As any cat owner will tell you, cats really don’t like to do what we ask of them at the best of times.
This can be especially true where worming tablets are concerned!
As much as your cat might hate taking their wormer (and as much as you might hate being the one who has to administer it) the reality is that they have to have it.
Without regular worming, cats are at risk from tapeworms, roundworm and other nasty worm parasites that can make both them and your family poorly.
Preparing your cat for worming…
When it comes to worming your cat, it’s important to remember that just like most domestic animals, cats can pick up nervous energy from their owners.
To avoid stressing them out more, one of the best things you can do is to approach the task confidently and calmly.
Before you administer any worming tablets, always double-check the dosage your pet needs to avoid accidentally giving them too much in one sitting.
If you’re worried that the worming tablet is too big for them to swallow whole, just snap or break it in half.
Little and often is best – but if you find that you or your cat (or both of you!) are getting stressed, just take a break and try again later. If you’re really struggling, ask your vet to lend you a helping hand.
…And preparing yourself for worming!
Let’s not forget, cats are capable of inflicting some damage, especially if their ‘fight or flight’ instinct has kicked in.
Be prepared for scratches by covering your arms, and if you have a particularly fiesty feline, add a couple of towels for extra padding.
If you need a bit of extra support, enlist a friend or family member that your cat is familiar with to help and ask them to administer the tablet while you hold your cat.
The best methods for worming a cat
Without a doubt, the easiest way to give worming tablets to kittens or cats is with food!
Make sure that your pet is hungry, i.e just before they are due to be fed their usual 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 at you, try getting their mouth watering by using a favourite treat like cheese, meat or a bit of tuna.
Top tip – Butter is a great taste that cats love, and it will help the tablet slide more easily down their throat.
If your cat is too clever to fall for such food-related trickery, you’ll need to apply a little self-restraint and give the tablet by hand.
Pop your cat on a surface that isn’t slippery, and let them sit upright, facing away from you.
Use a mid-size towel and wrap it around them, holding their legs gently against their sides. This will help to 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 their mouth open.
- Put the tablet in their throat, as far back as you can.
- Let go of their head, letting them swallow.
- Rubbing under their chin will encourage them to swallow
- If you see them licking their lips, you’ll know it’s gone!
Don’t stress – try to stay calm
If this doesn’t work the first time, don’t worry.
Let your cat have a break, and try again once you have both calmed down and your cat is relaxed.
Next time you try, aim to put the tablet a little bit further back on their tongue if possible.
If you’ve tried these techniques, and your cat isn’t having any of it, don’t panic.
You’re not alone – so many cat owners are in the same boat! Chat to your vet about how they can help.
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