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How To Give Your Cat A Pill

Giving your cat a pill… Some would say it’s one of, if not the most difficult aspects of owning a cat. They fight, they hiss, they’re not afraid to scratch. Our fierce feline companions definitely make it known when they’re unhappy receiving oral medications. Depending on your cat and your personal level of comfort, there are three main methods for giving your cat a pill.

Method 1: Make it a treat!

By far the easiest way to give your cat a pill is to give it with a treat! You can coat it in canned food, in a pill pocket, or even in some cream cheese. Watch out with the human food though — a little bit of cream cheese is like a Big Mac for you cat! If you’re giving it in a treat, make sure your cat actually eats it; some cats are masters of eating ALL of the treat and leaving the pill behind! 

Method 2: Manually

If your cat is not food motivated or the pill is not hideable in a treat, you can always manually give your cat the pill. While not always the most fun, this is definitely a reliable way to ensure that your cat gets their medication. If you’re worried about getting scratched or your cat escaping from your grasp, you can always wrap your cat in a towel — making a “purrito” if you would — and manually pill your cat while they’re swaddled. Typically we recommend following the pill with a syringe full of water to ensure they swallow the pill.

Method 3: Use a Pilling Device

If your cat is particularly hard to pill, another incredibly useful tool is a pilling device.They are long syringe like instruments that can be used to quickly and effectively pill your cat. Essentially, you follow the same steps as manually pilling your cat — with the exception of substituting your fingers for the pilling device. Simple and safe, we highly recommend using a pilling device if you struggle giving your cat medication. You can purchase one at Prytania Vet or any major animal supply store. Again, we recommend following the pill with a syringe full of water.

If you’re still having issues giving your feline friend their pills, please let your veterinarian know. We can look into getting your medication compounded into liquids, treats, and other forms of the medications. And like always, please feel free to give us a call at any time with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your Prytania Pet!