Many pet owners dread these words, “Give your cat one of these pills twice a day.” Any pet owner knows the frustration of forcing a pill down the throat of a cat who does not feel well and who is not a willing participant. Before you don your protective armour to medicate your cat, try these easy tricks to get your kitty to take medicine.

Pet owners can agree that giving a cat medicine is not their favourite job in the world. Many times, you end up with bite marks or bleeding from little claws. There are some easy ways to medicate your cat that will help you administer the medication. Giving your cat medicine properly can also help reduce stress in your cat.

If you are giving your cat a pill, there are a few tricks to remember. Following these simple and easy tips will help make medicine time for you and your cat a breeze.

Oral Pills and Drops: The first thing to do is to follow your vet’s instructions. Most oral medications should be given with food or water. Make sure that your kitty has access to both of these immediately following. The next thing to remember is that a cat that is not stressed will be easier to medicate. Try to give your cat his or her medicine when he or she is relaxed. Do not make medicine time a chasing game. If your cat knows what is coming, he or she is likely to run or hide. Comfort your kitty by giving loving pats and by sitting in a quiet room. If you have to do it alone, cradle your cat under one arm and take the other hand and gently press the sides of your cat’s mouth with your thumb and forefinger. Make sure your cat’s head is tilted up slightly. Drop the pill into the back of the mouth and promptly shut your cat’s mouth. You must remember to hold your cat’s mouth closed until the pill is swallowed. Be very careful not to block your cat’s nose when doing this. Sometimes a cat will throw pills up after being medicated. If you find a soggy pill on the floor, it will be necessary to give your cat another pill.

Oral drops are often much easier to give your cat than pills. If your cat requires antibiotics request that your cat is prescribed the drops instead of the pill form. Most cats like the flavour of drops. Vitamins and antibiotics can both be given in liquid form. When you are giving your cat liquid medication, it is very important to use the dropper given with the prescription. This ensures that the proper dosage is given. You will need to give your cat the medicine in much the same way as the pills. Hold your cat under one arm and open the mouth with one finger on each side of the mouth. As soon as you put the drops in, close the mouth and hold shut until the cat swallows.

Some pills can be given inside of food such as canned food or hidden inside a piece of meat. It is not recommended to give cats their medication in their water because if they do not drink all of the water, then they are not getting the proper dosage. Also, pills can make the water taste strange to the cat and could lead to dehydration. Another tip is to crush a pill into smaller pieces and mix with meat flavoured baby food or tuna. Most cats will eat this and not even notice they are getting medicine.

Injections: If you cat requires daily injections of medication at home, such as insulin, it is very important to follow a schedule. Cats with diabetes usually need two injections twelve hours a part. When giving your cat insulin, remember to not shake the vial. Roll the vial in your hands very gently to mix. When you are ready to give your cat the injection, place your cat on a comfortable surface and have your cat lie down. Gently pull the skin up at the back of the neck. This is the perfect place for injections because cats usually are not bothered by the shot. Insulin needles are very thin so you will not need to push the syringe in very far. After giving your cat injections a few times, it will become easier on you and your cat.


  1. Dr. RJ Peters

    This is excellent advice. I have run a cat rescue shelter for more than 6 years and have given a lot of cats their medications. So I’ve been through a lot of different ways to do it, and have also been scratched and bitten up more than a few times. That’s called learning the hard way. One thing I’ve found that helps with a cat that won’t allow you to press their cheeks to open their mouth is to grasp the scruff of the neck behind the head and pull gently back. This relaxes them, much like a mother cat carrying a kitten, and they go limp. This is good, as it often, but not always, keeps them from raking you with their front paws. It also tends to open the mouth and you can toss the pill back there, then close the mouth and hold it closed, stroking their throat, to be sure it is swallowed. However, I love your alternate advice — get everything in liquid form whenever possible! I also prefer giving injections since it can be much faster and you can do it with the cat wrapped in a towel. Thank you for a wonderful, informative site.

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