Post 437: unexpected consequence

I doubt anything brings forth terror in a cat owner’s heart more than Fluffy’s veterinarian saying, “…and you will need to give this medication to your cat x times a day!” Well, having to give your cat a bath is a near equivalent, but medicine…!

andy to vet 5_edited-1

When I learned Andy needs a daily dose of medication for a heart murmur, I was a bit terrorized when his veterinarian mentioned pills. Imagine my relief, then, when he said I could get it crushed and mixed in liquid with any of several cat-friendly flavors! Of course, I chose Andy’s favorite, tuna, thinking that would make this daily task less difficult for us both.

Andy had his doubts about that tuna-flavored bomb...!

Andy had his doubts about that tuna-flavored bomb…!

The first day, I messed up on the dosage. attempting to give him something like 1/10th the dose required. Never mind. Most of it went on his fur anyway.

Next, I realized Andy needed a little help holding his head steady for the medicine. Wrapping him in a towel was the ticket! Not only did it help steady him, he looked incredibly adorable in swaddling! 🙂

"I don't care if it's tuna-flavored. I don't like it."

“I don’t care if it’s tuna-flavored. I don’t like it.”

Of course, getting Andy into that towel was the next challenge. Each day, he taught me new ways to hide from or to evade one’s human. Eventually I caught him, but — think about it — do you really want to stress out a cat with a heart murmur catching him so you can give him heart medication? I decided not.

We now have a happy method of catching the cat, using his love of –ta duh! — tuna-flavored kitty treats. Instead of trying to catch Andy before I give him treats for being a good boy, the tactic I had been using, I let Andy’s anticipation of getting the tuna-flavored treats trap him.

andy schlaft 4-13-14

Specifically, I come over to my computer, read through my e-mails, maybe start my blog post for the day. It isn’t long before Andy comes over and pats me on the arm to get my attention. (“Where are my treats!?”) I ignore him or give him a little pat on the head.

This goes on for a time, then Andy plops down on the floor beside my computer. Trapped! I just reach down and pick him up, transport him to the dining room, wrap him in the towel, and squirt the medicine in his mouth. Oh, he squirms, and sometimes some of the medicine gets on his chin or face instead, but cats spit clean themselves, right? He gets his medicine.

While Andy’s still wrapped in the towel, just his sweet face popping out, I rub his head and that little space between his eyes that both my cats loved to have rubbed. I tell him what a good boy he is for a few seconds till he starts to wiggle. When he starts to wiggle, I let him down onto the floor, then put his treats down for his reward.

Andy, watching me from the box across from my computer desk.

Andy, watching me from the box across from my computer desk.

What I didn’t expect out of this medicine routine as it has evolved is that Andy now is more tolerant of being held, and lets me hold him for longer periods of time. He also seems to be a happier cat than before, more playful, more mean to his brother…. Hey! I was trying to bring this to an uplifting end!

No, seriously, the process of giving Andy his daily dose of medicine brought about the unexpected consequence of a sweeter Andy, an Andy that lets me snuggle him a bit. We are more bonded than ever.

8 thoughts on “Post 437: unexpected consequence

  1. It takes two to get medication down Ali and I refuse pills. Just not happening with Ali.
    Very cool about teeing able to crutch it and mix it in flavored liquids that kitties like.
    My vet has never said anything about that but she also always gives liquids.
    Andy sure does look incredibly adorable wrapped up in that towel and that look on his face is like he knows what is coming and is looking for it.
    Love the photo of Andy taking a nap.
    Both of your boys are adorable and beautiful kitties-well-umm handsome.
    Have a god day.

    • Thank you for the boys, Ruth! Your Ali is also one beautiful cat! I’m always happy to see her featured in your blogs, especially since she is a good companion for Tim! Good girl!

      As for pills, I’ll always go for flavored liquids if the medication is available in that form. I know some pills can’t be crushed and dissolved in liquid (some of the human pills I used to take…!) because of the nature of them (time release pills, for example).

    • Actually, Dougy does seem a bit put out, but not so much that he’s begging for some of that yummy tuna-flavored medicine! I make sure both cats get plenty of time with me, so much as either cat wants time with me. 😉 Dougy’s time is night time, when he stops by my bed for back massages and nose rubs. I pretty much can accomodate that in my sleep by now.

  2. Amazing how wrapping a cat in a towel can calm them down isn’t it? Our cat Hershey had a thyroid condition and we gave her pills for several years. Our vet gave us a sample of “Pill Pockets” — treats you can hid a pill in. They are soft and you can squish them around the pill. Of course a cat can figure out how to eat the treat and leave the pill… but it worked most of the time.

    Sounds like you’ve got your routine down with the liquid, but if you do ever have to give a pill, you might give them a try.

    • I’ve heard about the pill pockets, but hope I never have to use them since it means pills instead of liquid! The cat burrito thing does work well, and it does calm the cat as well as immobilize those little claws…!

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