Pilling Your Cat: How To Give Your Cat a Pill

Imagine having to pop a pill without water. This is exactly what your kitty has to do when it is on a medication therapy. Have you ever tried pilling your cat without a liquid chaser? Making them swallow a capsule or medicine without a liquid chaser is one of the most difficult tasks of cat care. By following these tips and tricks, you can make pill time less traumatic for your feline friend and yourself.

Giving Your Cat a Pill: How to Medicate Your Cat?

From deworming pills to antibiotics, cats may be required to take pills for various health reasons. A majority of cats are experts at spitting out tablets, and some others may simply refuse to swallow a pill. So, what can you do to give your unwilling kitty her medicine without any bloodshed?

No doubt pilling your cat is a difficult task. But, there are ways you can camouflage medication to stick a pill down your kitty’s throat.

Keeping Calm

Perhaps keeping calm holds the key to the cat pilling project. Since cats are sensitive and may react seeing you nervous, they may easily get agitated. Do not ever try to medicate an excited cat. When pilling your cat, keep her confined to one room and allow her to feel relaxed. Wrap her in a towel, gently pat her back, and try to talk to her softly.

Hiding Pills in Food/Treat

Camouflaging pills in food or treat is a good idea. But it will work only if the tablet does not have a bitter taste or strong odor. The treat or food must be your kitty’s favorite that they crave for and would not hesitate to relish even when it is “tainted” by a medication.

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You may use any cat food or people food as long as it is not something that will make your furry friend sick.  However, not all food are fine to use for pilling your cat. Avoid offering her any packaged food that contains garlic or onions and chocolate, as these are toxic to cats.

Using A Pill Pocket

Buying a “Pill Pocket” to hide a cat pill is a good idea, especially if your furred feline loves treats. Use the hole in the cat treat to insert the pill and hide it from the kitty’s eyes so she feels you are giving her a normal treat.

Another way to give your cat a pill is to grind the tablet into a fine powder and mix it with a small amount of food that your cat goes crazy over.  The idea behind using a small amount of food is to ensure that your tabby eats all of it. It also ensures they derive all the benefits of the hidden medicine.

Pilling Your Cat by Hand

If your kitty is too smart for the above methods to work, then you may decide to give her a pill by hand. You may try to grease the tablet with cream, margarine, or butter so the pill simply drops down her throat.

Here are a few ways of pilling your cat by hand:

  • You may start with gently opening her mouth placing your thumb on one side of the kitty’s jaws and fingers on the other side. Tilt her head back slightly. Can you see the back of her mouth?
  • Drop the pill into her mouth and close her jaws without pressing too hard. The idea is to make the cat swallow the pill. Rub her throat gently. You know the pill has gone down when your furry friend licks her lips. You may want to give her a small amount of water using a needleless syringe so the tablet dissolves smoothly. You may use the syringe to release the pill at the back of your kitty’s throat, without actually placing your fingers inside her mouth.
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If Not, Try This

  • For slightly less cooperative cats, scruff her firmly, tipping her head back so that the nose points toward the top.
  • If the methods above do not work, you may want to place your hand under your kitty’s chin with the thumb holding one side of the cheek and fingers the other side. Try to push in until she opens her mouth gently.
  • For cats that want to be cradled on their back, with their head and neck pointing toward the ceiling, use your hand to open up her mouth.

No matter how you choose to medicate your cat or what method to pill your cat works, do not forget to praise, pet, or give her a treat when it is done successfully. The idea here is to help her associate the cat pill method with a fun activity for which she will get rewarded at the end.

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