How to give your cat a tablet
Tableting cats can be tricky, but with a calm and preplanned approach it can be done!
Firstly, check with your vet if the tablet can be crushed. If so, mixing the crushed tablet with food, can be a low-key way to administer it.
If using this technique, ensure your cat is hungry prior to offering the food/tablet combination. This can be achieved by removing food for 6-8 hours prior to pilling. Your cat is less likely to want to eat if they’ve been grazing all day!
Offer the crushed tablet in a small amount of wet food. The rest of the meal can be offered after they’ve eaten the medicated portion.
Some tablets are designed to be palatable and can be offered from your fingertips. Occasionally your cat will surprise you and simply eat it! Avoid holding it out on your palm, as they are less likely to take it from you like this.
Directly tableting your cat can be done by yourself but it may be easier with two people – one to hold the cat and the other to administer the tablet. Being calm and quick is the key to success!
- Have the cat sitting down, on a stable non slip surface, facing away from the ‘holder’. The holder will gently place their hands over the front legs at elbow level, so that they can prevent any ‘swatting’ or escape that the cat may attempt. If you don’t have a second person to help at home, sometimes a light towel wrapping can help to keep the paws out of the picture! You can do this on the floor, as it eliminates having to worry about the wrapped cat falling off a table. Using a towel, put the cat on top of the towel facing away from you, and wrap each side of the towel up and around the neck/shoulders so that they can’t get their paws out.
- Hold the tablet between the thumb and forefinger. You can also use a pet piller to assist in these cases.
- Put your other hand on the top of the cat’s head, with the thumb and fingers extending down the side of the mouth. Tilt the head upwards and use the middle finger on the tableting hand to open the mouth.
- Drop the tablet as far back in the mouth as possible, preferably aiming for the centre of the tongue. The further back the tablet lands, the greater the chance they’ll swallow it.
- Hold the cat’s mouth closed until you see them swallow. Sometimes gently stroking the throat afterwards can encourage swallowing. Alternatively, often if you touch their nose straight after tableting, cat’s will instinctively lick it, which inevitably helps them to swallow. If possible, follow this up with a meal or water chaser to help push the tablet down.
If you are having any difficulty tableting your cat, please don’t persist with any sort of restraint. Contact your local Greencross Vets clinic.