Although I have shared this useful checklist here before (I think – sorry Google, but we’re human), I reckon it’s time for us cat owners to refresh our memories.
This is particularly helpful when your vet gives you some pills for your cat that actually are big enough to choke a horse, and smiles beatifically while saying “just open his/her mouth with one hand, pop the pill in with the other, close the mouth and wait for him/her to swallow. Yeah, right.
Here’s the realistic way …
Now, the 15-step way to give you a fighting chance that your cat will swallow the pill
1) Pick cat up and rest it in the crook of your left arm as if you were holding a baby. Place right index finger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and apply gentle pressure to its cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens jaws pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.
2) Retrieve pill from arm of chair and cat from behind sofa. Place cat on left arm and repeat process.
3) Retrieve cat from bedroom, and discard wet pill.
4) Remove fresh pill from container, hold cat in left arm clutching rear paws tightly with left hand. Squeeze jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right index finger. Hold mouth shut to a count of ten.
5) Retrieve pill from DVD player and cat from top of sideboard. Call partner in from garage.
6) Squat on floor with cat lodged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore rumbling yowls from cat. Get partner to hold cat’s head firmly with one hand while forcing plastic ruler into its mouth. Slide pill down ruler and massage cat’s throat actively.
7) Retrieve cat from curtain pelmet, fetch another pill from container. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully brush shattered porcelain and glass ornaments from fireplace and collect together for gluing later.
8) Wrap cat in bath towel and get partner to sit on cat with its head just visible from beneath his left thigh. Place pill in one end of drinking straw, prise cat’s mouth open with pen and blow hard down other end of straw.
9) Check medicine container label to ensure pill not poisonous to humans, drink some beer to remove taste from mouth. Apply sticking plaster / BandAid to partner’s arm and remove bloodstains from carpet with warm water.
10) Retrieve cat from neighbour’s greenhouse. Fetch another pill. Open another can of beer. Place cat in cupboard and close door on to neck to leave only head showing. Force mouth open with soup spoon. Catapult pill down throat with elastic band.
11) Fetch screwdriver from utility room and replace cupboard door on hinges. Drink the beer you opened in Step 10. Take bottle of malt whisky from sideboard. Pour large one, drink. Apply cold compress to face and check diary for date of last tetanus booster. Apply malt whisky compress to face to disinfect. Swig back another large one. Throw T-shirt away and fetch clean one from bedroom.
12) Phone the fire brigade / fire department to retrieve cat from tree across road. Sympathise with neighbour who crashed into a mailbox while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from container.
13) Find heavy-duty pruning gloves in greenhouse, tie cat’s front legs to rear legs with duct tape and bind tightly to leg of dining table. Press pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak. Hold head vertically (pointing upwards) and pour 2 litres of water down throat to wash pill down.
14) Consume remainder of malt whisky. Get partner to drive you to A&E / Emergency Room, sit patiently while doctor stitches fingers and arm and removes pill fragments from right eye. Call in at furniture emporium on way home to order new dining table.
15) Arrange for RSPCA / ASPCA rehomer to collect cat from hell and ask if they have any orphan guinea pigs.
And some consolation: if you have dog…
How to give a dog a pill:
1) Wrap it in a piece of cheese and give to dog.
How do you cope when trying to give medication to your cat?