A Tip About Giving Pills

Some of my cats are so combative when I try to give them a pill it takes me forever to get it down them! I’m sure you’ve had this problem too. One thing I learned over the years is to crush the pill and add some water to it. I then suck it up into a syringe (the ones without needles, obviously) and find I can poke it into the side of their mouths and squirt  it in.

Several things to remember though are:

1. Make sure you check with your vet to be positive the medication can be crushed and watered down. Most can, but some cannot.

2. I use a very large serving spoon to put the pill in and then another small spoon to lay on top of the pill and press down to crush it.

3. Use as little water as you can, but enough to dissolve the pill. You don’t want to have to get tons of liquid down them…you can do it in one dose.

giving a cat medicine

Chloe getting some medicine.

4. When you put the syringe in the side of their mouth, be sure you gently slide it toward the back of their throat. If you just barely get it in the side, it will spill back out. I usually grasp the back of their neck (the scruff) and tilt their head backwards slightly, then put the syringe in and squirt. Also, try to squirt slowly, so you don’t shock them with the sudden rush of liquid.

5. After you squirt it in, try to gently hold their mouth shut for a few seconds, with their head still slightly held back,  so they won’t start shaking their head and spit it out. Sometimes they will lose a little of it, but I’ve never found this to be a problem. Again, check with your vet about this and ask if this would be a problem if they don’t quite get the entire dose.

I have found this works well and is easier than trying to poke that pill in the back of their throats. It has saved me some bites too! The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. Hope this helps with pill giving!

The Importance of Clean Litter Boxes

We’ve all experienced that time when our cat will decide to go somewhere else besides the litter box. The very first thing to consider is a medical problem and they should be checked out by a vet.

However, it can sometimes be as simple as their litter box not being clean enough. One of the nice things about our dear felines is that they are very clean. That can also be a bit of a hassle when it comes to their litter box. What we consider clean enough can be thought of as too dirty for their little paws to even touch it.

A friend of mine just got a kitten and that was one of the first things he asked me…why does he go outside of his box? I told him about being sure to keep it very clean and he said that solved the problem. While he thought he was doing a good job, it wasn’t quite good enough for Festus, shown below.

So keep the litter box clean and avoid the little surprises you’ll find around the house! I have found this to be the number one cause, aside from a medical problem, of them not using their littler box.

friends kitten
Festus, my friend Kenneth’s new kitten.

How I Ended Up With 25 Cats!

To try to make a long story shorter, I have picked up many strays over the years and brought them home to keep. As time went on, we usually had at least 7 cats at once. Whenever we had the heartbreaking loss of one, it seemed another would come along within a couple of months. Coming from a long line of animal lovers, we would take it in.

This went on over the years, but it was when my dear mother became ill that things got a little out of hand. I was living with her and my father and when my dad passed, my mom took it very hard. She seemed to get dementia almost overnight and it was a very rough time, as I was very close to my mom. She required care 24/7 and I felt blessed that I could take care of her. It left little time for anything else though and it was at this time that a momma cat and her five kittens showed up in our yard.

If you’ve ever dealt with this, you know the difference between a stray and a feral cat. For those that may not have been in this situation, a stray has had a home at one time and a feral cat has never had contact with humans. You can usually get a stray cat to come to you and allow you to pet them in a fairly short time. This is not true of the feral cat and it becomes obvious which they are pretty quickly.

Trapping a feral cat takes a lot of time, something that caring for my mom left me little of. I fed the little gang and that was the best I could do at the time. I had already dealt with a feral family (a momma cat and her five kittens) several years earlier, all of which were now in the house and more domesticated. Here’s where I cut to the making the long story short…she ended up bringing around three litters in the two years I was caring for my mom. To make matters worse, another cat left her litter in my yard too and took  off.

I was frankly exhausted and overwhelmed from taking care of my mom (not complaining, just the facts) and all I could do was feed the group outside and had no idea what I was going to do. Well, my mom passed away, and I finally got all the cats fixed and their shots. I had a large screened in porch built and a smaller one put in around the other side of the house. I built a tunnel that connected the two houses so they had plenty of room. I managed to get all of them into the houses and have been working with them ever since. Most of them let me pet them now, but it took a couple of years to get to this point.

Getting Kitty to Eat!

Photo by hatch m at Flickr

We’ve all been through having a sick kitty who isn’t eating well.  I’ve found a few tricks to share that might help.

Baby Food

This is the one that works almost every time. Get some plain meat baby food and please be sure it’s just meat. No veggies, nothing else, as they have onion in them and it’s toxic to cats. I know that Gerber and Beech-Nut brands have no onion in the  plain meat varieties. If you choose any other brand, check the ingredient label first.

Most cats love this. Being that it’s pure meat, which cats need, I have always felt it is very healthy for them. I wouldn’t use it as a steady diet, of course, but for a sick kitty it’s great!

Purina Whisker Lickin’s Tender Moments Treats

These are very soft and can be crumbled with ease! I have used them to sprinkle over canned food. They have chicken, salmon and chicken and cheese flavors. The only problem I’ve found is that I have to go to a pet store to get the Tender Moments. For some reason, at least where I live, the grocery stores are not carrying the Tender Moments, only the harder varieties of Purina treats.

Any Brand of Dry Food

I will buy Friskies dry food in one of those mutiflavor varieties, like Surf and Turf. I got a cheap coffee grinder and grind up the dry food, which I then sprinkle over canned food. Since they usually don’t get these varieties, it’s like junk food for them…very enticing!

Tuna Oil

Drizzling just a little oil from your can of tuna over the food can awaken their appetite. Or, if you are desperate enough to get them to eat, mix a little of the tuna in the food. While people tuna is not good for cats, if you need to get them to eat, a little over a few days is better than them not eating at all.


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