How to Keep Your Cat Worm-Free Without Tablet Trauma
People who cohabitate with one or more cats have long feared worming their feline masters friends because giving a tablet to a cat is at best, difficult, and at worst, associated with physical and mental scarring (for both parties).
Why is it so difficult to tablet cats?
Firstly, although cats have less tastebuds than humans and dogs, however, they are highly sensitive to the flavours they can detect. They also have a scent/taste organ in the roof of their mouths (Jacobson’s organ) which contributes to the heightened sense of taste, and their rough tongue coating traps particles for longer, extending the amount of time they can taste the (usually bitter) tablet or medication.
- Cats have a strong tongue which they can push forward to eject unwanted objects easily.
- They also have sharp teeth and claws and a strong hatred of being forced to do anything that they did not themselves choose to do.
- Cats are both strong and slippery.
- Attempts at bribery are usually met with disdain.
- These are all valid reasons to be hesitant to worm your cat. They do, however, require worming every 3 months to protect themselves and also their humans from potentially damaging worm infestations.
Reasons to worm your cat
- It’s fun.
- Worms can cause diarrhoea, weight loss, anaemia and malnutrition in cats and kittens.
- Roundworms can be transmitted to humans via contact with cat faeces, including areas outdoors where cats have defaecated, and tapeworms can be transmitted via infected fleas. Both of these infestations can cause terrible conditions in humans including blindness from migrating roundworms and cysts forming on internal organs due to tapeworms.
How, pray tell, do I worm my cat then?
- If you must tablet your cat some tips that may help include:
- call for all hands on deck- a holder and a pill administrator at minimum
- calmly but firmly restrain the cat (wrap in a towel with head out if needed)
- coat the tablet in a little butter to help it slip down the throat more easily
- use a pill popper or your finger to push the tablet to the back of the mouth as far as possible.
- close the cat’s mouth for as long as possible.
If you can no longer handle the thought of a tablet, there are pastes which can be easier to administer (you can even take advantage of your cat’s fastidious nature by smearing the paste on his or her paws, forcing her to lick it off).
OR you can not put anything in their mouth at all and still worm them!
Possibly MOST excitingly there is now a spot on product called Profender®, which is dotted onto the skin at the back of the neck and absorbed over the skin layer. This treatment even includes tapewormer (which must be dosed orally in dogs).
So there are your fuss free, cat worming options! It doesn’t have to be a terrifying process; and you can be confident that you are protecting your pet and your human family as well.
Written by Dr. Kelly Fallon