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Giving tablets to your cat

Giving tablets to your cat

Giving tablets to your cat can be stressful and few cats are co-operative. However it is very important that a course of medication is completed and if you are having any difficulty, simply contact the clinic – they will understand and try to help.

Can the tablet be given in or with food?

Some tablets are palatable and may be eaten voluntarily by your cat. Others can be hidden in a small amount of a favourite food (a small piece of butter, cheese, meat or fish) or even crushed and mixed with a tasty treat, making them much easier to give. However some tablets cannot be crushed or given with food, so always check with your vet.

Giving a tablet

Always handle your cat gently, work calmly and be reassuring. If your cat gets very stressed, contact your vet to explore alternatives. Someone gently holding your cat while you give the tablet can be very helpful. Alternatively it may be easier to wrap your cat in a large towel/blanket to keep them still and prevent you from being scratched.

  • Hold your cat using your hands, arms and body to keep it still and confined
  • Hold your cat’s head firmly but gently, placing your thumb and fore finger on either side of the jaw at the corner of the mouth
  • Holding this area firmly does not hurt your cat but gives you control of its head
  • Hold the pill between the thumb and forefinger of the other hand
  • Tilt the cat’s head so the nose is pointing up
  • Open the mouth using a finger on the row of tiny teeth at the front of the bottom jaw, gently pulling down
  • Once open, push the tablet to the back of the mouth as quickly as possible and release the head so the cat can swallow
  • The trick is to get the tablet as far back in the mouth as possible so your cat can only swallow it and not spit it out! 
  • ‘Pill poppers’ or ‘pill givers’ can be used to avoid the need for a finger in the cat’s mouth, some people find these easier
  • To help the pill go down and prevent problems, it is usually best to give a small amount of food or dribble a small amount of water into your cat’s mouth after a tablet is given – check with your vet what is best.

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