Updated: August 4, 2022 by Kristen Chapple
Cats are well known for being selective with whatever they eat, so giving them pills often proves to be an almost impossible task. So learning how to give pills to your cat might be an important skill for those moments when your cat just caught a cold or something similar.
Unless you can trick your cat into ingesting that medicine, simply offering her the pill and hoping she will simply accept it won’t get you too far. We all know that if cats don’t want to do something, they won’t, so you’ll need to keep a few tricks down your sleeve.
How to Give Pills to Your Cat
Depending on the temperament of your cat, there are few steps you can take. First, you might need to restrain the cat, then apply a simple procedure to get your cat ingest the pill. If that doesn’t work, you may need to apply a few tricks to get the job done.
Restraining the Cat
You might need to keep your cat still when trying to get her swallow the pill. One way is to keep her under your arm and administer the pill, another one to keep the cat in between your legs, preventing her from backing away.
If neither work, get someone to help you with holding the cat, but make sure it’s someone who’s familiarized with cats.
The main way to get your cat to swallow a pill is as follows. With your thumb and forefinger push gently on the sides of your cat’s mouth to get it open. With the other hand gently press down the lower jaw and stick the pill as far back behind the tongue you can.
After the pill is inside, close your cat’s mouth and keep it firmly closed. Then gently massage your cat’s throat until you feel that she swallows the pill. Mission accomplished.
Depending on the cat, this procedure may or may not be feasible. With some cats this will probably be mission impossible, so that’s when the next tricks will come in handy for any caring cat owner.
If the procedure above doesn’t work, you can try a few tricks.
You can cover the pill with a little bit of butter in order to make it more slippery and give it a better taste.
You can also use a pill popper to actually shoot the pill as far back onto the tongue without risking your cat biting your fingers.
Look for those pills that are covered in a coat that prevents the cat to feel the bad taste of medicine. Make sure you don’t break that coat when administering it. Also, you can get pills that have added flavors for tricking the cat into ingesting them herself.
On the same line, there are treats that have special pouches for pills built in that make giving pills to cats a lot easier. You can also try to hide a pill inside a soft treat and give it to your cat. The trouble with this option is that the cat might smell the medicine inside and ignore the treat altogether.
Go for the liquid form of the medicine if nothing else works. You can administer the liquid medicine through a syringe without a needle, making it a lot easier for you to administer medication to your cat.
There are some cases in which none of the above methods work out, so if you’re in that kind of situation, ask your vet for help. They are better prepared to administer medicine to your cat.