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Discussion Starter #1
There are several methods to dose cats, here are a few of my favorites:

For cats who respond well to scruff-holds:
1. I will have the medicine handy and already dosed into the dropper. Lure or bring the cat close to where you have your medicine w/in reach, grasp them by the scruff of the neck and lower your knuckles to the floor. This imobilizes the cat and with your knuckles on the floor, it brings their shoulders down, head sideways (pointed towards you) and I don't care what their back end does; point up or lay down, just so they don't get to clawing. Put the medicine dropper into the corner of their mouth and administer it slowly. If you squirt too fast, it can drip out the other side of their mouth before they lick/swallow in reflex.

For cats who do not respond well to scruff-holds:
2. Have the medicine dosed and handy (dropper or pill-plunger). I grab the cat, usually with a scruff hold, just to get them where I want them. I will kneel over them on the floor and cross my ankles under my rump. This creates a 'cave' the cat cannot back out of. I will have the medicine dropper or pill in my right hand and with my left I pet them over their head and using my thumb and middle or pointer finger I will grasp their upper jaw, pressing those fingers lightly into their teeth between canines/molars and pull their head up and backwards, pointing their nose to the sky. Eventually when you get far enough back (pointing at sky) they will open their mouth and I pop the pill, pill-plunger or dropper far into the back and administer. Do this quickly before they coordinate their front feet into clawing your hand away. I like to hold them in that position with their mouth closed until I feel them swallow, but if you can do this quickly enough, it is low-stress and they shouldn't have to taste the meds at all.

3. On a bed or pillow with a bath towel, I will spread the towel over the cat and kneel on both sides, using the towel to 'trap' them down into the soft surface and I will sort of 'sit' on them with my thighs/rump to help hold them imobile until after I've administerd the meds. Be careful when settling your weight on them, you only want enough to hold them down, not crush them. This works well for the 'chainsaw' scratchers.

* after each dosing, pet the cat and/or ruffle their fur to remove the 'insult' of the scruff-hold before releasing. When you release the cat, YOU leave quickly and do not look at the cat as you move away from them. Act like it is no big deal. I do not like encouraging my cats to run from me so I prefer to move away from them after dosing and not hover or watch them until after I'm several steps away to give them room.
 

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Here are a few of my favorite and most successful tricks for pilling cats:

1) Buy a bag of each flavor of Pill Pockets (chicken and salmon). Many cats will eagerly eat Pill Pockets with meds hidden inside. Even if they won't eat them voluntarily and you have to stick the pill down the cat's throat. having it inside a Pill Pocket makes it a lot more likely that the cat will swallow it rather than trying to spit it out.

2) Buy some #3 and #4 empty gelcaps. Bitter tasting pills can be put into gelcaps to hide their taste so that the cat will swallow it more readily. Also if the cat is receiving multiple meds, they can be stuffed into a single gelcap (if and only if the meds are compatible - check with your vet) to make administration easier.

3) Buy a piller. Nothing has made pilling easier for me than my rubber-tipped piller.

4) Coat the pill with butter. It both helps mask the taste of the pill and makes it slide down the throat a lot easier.

5) Offer the cat a few licks of canned food soup (canned food mixed with warm water) or tuna juice immediately before and immediately after pill administration. This will wet the throat to make swallowing easier and make sure the pill gets swallowed all the way down. Alternatively, use a needleless syringe to squirt a couple drops of water into the side of the mouth (NEVER directly toward the back) immediately before and after pill administration. Water given immediately after a pill forces a gag reflex and automatic swallowing.

6) Many meds can be compounded into flavored chews, liquids, or even transdermal gels to make administration easier.

7) Never cut or crush pills without your vet's approval. Some meds are formulated to be given intact, and cutting or crushing may render the med ineffective by causing it to be processed in the wrong part of the digestive tract.

8) Always check with your vet to find out if meds should be given with food or on an empty stomach. Also if administering multiple meds, always check drug interactions and compatibilities.

9) Buy a copy of The Pill Book Guide to Medication for Your Dog and Cat. It is a very inexpensive paperback that provides essential information about most meds used in veterinary practice. It is a must for every animal caretaker's bookshelf, IMO. It's one drawback is that it hasn't been updated since 1998, so it doesn't include information on the new drugs of the last decade.

Hope this helps!

Laurie
 

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I have a tricky one .... with the ex ferals .. Blue and Ugly tho friendly and lovable will tolerate being "held" at all .. I stand a very good chance of being shredded .. Spookie still wont let me touch her at all.

Ugly and Spookie however quite happily eat their meds with their food .... but Blue hahahah ..not a chance I have tried everything under the sun to disguise her pills and she wont touch it ... I have mixed them with butter and smeared it into her fur and she will simply rub that offending part of her body against something until its gone or one of the other cats have licked it off.

We dont get pill pockets here ..... now if someone has an idea ill welcome it. Thank God she is healthy BUT she does need to be dewormed.
 

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Carol, do you have compounding pharmacies in SA? I don't know if any of the US veterinary pharmacies ship internationally, but it might be worth looking into before your ex-feral girl needs any serious medicine. I have Billy's thyroid med compounded into a liver flavored chew that he usually finds irresistible, and Billy is VERY finicky about what he puts into his mouth.The pharmacy I use offers half a dozen or so different flavors, and they can compound a variety of drugs into liquids, chews, or transdermal gels that get rubbed into the ear. I don't know if they work with dewormers at all, though.

Laurie
 

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mmmm .. im not sure , somehow I doubt it, our area is very "backward" I can try and fnd out tho.

The only option I havent tried yet is to confine her without food and get her good and hungry and then try something really yummy like peanut butter , trouble is she lets the entire country know she is confined :roll:

Is velveeta cheese like cheddar ??? or cottage cheese???

Its actualy funny ill grind her tablet into powder and mix it with something yummy and she delicately sniffs it, and turns her back on it.... giving me a look that could kill.
 

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The greedy cat method

If you've found a way to coat your pill but the cat still isn't very keen on taking it it can help tremendously if you have a second cat in your house.

First call both cats and then feed the healthy one with 2-3 treats (flavoured pill pockets containing nothing) while holding the sick cat back with your other hand. Let the sick cat watch your other cat greedily scoff down the treat. Then feed the sick cat its pill pocket containing the medicine.

As it just watched the other cat eat the sick cat will be less suspicious of the pill pocket :wink: , especially if both cats usually think the other one's getting better food.

Christine
 

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My most usefull technique...

I usually just hold on to kahlua, open her mouth ... put the pilll in and just give a gentle blow in her face, it startles her a little bit so her reaction is to swallow, works like a charm and shes never spits the pill back out!

My vet actually recommended it :D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
There are some things I can do to the cats when they are asleep...
When the Trio were kittens they had eye problems and needed an ointment put in. They hated it and would try to avoid me, so I began medicating them when they were asleep. I'd just take note of them and if their eye that needed to be medicated was accessible, I'd wash/dry my hands and put the ointment on one finger. Go to the sleeping kitty, maybe pet it lightly so I didn't startle it, you know ~ sort of wake it up a bit so it knows I'm there, then I'd quickly open the eye, dab the ointment in and just walk away. The kitten sits up, looking around and all it sees is me walking away: 'What? Who? Me? Nah! I didn't do anything, I'm just walkin' here....'
 

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I also treat my cats after they've had their treatments so they (hopefully) think it's a good thing they've just had a pill shoved down their throats!
 

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I have a 6-year old cat with severe kidney problems so I have to give him a wide array of medications to keep him alive.

I always thought it would be rough if I had to give him medications to keep him alive but it has gone far better than I could have hoped.

When I give him meds I put him on the counter and cradle him with my left arm. I place my left hand under his chin and gently squeeze his jaw open. When I give him the Azodyl pills I drop them in one at a time and if he starts to spit it out I gently tap it back with my finger.

The liquids are more tricky. I use the same method but when I squeeze the liquid in and let him go he immediately runs to a corner and starts trying to throw it up. When he does this I pet him and distract him then start crumbling up little paper balls an tossing them to him. He starts playing and forgets he was trying to throw up.

This takes a while but you do what you have to.
 

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Hi, I used Laughing Cow cheese wedges. I cut a little piece off and stuffed the pill inside. He ate it right up. However it was only a quarter the size of a normal pill as that is what the vet gave us. He wouldn't eat it hidden in any of his normal treats.
 

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When I had to give one of my cats nasty-tasting liquid, I filled the syringe, then dipped it in tuna juice. I think dipping it in anything that smells good to your cat would work. Then I held the syringe so she could smell it, and she didn't fight it going in. It still tasted terrible once I released the evil, but it was so much easier than before.
 

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Yeah, Ritz is the same way. Her UTI was stress-induced, and I had to add more stress by forcing a pill down her throat.....
"Greenies", the same company that makes pill pockets, also makes pill 'capsules'. You put the pill in the capsule and give it to the cat. If the capsule is water tight, maybe you could put the liquid in it. It really does help if you wear rubber gloves as much as possible when handling the drug before giving it to your cat.
Ask your vet/pharmacy if they will compound the pill into a flavored liquid. Then add the liquid to food that is especially strong smelly. Ritz had no problems taking Flagyl this way, which is extremely bitter.
Note: I'm not sure if it is jurisdictional, but there are legal constraints as to what the pharmacist is permitted to compound. It has to do with whether the drug is approved for animal useage only or for both humans/animals. If the latter, the pharmacist should be legally permitted to compound the drug (like Flagyl). If the drug is for animals only (like Baytril), the pharmacist can WITH THE VERBAL/WRITTEN APPROVAL of the prescribing vet, compound the medication. My pharmacist (independent, not part of a drug store chain) was willing to compound Baytril into a liquid, but my vet wouldn't give him permission.
Finally, ask if the drug comes in a flavored version. Baytril can be dispensed in a regular (nasty tasting) pill or a "taste tab", which doesn't taste quite so bad. I found this out a bit late...
Good luck.
 

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This helped out with giving the Clovomax to Pinky. She took it well, never spat it out, just had issues keeping her still. Also, afterwards I always gave her half of a treat (since it was a twice-daily dose) it helped get the taste out of her mouth and she realized it was a good thing. By the end of the two weeks I called Pinky opened the fridge to get the medicine and she'd come in the kitchen to wait for me. :D
 

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My fiance and I had been doing "kitty burrito" style medicating for our little girl, Mara. She's had a UTI so we're giving her Clavamox, and she HATES being medicated. Normally she does freeze in scruff hold - if she's being bad and I pick her up by her scruff to put her in her "time-out" area, she goes limp - but when it comes to something important like medication, she starts fighting again. So we'd been wrapping her up in a towel to hold her still - making a "kitty burrito" with just her tiny little head poking out.

Well, this is complicated when I'm home alone while he's at work and have to give her her morning dose by myself. I need six arms or so, to hold her, wrap her, hold the burrito still, open her mouth, get the syringe in her mouth and finally actually squirt the meds in. So this morning, I tried the "kneeling-on" method described in the OP, and lo and behold it worked wonders! She was none too pleased, like any other time, but most of it stayed in her, instead of her being able to spit some of it back out, and it took only half the time that burrito'ing usually does. Win!
 

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I thank you and my unbitten fingers thank you. Followed the link to catinfo.org and my cat is now downstairs happily eating her antibiotic spiked food!

The vet prescribed a liquid antibiotic and I was only able to get one dose down her last night and ended up with a puncture bite and cracked nail on my thumb for my efforts. So this morning I put the antibiotic in a wet cat food. She refused to eat it. I came here to get some ideas and followed the link to catinfo. The vet there suggested sprinkling the food with FortiFlora, a probiotic that contains some major flavor enhancers. Lucky for me her other prescription was for ForiFlora so I ran downstairs and put half a package (each dose comes in a small pac) over the spiked food and like magic the problem of how to get her liquid antibiotics into her was solved.

Antibiotics destroy a lot of the good bacteria in the colon and this product (which contains live bacteria) helps to recolonize the colon so the bad bacteria can't get a foothold.
 

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We wrap our cats worming pill spin chicken meat for sandwiches, they love this stuff and don't even care why it's half a slice bundled into a ballad don't even notice the pill....
Our cats aren't the most observant though Abit easier to fool so might be us.
 

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Thought I'd post about my recent experiences with medicating one of my cats. I have always left dry food out all day for my two cats, but gave them wet food twice a day (morning and afternoon).

Chester, my older cat, had responded well to pill pockets in the past. However, now the Vet gave me some capsules for Chester (plastic with powder inside). After seeing my face fall, he suggested taking away their dry food in the evening before I went to bed, and then cutting open a capsule and mixing the powder with the wet food in the morning.

This has worked very well. Chester has always been very picky about eating wet food. Now he readily devours it in the morning. After the feeding I put out their dry food. I felt guilty at first, but the silver lining is that both cats are eating more wet food this way. They have access to the dry food from 6am til about 9pm. I'm about to go cat supply shopping and will try and upgrade their wet food. They're previously turned up their noses at some of the better brands.
 

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Luckily Seven is very "tame", so this works wonders with him:
Start a patting session, slowly move toward the head, then cheeks, and finally with the pill between 2 fingers, i open his mouth and drop the pill at the base of the tongue, all the way back, and quickly release his mouth. He swallows instantly, then licks his lips like it was tasty lol. I can give any number of pills to him like this, one at a time.

So if your cat lets you open his/her mouth but doesn't eat disguised pills, this might be worth a try.
 
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