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How to give your cat tablets - vet advice

As a cat owner, you have probably at some point faced the challenge of giving your cat a tablet or a pill. Then you also know that it is usually easier said than done. In this article, you will get tips from the vet to make it easier for you and your cat.
How to give your cat tablets - vet advice

A step by step guide to giving your cat pills or tablets

Hiding the tablet in the food is a common and effective way to get the cat to take its medicine. There are also special treats that are designed to be able to wrap the tablet in. If this doesn't work, or if the medicine cannot be taken with food, there is another way:

  • Put your cat on a table
  • Gently grasp around the nose with your thumb and forefinger behind the canines
  • Bend their head slightly upwards
  • Hold the tablet between thumb and forefinger in the other hand and insert the tablet as far back into the mouth as possible. You can also use a tablet sensor for better precision.
  • Close their mouth and hold their head slightly back while massaging their throat until the tablet is swallowed.
  • If the cat does not want to swallow, use a cotton wool ball to gently squeeze some water into their mouth. This activates the cat's swallowing reflex and causes the tablet to go down the throat, instead of getting stuck in the mouth.
  • Then lift your cat down to show them it's finished and praise it properly. Throw some treats on the floor, or play with a toy the cat usually likes.

Something to keep in mind

Cats have long, narrow and dry oral cavity, which means that there is a high risk of the tablet getting stuck in the palate, pharynx or upper part of the oesophagus. Then the cat can spit out the tablet later. It can therefore be helpful to give them some water before the tablet is given, and then again afterwards. This is to reduce the risk of the tablet sticking.

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