Instructables

How to pill a cat, the easy way.

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Well, my mother bought this beautiful Selkirk rex, but it turned out, her entire litter was infected with a parasite. *sigh* We got the medicine, but sadly enough, tuna is not her flavor... Gravy on the other hand she gobbles up without even tasting. We also have 5 other cats, so I had to think of something to get her to eat her pill, and only her. I came up with this!
 
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Step 1: What you will need

1. A needle-less syringe, I picked mine up at the drugstore for less than a buck.
2. Can, jar or mix yourself pack of your kitties favorite flavor gravy (don't worry, your not giving them tons, so as a short term diet effector, it's not terrible)
3. Your pill.
4. small shallow bowl
5. Spoon
Or instead of 4 & 5 a mortar and pestle (make sure it's a marble or smooth ceramic, you don't want to lose the pill, or have it stuck forever in your pestle)

Step 2: Gravy Preperation!

Make gravy according to directions, if your using ready made jar gravy, warm it up and jump to next step.

Step 3: Pulverize the pill

Picture of Pulverize the pill
I used a mortar and pestle, so it came out real fine, but basically take that pill and crush it into a fine powder. It has to be fine or it will never fit through the small opening of the syringe. I have taken a close up pic of what your pill should look like, any chunkier than this and your never gonna get it through.

Step 4: Mix the concotion

Depending on the size of your pill you only want about a tablespoon of gravy (we had a large pill, and had to use the whole tablespoon)
Slowly stir the powder into the gravy (not the other way, the pill will clump if you do).
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sbadri6 months ago
I've done that with my sick dog , after he was better he would refuse to eat the certain flavor cause he would think it got medication in it ...
pixie3532 years ago
Using the straw sounds like a great idea except I wonder if the pill could accidentally be shot down the windpipe instead!
tackam6 years ago
Caveats: - Cats should not be given garlic or onion, and most gravy mixes will contain one or both of these ingredients. Try watering down plain meat baby food instead (read the ingredients! some of these also contain onion/garlic). - Some pills have a time-release formula and can cause overdose if given crushed. Plus, fat vs water solubility of active ingredients may mean that crushing and mixing is a bad idea. Check with your pharmacist. - Some pharmacies can compound drugs into a palatable liquid (some have meat-flavored compounds just for pets), which simplifies dosing if you're giving the medication for more than a couple of days.
TschNJ tackam4 years ago
During my most recent cat's illness, I spoiled my Sunny rotten by feeding her baby food meat.  There is nothing except meat in 'meat' baby food.  I fed her turkey and added a separate vegetable like sweet potato in a small portion and she liked it.  Also beef is only beef in the baby food line.  It's when you try to use a pre-mixed beef and vegetable baby food that it becomes a problem:  it DOES contain either garlic or onion powder.  I use separate meet- and vegetable-only and pour a little of the veggy food into the meat after it's been emptied onto a plate.  Sunny likes beef and carrot.  I cannot continue to feed her this way since there is no, or very little taurine which cats require for their eyes.
karent5 years ago
I must be really "old-fashioned", but when I had cats and they needed pills, I would grab them by the scruff of their necks (like their mother did when she carried them around) with my left hand, open their mouth, if it wasn't open, and put the pill way back towards the throat, then close the mouth with the left hand, hold it closed and stroke the throat downwards to make them swallow. Never had problems except with one cat who had a bad mouth, but I can't remember how I handled her!lol Holding them by the scruff, they usually can't/don't move much.
TschNJ karent4 years ago
What you describe is how I gave my (late) Marley a pill.  I made sure that my nails were trimmed short so I didn't scratch the inside of his mouth.  He was so easy to pill.  I could have given him a placebo and he'd feel better!
I do believe that is how our vet told us to do it, lol
NXTreme4 years ago
The thing that works every single time for me is actually quite nice for the puss. My cat loves cheese so I cut a little block of it, push the end of a straw through it to make a hole, put the pill in the hole, fill the ends of the hole up with some more pieces of cheese and then give it to him. He has never once guessed what was inside so its actually quite easy. No cat burritos, no bloody fingers, it just works!
why are cats so nasty? they lick them selves, shed, and puke and poop everywhere
I take it you have never seen an outdoors cat. Most cats that stay inside do get annoying but most cats that spend most of their time outside are actually quite clean.
If you clean their litterbox regularly, most cats will poop only in the litter box. If you feed them hairball control food - and feed them regularly (so they will not gorge) they will excrete the hairballs out in their poop - in the litter box - and as such will not puke. If you brush your cat regularly, they will not shed so much, will not have so many hairballs, and will be a much healthier cat over all. All cats lick themselves. That's just something you're going to have to get over.
Cats are not clean, they are just covered in cat spit! >.<
Dystonia4 years ago
well speaking only for myself i watch vet get cat to take small pill for fleas-it was on a slick table top and he just used thumb and other finder on jaw hinge and index finger under nose to top teeth at lip-sort of got ahold of teeth as well in middle  -pulled back--"nice view inside" -pop pill in  to back on top of tongue -and close mouth they will swallow -don't get it past tonge -they will gag it -it works 99% of time-for me  100% if done correctley   
I think the syringe is a great idea. Taking into account the type of meds you're using this seems to be less traumatic for both the cat and its human. Less invasive, and saves hands and arms from damage. Kudos to you. If it works - run with it.
_kira_4 years ago
my cats a sniffer, he would sniff the powder all up hahaha
Art Nut4 years ago
Everyone has problems giving cats pills.  Please ask you vet formeds in liquid or powder form.  The drug makers will soon get the message.
Thanks for the tip about time release pills.  It might be dangerousto crush them.
ELF6 years ago
I have to ask... What's "litter"? English is not my native language, so I looked it up in a dictionary, where it said it could mean a bunch of youngs from one birth, but could also mean trash or "waste product", it's the latter, right? Is it still called a litter then when a cat gives birth?
hishealer ELF4 years ago
It's like clay pebbles that go in the pan to absorb all the smelly stuff. The cats also like scratching in it.
in this context it's the first definition you listed not trash
Ah, fair enough :) Also what I thought, but just curious if it were parasites, like worms, found in the... waste :S thanks for clearing that out :)
LinuxH4x0r ELF6 years ago
It most likely means that her, and her siblings were (brothers and sisters) were infected. Yes, a litter is the name for all of the offspring.
bruno130696 years ago
A group of us tried to pill a cat for a few days. One of us would mummify the cat in a bathsheet or blanket. One of us would brace the head. One of us would pry the jaw open. The last one would shove the pill in and rub the neck to get it to swallow. It was easier after we learned to wrap the tail in with the body. This cat was all muscle and heavy.
Sounds like my house; it takes 2 of us to bathe the cats, but only a few minutes of actual bath. One waits beside the tub with shampoo hands, and the other brings the cat in, dunks him quick. Shampoo hands rubs him down, another dunk, and the bringer already has towel cocoon ready. By the time he gets pointy, he's burrito-cat and warm. It works, but takes great timing!
My family did the exact same thing, but sometimes I wouldn't have anyone around and I would spend like 30 min trying to do all of that by myself
kb9999996 years ago
My cat has asthma and I give her two pills a day - I just place her on the counter, hold her with my left arm and using my right-hand, holding the pill between thumb and index fingers, use one finger to pry open mouth and push pill with one finger = works great and she knows that a treat is given afterwards.
I think that immediate treat is the best training tool. I bet she doesn't even fight it anymore!
JFStan6 years ago
I have a cat that became exponentially more violent (and strong, BTW) every time he had to take a pill. We finally started rolling him up in a blanket with just his head poking out and sat on him to give him the pill. His name is Bean, so we called this method the "Bean Burrito". Don't worry, it didn't hurt him. :)
That method has always worked well for me. I remember having to give Flagyl to one cat, and I tried everything! But that pill is the most bitter thing on this earth, I think. (It's a human med too) The burrito method + waiting (insert favorite strong flavored treat here) is a winner even with nasty pills. After a week, she would even sit still for the bitter, cuz she knew tuna was imminent.
I once saw a cat take on 5 men at a vet clinic, and it scared everyone in the vicinity... It sounded like it was going to murder everyone. After two people went to the emergency room for stitches, and everyone else was a bloody mess, one of the vet's thought to use the Burrito method... and it worked! If they had tried that first, the devil-cat would not have taken so many victims. Wrap the cat in a blanket before it's head starts spinning, and you will spend a lot less time fighting, and have fewer body parts needing to be stitched back.
Glad to know I am not the only one who brings his own welding gloves to the vets. I am not a welder, the gloves were bought specifically for the cat. Good for play time too. When he wrestles he grabs your hand with both front paws hooking his claws in then uses both back paws to shred your arm. While biting. He hasn't gotten through the welding gloves yet and they go far enough up the arm to keep skin out of the shred zone.
my fat tabby cat does that to me as well when he gats angry, or maybe just playing.
Last time we wrapped up or cat "Burrito style" he launched the syringe and pill 20 feet, and then banged his head on the table in a loud crack. Luckily, the pill eventually went down, and he didn't get a kitty-concussion. Maybe this method will work next time.
I surprised. My vet has a rip-stop nylon and Velcro thingy that you wrap the cat it...giving you a cat sausage. It's designed to work very quickly. I have a very small deaf cat, and in the vet's words is she is "explosive", because she sometimes doesn't understand what is going on. . The vet wraps "Mojo the Magic Cat" (she can disappear and reappear in a different place, at will), and give the pills, shots and all the rest without lacerations. I would expect that all vets have this "cat sack".
Burgdorf JFStan6 years ago
Lol that's awesome
WoW! You are very brave... I am counting my blessings that I have never had to give either of my two cats pills yet. I might have to keep the Burrito method in mind though as I don't think I will have the patients to follow the "easy way" method...
daliad1005 years ago
Apparently, stroking the throat of the animal makes it swallow. Not sure if this works though as I don't need to give the pet hamster pills.
AstralQueen5 years ago
what my dad did was he wrapped a pill (or half a pill as the cats were tiny) in fried fish skin. the cats loved it.
Wow. I read through these comments and you guys have some pretty mean cats. I have 4 and they're all gentle as can be. Even my big giant male. He's enormous but very gentle. When he plays with us, he keeps his claws retracted like he knows he'll hurt us. With toys, it's claws out baby. Anyway, I never have a problem with the open mouth put in pill method.
I have seen both cats and dogs that have gotten the pills down their trachea and died when a "pill popper" is used. Most medications for animals are not "time released." This is because the GI tract is MUCH faster and most "time released" meds will just come out the other end, totally intact. Most of the time, crushing them works well. Plus, you can get your vet to write you an prescription to take to a compounding pharmacy where they can mix it into something nasty like "triple fish" paste or a PLO formulation. With the PLO, you just place the gel on the inside of the ear flap (on the non-haired side), and it absorbs. Also, I second the no garlic or onion thing. Even in small amounts, for a short period of time, both of these additives can cause hemolytic anemia. One of my fellow vets saw a dog that had persistent anemia. They did all sorts of tests to find out what was going on. Something like $3000 later, the dog was not eating well in the hospital and the owner brought in the dog's favorite treat: some "Krystal's" hamburgers (like White Castle), which have onions all over them. Yep, that was where the anemia came from. Cats react more strongly and more quickly.
Prof I.tiki5 years ago
will it work with dogs
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