How To Give A Difficult Cat A Pill

How to Give a Cat a Pill Without Bleeding – Do It Yourself Way!

Here are the four methods I use to give my cat a tablet on my own — without bleeding or weeping! Every personality type, including challenging cats, may be approached in a different way. You’re at the veterinarian’s office, and they inform you that your cats need to be put on medication. Nothing to worry about; I’ll just put it into their meals. Then they inform you that the medication is only available in tablet form. I’m going to die!” you scream as you collapse to the floor, screaming and crying out in agony.

It’s quite uncommon that a cat will gladly accept a medicine in exchange for a purr, so you have to come up with a backup plan…

Take a Deep Breath

First and foremost, take a big breath. Everything is going to be OK in the end. I understand that at first it may not be a pleasant experience and that you may feel defeated, but hang in there. You’ll get it. Even if your cat claws you, bites you, or meows as if it is dying (which it is not), remember that you will have to work very hard to get the pill into your cat. It is critical that you succeed, so don’t give up. As soon as you discover out whatever strategy works best for your cat, things will go smoothly (well, maybe not smoothly, but you’ll be more relaxed)…

Xanadu, the Goblin, my brother, and I.

4 Ways To Give a Cat a Pill

  • Keeping a low profile by eating soft food
  • Concealing a pill pocket in an otherwise harmless dessert Using a pill to make powder and rubbing it into fur
  • Putting the drug into your mouth by hand

Many of you commented how difficult pilling was for you in a recent article, so I thought it would be a good time to discuss the procedures I use for our four cats, which you can read about here. Every single one of them requires a particular method of pilling since, like people, they have a variety of personality traits to consider. I’ve done a great deal of personal research, using a variety of various approaches, and I’ve shed many tears along the way. The Diary of a Cat Mother (or Father)!

Let’s start with the most straightforward options.

1: Hide the pill in cat food – EASY

This approach is categorized as simple. If a cat sees or smells a pill, it may be reluctant to consume the food, even if the pill is placed on top of delicious soft food. However, if you have a cat who adores wet food and you can conceal it in some strongly scented wet food, you have a good chance of success. Place the tablet (or pills) in a soft food container and cover with a small amount of the soft food to conceal it from view. Alternatively, you might split the pill into pieces or even smash it and mix it into the dish before serving.

The cats can tell when you’re attempting to be stealthy, believe it or not!

Your cat will devour it in seconds and will be licking its lips for several minutes afterwards. And, even better, by providing it with soft food, it will believe that you are really lovely, resulting in cat licks on the cheek. Thank you so much, Goblin!

2 Hide the pill in a Pill Pocket

This approach is categorized as simple. Pill Pockets have proven to be effective for many humans, however our cats find them to be disgusting. Have you ever had the pleasure of smelling a Pill Pocket? “No thanks,” your cat could say after taking one sniff of it, which is unfortunate because it smells horrible and does not smell like food. Miss FiFi Bofinkles is a treat-obsessed cat who will ravish you for treats and push other cats out of the way for goodies, so the pill pocket/treat strategy is a perfect fit for her.

  • It is necessary to have Cat Pill Pockets, tasty snacks (like as Friskies), and your medication.
  • If your cat consumes the treat in this manner, that is fantastic!
  • Second, because the pill pocket is soft and sticky, stuff goodies into the opening at the top of the pocket.
  • If your cat enjoys rewards, this may be the most effective method for you.

3 Turn a pill into powder and rub onto fur

This strategy is classified as medium, yet it is ideal for dealing with the most problematic cats.

How To Give a Difficult Cat a Pill

Let’s start with a discussion. Brother, he’s a massive Maine coon, complete with enormous claws and abs of pure steel. The fact that no one (but me!) can cut his nails is a testament to his tenacity. He’s made many vets bleed and flung their needles across the room. Putting all of that aside, Brother Bear is a gigantic darling, a kind giant, but he just does not enjoy being made to do things, and he despises going to the veterinarian. It’s something she despises to no end. When a cat is upset, it’s quite remarkable how powerful it can be.

  1. The first time I attempted it, I believed Matthew would be able to hold him and that I would be able to open his mouth with my hands and place the pill right into his mouth.
  2. This is how it appears a week later; such a love bite, don’t you think?
  3. This is by far the messiest approach, but it is the only one that we have found that allows us to pill Brother.
  4. You have to be very sly with this approach since he can smell it even when we smash his tablets and mix them into soft food.
  5. I understand that this photo appears to show that we live in a drug den, but Officer, I promise this is for my cat!
  6. Depending on how many tablets you are administering and the size of the pills, you may need to repeat this procedure many times.
  7. Vaseline is commonly used to treat hairballs, so it is safe to use on your cats.
  8. Then locate your cat, which may be standing or laying down at this point.
  9. It’s common for me to have to repeat this process several times since after you apply the initial smear, your cat will be aware of what’s going on.
  10. Instantaneously, your cat will feel the desire to clean themselves up and will begin licking the powder off their fur.

You may also apply powder on the other leg while they are wiping their other leg if you have any extra powder. You’ll get some dirty looks, but your cat will make sure to clean up the rest of the trash as soon as possible. And with that, your tough cat will be coerced into taking its medication.

4 Insert Pill By Hand Into Mouth

This strategy is medium-difficult to master, but once you do, it is unquestionably the most effective! You will need your cat’s trust in order to use this strategy. Although the first time the cat is taken by surprise, after a number of visits, the cat will figure out what’s going on when it sees the pill jar and may chase you around the house. It’s all right, it will get better with time. Xanadu is our Siamese cat, and she is quite nervous about the outside world and extremely careful, so we have to handle everything by hand and by hand only.

  • In fact, I do this to Xanadu all by myself, which has resulted in a great deal of trust between the two of us.
  • She doesn’t like it, but she has learned to accept it without chasing after me around the flat.
  • You can hold the pill in your hand, but I think that using an apill gunso is much more convenient because it is skinnier and hence easier to slip into your cat’s mouth.
  • This eliminates the need to fiddle with the pill that is in the cat’s mouth at the time of administration.
  • Step 2.
  • So, while keeping her between my legs, I reach around with one hand to open the mouth of the pill gun while holding her between my thighs with the other.
  • I insert the pill gun into her mouth and shot the pill into the back of her throat, causing her to vomit.
  • I then drop the pistol to the ground and walk away.
  • Both the blowing and the stroking will force your cat to swallow, which will cause the medication to be swallowed along with him or her.
  • That is followed by kisses, cuddles and sweets as well as promises that we would never do that again (I lie, I am a bad mother, believe me).
  • I hope this has been of use to you in the future!

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When it comes to difficulty, this approach is medium, but once you get it down, it is absolutely the finest! You will need your cat’s trust in order to use this strategy successfully. Although the first time the cat is taken by surprise, after a number of visits, the cat will figure out what’s going on when it sees the pill jar and may chase you. You shouldn’t be concerned; things will get better in due course. This has to be done manually by hand since Xanadu, our Siamese cat, is nervous about the outside world and extremely careful, so we have to do it this way.

  • I really do this to Xanadu by myself, which has resulted in a great deal of trust being established between the two parties.
  • Despite the fact that she does not enjoy it, she now concedes without running about the flat.
  • Using apill gunso makes it lot simpler to get the pill into your cat’s mouth since it’s skinnier and hence fits better in their mouth.
  • As a result, the cat will not be able to fumble around with the pill in his mouth.
  • Step 2.
  • While holding her between my thighs and reaching around with one hand to open the mouth while simultaneously holding the pill gun with the other, I accomplish this by myself.
  • The pill gun is inserted into her mouth, and the pill is shot into the back of her throat with a pellet pistol.
  • I gently blow on her nose while stroking her throat with my fingertips while I hold her head up (to assist her to swallow).
  • As long as you can see your cat swallowing by its neck, I release her after two swallows, certain that the medicine has been successfully swallowed and that we are both secure.

We pill our four cats in this manner. It is my hope that this information may be of use to you in the future. I’m curious if you have any pet pilling stories.

How to Give Medicine to a Cat (Yes, Even to a Difficult Cat)

This approach is quite challenging, but once you master it, it is unquestionably the finest! This strategy is only effective if your cat trusts you. Although the first time is surprising, after a number of attempts, the cat will figure out what’s going on when it sees the pill jar and may give you a chase. It’s all right, things will get better with time. Xanadu is our Siamese cat, and she is quite worried about the outside world and extremely careful, so we have to do everything by hand. I’ve given Xanadu liquid medicine by hand before, so I’m very confident in my ability to open her mouth and get the job done.

  1. Xanadu is now 13 years old and is handling everything with grace.
  2. Step one is to obtain your medication.
  3. The pill is shot into the back of the cat’s throat after you pry open their jaw with your fingers.
  4. I got this for $4 at a local pet store, but it’s worth millions of dollars in tears.
  5. Get your cat and squeeze it between your legs as tightly as possible.
  6. Then I open her lips wide, holding my finger in place to ensure that it remains open.
  7. I seal her lips and dump the pistol on the floor as soon as the pill is discharged into her.
  8. Both the blowing and the stroking will force your cat to swallow, which will cause the medication to be swallowed as well.
  9. That is followed by kisses, cuddles and sweets as well as promises that we would never do it again (I lie, I am a dreadful mother, believe me).
  10. I hope this has been of some assistance to you in the future!

The Veterinarian’s Job

  • Discuss with you how much you know about administering medication to a cat in an open and honest manner
  • Inquire as to how much experience you have with this particular cat’s medication. Examine all of the medication’s various formulations, including tablet, liquid, and transdermal forms, before making a decision. If your cat requires polypharmacy (a number of drugs for a difficult disease or a number of illnesses), discuss honestly with your veterinarian about which treatments are the most necessary and whether it is feasible to have many medications compounded together. Make an appointment with a veterinary technician who will spend time with you to demonstrate how to deliver medicine to your cat.

It’s simple for veterinarians to send a customer home with a week’s worth of medicines without discussing the situation with them. In many circumstances, these cats will not receive the whole amount of medicine prescribed for them.

So, What’s the Trick Here?

It’s time to face the painful truth… There is no “one approach” that can be used to administer medicines to all cats by all persons.

Several approaches will be discussed in detail below, beginning with willing cats (which should be straightforward) and on to the reluctant cats (impossible to pill). First, let’s go over some of the most significant information:

  • Fact: Some cats are incapable of being pilled. Fact: Some people are unable to pill a cat due to physical or emotional limitations. Fact: It is critical to create a medication schedule as soon as possible to ensure that the cat will be able to obtain the medications they require in some form or another. Fact: The link between humans and animals is extremely vital, and administering medication should not undermine that bond. Fact: It is up to you and your veterinarian to figure this out.

The first step is to cup the top of the cat’s head with the palm of your right hand (if you’re right-handed; left hand if you’re left-handed) and place it on the floor. It should be possible to get the cat to open their lower jaw by tilting their head back slightly. Photo:stratman2

How to Give Medicine to a Cat (When the Cat Is Willing)

Some cats are easy to pill than others. When I take the first medication, I am frequently able to determine this during the office exam. Despite the fact that it may not be as simple for the pet parent at home, I can typically tell if this is going to be a pleasant and effective pilling situation or if it is going to be a catastrophe. A right-handed person (which is what the most of us are) is shown in some internet instructions for how to give a cat a pill while holding the cat in their right arm and administering the pill with their left hand.

After pilling thousands of cats, I’ve discovered that the most effective method for me is to snuggle the cat in the crook of my left arm while delivering the pill with my right hand into the cat’s mouth with my left.

Instructions for Giving a Cat a Pill

While you should always follow the directions supplied by your personal veterinarian, the following is a summary of the detailed instructions offered by Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine:

  1. Cup the top of the cat’s head with the palm of your non-dominant hand. With your head tilted back, you should notice the cat’s bottom jaw opening. If this is not the case, you will have to pry the lower jaw open. Place the middle finger of your dominant hand into the cat’s mouth, over the little incisor teeth — NOT over the sharp fangs — while holding the pill between the thumb and index finger of your dominant hand (canines). Caution: The cat has the potential to bite. Work as rapidly as possible
  2. Toss the pill as far back as you possibly can over the cat’s tongue
  3. Close your mouth as fast as possible. Make gentle strokes around the cat’s neck to urge it to swallow, or blow into the cat’s nose.
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According to Washington University, “When giving a cat oral medicine, exercise caution to avoid a bite.” The mouth of a cat carries a large number of microorganisms, therefore cat bites are frequently severe punctures.” If you are bitten by a cat, go to the doctor as soon as possible, even if you do not believe the bite is serious. Why? We must do so since there is an extremely serious risk of infection. More information may be found in my post “Did a Cat Bite You? “It’s a Much Bigger Deal Than You Might Expect.”

Additional Tips and Reminders

  • Never approach the cat from directly in front of it. Cats are not fond of being approached in this manner. Instead of approaching the cat from the front, wrap your arms around it or approach from behind
  • Devise a strategy that will reduce tension. Figure out what works best for you and your cat, and make sure this pilling exercise is completed as soon as possible. The phrase “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” does not hold true when it comes to cats. It’s like this in your cat’s head: “If at first you don’t succeed, try again and I’ll be beneath the bed.” Incorporate medicine into an existing regimen that includes food, treats, and other rewards for the cat. Even while technique works better with dogs, some cats may accept a medication in exchange for their supper.

The cat should never be approached from behind. Attempting to approach cats in this manner is not recommended. If possible, wrap your arms around the cat and approach from behind; find a stress-relieving strategy that works for you and your cat. Work with your cat to determine what works best for both of you, and make sure this pilling exercise is completed as soon as possible.. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again is not a good strategy when it comes to cat training. Your cat’s interpretation of the ancient saying is “If at first you don’t succeed, go blank yourself, and I will be beneath the bed.” Incorporate medicine into an existing regimen that includes food, treats, and other rewards for the feline companions.

How to Give Medicine to a Difficult Cat

Some cats are apprehensive about taking a tablet or capsule. As a result, it is virtually impossible. It’s just not going to happen with these cats, therefore you’ll have to come up with an other solution.

Pill Guns

I really don’t know. Perhaps they will be effective? For certain people, perhaps? Apill gun, sometimes known as “pet pillar,” is a short plastic device in which you place the pill and then insert a little plastic tube into the cat’s mouth and push, causing the pill to pass down the cat’s throat and out the other side. DACVECC member Dr. Tony Johnson, DVM, DACVECC recommends doing so because it keeps your hands away from your mouth and increases your chances of getting the pill in the sweet spot where swallowing is simpler than spitting it out.

As you might guess, when a cat sees a white tool coming at them from the front, things don’t always go smoothly (excuse the pun), therefore I’m a little wary about pill guns for cats in general.

Liquid Medication

Many individuals prefer to provide liquid meds to their cats, and this is achievable with a wide variety of treatments. So, what is the best way to provide liquid medication to a problematic cat? You provide the medicine in the same manner as you would administer a pill: you attempt to open the cat’s mouth and administer the dropperful of medication directly to the cat. Keep an eye out. The experts at Washington University warn that “liquids are more prone than tablets or capsules to unintentionally enter the windpipe.” Keep the cat’s head from being tilted forward to prevent the cat from breathing fluids into the windpipe.

Can you put liquid medicine in cat food?

When I prescribe a liquid, the most often requested question is “Can I combine it with her food?” The answer is yes. Probably not, to be honest. The reason behind this is as follows:

  • Not even kitty-flavored medication is particularly appetizing. Even if you combine liquid medications with cat food, if the cats don’t consume the food, they will not receive the medication! It appears to be a “Duh!” moment to me, but many people continue to put the medications in their meals and don’t seem to comprehend. Although the cat consumes part of the food, they are not receiving the recommended dosage
  • Food aversion. A large number of cats that require medicine are not feeling well. It is not a good thing if something causes them to avoid their food. When medications are mixed into food, it might cause food aversion. However, even if you cease placing medicine in the bowl, the cat may continue to shun the bowl for several days.

Not even kitty-flavored medication is very appetizing in its flavor. Even if you combine liquid medications with cat food, if the cats don’t consume the food, they won’t get any medication! The fact that many people continue to put medications in their food belies the fact that this is aWell, duh!moment. Cats that are allergic to certain foods will not obtain their recommended amount of medication; food aversion. Many of the cats that require medicine are not feeling well at the time of their prescription.

Meals aversion can be induced by mixing medications into food.

Compounding Pharmacies: An Alternative for Impossible-to-Pill Cats

Pets, particularly fussy cats, are now the focus of a specialized business that has emerged. These specialist pharmacies can synthesize practically any drug into a form that you and your veterinarian have both approved upon.

Pros of Compounded Flavored Formulas

  • Pills and liquids may be transformed into flavored medicines to suit your cat’s tastes and preferences. You can eat tuna, salmon, chicken, or whatever you like. The variety of flavors available is enormous, and transdermal gels are also available. These are the most common when it is necessary to provide drugs for an extended period of time, as is the situation with hyperthyroid cats. In some cases, a little quantity of gel can be applied to the inner ear and absorbed via the skin. It is possible to mix many drugs (polypharmacy) together, which means that instead of administering three prescriptions, you may provide just one. A cat suffering from renal failure, heart illness, and/or hyperthyroidism may find this to be useful.

Cons of Compounded Flavored Formulas

Pills and liquids can be transformed into flavored treatments to suit your cat’s tastes and requirements. Fish of every kind: tuna, salmon, chicken… Transdermal gels are also available, and there is a large selection of tastes to choose from. For cats with hyperthyroidism, they are the most common when drugs must be given for an extended period of time. For example, a little quantity of gel can be applied to the inner ear and absorbed via the skin; and It is possible to combine many drugs (polypharmacy) together, allowing you to administer one medication instead of three.

Short Shelf Life

Whenever you combine a medication, it is typically only effective for 30–45 days. Because of this, you must be attentive in terms of phoning ahead and keeping up with your cat when it requires refills.


Working with a compounding pharmacy can be a rewarding or frustrating experience. You can typically have your cat’s medications delivered to your home, but doing so requires planning ahead and ordering refills well before you run out.

Some veterinarians may store the most widely used feline medications in a compounded form, but you must discuss this with your veterinarian before you run out of medication.


There are evil actors in any profession where money is to be earned, and the financial industry is no exception. Compounding veterinary pharmaceuticals necessitates the use of an ethical and highly qualified pharmacist who understands how to get the best medication and how to formulate it into a stable solution, flavored tablet, or gel. The pharmacy should be selected by your veterinarian, and you should follow his or her recommendations.


Is your cat receiving the right dose of medication in the form that has been prescribed, and is all of the medication being absorbed effectively in their body?

  • Liquid suspensions must be constantly shaken to ensure that they remain in a uniform suspension. It is possible that transdermal gels are not as effective as administering an oral dosage of medicine. Follow all instructions (such as refrigerate or store in a cool, dark location) exactly as they are written.

Certain medications have the potential to become lodged in the cat’s throat, which can be problematic. Consult with your veterinarian about this. Photo:clickphoto

A Possible Problem With Dry-Pilling a Cat: Esophageal Strictures

Pills can readily become lodged in a cat’s esophagus, causing serious complications. The esophagus is the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach, allowing food and drugs to pass through. Cats are particularly susceptible to having tablets become trapped in their throat and unable to move. It is irritating to the cat’s throat when a pill becomes lodged in its esophageal passageway. It is possible that the irritation could progress to the point where a type of scarring (known as a stricture) would form, narrowing the esophagus and making it impossible for the cat to get food down into the stomach as a result of the restriction.

  • Doxycycline is an essential and commonly used feline antibiotic.
  • Recent research on feline esophageal strictures has advised that pet parents feed their cats around 5 mL (1 teaspoon) of water after giving them a medication.
  • You didn’t think the pilling was severe enough, did you?
  • Wishing you the best of luck with that.

Final Thoughts on How to Give Medicine to a Cat

I’ve been doing this for quite some time. One of the most frustrating experiences a feline veterinarian may have is working up a wonderful kitty, diagnosing what is wrong, and recommending medicine – only to discover that the caring pet parent is unable to provide it. And they don’t tell me anything. So, if you don’t mind: Consult with your veterinarian. If you are unable to administer the drug as prescribed, get further instructions. Take a look around for alternatives. If you are unable to communicate openly with your veterinarian, locate another one.


  • “How to Administer Oral Medications to Your Cat.” “Medicating Your Cat,” Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington, D.C. The Ryan Veterinary Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Catherine Sumner, DVM, DACVECC
  • And the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine “Drug Interactions” is an abbreviation for “drug interactions.” It is the responsibility of the MSPCA-Angell to ensure that the MSPCA-mission Angell’s is carried out in a professional and ethical manner. « Pill-Popping Pets: Is It Safe to Feed Pills to Your Dog or Cat?» Tufts University is home to the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center. Johnson, Tony, DVM, DACVECC
  • 4th of September, 2018. “Pilling Dogs and Cats,” as the phrase goes. The 17th of September, 2014, Veterinary Partner. id=6448413 Boothe, Dawn Merton, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVCP
  • Boothe, Dawn Merton “Transdermal Gel Delivery in Cats: Is It a Pain or a Necessity?” (Proceedings).” 1st of May, 2011. dvm360. sk= date= pageID=4 sk= date= pageID=4 sk= date= pageID=4
  • Marty Becker, DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine). The article “Something You Might Not Have Known About Pilling Cats” can be found here. Dr. Marty Becker’s Blog, published on September 17, 2014
  • German, Alex, BVSc, PhD, DipECVIM-CA, MRCVS, published on September 17, 2014. Doxycycline-induced Oesophageal Strictures in Cats,” a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. In the February 2005 issue of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, pages 33–41 are included.

Dr. Debora Lichtenberg, VMD, a veterinarian, has prepared the following information about pet health. The most recent inspection was performed on July 30, 2019. If you have any questions or concerns, you should consult with your veterinarian, who is the most qualified to guarantee the health and well-being of your animal companion.

Please remember that this material is intended just for informative reasons and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additional information may be found here.

Do You Struggle With Medicating Your Cat?

Many cat owners find it challenging to provide oral medicines to their feline companions. Regardless matter whether the medicine is in the form of a pill, capsule, or liquid, most cats will demonstrate some level of resistance if someone attempts to get the drug into their mouths. Recognizing how to medicate your cat correctly is critical since the efficacy of your cat’s therapy is dependent on the drug getting into his or her system! If you have a cat that is tough to treat, don’t give up hope just yet.

  • First and foremost, plan ahead of time!
  • Acceptance might be demonstrated by gently caressing the head and cheeks while delivering positive reinforcement.
  • It is best to start cautiously and use plenty of praise and rewards to encourage the desired behavior in your cat if she is averse to face and mouth interaction.
  • Because your cat will get accustomed to being handled around the head and mouth, it is possible that he or she may be more tolerant of oral treatments in the future.
  • Whenever you train your cat to expect a meal twice daily, you will have certain advantages if the time comes that your cat has to take an oral prescription.
  • A lot of drugs should be taken with a meal, for a variety of reasons.
  • If, on the other hand, the cat is on a feeding schedule, you can be certain that your cat ate the meal at the time the medication was administered.

You may use food to your advantage when it comes to medicating your cat!

Now, if and when the time comes for you to provide an oral prescription to your cat, your chances of success will rise if you can figure out a technique to get your cat to take the drug on his or her own will.

Providing oral medications at the start of meals, before the complete meal is served, is one of the most effective methods of coordinating medication delivery.

Some cats are so driven by food that they will consume treats that contain medications placed inside them.

Once the pill has been administered, you just scrunch or smooth the treat around the pill before offering it to your cat as a reward.

Consult with your veterinarian about alternative incredibly delectable treat options that might be appropriate for your particular cat if your cat has certain dietary limitations or demands.

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The trick to administering any oral medicine is to place the delectable item containing the medication out first – when your cat is hungry – so that he or she will be more likely to consume it without recognizing that it contains medication within.

It is possible that the meal will not be effective in masking the drug.

Give the medication to the patient directly: You may need to experiment with a few different positions to find the one that works best for your cat.

Some cats are content to sit on their owners’ laps, while others may claw your legs as they attempt to escape.

Lift the head gently with your non-dominant hand and open the lips from the top with your dominant hand.

The risk of being bitten is unquestionably present with this strategy.

Otherwise, the medication will be sucked back up into your system!


They are useful because they prevent your fingers from getting into the cat’s mouth.

*Keep in mind that if you are administering the pill directly (whether with your hand or a pilling device), it is always best to wash the medication down to avoid it becoming stuck in the esophagus.

For liquid medications, owners have had success by positioning the syringe or dropper at one of the corners of the mouth and squirting the drug into the mouth with the other.

In addition, proceed with caution and avoid squirting the medication entirely down your cat’s throat, since this may cause your cat to cough or perhaps inhale part of the drug.

If you are unsuccessful with a pill, is there a liquid, injectable, or transdermal version that you can try?


If all of your other options fail, you can book an appointment to have your cat seen by a veterinarian for prescription administration.

Keep in mind that if your cat has been prescribed an oral medicine, it is because your cat’s doctor believes it is necessary.

If you are successful in getting the medication into your cat, we will be pleased! Whenever you have any problems, questions, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact our staff for assistance! Dr. Clarissa Noureddine, DVM, MS, MS is the author.

Giving Pills to Cats

Even for the most experienced veterinarian, administering medicines to cats may be a difficult task! The simplest method of administering a medication to your cat is to conceal the tablet in food. A modest bit of tuna, salmon, yogurt, or cream cheese is generally sufficient to conceal the pill’s presence. It is preferable to place the pill in a tiny bit of food that your cat is guaranteed to consume rather than a huge piece of food that your cat may not finish in order to ensure that your cat swallows the pill.

Some cats may spit out the pill, so it’s crucial to keep an eye on your cat while he’s eating medicated food and immediately thereafter.

Make certain that you have read and comprehended the prescription label and dosing directions before proceeding with the procedure.

Follow these steps when administering a pill to your cat:

  • Prepare a secure environment in which to handle your cat. Prepare the pill and set it in a convenient location where it will be conveniently accessible
  • When your cat is eating, eliminating (using the litter box), or grooming, do not interrupt them to pill your cat.
  • Set up a safe area where you will be dealing with your cat. Prepare the pill and set it in a convenient location where it will be easy to obtain. When your cat is eating, eliminating (using the litter box), or grooming, do not disturb him or her.
  • Preserve the pill by lubricating it with a little bit of margarine or butter so that it does not stick in your cat’s mouth or throat and will be simpler for him to take in the future. In the case of capsule administration, this is quite beneficial.
  • Between your thumb and index finger, hold the pill in place. Whenever possible, utilize your dominant hand – for example, if you are right-handed, you should use your right hand
  • Grab the top of your cat’s head with your other hand, placing your thumb on one side of the upper jaw and your fingers on the other, and gently squeeze. Tip the cat’s head back over its shoulder so that the tip of her nose is pointing up at the ceiling. Her mouth should slightly open while she speaks
  • Gently grab the top of your cat’s head with your other hand, placing your thumb on one side of the upper jaw and your fingers on the other side. Tip the cat’s head back over its shoulder so that the tip of her nose is pointing towards the ceiling. Ideally, her mouth should be slightly open.
  • Place the pill as far back over the tongue as possible as quickly as possible. It’s best to position it on the rear one-third of the tongue in order to trigger an instinctive swallowing response.
  • You should close and maintain the closure of your cat’s jaws while restoring the cat’s head to its natural posture.
  • Gently touch your cat’s nose or throat, or softly blow on her nose, to relieve her nasal congestion. This should help to get the swallowing process started. If the cat has ingested the medication, it will usually lick the inside of its nose with its tongue. The administration of a small amount of tuna juice, flavoring broth or water after the pill may help the cat take it more easily in some situations. You may also provide the cat the tuna juice, flavoring broth or water by the teaspoon or by the bowl after the pill. After you’ve pilled your cat, provide her some affection and good reinforcement (e.g., treats, brushing, petting, or playing). Make certain that it is something that your cat will love, as this might differ from cat to cat.
  • Blow softly on your cat’s nose or throat using a gentle touch or mild blowing. Consumption is expected to be stimulated. If the cat has ingested the medicine, it will often lick its nose with its tongue. The administration of a small amount of tuna juice, flavoring broth or water after the pill may help the cat take it more easily in some situations. You may also provide the cat the tuna juice, flavoring broth or water by the teaspoon or the bowl after the pill in some cases. Provide positive encouragement to your cat once she has pilled up (e.g., treats, brushing, petting, or playing). It’s important to make sure it’s something your cat will love doing because this might differ from cat to cat.

Depending on the drug, it may be feasible to have it compounded and packaged in a flavored formulation.” You might be able to have the prescription compounded into a flavored formulation if feeding your cat a pill is a frustrating experience for you and your cat. In addition to preparing many of the most popular treatments into liquid form, veterinarians may also create treat formulae that are flavored with enticing tastes like as tuna, chicken, or salmon. Products for veterinary behavior support that have been authorized by veterinarians Take a look now

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How to Give a Difficult Cat Liquid Medicine

Cats are well-known for refusing to take their medication when prescribed. Even if your cat is a handful, he still has to be medicated on a consistent basis. If you’re wondering how to administer liquid medicine to a tough cat, one frequent method is to hide the medicine in food that he enjoys. However, if that strategy fails to help your cat, there are other options available to you.

Mix the Medicine with Canned Food

When it comes to taking medication, cats are infamous for refusing to do so. Even if your cat is a handful, he will still require medicine to be healthy. You can try disguising the medicine in food that your cat like as a technique if you’re having trouble administering liquid medicine to him. However, if that strategy fails to benefit your cat, there are other options available.

How to Give Liquid Medicine in a Syringe

If you are unable to persuade your cat to consume medicine combined with canned food, you will have to administer the liquid medication to your cat using a syringe instead. This can be a bit more complex, so make sure to follow these instructions to ensure that it is completed correctly. 21. Get your medicine ready to go. You want to make sure everything is ready, including the syringe, before involving your cat. 2. Turn your cat’s head so that he is facing away from you. Holding the syringe in your dominant hand while holding your kitty with the other is a good strategy.

  1. 3.
  2. When dealing with a very demanding cat, it may be necessary to cover him in a towel and just expose his head for this phase.
  3. For the most problematic cats, you may need to wrap him in a blanket and place him in the hands of a trusted caregiver while you administer the medication to him.
  4. Raise his chin to his chest and stare up at the ceiling.
  5. Adjust his position so that he is staring up at the ceiling.
  6. Those who disagree with this method propose letting the cat lick the tip of the syringe first to see if the taste scares him away.
  7. 5.

This will compel him to open his mouth more readily.


If you pump it too rapidly or too close to the front of his tongue, he may spit part of it out, so be careful.

Continue to hold his head and count to three with his eyes closed.

By gently stroking his chin, you can help him swallow more easily.

Because his throat is sore, proceed with caution! Cats who are very difficult to treat may require a different type of medication, such as an IV or injection from a veterinarian, or a transdermal medication. However, for the vast majority of cats, these procedures will be perfectly satisfactory.

What If Your Cat Is Foaming at the Mouth?

If you are unable to persuade your cat to consume medicine combined with canned food, you will have to provide the liquid medication to your cat using a syringe to administer the medication. Because this can be more challenging, take these steps to ensure that it is completed correctly. 21. Get your medicine ready to take. Before involving your cat, make sure everything is ready, including the syringe. 2. Make sure your cat is looking away from you when you’re working. The syringe should be held in your dominant hand, while the cat should be held in the other.

  • The use of a towel to wrap around some very problematic cats may be necessary.
  • Due to the potential for further stress, consider administering medication to your cat without wrapping him.
  • 4.
  • Pull back your cat’s whiskers with your fingers around his upper lip and gently hold him there.
  • In addition, some doctors recommend that you try to give your cat liquid medicine without tilting his or her head.
  • Talk to your veterinarian if you’re not sure which strategy to employ.
  • Gently place the syringe at the side of his lips.

As a result, he will be more likely to speak up.

6 – Squirt the drug into his mouth gently and deliberately.

Seventh, he must maintain his head position and count to three.

Swiping his chin may help him swallow more easily.

When cats are very difficult to treat, they may require a different type of medication, such as an IV or an injection administered by the veterinarian, or they may require transdermal medication.

Pilling Your Cat

Pilling Your CatHiding pills in food or a treat.This doesn’t work for all pills, or for all cats for that matter.For this to work, the pill can not have a strong odor or bitter taste, and the food or treat must be something that your cat likes so much that they will eat even when it is ‘tainted’ by a pill.For this, you can use any cat food or people food as long as it is not a food that will make them sick.The only people foods you need to avoid is anything with garlic or onions in them since those are toxic to cats, chocolate, or anything with lactose in it since most cats are lactose intolerant.Anything else in a small amount is okay to use.Kind of the “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” philosophy.Probably the easiest way to hide a pill in a treat is to purchase a “Pill Pocket” or something similar.This is a soft treat with a hole in the center.You place the pill inside the treat, smush it closed over the pill, and pretend that you are just giving a normal treat to your cat.If your cat is a big treat eater, and they don’t tend to chew their treats, this will work very well.You can also try this using a piece of cheese, lunch meat, hamburger, or anything that is small, that you can hide a pill inside of and that your cat will be likely to inhale without chewing.If this doesn’t work for your cat, then the next thing is togrind the pill up into a fine powderusing either a mortar and pestle, two spoons, a hammer, a pill grinder, or anything that will achieve the desired result.You can then mix the pill powder in a small amount of a very tasty cat or human food that your cat normally goes crazy over.Just make sure that your cat eats all of the food, or they won’t get all of their medicine, so don’t use a large amount of food. Also note that some medication do not taste very well and some cats have the ability to smell it in their food, causing them to avoid eating whatever food the medication was placed in. Pilling by hand.Okay, so your cat is too smart for the pill in a treat method, or the pill is just too nasty tasting (such as with Baytril or metronidazole – very nasty tasting meds).So, you decide to try giving the pill by hand.There are a lot of cats that will actually tolerate this well.You can either give the pill as is, or you can also try lubricating it with a little butter, margarine, or cream.If your cat is fairly docile, then you may be able to administer the pill by yourself with no help.There are four ways to hold your cat by yourself to give the pill.The first method involves holding the top of your cat’s head by placing your thumb on one side of the upper jaw and your fingers on the other side.Tilt your cat’s head back gently until their nose points toward the ceiling, which should cause your cat’s jaw to open slightly.The second method involves scruffing your cat firmly and tipping their head back until the nose points toward the ceiling.This is for slightly less cooperative cats.The third method involves putting your hand under your cat’s chin with your thumb in one cheek, and your fingers in the other, and pushing in gently until your cat opens their mouth.The fourth method is only for cats that like to be held on their back.This involves cradling them on their back like a baby, but with their head and neck in an upright position, and just using your hand to open up their mouth.Once you have found a method of restraint that works for your cat, the next step is to use your ring finger and littler finger to open your cat’s mouth further, and then using your thumb and forefinger to place the pill as far back in your cat’s mouth as possible.Quickly close your cat’s mouth, and hold it closed.You can encourage swallowing by one of three methods; gently rubbing your cat’s throat, blowing in your cat’s nose, or have a syringe of water ready to go, and dribbling it into the side of your cat’s mouth immediately after placing the pill. Pill Poppers.So neither treats nor hand pilling will work for your cat.Don’t give up yet.This is what they invented pill poppers for.Pill poppers look like a long fat syringe that you can place a pill inside of.You can then use the pill popper to get the pill into the back of your cat’s throat without having to risk getting bitten and sticking your fingers in there.For this method, you can also do it with only one person, but about the only effective methods of restraint are holding the top of your cat’s head, or scruffing your cat. When it comes to restraining your cat’s head, you want to place your non-dominant hand around their skull and have your thumb and point finger behind their eyes and behind their cheek bones as shown in the pictures below.Once you have control of your cat’s head, using your dominant hand, take the pill popper with the pill already placed in it, and use it to open your cat’s mouth by pushing it into the side of your cat’s mouth just behind the canines where there is an area with no teeth (as demonstrated in the picture above).Once in, quickly but gently push the pill popper to the back of your cat’s mouth, push the pill in, and then repeat the methods to stimulate swallowing.A few additional pointers.Some cats may require two people to restrain.The second holder is most effective if they can hold your cat’s two front feet to keep them from batting at you, and their arms along your cat’s body to further help immobilize them.A towel wrapped securely around your cat may also help, but it may also further stress your cat out.If your cat has their front nails, consider trimming them before you start pilling them.Even if they go outside, the nails will grow back in a few weeks.Even the back nails can scratch you pretty well when pilling, wouldn’t hurt to trim them also.Speed is of the essence.The faster you go, the less your cat will fight you.You may want to practice on a different cat in the home without the actual pill before you go to pilling your cat.60% of dry pilling results in the pill sitting in the esophagus for several minutes to hours before it travels down to the stomach.We highly recommend either syringing water or some type of flavored liquid such as chicken broth or tuna juice down your cat after pilling them to make sure they swallow the pill.This is primarily critical if you ever have to give your cat a doxycycline pill.Doxycycline pills are highly prone to causing esophageal strictures, which is why we no longer use them at All Feline Hospital.However, while other medications are not as bad, they can still cause a fair amount of irritation, so it’s best to flush them down with something, even food will work.Good luck!
See also:  How To Make A Cat Love You

How to Safely Give Your Cat a Pill

Cats are notoriously difficult to provide medication to. Just ask your veterinarian! If your sick cat coughs or vomits after eating a medication, there is a strong reason to discontinue trying to deliver the pill using the technique you are now using to provide it.

It is dry pilling that is the most often used technique of giving pharmaceuticals that might cause issues. Anybody who has had the unpleasant sensation of swallowing a dry aspirin without fluids will appreciate how terrible the process may be.

Dry Pilling Can Be Dangerous for Cats

Dry pilling without the use of a water ‘chaser’ can result in pills becoming lodged in your cat’s esophagus, which is the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach and stomach to the intestine. Using a ‘liquid’ chaser, such as the one indicated below, is recommended if you want to dry pill. The reason for this is that both pills and capsules have the potential to become “stuck.” Even though we conceive of capsules as having a smooth, gelatinous surface, they can readily lodge in the esophagus if they are manufactured using dry pilling techniques.

  1. How to Administer a Liquid Chaser to Your Cat One way veterinarians recommend for preventing difficulties with dry pilling is to immediately follow the dry pilling with 6mls of water administered with a needle-free syringe or dropper.
  2. Using a syringe, provide a liquid solution after pilling.
  3. The water chaser should be administered immediately following the dry pilling.
  4. Lisa Pierson recommends approaching your cat from the rear or side of its mouth, rather than pushing the syringe into the front of its mouth, according to
  5. When delivering a liquid chaser after dry pilling, take care not to provide the liquid too rapidly and to give your cat enough time to swallow.

Using Food to Avoid Dry Pilling

To your advantage, there are other strategies you may employ to avoid complications while providing oral drugs to your cat. Food and treats for your cat may be sufficient medication for you to provide.

  • Put a pill in a pill pocket or another pill-masking tool to keep it hidden. Pill pockets are available for purchase or can be made from scratch. Soft, cone-shaped snacks with a hole in the center, into which you may insert a pill, are available pre-made at most grocery stores. In order to promote future pilling cooperation, offering a favorite treat without any pills in it on occasion is recommended. It will also aid in getting the tablet into the stomach as fast as possible so that it can go to work
  • Prepare a tiny piece of canned cat food for your cat’s normal supper just before the pilling begins. After that, give your cat a tablet and continue to feed it after it has swallowed the medication. It will aid in the easy passage of the tablet

Compounding a Medicine to Avoid Pills

If everything else fails, see your veterinarian for assistance in administering your cat’s medication in a different manner. Despite the fact that the cost may be slightly more, the end result may be more appealing treatment for your feline companion.

  • Pharmaceutical companies will mix drugs into flavored liquid dosages, which some pharmacies will do for you. It’s less difficult to swallow and tastes better than tablets. Certain drugs can also be formulated into gels or ointments that can be applied directly to your cat’s inner ear through the use of a compounding pharmacy.

At least one of these methods should alleviate the worry and suffering that you and your cat are experiencing as a result of dry pilling. Using this method, you may assist guarantee that your cat’s medication enters the digestive track where it can be absorbed rather than being caught in his throat. If you have any reason to believe your pet is unwell, contact your veterinarian immediately. Always consult your veterinarian for health-related inquiries, since they have evaluated your pet and are familiar with the pet’s medical history, and they can provide the most appropriate suggestions for your pet.

How to Give Your Cat a Pill Like a Pro

The first and most important step is to consult with your veterinarian. A veterinarian is a fantastic resource and, whether they’ve worked with your cat for years or just once, they’ll have good tips and techniques for administering medicine to your cat in a safe and effective manner. Furthermore, they have the added advantage of being able to observe how your cat reacts to medications, allowing them to give a more individualized advice. Inform yourself and your veterinarian on the proper way to deliver medicine at your initial appointment.

There are two methods for administering a pill to a cat: orally and subcutaneously. You should make an outline of your game plan ahead of time so that you can acquire the necessary stuff to make the pill distribution process easier and more efficient.

The different ways you give a cat a pill

  • You may combine it with food
  • You can administer a pill by hand
  • And you can take it by mouth.

The next sections will outline these actions in further detail. There are some drugs in particular that must be taken with food, and there are others that should not be mixed with food. Always be sure you thoroughly read the directions before proceeding. Pills are much simpler to incorporate into wet food!

How to mix pills with food

  • After you’ve filled your cat’s dish with wet food, delicately tuck the pill into a portion of wet food using a spoon. Keep an eye on your pet while they are eating and make sure they consume all of the food
  • Even if your cat has difficulty finishing a full bowl of food, you should feel free to divide the meal into smaller amounts to ensure that they consume the prescribed medication. Some cats may notice the pill and will either eat around it or spit it out, depending on their temperament. You may be forced to provide the medication to them by hand, which is considerably more difficult but not impossible in this situation.

It’s important to remember that if your cat consumes the pill, you should thank them with some form of treat. In fact, cats are extremely susceptible to incentive systems, and even if they aren’t conscious that they are eating a pill along with their meal, they will link finishing their wet food with receiving a treat. If combining a pill with wet food isn’t an option for you, you may always try giving it to your cat by hand instead. However, please be advised that this method is substantially more risky (this is how I obtained two scars on my left forearm).

Never stop your cat’s eating, using the litter box, grooming, or other activities to administer a medication.

How to give your cat a pill by hand

  • Prepare everything in advance: Prepare for a time crunch by ensuring you have the pill, a blanket or towel, and a reward on hand
  • To calm your cat down if they are anxious, gently wrap them in a towel or a blanket. This will protect you in the event that they become slashy, and it will also keep them safe in the process. Inspect the collar to ensure it is slack around their neck, but not so loose that they may squirm free. Face your cat in the opposite direction of where you are. My cat, Val, tolerated a pill well when I kneeled on the ground and tucked her hind end between my thighs
  • I had excellent success with this method. Gently lay your hand behind their chin and softly open their lips with your thumb and fingers using your thumb and forefinger. As they begin to struggle, it is critical that you do not tighten your grasp on them any further. You don’t want to cause them any harm. Tilt their head back gently and slip the pill into their mouth to begin. Close their mouths and rub them beneath the chin to comfort them. As a result, they will be more likely to swallow the medication. Recognize their efforts with a treat so that they will equate it with a pleasant experience.

This strategy was successful for me! Note: If you’re still having difficulties getting your cat to take a tablet, try coating the pill with tuna juice to tempt them to do it for you. Some veterinarians recommend the use of a piller to make administering medicines to cats more convenient. I’ll go through everything in more detail in the following phase. It is possible to insert the tablet inside the cat’s mouth without the need of your fingers thanks to Apiller, a medication distributor. A piller also helps you to insert the pill further into your cat’s mouth than you would be able to using your fingers.

How to use a piller

  • Determine how your piller works by drawing out the piller and pressing the plunger into position until it snaps into place. At the end of the syringe, the piller should keep the pill in place
  • Otherwise, the pill will fall out. As you approach the piller, make sure your cat does not see them. Carry through the methods outlined above to move your cat into position, either by holding them or swaddling them
  • Gently lay your hand behind their chin and softly open their lips with your thumb and fingers using your thumb and forefinger. At this time, they will begin to struggle, and it is crucial not to tighten your grasp on them in reaction. You don’t want to cause them any harm. As soon as you’ve placed the pill in their mouth, expel it by squeezing the plunger of the syringe all the way down. Always remember to offer them something special.

Note: There are a few pain relievers available on Amazon, but you should consult with your veterinarian before purchasing one. A lot of the time, they’ll be able to offer you with one right away! When everything else fails and you’re still having trouble giving medicines to your cat, there is one more option to consider: Pill Pockets. Remember the practice of giving a cat a reward after each pill administration? It’s time to use it again. This step combines the two previous steps! A tasty goodie with an indent in the center where a pill can be placed, Pill Pockets are popular among children and adults alike.

How to use Pill Pockets

  • Veterinary advice should be sought before purchasing any pain relievers, however a few may be bought on Amazon. The majority of the time, they’ll be able to give you with one right away. If you’re still having trouble giving medications to your cat, there’s one more alternative you may try: Pill Pockets. Isn’t there a method to delivering a reward to a cat after every medication you administer? Using this method, you can do both! A tasty goodie with an indent in the center where a pill can be placed, Pill Pockets are popular among kids and adults alike. You want to fool your cats into thinking they’re receiving a treat, and the flavors will assist to hide the unpleasant experience of swallowing a medication tablet.

When it comes to giving your cat a medication, it’s vital to remember that every cat is different, but there are a few guidelines that may be followed.

  • Speak to them in a calm and reassuring manner, just like you would when you are playing with them regularly. Never make someone take a medication against their will. You want to take them by surprise without frightening them too much. If you’re giving your cats medicines, make sure you have plenty of goodies available. As well as providing them some well-deserved cat scratchertime, consider other methods to thank them.

Take a look at some of our other feline stuff, such as how to keep your cat off the counter and how to protect your Christmas tree from your cat. Take pleasure in your healthy feline! Cat scratching is something that all cat owners can agree on, and that is that cats scratch.

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