How to give a cat a pill.
By Dr. Linda
Deciding to go on vacation starts with me arranging cat care, dog care, horse care and house care. One of the extra chores added to cat care this year was giving our cat, Oliver, his medication. Oliver has lymphoma and is on medication to temporarily control the problem. He requires a pill every day.
I have no problem opening a cat’s mouth and poking a pill down the throat but I didn’t want Ollie to have a pill forced down his throat every day of his last days so I have been using Pill Pockets to give him his medication. These are little cylinder shaped soft treats for cats. A pill can be placed into the cylinder and then the treat can be molded into a little ball and the cat eats the treat without knowing there is a pill inside. To make sure Ollie didn’t detect the pill I would give him 1 or 2 treats without a pill, then the pill loaded treat and then a few more empty pill pockets. This was successful and so easy that my 10 year old daughter assumed the task of giving Ollie his daily medication.
The cat care team was shown the technique and off we went for a two week vacation.
This is a summary of the cat care team’s email updates.
Day 3: Ollie was no longer eating his pill pockets. What should they do? I suggested giving the pill in vanilla yogurt which he loves.
Day 5: The yogurt worked until today. I suggested coating the pill in cream cheese.
Day 6: Ollie doesn’t like cream cheese. The cat care team had found a veterinary technician that was available to give the pill but she was only available for the next 3 days.
Day 9: Last day of the professional help. I suggested canned cat food. The cat care team went shopping.
Day 10: canned food working well.
Day 11: Ollie was no longer eating the canned food so the team tried a different flavour and had success.
Day14: Ollie ate his pill in canned food every day as long as the flavour changed.
Lessons learned:
1. Cats are super tasters. Once a food is associated with the taste or smell of medication it is on the never eat again list so be creative with pill disguises.
2. If you might need a pet sitter, be nice to everyone and make sure there are always a few friends who owe you a big favour. (Thanks Janet)
3. Our website and You Tube have lots of tips on giving cats medication.
From our website: http://nwvethospital.com/videos/giving-your-cat-a-pill/
Useful Tips From You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZhFKHxnG4Q
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtZ-8YT-etM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMs0HoM_COM

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