Tabbies And Tablets…


A follow-up to yesterday’s post…

As any pet owner knows, sometimes you have to give your pet medication in tablet form.

As any pet owner knows, this scenario can play out in a number of ways…

With my girls, it is at least a two-person job, preferably three, the third acting as tablet spotter and retriever after it has been flicked away, coughed out, spat out, dropped by a nervous administrator or accidentally inhaled by the holding assistant. Charlie generally has steroid tablets prescribed to reduce the itch/groom cycle… at least I didn’t have to worry about my son spending too long brushing his hair that time…

You can get all sorts of cunning devices from the vet designed to make the giving of tablets easier… the “crusher”, the “cutter”, the “divider”… They don’t work. Trust me. I have it on good authority (me) that they don’t.

If you are lucky enough to have a pet that falls for the “wrapped in a tasty treat” tablet trick, then I am extremely envious; but be warned: there will come a day when you are rumbled. The pet that has swallowed its medication happily and obligingly wrapped up in cheese or bacon (or pate or ham or tuna or sardines or very expensive wet food) will, one day, take the treat, give every appearance of eating it with their usual compliance and then carefully spit out the tablet.

By all means, crush up the tablet with something delicious … like pilchards. Charlie loves pilchards. I thought I was reasonably safe with those… I carefully combined the tiny tablet crushed to powder with a camouflaging amount of pilchards… then watched, disbelieving, as Charlie ate the pilchards and licked the sauce off every crumb of tablet…


So. The last option is surprise ambush… and generally, if we are lucky, I am the only one that may get nipped if I don’t remove my fingers quickly enough. My son takes Step 1-the enticing of cat onto knee and stroking into purring almost-sleep… The next stage is down to me. I open the tin tablet bottle outside so Charlie’s delicate and supernaturally sensitive ears don’t catch the faintest rattle… I slide back indoors carefully and blend my fingers to the hypnotic stroking…

Oh so carefully, we tilt back the little tabby head and while my son keeps his fingertips under her chin, I place the thumb and forefinger of one hand either side of her tiny jaws and gently ease her mouth open… Then quick as aflash I flick the tablet down her throat, close her mouth and blow in her face.

Six times out of ten, maybe, this will work smoothly and incident-free… the other times descend into a bit of a … kerfuffle. I have found tablets stuffed down the side of the sofa. I have a few scars… both mental and physical…

Really, you wouldn’t think that within 7½ lbs of adorably soft and preciously patterned fur dwells the heart and soul of a fiery tiger warrior princess… all over a tiny tablet!


47 thoughts on “Tabbies And Tablets…

  1. Have you used a pill popper? All our cats were happy taking tablets except for Yoffi. I used to wrap her in a towel and tell her how brave she was, put the tablet with a bit of butter on the popper, popped it near the back of her mouth and stroked her throat gently until she swallowed. Followed by lots of praise.

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    1. Yes…I have to laugh really because she became expert at tucking the tablet in her cheek, making a convincing act of having swallowed it and then escaping to spit it out somewhere secretly…she’s finished this course but I have some great ideas for future reference!
      Lots of love 💖xxx

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      1. 🙂 🙂 Someday I will figure out how to find fancier emoticons. Also, just wanted to tell you I put the crystal balls I was telling you about outside for some Earth cleaning. They need it!

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  2. I can sympathize–we have had good luck with something called “Pill Pockets” which is a cat treat with a little hole to insert the tablet. But they don’t always work, and then it’s back to the two (or three) person method.

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  3. Ooh that last photo is a cracker! So much of this is familiar, especially the eating carefully around the drugs or spitting out a pill you thought had been swallowed. Generally I think female cats put up more of a fight. Boy cats are more easily fooled or persuaded. Moby, a previous male cat of mine had to take meds quite a lot. After trying all the various stealth moves and attempts to disguise them, we got to the point where I could just hold out the tablet and give him ‘the look’ and he would eat it from my palm. He was a good cat…!

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    1. What an amazing cat! How lucky for you! I have literally tried everything to persuade Madam to take her tablets but to no avail…I mean, the photo shows what I’m up again! My last option is these pill pockets…I haven’t seen those before 😸x

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      1. I hadn’t heard of them either, and have just read back through the comments. They sound like a ‘maybe’ to me. For the cats that are not fooled by a pill wedged into a room temperature prawn, I reckon success is unlikely!

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  4. Ooh what big fangs she has!! I would imagine it is tough for you or any cat lover to manage a kitty’s jaw! When I had my dobermann, she was easier and bigger to grab and I would clasp her jaw after popping in the tablet and stroke her throat to ease the tablet down.
    For your kitty it is tough as she is fragile and boy, sharp teeth!!!

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    1. Lol yes!! Terrifying teeth!! Sharp too, as I know from personal experience! Dogs are a lot easier to give medicine to – unless of course, you’re my mother’s German Shepherd and clamp your jaws tightly together…they have the strongest bite! 🐺 xxx


  5. Oh man, pilling cats STRESSES me out to no end. One of our cats will gladly take the chicken flavored pill pockets from the pet store. The other one is a struggle. She refuses. Then we feel terrible when we force it because it sends her into a mouth-foamy-rabies-looking rage. We beg our vet for the liquid version of any meds and end up paying double. It’s so much easier just to squirt it down the back of their throat. You could probably do that if it’s a pill you can crush (I’d check with vet first.) Crush it in a bit of water, put it in a non-sharp syringe, then shoot it down the back of the kitty’s throat. Works easier for me.

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  6. We got these treats, I think called pill pockets, and they actually worked! You stick the pill/tablet in and mold the treat around it. We used them for our dog but they make them for cats too. Our dog is super picky and she’ll pick a pill out of sticky peanut butter, but she just gobbled the pill pockets whole!

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  7. Pilling cats is always a chore. I’ve found that just about everything with my guys is easier as a two-person job…and they’re actually quite gentle and easygoing. Just finished our morning kitty tooth-brushing and combing ritual as we speak!

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  8. Aw, yes I can empathise here. I don’t attempt any kind of surprise ambush – my cat doesn’t seem to ever understand how sharp his teeth are, nor how to retract his claws (ever!) I can usually get away with mixing tablets with food. This post made me chuckle.x

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  9. Why don’t they open the mouse…mouth like in the last picture when it comes to pills, I hear Granny think…MOL😹 That was a great discription of the cat behavior when it comes to pills😹😹 Luckily I only get homeopathic remedies, they are easy to give… as I also refuse pills…yikes! Pawkisses for a Happy Caturday😻❤

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  10. Such a familiar story trying to give tablets to cats! In our house it’s a two person job. Mischa is pretty easy, but Samurai is a bit more tricky. I have to take the tablet out of the foil in another room. I only have one chance to open his mouth and be very quick. Sometimes he spits it out. Luckily it’s only a 3 monthly job to give them their worming tablets.

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  11. Laughing loudly at both the description and the photo’s Samantha – so so funny and I feel your pain.. maybe not the scratches but I’ve certainly experienced the spitting out of the side of the mouth of my dogs over the years.. They are very cunning! x

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my goodness – yes that’s true and we don’t have the ‘claws’ to contend with at the same time! Crikey – I wouldn’t like to be upsetting a German Shepherd! x

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Perhaps I was just lucky. The cats I’ve had who occasionally needed dosing were all compliant to the process. I managed it on my own, there being no one else around to assist, and I remember it involved hooking my pinky into the corner of the patient’s mouth. lol

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  13. oh, I feel your pain Samantha…I’m the main pill administrator in the house 😦
    The pill pockets (I got them from my vet for £5) work for Ulysses but not for Charlie. As Charlie doesn’t like too much fuss I can hypnotise him into pill-submission…so I wrap him in a towel and pop the pill in. I’m the ‘bad policeman’ in our family…

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