How To Pill A Difficult Cat

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

Before putting a cat pee-stained item of clothing in the washing machine, make sure the stain is completely removed with lukewarm water.. If the urine stench persists, try rewashing with a cup of baking soda or a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar—or, better yet, an enzyme-based cleanser, as recommended by It’s best to let it to air dry because the heat generated by the dryer may aggravate the odor if the wash cycle does not totally eliminate it. Meanwhile, you should be on the lookout for these other 14 cat health indicators that you should never ignore while dealing with your cat’s peeing problems.

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!

And, even better, by providing it with soft food, it will believe that you are really lovely, resulting in cat licks on the cheek.

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. FiFi Bofinkles gives her approval after savoring her special gift!

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.

  • 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.
  • This is how it appears a week later; such a love bite, don’t you think?
  • This is by far the messiest approach, but it is the only one that we have found that allows us to pill Brother.
  • 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.
  • I understand that this photo appears to show that we live in a drug den, but Officer, I promise this is for my cat!
  • Depending on how many tablets you are administering and the size of the pills, you may need to repeat this procedure many times.
  • Vaseline is commonly used to treat hairballs, so it is safe to use on your cats.
  • Then locate your cat, which may be standing or laying down at this point.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  1. In fact, I do this to Xanadu all by myself, which has resulted in a great deal of trust between the two of us.
  2. She doesn’t like it, but she has learned to accept it without chasing after me around the flat.
  3. 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.
  4. This eliminates the need to fiddle with the pill that is in the cat’s mouth at the time of administration.
  5. Step 2.
  6. 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.
  7. I insert the pill gun into her mouth and shot the pill into the back of her throat, causing her to vomit.
  8. I then drop the pistol to the ground and walk away.
  9. 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.
  10. 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).
  11. I hope this has been of use to you in the future!

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

Do you understand how to administer medicine to a cat? Before you attempt it at home, make sure you have explicit directions from your veterinarian. David Herraez Calzada is shown here. As a veterinarian, I’ve had the privilege of medicating hundreds of cats throughout the course of my career. And whether I’m attempting to teach others how to administer medicine to cats or medicating my own loving felines, it’s a difficult task to do! Over the course of 40 years, I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my home with several wonderful cats.

(not all at the same time).

Moreover, why did these individuals lose up on them?

I’m here to tell you that this is a very important subject, and it’s one that’s very dear to my own heart. Many cats are killed because their owners are unable to provide a medication to their animal. That’s not a good sign.

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.

Pill guns, such as this one for cats, are highly recommended by many people (even veterinarians). I’m not convinced by what you’re saying. Photograph by PETHOUZZ

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.

Do you want to know how to feed your cat liquid medication in food? It is not something I would suggest. Because medicine has a bad flavor, the food also has a bad taste. It’s possible that your cat will quit eating the food completely. Photo:SchweitzerKarl

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

Do you want to know how to provide liquid medicine to a cat while it’s eating? Read on. My recommendation is to stay away from this site! In the same way that medicine tastes bad, so does food. Cats have a tendency to become picky eaters and may stop eating completely. Photo:SchweitzerKarl

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

The expense of having a drug compounded is higher. Some drugs we may give to cats on a long-term basis may be extremely affordable in tablet form, but they can cost up to three times as much if they are compounded.

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?

Now, how about shoving a syringe full of water down your cat’s throat? Wishing you the best of luck with that. Here’s an instructional video from Concierge Mobile Animal Hospital on how to administer liquid medicine to a cat in addition to pill administration:

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.

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 small amount of margarine or butter so that it does not stick in your cat’s mouth or throat and will be easier for him to swallow in the future. In the case of capsule administration, this is extremely 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
  • Using your pilling hand, gently apply pressure to the bottom lip and front teeth of your cat’s mouth with your little finger and ring finger to open the mouth even wider.
  • 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.
  • If you continue to have problems, you may want to consider purchasing a ‘pet piller’ device or seeking guidance from your veterinarian.
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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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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.

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.

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

Injecting medicines into cats is a famously tough task. Ask your veterinarian for more information! You should stop trying to provide a medication to your sick cat using the approach you are currently using if she coughs or vomits after swallowing a pill. 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 unpleasant the process may be.

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

Using a pill pocket or another pill-masking tool, you can keep a pill hidden. Pill pockets are available for purchase or can be made by the user himself or herself. Soft, cone-shaped snacks with a hole in the center, into which you may insert a pill, are available pre-made in many stores. In order to promote future pilling cooperation, offer a favorite delicacy without any pills in it from time to time. The tablet will be able to enter the stomach faster and begin working as a result. Prepare a modest piece of canned cat food for your cat’s usual mealtime before the pilling begins.

It will aid in the easy passage of the tablet.

  • 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 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

If you conceal medicine in his food, your cat, like children, may be preoccupied and not realize that he is receiving medication, which is beneficial. If your veterinarian gives you the go light, you might want to attempt combining your cat’s medication with wet food. 1 It is important to inform your veterinarian if your cat is on any other medications, such as flea and tick shampoo or topical therapy. If you decide to try combining it with food, be sure to use only a small amount of the food combined with the medicine so that your cat consumes all of the food and does not leave any leftovers.

Many felines may accept this as sufficient treatment, particularly if the food is sufficiently enticing to draw him in. Take into consideration AvoDerm NaturalWild By Nature Salmon Entreé in Salmon Consommé for a very delectable choice.

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.

  • 3.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Raise his chin to his chest and stare up at the ceiling.
  • Adjust his position so that he is staring up at the ceiling.
  • 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.
  • 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.

See also:  How To Tell If A Cat Is In Heat

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.

What If Your Cat Is Foaming at the Mouth?

After receiving his prescription, your cat may experience an unexpected response, such as foaming at the mouth, at times. This does not necessarily imply that the medication is harmful to him. It is possible for cats to froth at the mouth simply because they do not care for the flavor of something. By placing the medication on the rear third of his tongue, you will reduce the likelihood that he will taste it and will also prevent him from foaming at the mouth. If you’re concerned, you may always consult with your veterinarian.

  • This is one of those instances in which both you and your furry friend will improve with time and effort.
  • 1.
  • VCA Hospitals is a group of hospitals owned by the VCA Foundation.
  • “How to Give Liquid Medication to a Cat,” written by a Vancouver veterinarian.

3. Debora Lichtenberg’s “How to Give Medicine to a Cat (Yes, Even to a Difficult Cat.)” is available online. Petful, on the 30th of July, 2019. . “Giving Liquid Medication to Your Cat,” Buckeye Veterinary Clinic, “Giving Liquid Medication to Your Cat.”,.

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.

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. You want to fool your cats into thinking they’re receiving a treat, and the flavors will assist to conceal the unpleasant experience of swallowing a medication tablet.

How to use Pill Pockets

  • Choose your favorite Pill Pocket flavor and place your order on Amazon! You may get them for $6.49 each bundle. Place your pill in the Pill Pocket
  • Then press the button. Alternatively, you may give the pill pocket to your cat.

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.


2003; 44(4): 321. Canadian Veterinary Journal, April 2003; 44(4): 321.

How to give a cat a pill. and a dog, too

  1. Pick up the cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm, as if you were carrying a newborn baby in your arms. Set right forefinger and thumb on either side of the cat’s mouth and gently press on the cheeks while holding pill in right palm, as if you were feeding the cat. As soon as the cat opens its lips, place the pill in its mouth. Allow the cat to swallow by closing his or her mouth. Take the medicine off the floor and the cat from under the sofa. Cradle the cat in your left arm and repeat the procedure. Remove the cat from the bedroom and throw away the wet pill
  2. Replace medication in foil wrapper, cradle cat in left arm with left hand securely grasping rear paws with right hand. Right forefinger should be used to force the jaws open and push the pill to the back of the mouth. Keep your mouth shut for a count of 10 seconds. Take the medicine out of the goldfish bowl and the cat out of the top of the wardrobe. Call your spouse from the garden. Kneel on the floor with the cat squeezed firmly between your knees, and grasp the front and back paws together. Ignore the quiet growls that the cat emits. Get your spouse to hold his or her head firmly in one hand while you force a wooden ruler into his or her mouth. Drop the tablet down the ruler and vigorously rub the cat’s throat
  3. Retrieve the cat from the curtain rail and obtain another pill from the foil wrap. Make a mental point to get a new ruler and mend the drapes. Take care to carefully brush broken figurines and vases from the hearth and place them to one side to be glued later. Wrap the cat in a huge towel and have your spouse lie on the cat so that the cat’s head is just visible from below the armpit. Put a pill at the end of a drinking straw, push the mouth wide with a pencil, and blow down the drinking straw
  4. Check the label to make sure the pill is not toxic to humans
  5. Drink one beer to get the flavor out of the pill
  6. Repeat. Apply the Bandage- Aid to the forearm of the spouse and removal of blood off the carpet with cold water and soap Obtain the cat from the shed of a neighbor. Get yourself another pill. Open up another bottle of beer. Place the cat in the cabinet and close the door so that just the cat’s head is visible. Using a dessert spoon, pry the lips open. Use an elastic band to fling the pill down your throat. Get a screwdriver out of the garage and reattach the cupboard door to the hinges. Consume alcoholic beverages. Bring me a bottle of Scotch. Pour the shot and take a sip. Apply a cold compress to the inside of the cheek and check your records to see when your last tetanus vaccination was. Apply a whiskey compress to the inside of the cheek to disinfect it. Toss another shot into the mix. Remove the T-shirt from the closet and replace it with a new one from the bedroom. Call the fire department to come and get the damn cat out of the tree across the street. Please express your regrets to the neighbor who slammed into the fence while trying to avoid the cat. Remove the last pill from the foil wrapper
  7. Tie the front paws of the tiny @[email protected] @ $ percent to the back paws of the little @[email protected] @ $ percent with garden twine and tie it firmly to the leg of the dining table, then get heavy-duty pruning gloves out of the shed. Toss a pill into your mouth, followed by a huge chunk of filet de steak. Be brusque in your approach. To flush a tablet down your throat, hold your head upright and pour 2 quarts of water down your neck. Drink the remainder of the Scotch. To go to the emergency department, arrange for your husband to take you there. Once there, sit quietly as the doctor sutures your fingers and forearm and removes pill remains from your right eye. On the drive home, call a furniture store to place an order for a new table. Make arrangements for the SPCA to pick up the mutant cat from hell, and check with a local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters on hand.

How to give a dog a pill:

The following is a submission from Dr. John Delack of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: ​

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