Deworming a cat is actually very simple, that any cat lover can easily do at home as directed by your veterinarian. The hard part of deworming is getting the cat to swallow the tablet. In this article, I’ll show you the tricks I use when giving a deworming tablet to make sure my cat takes the medicine with as little stress as possible.
Worming: How to deworm a cat?
There are several types of deworming tablets available. Stick to the recommendation of your trusted veterinarian. He or she will examine your cat and prescribe the appropriate deworming tablets based on the cat’s current health, weight and past medical history. The veterinarian will also recommend how many times a year you need to deworm your cat.
Free-roaming cats that can spend a lot of time outdoors are more at risk and may need to be dewormed more often. House cats, on the other hand, may not need deworming at all. However, this does not mean that house cats are free of worms and therefore do not need to be dewormed. Even if cats do not go outside, they can still become infected with parasites. This includes objects such as your shoes. Domestic cats can also become infected through these everyday objects.
How to administer a deworming tablet to your cat
The simple procedure requires a little preparation. But if you follow these steps, you will usually succeed in administering it effortlessly. These are the steps:
Step 1: Prepare the site of administration optimally
You should always assume that your cat will not take the deworming tablet voluntarily. Therefore, the place of administration is very important. If the cat is already accustomed to the veterinarian, try to recreate the doctor’s table in the familiar veterinary office. Place your cat on a table. Make sure the cat is at your height.
It is not good to put the cat on the floor. If you have to bend over to administer the tablet, your vision will be limited. In addition, the stooped position makes it difficult for you to concentrate. On the floor, the cat has much more space and allows the cat to easily run away.
So, put the cat on a table, thus deliberately limit the cat’s field of movement. Make sure you can work comfortably.
Step 2: Prevent scratches and injuries
When you administer the medicine to your cat, you obviously do not want to be scratched and injured. It is advantageous to trim the cat’s claws before deworming as a precaution. However, this should already be done two to three days before the start of the deworming. If you cut the claws directly before the cure, your cat will have edged and sharp claws. This way you would achieve exactly the opposite. Just one day after cutting the claws, they are already much smoother. Especially if your cat uses a cat tree, you can clearly observe this effect.
Since cats will usually resist the administration of the tablet with all your “weapons”, the best thing you can do is to wrap the cat’s front and back legs in a large towel. This will help you avoid scratches and restrict the cat’s movement. Leave only her head free.
Wrap the cat tightly in the towel. It should be tight enough to restrict the cat’s movement. But, of course, not so tight that the cat hurts itself.
Step 3: Help the cat swallow
Cats are not big water drinkers, as a cat owner you surely know. Cat mouths are usually pretty dry. If you give your cat a tablet, it will resist it. This is partly because it is difficult for the cat to swallow the medicine. We humans also usually take tablets with a big gulp of water.
Before you give your cat the tablet, give it something to help it swallow. There is special syrup that the cat likes and works wonderfully. Draw up the syrup in a syringe (without a needle) or in a pipette. When the cat is wrapped in the towel on the table, first give him a few drops of syrup. To do this, place the syringe or pipette at the side of the cat’s mouth and squeeze in a little syrup. This will help the cat swallow the medicine. The cat will open its mouth and you will be able to insert the tablet. Do not give your cat all of the syrup. Save about a third in the syringe.
Step 4: Administer the tablet
Now your cat is ready to swallow the worming tablet. So, proceed as follows: If you are right-handed, hold the cat’s head with your left hand. With your index and middle fingers, clasp the cat’s cheekbones. With the two fingers, reach behind the whiskers, to the base of the lower jaw and away from the teeth.
Now comes the hard part. Grip firmly, but also gently. Your grip should be firm enough to get a firm grip on the cat’s jaw, but not so firm that it hurts the cat. Then slowly tilt the cat’s head back so that the cat’s nose is facing the ceiling. This will help the cat swallow the pill.
In your other hand, hold the deworming tablet. Grasp the tablet between your thumb and index finger. Then extend your middle finger and apply gentle pressure to the lower incisors to open the cat’s mouth. Once the cat has opened its mouth, place the tablet in the back of the cat’s mouth with your thumb and index finger. The deeper in the mouth you can place the tablet, the better.
Then pull your hand back and massage the cat’s neck while holding its head up with your other hand. This will keep the mouth closed and the massage will stimulate swallowing. When the cat opens its mouth, make sure it does not spit out the tablet. If it does, you will need to re-administer the tablet.
Step 5: The treat after
To make it easier for the cat to swallow the tablet, you can give it some more syrup or plain water after the medicine is administered. This may also help with the taste. Due to lack of self-experimentation, I cannot say how worming tablets taste.
While still holding your cat’s head with your hand, give her the remaining syrup from the syringe. Then you can carefully let go of the cat’s head.
Step 6: Important – pet and praise
Don’t overlook the praise. This is very important. After your cat swallows the medicine, you need to show him that he has done something good. Pet your cat’s head and praise her for her good behavior. Loosen the towel and pet the cat for as long as the cat wants you to. Don’t take it personally if the cat jumps off the table and runs away to clean itself. Later, give your cat another treat as a reward.
If you are looking for more alternatives to giving tablets to cats, check out our article “Alternatives to manually administering deworming tablets to your cat“