Does your cat or dog cringe when you walk by with a towel?
When you get out the pet carrier, do you hear claws scraping the floorboards in a rush to hide?
It’s every pet owner’s nightmare: getting Fido or Muffin to the vet for an annual checkup and shots. It’s hard enough when you plan to visit the vet, but worse if you have to take a sick pet there unexpectedly.
It’s usually after wrestling with a snarling kitty that I vow to spend time getting my pets more familiar with the carrier or a leash. I dream of giving a cat a pill without needing an elaborate scheme to pry open a jaw full of razor-sharp teeth first.
My dream came close to being realized recently, so there may be hope.
More than a few times over the last month our littlest cat, Daisy, has been caught avoiding the litter box and using the floor or a nearby cardboard box instead. I’ve been even more careful about keeping the litter box fresh and clean for her, but she’s still been having “accidents.” So an appointment was made with the veterinarian to give her a checkup, just in case there might be a disease like diabetes or an infection causing her problem. Getting her to the vet’s was the first part of the plan.
Because we have five cats, we have numerous carriers, from the smallest to economy size. If there’s any hesitation on my part in scooping up kitty and whisking him or her into the carrier, I’ve blown it. To make it easier, wrapping a towel around the cat first and having the carrier nearby to place it in is usually successful. If you try this with your own pet, make sure the towel is not so large that pet and towel won’t fit through the door of the carrier first. You don’t want to chase after your pet with the towel for another try, and risk having towels become associated with going to the vet.
After receiving the test results on Daisy, the vet prescribed antibiotics in pill form. The pet health books and Web sites I’ve read show illustrations of how to give a cat a pill, and make it look simple. My cats would not sit still as in the diagrams I’ve seen unless they were sedated.
My attempts in the past to disguise pills by coating them with butter or sticky canned food left something to be desired. Any suggestion of an “off” taste could make Daisy suspicious, so I wanted to start off on the right foot, or paw, so to speak.
I found an item on the Internet that might solve my dilemma with Daisy, a concoction of flour paste and chicken or fish oil, rolled into nuggets. A pill can be pushed into the paste and hidden inside.
On the first try Daisy ate the pill. I’ve been giving her the medication before meals when she’s hungry, and hopefully this will continue to be successful. Only time will tell.