crushing and mixing with philadelphia - moderate success here, only the quantity of cream cheese required to absorb all the powder amounts to the size of a small snowman and thus difficult to get all on his paw. I have tried breaking it up into smaller "snowballs" but after the first one cat is suspicious and won't go anywhere near.
  • marmite - ditto above, the powder made the marmite non sticky and I ended up with a huge hairy brown ball instead of a smear on his paw.

Any other suggestions for making a paste?Seeing as he won't ingest it willingly the only solution is the paw route. It needs to be super sticky, non toxic and not stain my washing (he goes under my drier and tries to flick the offending gloop off his paw and onto my clean clothes).

The vet has been no use, plus she knows what he's like so what was she thinking?????
OP posts:
clayre · 28/03/2011 17:23

Spring water from a tuna in? Just mixed with tuna? I'm out of ideas and don't envy you!

GentleOtter · 28/03/2011 17:25

Can you ask for a liquid version or ask another vet?

It seems a pity to break the tablet into four and completely stress the cat out dosing it several times at once.

Or try the syringe method again but wrap the cat firmly in a towel and hold it firmly under your armpit.

ambercat · 28/03/2011 17:32

wrap cheddar around it (break it up a bit) works for my cats, they love cheese.

catinthehat2 · 28/03/2011 17:41

THis works for 2 people, be confident, he is a kitty cat not a panther Shock

break pill into chunks that would go down his neck without choking him.

Person A gets cat on table, stnds at tail end and leans over animal holding his front legs where they bend forward. This stops slashing/clawing, and holds the beast in one place, immobile

Person B holds cat's head, palm over eyes, and turns it to face the ceiling. THe mouth opens automatically, and it's very hard to bring the jaws together to bite.

B takes the tablet, and pushes it to the back of the cat's mouth. past the back of the tongue so he can't honk it back up. Leave it there for a second as his reflexes try to gollop it down. then hold his jaws together, turning his head doen to normal position, and wait for a bit till tablet has gone.

YOu can with practice do this vv quickly, and once he realises it's painless and can't taste the tab (as it's gone past his taste buds) after a while you only need person B.

Brangelina · 28/03/2011 18:30

Thanks Catinthehat, I might try that tonight, if DP is willing. Trouble is DP thinks he has finally "made friends" with the cat, after many years of alpha male rivalry, so he may no want to jeopardise his new "friendship" (amazing what a little bit of feline flattery while I was away can do, eh?).

There is another version, it is actually a paste. However it is something like 2cm per kg of bodyweight and cat weighs 6kg (not fat anymore, just a large breed), so I'd have to find enough paw to spread 12cm on every day and lots of paste means lots of flicking opportunities. Vet also said it was less effective. Also, on a more practical note I've just spent ? 50 on the massive pills and I'm a bit loath to give up the fight so easily.

OP posts:
Brangelina · 28/03/2011 18:32

Cat is now looking at me with that knowing look, he's figured what I'm planning for tonight.

OP posts:
catinthehat2 · 28/03/2011 19:20

Look, you are the mum, so in cat land that means you are automatically the boss and you can throw your weight around, even if pantherboy is the lardy one.

tell the chaps what is going to happen and that they have to suck it up

edam · 28/03/2011 19:24

use butter instead of philly?

onesandwichshort · 28/03/2011 19:36

Ages ago, I got some rather good things (I cannot find the word for them as I'm not sure it even exists) from the vets; like meat plasticine to wrap round the pill. The cat loved them so much that she was prepared to eat pill in order to get these. Perhaps if you split the pill and put them in these?

We do the routine as described above for current cat's cystitis medicine, btu she's quite docile. But I would add, stroke throat to make cat swallow - they get the picture quite easily and store the pill to spit out as soon as you let go...

PlentyOfPrimroses · 28/03/2011 19:40

no useful advice but this might cheer you up a bit Grin

knockinonyerdoor · 28/03/2011 19:56

We found squeezy cheese was the best pill-disguiser. The stuff you get in a tube in the deli aisle. It comes in prawn flavour too Grin

Our cat can't get enough of it. Even with vile-tasting pill powder mixed in.

Brangelina · 28/03/2011 20:20

Exactly! He is the king of hiding it under his tongue and spitting out behind my pillow. When we moved house we found a colony of fluff encrusted pills behind the headboard.

Love the idea of the meat plasticine, will ask the vet though I don't hold out much hope it still exists. In the meantime I'll try some of that tuna paté in a tube, don't know why I didn't think of it before. Thanks Knockin. I would try the cheese one but his majesty has very refined taste in cheeses and will only eat certain types. Tuna should go down well though.

Am feeling encouraged that we might have found a solution..... perhaps I'm too optimistic.

Love those instructions Plenty, she must have met my cat.

He is lovely really, just very averse to any pill popping Smile

OP posts:
LunaticFringe · 28/03/2011 20:33

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SeaShellsHasSandInHerShoes · 28/03/2011 20:36

Catinthehat's method is how vets do it-ask your vet for a pill popper to keep your fingers out of reach of teeth!!

AprilRose · 28/03/2011 20:42

I used to have to kneel on the floor, practically straddling my cat (she was quite a large breed; practically a small dog!) so that she couldn't squirm or scratch, use my left hand underneath her head, prising her jaws open, then throwing the pill in to the back of her throat, and close her mouth with the right hand, then stroke her throat and keep her pinned for a little while until sure she'd swallowed it.

Not the gentlest route, but easy enough to be done by one person and if done fearlessly it's faster and less stressful than the more softly softly route... She forgave me soon enough if there was a nice treat afterwards!

SecretNutellaFix · 28/03/2011 20:55

We're lucky to have co-operative cats and we use a 2 pronged guerilla attack which usually results in DH being scratched
Is there any way you could syringe the paste form into him?

edam · 28/03/2011 21:05

Plenty, am chortling at that link - so true!

MadamDeathstare · 28/03/2011 21:09

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FourFortyFour · 28/03/2011 21:11

My cat has just been put on massive tablets. I talk to her, stroke her head, open her mouth and drop the tablet down her throat. Close her mouth, rub under her chin so she has to swallow and tell her she is a good girl. Voila!

catinthehat2 · 28/03/2011 21:26

444, my cats have asked me to tell your cat that "she is a disgrace. Where are the slashing claws, the raking teeth, the dragon paws & crocodile paws?

good girl? good girl? does she think she's a DOG?????"

are you sure she's not crapping in your wardrobe for quiet revenge?

FourFortyFour · 28/03/2011 21:29


scaryteacher · 28/03/2011 21:38

I used to find that copious quantities of double cream helped. After my late girlie had taken her pills she used to sit by the fridge and squawk until cream was provided.

Brangelina · 28/03/2011 21:51

Well, just tried the grab - trap - down the throat method. DP was crap, didn't hold his paws properly and a deathclaw managed to wiggle its way free and puncture my palm. I held firm and tried to shove the pill in amongst much thrashing about of head, growling and spitting, but then DP got scared (said he didn't but we know better!) and let go! ShockAngry. I knew I should have done it by myself. Of course pussy has now made himself scarce and is probably hiding in the dark recesses of DD's room. I'm not sure he actually swallowed the tablet fragment, I suspect I'll find it in a couple of weeks spat out in the Polly Pocket box or somewhere.

Squeezy tuna paté tomorrow I think! Then if that fails I'll try the tab pockets - will need to get them imported as not in the UK.

At least all this energy means he is still well.

OP posts:
Brangelina · 28/03/2011 21:53

Tried cream, butter, ricotta etc. He just licks the uncontaminated outside and leaves the pill/powder ridden core.Sad

OP posts:
catinthehat2 · 28/03/2011 21:54

sounds exactly like my DH Angry

what is SO DIFFICULT about holding a cat's tiny furry elbows?

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