Administering Tablets to a Cat

  Many owners find it difficult to give tablets to their cats. There are products that can be purchased to help with this. Firstly we would recommend trying to hide the tablet in yummy, tempting foods or in the pill putty that is designed to hide the tablet in and disguise it (we supply pill… Read more »

 

Many owners find it difficult to give tablets to their cats.

There are products that can be purchased to help with this. Firstly we would recommend trying to hide the tablet in yummy, tempting foods or in the pill putty that is designed to hide the tablet in and disguise it (we supply pill putty here at Cat’s Whiskers).

Some cats are clever at finding the tablet buried in food and spitting it out, or just eating the food around the tablet. If this is your cat, there are other options or products that may help.

A ‘pill-giver’ (available to order from us)

  • This is a little like a syringe with a plastic plunger (and no needle!).
  • The tablet will fit in the soft nozzle at the end of the pill-giver, and it is released by pushing down on the plunger (practice this before using it with your cat).
pill-giver

A ‘pill-splitter’ (available to order from us)

  • This small device makes it easy to divide tablets accurately into halves or quarters. This can be useful when your cat does not need a whole tablet or when giving two smaller pieces may be easier than giving one whole tablet.
  • Always check first to make sure the tablet is suitable for dividing – some tablets have a special coating, for example, and must be administered whole and not divided. If in doubt, always check with us.
pill-splitter

Gelatine capsules (available to order from us)

  • An empty gelatine capsule can be used to put two or more small pieces of tablet(s) inside so that they can be administered in one go.
  • This can be especially helpful if your cat needs more than one type of tablet (for example, you can put two small halves of two different tablets in one capsule), or if you break a larger tablet into smaller pieces (with a pill-splitter).

 A pill-crusher (available to order from us)

  • Always check with us that it is safe to crush a tablet and give it in this way.
  • Crushing a tablet to a fine powder may make it easier to mix in with a small amount of tasty food.
  • Some crushed tablets may be mixed with a little water/tuna water. This can then be sucked up into a syringe (without a needle) and dribbled gently into the side of your cat’s mouth – always check with us first before attempting this, it will not be suitable for all tablets.

 Administering a tablet by hand:

Gentle restraint: If your cat will not take the tablet voluntarily or in with food, you will need to give the tablet by hand. Gentle, safe restraint of your cat is important, and it helps enormously to have two people – one person to give the tablet and one to hold the cat. Restraining your cat with your hands:

  • Make sure your cat is on a stable non-slippery surface such as the floor; otherwise a firm table or work surface with a non-slip surface.
  • Allow your cat to sit upright, in front of you, but facing away from you.
  • Gently hold each front leg above the elbow with your hands pressed gently against the sides of your cat.
  • This helps to prevent your cat running off, keeps your cat sitting upright, and controls the front legs, paws and claws.

Have a look here at our video of how to administer a tablet https://www.cwvet.co.uk/care-wellbeing/

Alternatively, restrain your cat with a towel

  • This can be especially useful for very wriggly cats or if you don’t have a second person to help hold your cat.
  • Use a mid-sized soft towel – not too large or it will be unwieldy. Put the towel on the floor or a flat stable surface and then put the cat on top of the towel, facing away from you.
  • Bring up one side of the towel and then the other, around the cat’s neck so that your cat is thoroughly wrapped and cannot get its front legs out of the opening.
  • Hold your cat gently but firmly in the towel.
wrapping-cat-in-towel

 

If you have any questions, or would like further advice on how to give your cat a tablet, please give us a call and we will be more than happy to help you.