Ask a Cat Lady: How Do I Give Pills to My Cat?

Oct 4th 2012  |   14 Contributions

Ann Marie asks, "How do I administer pills to my cat?"

There are times when it's okay to abuse your cat’s trust. There’s a time to get spayed, a time for vaccinations, and a time to pop pills. They are smart creatures, but you are a sneaky. (Note: This is a primer for giving solid medications -- liquid medication should be administered slightly differently to prevent choking.) 

Sometimes I use a product called Pill Pockets to hide medication in. They are meatlike bits of dough (yum!) that you can stick and wrap around a pill. After I do that, I double-wrap that into a ball of wet food. Try to pick a flavor your cat can’t resist, and hopefully he will wolf it down. 

If simply disguising the pill in your cat's food doesn’t work, you may need to get down and dirty. You will need to hold him firmly, open his mouth, and shove the pill as far back as possible. Quickly clamp down his jaws until he swallows.

Since I don’t have a cat on hand who needs pills, you should check out some helpful YouTube videos on how this works. Sometimes it helps to rub the throat. It also helps to have a friend, a towel, patience, and a glass of wine. Make sure you reward him for taking his medicine with a treat or playtime! You can get the wine. 

"Pill Popping Cats" by Sarah Donner

Lyrics: 

It’s gonna be a battle of the wills
To get your cat to sit down and still
Long enough for you to pop a pill

Get a friend if your cat is feisty
And a towel if he’s prone to fighting
The repercussions could be unsightly

Wait to give the pill until it’s time for feeding
Disguise it deep inside a ball of wet meats
If you want to stick it in, you got to be sneaky!

Hand on his head, tilt it back, shove it in, far as it can go
Close it up and hold on, until he swallows
It helps to stroke and rub his throat

SOURCES: HowStuffWorks, Washington State University

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