How to make tablet time easier for your cat

May 21, 2024

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Giving cats medication in tablet form can often be difficult. Cats are not always very cooperative and can be quick and determined with teeth and claws and cause quite a lot of damage in a short space of time. Others may disappear into the garden at the first sign of medication.

This can make effective treatment tricky, and be especially problematic if your pet has to take long-term medication, as a daily battle around medication can adversely affect the pet/owner bond. We thought it might be useful to share a few top tips on how different approaches to medicating your cat, in the hope that you can find the approach that works best for both you and your cat.

If, after reading our article, you have further questions or are not feeling confident in giving your cat medication at home, talk to our veterinary nursing team, who will be happy to help.

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Five ways to give your cat medication.

1. Direct Administration: This involves placing the tablet directly at the back of your cat’s tongue. Hold the tablet between your thumb and index finger, tilt your cat’s head slightly upwards, and place the tablet deep into their mouth. Follow up with a gentle massage of the throat to encourage swallowing. If you can master this method it is the best way of ensuring that your cat receives the full dose. You may need a second person to hold your cat.

2. Crush & Mix: For cats who are finicky about taking tablets, crushing the medication and mixing it with their food can be a viable option. Ask our team whether your cat’s medication is safe to crush, as some tablets are formulated for extended release and should not be altered. Mix the crushed tablet thoroughly with a small amount of their favourite wet food to mask any bitterness.

3. Pill Pockets: Pill pockets are specially designed treats with a hollow centre into which the tablet can be inserted. These treats are available in various flavours and textures, making them an appealing option for many cats. Simply place the tablet inside the pill pocket, pinch the ends to seal it shut, and offer it to your cat as a tasty snack.

4. Liquid Medication: If your cat is particularly resistant to taking tablets, you can ask your vet if the medication is available in liquid form. Liquid medication can be easier to administer, especially for cats who are skilled at spitting out tablets. If liquid medication is available, we can provide you with a syringe or dropper to accurately measure and administer the prescribed dosage.

5. Hide in Treats or Food: Another effective method is hiding the tablet in a high-value treat or food item. Choose a treat that your cat loves and carefully conceal the tablet inside. For example, you can use a small piece of cooked chicken or a dollop of tuna. Be sure to monitor your cat to ensure they consume the entire treat, including the hidden tablet.

Try experimenting with these different methods to find the one that works best for your cat. Remember to always follow instructions regarding medication dosage and administration.

If you’re unsure about the best approach for your cat, we’re here to help. You are welcome to give us a call for further advice, or book an appointment with one of our nurses to discuss in more detail.

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Before you go, May 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of Veterinary Nurse Awareness Month (VNAM), a month-long celebration of veterinary nurses everywhere for their hard work and commitment to providing the very best care for pets and people. We know our nursing team would love to hear from you, so why not share how they have helped you and your pet on our Facebook page, with the hashtag #VNAM24

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