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Lifestyle March 1, 2016

How To Pill A Cat!

If you Google ‘how to pill a cat’ over 4 million results pop up, perhaps indicating a good few cat lovers have spent some time pondering this very subject.

Depending on your feline’s temperament, fear of veterinary intervention, the eventual diagnosis and the inevitable go-home treatment is a common stress for cat owners worrying a visit to the vet will end up significantly disrupting their special owner-pet relationship.


For most owners, pilling a cat is not just difficult, it’s impossible. So what if you have to do it three times a day?

A common problem we see in cats over the age of 10 years is feline hyperthyroidism.

Traditionally, a human pill had to be administered up to three times daily to manage this elderly feline disease. The good news is, the people who make the meds have finally got it right and new advancements in feline medicine mean treatment options have become a lot easier.


If your cat does have feline hyperthyroidism, what would you see?

Your cat may show some or all of these symptoms:

  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Ravenous appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Hyperactivity
  • Increased drinking
  • Hair loss or poor coat condition
  • Inappropriate toileting and vocalisation especially at night


What is hyperthyroidism?

There are two thyroid glands located in the neck of the cat, and disease occurs when they become over-active and produce too much thyroid hormone. The thyroid hormones are involved in the control of numerous body processes.

Cats with hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid glands) have their body systems in an overactive metabolic state. They tend to lose weight despite having a ravenous appetite, their heart often races faster than normal, and their blood pressure tends to be high.

Some cats become hyperactive or even aggressive towards their owner or other cats in the house. They may also develop a rough or matted coat. It may not be obvious as cats are private animals, but affected cats will often drink more than usual and may vomit or have other gastro-intestinal upsets.

As the disease progresses, other signs can appear, such as the rapid transit of food through the system which takes its toll on the body (and your house).


How is it diagnosed?

We do what we call a ‘grey paws’ exam, spending time on a full clinical examination of your cat while asking you important questions about his or her general health. Blood pressure measurements, blood and urine samples are taken, as well as a while-you-wait test to measure thyroid hormone levels.


Can it be treated?

The answer is YES. We have several easy, stress-free treatment options available to us.

Anti-thyroid medications, diets and radioactive iodine therapy (which selectively targets the abnormal thyroid tissue) can manage this disease, giving you and your elderly cat your lives back.

Treatment options are now easy!

We usually start our patients on an advanced new treatment option now available: a once-daily application of a medicated gel that is absorbed through the skin of the ear and can be applied easily and painlessly without the need to struggle with pills.

Once daily Methimazole Spot On takes away the need to administertablets and allows easy, accurate and stress-free treatment that your cat won’t resent.


Words: Megan Alderson, Veterinarian


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