Towel vs Pillowcase. Take the Stress Out of Medicating Your Cats and Save Your Sanity.

Pills, ear drops, eye drops, ointments. Twice a day, thrice a day, or more. Gnashing teeth, piercing claws. Games of Hide-and-Seek. Frustration. The ultimate realization that the cat just flat out refuses to cooperate. There had to be a better way to confine our cats than wrapping them in a towel or pillowcase. I set out to find one.

Our little four-legged family of two cats grew when we found three abandoned kittens at the garbage dump. Too late we realized they were infested with ear mites and very quickly we had five cats to attend to. Two of the kittens were very tame. The third definitely had human issues. The gnashing teeth and piercing claws was no understatement. My hands were punctured and ripped to shreds. And the resulting tetanus shot was no picnic either. The older cats took their treatment in stride. The kittens wriggled, squirmed and made the most ungodly howls I’m sure that, if the animal control officer were within earshot, we would have been cited for animal cruelty.

Typical medication ritual went something like this…

1. Drag yourself out of bed at least two hours earlier than usual.
2. Round up Toby, Purrcy and Tabby (the kittens) and corral them in the bathroom.
3. Wake up Cedric and Spot (our seniors) from a deep sleep and medicate them while they’re still yawning and haven’t quite caught on to what you’re doing to them.
4. Congratulate yourself on escaping unscathed thus far and take a deep breath.
5. Slide through a crack in the bathroom door and unhook Purrcy’s claws from the top of the shower curtain, then from the death grip he has on the back of your neck.
6. Check the clock to see just how late you’re going to be for work – repeat as required.
7. Struggle with the towel trying to keep Purrcy between your knees and all four of his paws under wraps.
8. Take a break, gulp a swallow of coffee and pour peroxide on the scratches.
9. Sneak in the bathroom again trying to block the escape route with your feet.
10. Mutter a curse when Tabby comes out of nowhere, flashes through your ankles and bolts for the stairs.
11. Find Toby hiding behind the toilet and entice him with a treat to come out on his own.
12. Repeat Steps 6 and 7.
13. Repeat Step 8 adding something a little stronger to the coffee and a bandage to the deeper gashes that haven’t stopped bleeding yet.
14. Run upstairs. Check for Tabby behind the dressers, behind the washer and dryer, in all the closets, under the beds.
15. Find the hole chewed in the box spring lining of the heaviest bed in the house.
16. Slide the mattress off to get at the box springs.
17. Lift the box springs to drop the cat towards the hole and scoop her up before she can get her footing to climb back up to the top. (Did I mention gnashing teeth and piercing claws?)
18. Wrap the ungrateful kitty in the towel then in a pillowcase wishing you were smart enough to think of bungee cords.
19. Repeat Step 13 several times.
20. Call work and say you’ve had a family emergency and you’ll be a little late.
21. Head to the doctor for that tetanus shot. (Once will be enough. Omit for subsequent treatments unless stitches are required.)
22. Try to get through work without getting blood on anything.
23. Come home, close the doors to all the rooms except the downstairs bathroom so you can herd the cats towards that room.
24. Revise the routine as necessary and repeat from Step 2 at 3 pm and 11 pm forgetting the coffee but not the something a little stronger.
25. Set your alarm three hours early.

Was I the only one who had this much trouble? After all, they were only little kittens. I surveyed the few family and friends I knew with cats to get an idea of how they managed to hold on to their cats when they needed to tend to them. Most said they just wrapped them in a towel. A few said they used pillowcases. I asked, “And just how is that working for you?” The answer – it didn’t.

The towel method, more often than not, took two people: one to hold the towel, the other to treat the cat. While the pillowcase could be more confining, it was much larger than was necessary and the thin fabric did little to prevent the claws from penetrating. The towel was a thicker material but harder to keep around the cat.

I would like to toss this dilemma out to the readership to hear how you handle medicating your cats. Do you prefer the towel method or pillowcase? Take the Poll. Find the results in a future article. With ten cats now, I have found a way to save my sanity and eliminate the stress on my cats. However, it still takes three days of planning and forethought to catch Tabby. It’s been six years but she’s getting better.

Ann Charlotte
I found my better way to eliminate the stress on both myself and my cats. I designed the Kritter Kozee (TM). Each Kritter Kozee is handmade of warm, soft, colorful fleece – many with a whimsical print insert. Many colorful patterns from which to choose. Proceeds are donated to the Humane Society of the United States.

For more information, please check out my website at To respond to the survey, please email me at: Thank you for your support.

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