Everyone knows the famous “How to Pill a Cat” parody by now. Forever circulating on the net, this wonderful piece by an anonymous author starts like this:
- Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on each side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.
- Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat gently in left arm and repeat process.
- Retrieve cat from bedroom, pick up and throw soggy pill away.
- Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm, holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for count of ten.
- Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse in from garden.
- Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into cat’s mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat’s throat vigorously.
- Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill out of foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep up shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set on one side for gluing later.
- Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with a pencil and blow into drinking straw.
- Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse’s forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.
- Retrieve cat from neighbor’s shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door just enough so that head is showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with plastic band.
It does go on, actually, but I chose to stop here, because these last ideas are actually not without merit. No, leave those drinking straws and plastic bands alone. Use a pill popper instead:
It still requires confidence and swiftness of action. And yes, it means you have to hold the cat and open its mouth. Again, swiftness and confidence are the key here. Multiple attempts are actually the best recipe for failure when you pill a cat. This is where a pill popper comes in handy, allowing you to position the pill deep in the cat’s mouth, quickly and without too much hassle. No need to open the mouth wide enough to put in your fingers, just enough for you to get a clear shot with this slim instrument.
Here’s a tip – practice placing a pill and popping it into some receptacle, before trying it in your cat’s mouth. Be confident with operating this little gadget for a smoother delivery of medication.