The Proper way to
give Medications &
Pills to Cats
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How to administer Pills and Medicine to your CatIs your kitty bored with it's food?
The thought of trying to give your cat a pill may seriously
disturb you. But there are some tricks that can help you if
you ever find yourself in the position where you absolutely
must give your cat medicine in pill form or even liquid
The most common way to go about giving your cat a pill is to
sneak it into a soft treat that the cat will like but
doesn't ordinarily get, like a piece of hot dog or cheese.
Sometimes you can break up the pill and put it into tuna
fish, liverwurst, cream cheese or moist cat food and your
cat will take it happily.
You start by giving your cat a small sample of the food
before you spike it with the pill so it knows it's getting a
treat, not medicine. Try to get your cat to take its
medicine from your hand if at all possible. If you just mix
it into the food the cat may not want to eat all the food
and you will have no idea how much of the dosage the cat
If the medicine must be taken without food or your cat has
to fast first or there is some other kind of diet
restriction then you will have to make the cat swallow it
from your hand.
In that case, start by trimming your cat's nails so that you
don't end up badly scratched if the cat decides to protest,
and wait a while after you've clipped its nails before
actually dosing the cat so it will be calm.
If the pill is large you will want to cut the pill in half
with a pill cutter. Some cat owners have suggested coating
the pill with oil right before the procedure. This can help
it slide down easier but it will also be harder for you to
handle, so it is up to you.
Others have suggested wetting the pill a little so it is
softer. This isn't a good idea because some of the pill
dosage can leach into the water and your cat won't be
getting as strong a dose as it should.
How to give Medication to your Cat - Part 2
To give a pill to your cat by hand, have the pill ready and
accessible to you and sit down with the cat in your lap.
Talk to the cat soothingly and lovingly.
Some people will wrap their cat up in a towel or a blanket
with only their head out. This may be a good idea if you
have an aggressive cat like a Siamese that doesn't want to
be handled much anyway. This provides you with a level of
control that you wouldn't ordinarily have. You can also wear
gloves so it minimizes the chance of your being bitten.
Holding the pill between your index finger and thumb, use
the other hand to grasp your cat's head from above so that
the top of the cat's muzzle is snuggled into the webbing
between your thumb and pointer finger. Insert your thumb
into the side of your cat's mouth at the corner of its mouth
and your finger into the other side at the corner of the
Tilt the cat's head back firmly and gently over its
shoulders so that it is looking at the ceiling. The lower
jaw should automatically drop open a little bit. Quickly
insert the pill into the mouth past the hump of the tongue
but not so far back that the cat gags on your fingers or the
pill. Close your cat's mouth and hold it closed until it
swallows. Lower the head so that it can swallow easier while
holding the mouth closed.
You can also rub or gently blow on your cat's nose. This
stimulates the reflex for your cat to lick its nose and
swallow. Talk soothingly and pet your cat throughout the
entire procedure and be sure never to cover the cat's nose,
it needs it to breathe with through this procedure and it
will panic if you cut off its airway. Remember that the
quicker you get that pill in your cat's mouth properly the
easier it will be on you and your cat.
If you are uncomfortable doing this yourself you can have a
professional veterinarian or veterinarian assistant show you
how to do it, because honestly you will understand and feel
more capable of doing this yourself if you have already seen
If you just can't do it then tell your veterinarian and they
may be able to give you a liquid substitute that you can
give you cat from a dropper with some tuna water. You may
still have to hold your cat down, but getting liquid down a
cat is much easier than getting a pill down a cat's throat.
To give a cat liquid medication you simply hold the cat's
head with the nose slightly raised and squirt the liquid
from a needle-less syringe or pour from a spoon. With either
method be sure to give the liquid slowly so the cat won't
Cats are often finicky eaters, we all know this.
However what some cats don't know is that there is
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