Cats don’t like doing what we tell them at the best of times, so giving them a nasty tasting tablet to swallow won’t be top of their list of things to do that day, or any other day in fact. But it’s something cats need to get used to, to prevent worms. Like most domestic animals, they will pick up on nervous energy from their favourite humans, so the best thing you can do to prepare is to approach the task confidently and calmly.
If the worming treatment tablet seems too big to try and get down in one go, snap or break it in half and go for little and often instead. These tips are designed to give you some different methods to try, but every cat is different, and if you find you are both getting stressed, just take a break and try later or ask a Vet or other animal care professional to give a helping hand.
Let’s not forget, cats can harm you especially if their flight instant has kicked in, so be prepared and cover your arms and add extra layers such as towels if you think you’ll need them. If you can get help from a friend your cat is comfortable with, it may be easier for them to administer the tablet as you hold your cat.
The easiest way to give worming tablets to kittens or cats is with food, so make sure your pet is hungry i.e. just before they are due a meal. Hide the worming tablet in a small amount of food either in their bowl or in your fingers. If they still turn their nose up, use a favourite treat food such as cheese, meat or fish. Butter is also a great taste they will love and it will help the tablet slide down their throat.
If your cat is too clever to fall for such food related tricks, you’ll need to apply a little safe restraint and give the tablet by hand. Here’s where having that extra person comes in handy to help. Pop your cat on a surface that isn’t slippery and let them sit upright but facing away from you. Use a mid size towel wrapped around them if you need extra support. Hold their legs gently against their sides, this will help control those front paws in case they try to wriggle.
When you’re ready to give them the worming tablet, tip their head back very gently holding the mouth open. Put the tablet in their throat as far back as you can and let go of the head, letting them swallow, rubbing under the chin will encourage them to swallow. If they lick their lips you’ll know they’ve swallowed it! If this doesn’t work the first time, don’t worry and let your cat have a break. Iif they are getting upset, try again and put the tablet a little further back on their tongue if possible.
If you’ve tried these techniques and you cat isn’t having any of it, chat to your vet about how they could help.