Cat Burritos and Misu on Drugs

This has been sitting in my drafts for almost a year now, but I’ve been meaning to share it because I’ve had a few other friends dealing with sick cats lately. You can try to explain cat burritos with hand gestures, but sometimes pictures do it best 🙂

Misu occasionally gets urine infections and needs antibiotics, which is always an ordeal because you have to wrestle her down to give her the pill. She’s a pretty hefty and strong cat, so it requires a bit of premeditation. The first time she got sick since we moved here, we just had the vet give her one big shot. Happily, we had devised a fairly efficient method for dosing her by the second time. It saved all of us a traumatic car trip and additional vet fees, so yay.

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First, I lay out all the necessary implements before chasing down the cat. That consists of (from left to right) cat malt paste, a piller, bacon grease, and the pill.

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Then, we chase down the cat and place her in the center along one edge of a large towel, with just the head over the hem. We use large bath sheets because she is a very large cat and we like to make sure she’s extra secure.

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One edge is wrapped around under her neck and held tight.

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The other edge goes over the back so now she’s firmly rolled up.

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All along the body, the towel rolled under. At the back, it is tucked under. Voilà, cat burrito. I usually keep one arm around her to keep her from squirming out. She’s fairly calm in this picture because it was near the end of a week-long course of pills and she’d fallen into a routine. Besides, she knows that she’s about to get yummy bacon grease.

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When we first started giving her these pills, I tried to tempt Misu to eat them with just the grease alone. This didn’t work so well because she would just take the pill in her mouth, suck off the grease, then spit it back out 😀 It does do the job of making the pill more palatable, though, and helps it slide down the throat while you are holding her mouth shut. So you grease the pill, stick it in the piller, pry open the cat’s mouth, and deposit the pill as far back on the tongue as possible. I couldn’t really get a picture of all this while doing it, but found a really good page that shows it with another unfortunate cat model.

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Then you hold the mouth shut for half a minute or so to make sure she swallows. Sometimes we stroke the throat, sometimes you can just feel when she does it.

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Open up the mouth again to check that it’s gone. Finally, we give her a liberal dose of cat malt to make sure that she is too busy licking and swallowing to barf the pill back up (which has happened before as well). I rub the malt cream into her front paws so that she has to lick it off, since she’s not in the mood to suck it out of the tube after getting pilled. If we just dab it on without rubbing it in, she shakes her paws and flings the globs off onto the furniture 😛

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Then we let the dour-looking cat go until the next round of ritualized feline torture 😉

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