Sunday, 24 January 2016

Pilling the cat

So, my little old kitten has heart disease (well, he is 19) and is currently on 3 different types of pills, 4 times a day in various configuration.

Ideally, pilling a cat looks like this:

In reality, if your cat is anything like mine, it is quite annoying for the cat and the person who has to do the pilling.

Now, after some practice, my cat is taking his pills in very good grace (and being very co-operative with it!), however, in retrospect, I wish I had trained him when he was still healthy, because the very last thing a sick animal needs is extra stress when his favorite human has to inflict medication.

So, if you own a cat, now is the time to obtain some placebo pills and a small syringe so you can squirt some water into their mouth easily; and train pilling until the cat is comfortable with it (around 4-5 days).  Once you both have practice, do a maintenance pilling session once in a while.

You may have to start out with the cat burrito method she is showing, and don't be afraid of cat bite, if you copy what she is doing it's impossible for the cat to bite you in this position, as long as you stay firm (but gentle) and do not let the cat wiggle out.

The trick is to disguise it as a chest rubbing cuddle session involving lots of praise and a treat at the end (but not exclusively, some pills must be given on an empty stomach).  This will help you avoid the following scenario, which for a cat with a heart problem is definitely not something to get into:

Happy pilling!