How Do You Give your Cat Pills?

What's the best way to give your cat pills? We'll show you four ways and you can choose the one that's best for your cat
How Do You Give your Cat Pills?

Last update: 17 January, 2019

Anyone who lives with a feline friend knows how difficult it is to give your cat pills. Cats usually have an indomitable character and a real animosity towards the vet and anything that has to do with them.

And, of course, cats have sharp claws and teeth. So, how do you give your cat pills without getting hurt? You certainly won’t be able to convince him with loving words or telling him how good he is. Instead, try using the tips we’ll give you below to make it easier.

4 ways to give your cat pills

1. Train your cat

Some vets recommend training your cat from a young age so that he can get accustomed to it. That way, when you actually have to give him pills, there won’t be any problems.

The idea is to get your cat used to how you’ll be touching him when you need to give him his medication. First, get him used to having his face and mouth touched gently. You should do it on a regular basis for short periods of time. You can give him a treat or a pet after you do this so he can associate it with something positive.

Once he’s gotten used to that contact, start using your thumb and middle finger to open his mouth slightly. While doing this, you could also put a small amount of food in his mouth that won’t require any chewing. Always follow this up with a treat or a pet so he knows it’s a good thing.

Vet giving a cat a pill.

2. Crush the pill and mix it into his food

This method consists of crushing the pill and mixing it into your cat’s favorite food. You want to ‘hide’ the smell of the medicine inside the food so the kitten will eat it without even realizing. However, those who have a cat know this is very difficult. 

This technique often isn’t very effective though. Even if the cat does eat the food, you won’t be able to ensure that he took the entire dose of medicine. Also, the cat may start to associate the food with the taste of the pill, and will stop eating it. 

Additionally, you should keep in mind that there are certain pills on the market that shouldn’t be cut up. These are the ones with a prolonged release, and they’ll  lose their effect if cut up. There are also some medications that you shouldn’t give him with food; these have to be taken on an empty stomach.

3. Hide the pill in a bite of food

This can be a very effective way to give your cat pills. Just take a very small amount of some food that your cat likes and make sure that he won’t have to chew it. You want to hide the whole pill inside that bite and put it in your cat’s mouth so he swallows it whole.

Before you do this, make sure you have some snacks on hand. That way, you can give your cat a bite without the pill before and afterwards you can give him the one with medication hidden inside.

However, your cat may notice that his food isn’t the same as before. If this happens, don’t try to force it because he’ll just keep resisting.

A cat taking a pill.

4. Put the whole pill in his mouth

Lastly, although it may seem a bit drastic, you can put the whole pill in his mouth and force him to swallow. It might be the only way to make sure he’s getting the medication he needs. You’ll have to make sure he can’t move away from you in order to do it this way. 

First, get a towel or sheet and gently wrap your pet inside it. This will cover his legs and keep him from getting away. Make sure only his head is free.

Next, put the cat on the thighs of the person who’s going to give him the pill. Have his head down by your knees. Now that he can’t move away, use your hand to open his mouth.

Using your other hand, place the pill in his mouth on the back of his tongue. When you close his mouth, your cat will swallow the pill.

Which of these options do you think will work best for your cat? Try them all and find out!