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 Post subject: Consider teaching your cat to accept "pilling" while well
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:22 pm 
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Most cat owners struggle with pilling their cats. As someone who has had 7 cats at one time (former rescuer) with 4 chronically ill (all of them had to be pilled daily for years). Four of them have passed on in the past two years. I learned something from that that I hope you will find helpful.

Cats don't like surprises they like them even less when they are feeling sick. If they feel too harrassed when sick they can even stop eating which compounds the situation.

I would encourage every cat owner to practice randomly handling your cat in ways a vet would (praising them afterward) and looking in their mouth randomly and praising their tolerance of it and at least twice a week "pilling" their cat with small bit an empty Greenie and build in praise reward afterward such as catnip or a treat in with it. I suggest showing the reward before and giving the reward in the same place every time. They will get used to this and when your cat becomes ill (most will at some time) it won't be so stressful for either of you. It will be essential to get medicine down and the worst time to try learn to pill your cat is when the cat is sick. I never considered doing this to healthy cats until more recent years. I always waited until the cat got sick. After going through such a difficult time it finally dawned on me that waiting until the cat is sick is not the time to teach your cat to tolerate pilling.

I did start doing with my healthy cats in the past few years and it has paid off because they are getting old and now also have to take pills and it's not been so bad because I spent some time putting stuff in their mouth when they were well. They still don't like it but they know when it's over they can head to the spot they get rewarded in and they look forward to that and the pills go down. We started off with towel wrapping but I don't need restrain them much now. One just sits there and takes the pills she even swallows on command. Trust me she was horrid when we started. It takes time but they do get used to it and it's really worth it.

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 Post subject: Re: Consider teaching your cat to accept "pilling" while wel
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:53 pm 
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I don't have any pets right now, but I will file this away in my head for when I do. (Hopefully within the year.) One question, what do you give your cats? Obviously you're not really giving medicine, but I would think that it needs to be pill like.


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 Post subject: Re: Consider teaching your cat to accept "pilling" while wel
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:42 pm 
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I buy the dog Greenies pill covers the formula is the same but your get far more that you will in the cat size bag saving $$'s. I roll a small pill sized lump and pill like as if it really was a pill.

Extra info:
You can get them at most pet stores however the cheapest place to buy them is Costco at the pharmacy. They are located in that part of the store because they sell pet meds which are also cheaper than most places. You don't have to have membership to get pet meds for anyone that is interested. You do have to have a membership to buy the Greenies. Greenies obviously are not Vegan but since cats are obligate carnivores I am assuming most people don't have vegan cats.

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 Post subject: Re: Consider teaching your cat to accept "pilling" while wel
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:58 pm 
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This is good advice, thank you. I actually had more trouble giving my cat liquid medicine than pills because she hated the syringe. Luckily she was fine with me putting the medicine right in her food. The pharmacist made it fish flavored and she loves the taste.

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 Post subject: Re: Consider teaching your cat to accept "pilling" while wel
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:34 pm 
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This is such good advice! Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Consider teaching your cat to accept "pilling" while wel
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:11 pm 
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For liquids I recently discovered it's easier to gently wrap a small long sleeve t-shirt around the face and neck of of the cat so only thier eyes and minimum of thier mouth shows. It limits the swinging back and forth of thier face and make it easier to aim for thier mouth. My cat was getting sticky from taking lactalose (stool softener) so I needed to protect his fur which is how I got to trying this. I was just using a bib.

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