Unfortunately, in some cases it is impossible to give a cat a deworming tablet. Either you yourself or your cat are too excited. In this case, you will fail. Especially if you have tried several times to give your cat a tablet, but it keeps spitting out the medicine, your cat will most likely get angry.
It is not a good idea to continue giving her the tablet in this situation. The likelihood of your cat scratching and biting is very high. There is also a risk that the gag reflex will increase and the cat may vomit. So take a break, relax and let your cat calm down. There are some alternatives that you can try if the classic administration of the tablet fails.
Alternative 1: The “Pill Popper”
With this device, available at cat accessory stores, you no longer have to put your fingers in the cat’s mouth. If this is the biggest stressor for you, using a pill popper could make the whole procedure more pleasant for you and perhaps for your cat.
A “pill popper” is basically a large syringe into which a tablet is poured instead of liquid medicine. The syringe is inserted into the cat’s mouth, triggered, and the pill remains in the cat’s mouth.
To give your cat a worming treatment with the “pill popper,” you can use the technique described here. Place it on the side of the cat’s mouth, gently insert it into the cat’s mouth, and then press down on the plunger to release the pill.
Holding the cat’s mouth closed with the back of your hand after administering the pill, drop the “pill popper” and massage your cat’s throat to encourage swallowing. Be careful to insert the “Pill-Popper” into the cat’s mouth carefully so as not to injure the back of the mouth.
Alternative 2: A pair of tweezers
Administering a tablet with tweezers is often not recommended because of the risk of hurting the cat’s throat. However, there are straight tweezers on the market made of flexible plastic that is designed to prevent injury. In the pet sector, tweezers made of stainless steel are offered, which are actually intended for feeding reptiles. The highlight: at the ends of these feeding tweezers is attached in each case a rubber, which protects the sensitive throat of the cat.
If you need to administer a tablet to your cat, proceed as I described in the article “Cat deworming: How to administer a deworming tablet without stress“. After grabbing the cat’s head with your hand and tilting it back, grab the tablet with the forceps with your other hand. Place the tip of the forceps on the side of the cat’s mouth and gently push the tablet in.
The cat will open its mouth and you will see its tongue. Your goal is to place the pill at the back of the tongue. Loosen the tweezers and gently pull them back out. Even if your cat chews on the tweezers, there is usually no danger.
Alternative 3: Administer the tablet with food
Some cats refuse to swallow tablets. It doesn’t matter if they are administered by hand, tweezers, forceps or a “pill popper”. In this case, you can try to trick your cat. You can coat the pill with something the cat finds tasty and likes to eat. Fresh cat food or cat pate is best, as the mixture is easy to form.
Even tablets for a cat wormer are usually quite small, so the hope is that the cat will swallow it if it is mixed with food. However, if the cat chews the food and bites down on the tablet, it will immediately taste the bitter flavor of the tablet and spit it back out along with the food.
Alternative 4: Crush tablet and mix into food
This is the last hope if all other ways have failed. Simply crush the tablet and mix it into the wet food. You should use a small amount of food to make sure the cat eats the entire amount. But just enough food to cover the bitter taste of the tablet.
In any case, ask your vet if you can administer the medicine this way. With some tablets it is important that they remain intact when swallowed, so that the medicine remains effective.
Alternative 5: Ask your veterinarian about another deworming method
If administering the deworming tablet at home doesn’t work, you can take your cat to your veterinarian, who can administer the tablet. Your veterinarian has the necessary routine and personal distance from your cat.
But if you don’t want to go to the vet’s office every time you need to give your cat a tablet, talk to your veterinarian about alternatives to tablets.