How to give your cat a tablet!

Cathy says, “Administering tablets to cats is a daunting, and sometimes an almost impossible task because they are such smart animals – and know when you’re up to any trickery!” They also have very sharp teeth and claws and know how to use them! Some cats are feisty in nature and cannot be forced or controlled to take anything, so be aware from the outset what you’ll be dealing with. Here are my best tips and tricks I’ve learnt along the way, and which will hopefully make it easier for you to give your cat a tablet safely.

1. Getting prepped

Preparation and having a clear plan of action is very important! However, cats are very intuitive and getting anxious yourself about whether you will be able to give him a pill or tablet, will let him know that something is up. Try and be well organized and calm and determined! You may decide that you are going to give the tablet to your cat with food or by hand. Make sure that you have the medication on hand. Always have a second person to help – preferably someone your cat knows and likes! One person needs to hold the cat and the other needs to give the tablet to the cat. Keeping a bottle of PetCalm, a 100% homeopathic remedy to calm anxious and highly strung pets will definitely benefit your cat. As for you the cat owner, stay calm and be confident about the task that awaits you!  If you feel you need a little help, our PureCalm herbal drops will do the trick for you!
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2. Give the tablet with food or a treat

Before administering the tablet, check with your vet first if the tablets can be given with food. Most tablets can be given with food, and some of them should definitely be given with food, however there are a few which should not be given with food. Felix is quite a calm cat and hiding a tablet in his food works well. However, he is a picky eater and I find that the best way to make sure that he is going eat all his food with the tablet in it, is to feed him when he is HUNGRY! Also make sure that you feed him a small amount to start with, so that you have a second chance to try this method, should you need to. A good idea is to remove all food for at least 6 hours to make sure that your kitty eats.

Depending on the size of the tablet, if it’s small you can hide it in soft food that your cat likes. The tablet may not always be palatable so it is always best to crush it and mix thoroughly with food.  Be aware that some tablets are coated with a special film to prevent side effects such as excessive salivation, and they should not be crushed.

Try tuna, pilchards in tomato sauce, soft cheese, soft meat or chicken – always choose a strong-flavoured treat or food that your cat really likes! Make sure that you’ve hidden or disguised the tablet completely in food before giving it to your cat. Don’t let your cat see you handling the tablet beforehand either because he won’t eat what you are going to give him. Remember to check his bowl afterwards to make sure that he has eaten everything.
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3. Give the tablet with your hands

Not all cats will take the tablet in food and you will have to give it by hand and using restraint – again with your hands or using a towel.

Restrain your cat with your hands
Here is where you are going to need to enlist some help. Choose someone who your cat is comfortable with, it will make the process so much easier! Try to create an unthreatening environment, be gentle but also quick with your hands. Sounds like a tall order? Not really…Speak gently to your cat, coaxing him with a treat if that’s what it takes for him to come to you. Once you have him, stroke him, all the while speaking gently. A dose of PetCalm will definitely help. You can either sit on the floor or place your cat on a non-slippery surface like a table. Get your cat to sit upright but facing away from you. You’re your assistant, hold the front legs of the cat with your hands while gently pressing against the sides of the cat – this will prevent him from making a quick getaway.

Restrain your cat with a towel
Using a towel to restrain a cat is one method that I absolutely swear by. I’ve had many cats in my lifetime, especially wriggly ones that wanted to escape. Take a medium size towel and place your cat on it but facing away from you. Wrap one side of the towel and then the other side around the cat’s neck and hold him firmly, like a parcel.
Some cats feel claustrophobic, and will not accept being wrapped up, but you can still restrain them successfully using a towel. Use a hand towel and fold it in half lengthways and in half again. Put it around the cats neck, holding it softly but firmly (don’t strangle him!) and put your palm flat against his chest.

Administering the tablet
Using both of the techniques above, and with the help of your partner in crime – one person holding the cat and the other giving the tablet, you are now ready to proceed. The person giving the tablet should hold it between the thumb and forefinger of one hand. It’s best to approach the cat from the side as it is less threatening – place your other hand on the top of your cat’s head. Tilt the head gently upwards and using your middle finger of the hand holding the tablet to pull the cat’s lower jar down and mouth open. Now, drop the tablet in quickly and aim for the centre of the tongue. Then, hold the cat’s jaw closed for a few seconds until he has swallowed taking gently to him. You will know if your cat has swallowed the tablet if he has licked his nose or lips. 
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Good Luck!


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