Sunday, September 04, 2005

How NOT to Give a Cat a Pill

The last time I had our Siamese mix at the vet, he told me that Siamese have more behavioral issues than other cats. After living with one for a year and half, we'd figured that out but I decided to learn as much as I could about Siamese cats.

After checking out every book in our local library on Siamese I was amused to find some of these books were really outdated. They include basic info about the breed (some more useful than others in that respect), and general cat care info. My favorite advice on how to give a cat a pill came from Marge Naple's books:

Open the cat's mouth with your left hand. You will note a little groove formed at the base of the tongue. Drop the pill or capsule into this groove and give it a push into the cat's throat with the index finger of your right hand. Transfer your left hand to the nape of the cat's neck and pull his head right back while supporting his back and his hind legs with your right hand until he is upside down. If all this is done quickly, he will be so surprised he will swallow the pill before he knows what happened.

This might work if you have an extremely docile cat, but most cats I know wouldn't tolerate this. It seems to me that flipping the cat on his back -- so all his claws can scratch you to ribbons -- is a good idea only if you are dying to visit the Emergency Room for stitches.

What I really want to know is: has any cat owner really seen that alleged groove at the base of the tongue? Whenever I've tried to pill my cats by forcing their mouths open, I don't have time for prolonged anatomical observation. It's more like open the mouth, shove in the pill, hold the mouth shut, rub the throat, and hope for the best. Repeat. Repeat again... and again.

Thank God our Siamese mix still falls for the crushed-up-pill-mixed-into-a-spoonful-of-canned-food routine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are so right about the ability to "pill" a cat being dependent on the purrsonality of the cat itself. I have never had success with the "pill in the food routine", but have always been able to just stick it down their throat. I personally think the best strategy is to keep your fingers crossed that your cats never get sick!