My feed

to access all these features

Join our community of cat lovers on the Mumsnet Cat forum for kitten advice and help with cat behaviour.

The litter tray

Giving the cat a pill: in just 100 easy steps...

35 replies

Corygal · 27/01/2014 22:59

Mr Cory, the light of my life, has been diagnosed with a hyperactive thyroid. He is entirely hyperactive at the moment as it happens, whizzing round at 3am, etc. How in hell do I get his thyroid pills down him?

Last time worming took 5 hours and about a pint of blood (mine). Bless nature's most efficient ruthless killer, little tabby munchkin that he is, I now is the time for the wisdom of MN.

OP posts:
CrazyHmissesHerbie · 27/01/2014 23:01

Can you hide it in a peice of meat or cheese ?

Or the way I do it is I get some poor unsuspecting soul to hold the cat while I use one of the tablet things to shove down their throat in the nicest way possible

Wolfiefan · 27/01/2014 23:03

Wrap cat in towel.
Wedge cat between knees. (Ensure paws can't get you!)
Tip head right back.
Lever bottom jaw open.
Throw pill to back of throat.
Use pill giver to squirt a tiny bit of water after pill.
Wait for swallow. (Rub throat or tickle nose!)
Open mouth to check it has gone.

Wash blood off owner and call vet to ask about operation! Grin

Sheldonswhiteboard · 27/01/2014 23:05

Look up pill popper for cats on Amazon. Also wormer, my cats hate pills so I use the back of the neck liquid treatment lasts for 3 months.

Steffanoid · 27/01/2014 23:10

straddle unsuspecting cat,
hand under jaw push thumb and first finger in behind teeth to open mouth and avoid biting,
throw pill in and clamp mouth shut and up rubbing throat untill you hear the swallow, also confidence and cockiness helps as they can smell fear....

NatashaGurdin · 27/01/2014 23:16

I think it depends on the cat but when I give one of mine her thyroid and kidney insuffiency tablets, I wait until she has settled somewhere, gently but firmly hold her 'snout' (for want of a better word as cats don't really have snouts!) and press to open her jaws, putting the tablets at the back of her throat, holding her mouth closed until she has swallowed them. I actually do the tablets one at a time now but in quick succession!

I tried everything, crushing them in her food, hiding them in food she liked, this is the only method that ensures she takes them.

This is a cat who hates being picked up so I have to wait until she lays down before attempting medication delivery!

2kidsintow · 27/01/2014 23:18

Our cat loves taking his tablets.

I buy those cheap and nasty (to me) little value jars of salmon paste/crab paste/chicken paste from asda or tesco etc. A lump of that is solid enough that he tries to eat it rather than just lick it, and sticky enough that the tablet sticks to the meat and gets eaten in one go.

Other ways include hiding in a smidge of butter (sometimes wrapped in some thin ham), in pate, in a slice of sausage.

He thinks all his birthdays have come at once since being diagnosed with thyroid and having to take a tablet 2 times a day. We shake his tablet bottle and he comes running.

There's no way I'd want to try and pin him down to drop a tablet down his neck. He usually manages to spit them out after we are sure he's swallowed them. And it would distress the old codger.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter · 27/01/2014 23:18

Hi corygal - poor mr cory

What are the tablets like? Are they abit powdery? I've gave medicine before by crushing them up (didn't have a pestle and mortar but I bet it'll bloody help) and mixing well into usual wet food. The operative word being WELL. As opposed to kinda-well-but-not-well-enough that cat can see/smell it and eat round the tiny chunks (this is where the pestle and mortar will come into it's own).

HarrietSchulenberg · 27/01/2014 23:25

I used to wishfully google "Kevlar Gloves" every time the Schulenberg feline required pill popping. Had to make do with a very thick bath towel and a good supply of plasters to patch up the human damage afterwards.

In his last weeks he had to have 1/8th of a tablet every day. 1 sodding 8th!! Even when he was ill, old and weak he still hid the sliver under his tongue and shoved it out the minute I let go of him.

17leftfeet · 27/01/2014 23:30

I have a weird cat

I make a big fuss of calling him using the same voice I use when I've got cat crack dreamies
I just put them on the counter and he eats them

Took me a week of wrestling with him to discover this though!

cozietoesie · 27/01/2014 23:40

Truly weird - but interesting nonetheless. Maybe we've all been on the wrong tack!

Lonecatwithkitten · 28/01/2014 07:48

Some of the thyroid meds must not be crushed.
However, what has worked for me is inside cheese, inside pieces of sausage, covered in primula, inside prawns and finally inside a cheesy wotsit.
Elderly cat having 5 tablets a day.

cozietoesie · 28/01/2014 09:21

5?? You're made of stern stuff, Lone. I'd have given up on that.

LoofahVanDross · 28/01/2014 09:24

It is a nightmare. Mine are only on wormers and it takes up to 3 weeks to get it down their necks. In, and out, on the floor, pick up soggy tablet back in, rub throat, think it is gone, walks away and spits in on floor in disgust! Tablet then put in soft food, eats everything, tablet still there. Crush into food, turns nose up and saunters off! Repeat daily! Grin

growltigersontheloose · 28/01/2014 09:34

We have three cats. One will eat anything if you put it in a fishstick. Second will placidly lick it off your hand if you offer it like a treat. Third will have your eyes at the first suggestion of a tablet, and we have to go through the whole rigmarole of wrapping cat in towel, tickling nose, retrieve tablet from under table, retrieve cat from behind sofa and repeat. Good luck!

cozietoesie · 28/01/2014 09:42


Go for spot on wormer. No sense in fighting a battle you don't have to.

(Profender is the one that currently does both round and tapeworms if I recall although don't stock up on too many of the pipettes. Lone has heard rumours - at one of her professional 'things' I guess - of a 'golden bullet' spot on coming out later this year that will cover everything. (Fleas, worms and ticks.))

LoofahVanDross · 28/01/2014 11:11

cozie - thanks, I thought my vet led me to believe I needed a tablet as well as the back of the neck stuff? Maybe there is a lone worm that back of the neck doesn't cover? I've never really studied it all just gone to the vet and bought whatever they sell me //fool Grin

cozietoesie · 28/01/2014 11:30

As far as I know, Profender does the main types of worms - although you'll still need a separate flea etc spot on at the moment. (With a shortish gap between the treatments to avoid chemical overload.) Maybe your vet doesn't automatically offer it for some reason but that's no reason not to ask for it - or to get a vet prescription and order online.

Lancelottie · 28/01/2014 11:33

Accidentally spill the buggers on the floor when wrestling patent cat/child/lanceproof lid.

Bloody cat will rush over and try to scoff thirty-six of them.

LoofahVanDross · 28/01/2014 11:34

thanks will look into it.

MyBachisworsethanmybite · 28/01/2014 11:44

With one of mine the following works:

  • conceal tablet in hand
  • stroke cat until he is purring and relaxed
  • cuddle cat under arm
  • open cat's mouth with one hand and shove tablet in with the other

    With the other, it's a nightmare. His record for spitting tablets out is 24 times (there wasn't much left of the tablet by that point). Basically just have to shove it down him and hold his mouth shut til he almost suffocates and has to swallow. It's not fun for either of us.
GinOnTwoWheels · 28/01/2014 11:58

I got lessons on pill popping from the vet when one of mine had an overactive thyroid.

One of their top tips, if the cramming between thighs doesn't work, was to lift the cat onto a table, as it alters the balance of power between you and them, and they are more likely to sit still. They will also show you how to hold their head and manipulate jaw to pop tablet in.

I would be careful about hiding it in food unless you know that they are eating it. I have found lots of tablets spat out from one of my other cats, by doing this.

I've found its hard to tell which cats will take tablets and which won't.

Admittedly I have lots of experience in this area, being the local doss house for lots of cats but I've had a few that have needed medication long term, and we have got to the 'almost bearable' stage with it.

However I have no chance with the stray who eats with us that I have occasionally tried to worm and then one of my own, that despite being tiny, 17 YO and quite frail looking, he resists tablet giving so strongly that it always ends in failure and me looking like a self harmer.

However, if you give them a little treat afterwards, it teaches them that having a tablet is not such a bad thing after all. I gave mine a little bit of cream cheese after each tablet, but things like tuna, fish paste, or pate also work well.

Grandmaw · 29/01/2014 10:28

My cat is on one thyroid tablet a day. I used to hate trying to get him to take a pill but now it is so easy. I buy the cat treats which are like soft sticks of whatever. I cut an inch long piece off, make a slit in it, and put the pill in, moulding the treat around it. I call 'treat' and he comes running.
Sometimes he does manage to eat the treat and spit out the pill, so I have to do the whole thing over again, but this doesn't happen very often.

nipersvest · 29/01/2014 10:32

we've been through the pill side of thyroid treatment, and did exactly what grandmaw posted, was just about to post the same thing! those stick cat treats were magic for us with pill popping. we've given up on the tablets now as both kinds made him vomit after a few weeks.

we're now doing the hills y/d diet and its going ok, he's eating it fine and his thyroid levels are under control.

londonchick · 29/01/2014 18:01

We have to give our cat thyroid tablets. Prawn flavoured Primula with the tablet it. She loves it!! She licks the whole thing up every time.

BadgersRetreat · 30/01/2014 19:21

a teeny squirt of water from a pipette along with the pill is the only way we can get a pill into BadgerCat.

She ONLY eats dry biscuits so none of the treat options work (we tried)

Top Tip - when they lick their nose you know they've swallowed Grin

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.