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cat worming tablet

The easiest way to give your cat a worming tablet

You know how important it is to worm your cat, however it can be tricky to give your cat their worming tablet; and some cats are trickier than others. There are a few different methods which may be used to make your cat take their worming tablet. You may need to try a few on your pet to see which method works best for you. Remember to always wash your hands after handling any medication.

1. Hiding the tablet in food

This is certainly the easiest and most popular method used by cat owners. Well, it is easy if it works. Cats can be quite particular about what they eat, so may not be easily fooled into eating something they don’t want to eat. Here are some tips which may help.

Only use foods you know your cat likes and does not upset their stomach. Here are our tips to successful tablet hiding:

a. In a treat

Use a strong-tasting food, when possible, to mask the smell of the tablet. A piece of sausage or cheese are handy options as the tablet can be hidden inside them. Give a regular treat followed by a piece containing the tablet, then finish with another regular treat as a reward. There are commercially available ‘pill pocket’ treats designed to wrap around a tablet.

Worming tablets may also be crushed and added to tuna or mixed into a Lick-e-lix yoghurt. The problem with crushing the tablet is that direct tableting is no longer an option if rejected.

b. In their dinner

Some cats have a surprisingly skilful ability to eat everything in their dish apart from the tablet you had hidden. To maximise your chance of success with this technique wait until you pet is hungry and looking for their food. Then hide the tablet in a small portion of their regular meal. This small portion is likely to be eaten quickly and less carefully than if you put the full meal into the meal at once. Once the small portion and tablet have been eaten, then the remaining food can be given.

Direct Tabletting

Some cats are just too clever to fall for any of the above methods. For these pets the best solution is often to give the tablet directly into their mouth. If you have any concerns that your pet could become aggressive or bite, then this solution is not for you.

When done correctly direct tabletting is reliable and quick and your cat will barely know what happened.

How to give your cat a worming tablet

  • Choose a time your pet is calm and relaxed, try to remain calm and relaxed yourself. Ideally this is a two-person job, one to hold your cat and the other to give the tablet.
  • Wrap your cat gently in a large towel or blanket to stop them wriggling away.
  • The person giving the tablet should then take hold of the skull with one hand, thumb and middle finger under the cheekbones and gently tip the head backwards. The other hand holding the tablet should be used to lower the jaw and place the tablet as far back on the tongue as possible.
  • Then whilst holding the mouth closed tickle under their chin, or gently blow on their nose to encourage swallowing.
  • Not placing the tablet far back enough will allow them to manoeuvre their tongue to spit it out.
  • Most times if your cat licks their lips then you know they have swallowed the tablet.
  • Have a tasty treat ready to reward them once the tablet is gone.

Written by Lindsay Rose MA VetMB CertAVP CertVBM MRCVS

Visit our blog to discover advice and tips from our vet team.

Useful video reference:

PDSA – How to direct tablet a cat