Cat Refusing Medication: the bad thing about giving pills to a cat is the fact that the poor cat doesn’t realize that it is all done for his/her own good. We loving, caring, owners suddenly (in our cat’s eyes) turn into evil representatives forcing all sorts of sour and bulky pills down their throat without mercy.
However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be such a big ordeal.
This is especially fundamental in those cats with chronic conditions that require continuous pilling even throughout their lifetimes. Going through such a hassle every day can perfectly ruin one of the best owner- cat relationships and turn it into mistrust and hate.
When giving pills to a cat there are basically three options:
The most common option is just forcing the pill down. This is usually an accepted method if you have a pretty mellow cat and have to only administer pills for a short time. You will need to arm yourself with a towel, the pill and lots of patience if your cat is particularly fractious.
The first step is to wrap kitty in a towel. Take his/her muzzle with one hand and direct the cat’s face vertically towards the ceiling. This should cause the cat’s mouth to open up slightly. Then with the other hand, use one finger to lower the bottom jaw and push the pill quickly and firmly as back as possible. Massage the cat’s neck to encourage swallowing. Check to make sure the pill has gone down before releasing him/her as cats are masters in tricking owners and spitting the pill out upon release. If this method does not seem to work well, try to invest in a pill popper. Most vet offices sell these. It’s a sort of syringe that will pop the pill quickly and effectively down the cat’s throat.
Research for a compounding pharmacy in your area. More and more compounding pharmacies specialize in turning the most sour, bitter pills into mouth watering liquids or chew-ables. They may add chicken or fish flavor and make pilling feel more like a reward. This is a great solution for those owners that have to administer pills on a regular basis, however the medication may turn up being more costly.
If the medication can be given with food- read the label carefully or ask the vet- hide the pill inside a “meatball” of canned food. Roll some canned food into a meatball and insert the pill in the middle. Some cats may just gulp it down with no effort. Others though, usually the most finicky, may still be able to sense the pill or will chew and spit the pill out. Some owners crush the pills and mix them into their canned food. Another option are Pill pockets, a special yummy treat available at vet offices and major pet store retailers with a hollow end where to insert the pill.
Whichever option works the best, it will teach our beloved cats that medicating does not have to be a painful or stressful experience, but actually can turn out into a pleasurable event, that most of all, will not affect that unique bond that reunites felines and their owners.