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How to give your cat a pill

Q My two female kittens came from Cats Protection and their past is unknown. I am slowly gaining their confidence; they let me stroke them, but they hate being picked up.

How do I get worming pills down them? I have tried crushing up the tablets and hiding them in their food, but they know something is odd and it's left untouched!

Vet Andrea Harvey advises: I sympathize with you as this can be a tricky one!

The good news is that pharmaceutical companies recognize the difficulties with medicating cats and have been working hard to produce alternative medications that are either genuinely palatable or can be administered in an alternative way to a tablet, such as a spot-on preparation or an injection.

You could ask your vet to administer the tablet while you are in the surgery, or using another form of wormer such as a spot-on or injection that your vet could also administer. These forms don't cover all the types of worms, so the tablets are best, but these are good alternatives.

Because you are just beginning to gain your kitten's confidence, the best option would be a tablet they would voluntarily eat so you can avoid the trip to the vet. Hiding a tablet whole (or broken in half) in a piece of meat or wrapped in ham can also work well for some cats.

For advice on training your kittens to accept medication (spot-on, tablets, ear drops, eye drops etc), take a look at the April 2013 issue and the rest of the training articles previously published in Your Cat magazine, written by behaviourist Dr Sarah Ellis - training your cat to accept medication can take away the stress for both you and your pet.

To buy a back issue, visit the Your Cat Shop or tel 01476 859820.