How To Pill A Cat - Getting Medication Into A Difficult Cat

How To Pill A Cat - Getting Medication Into A Difficult Cat

Antinol Team

By Antinol Team

Written with love

We’ve all been there. Battling our normally graceful and genteel cat, who has morphed into a wild raging banshee because you made the merest suggestion that they need to take the medicine that will make them feel better.

It's a battle none of us wants to face, and although you meet the odd cat who takes pills like they’re a treat, let's be honest, they’re a rare breed. 

So how do you get their pills into them? Let’s delve into a few options for medicating your cat, and hopefully, we can make it a scratch-free process.

4 Ways To Give Medication To Your Cat

Whether it’s their daily health supplement, worming medication, or something else, as cat parents, at some point we have to face the dreaded pill-giving task. So here are a few ways you can help the medicine down. (No singing nannies or spoonfuls of sugar in sight.) 

Administer The Pill Directly Into Your Cat’s Mouth

This is the classic method. And when it goes smoothly it’s quick and simple. But you have wigglers, squiggles, scratchers, and wild banshees to potentially contend with. So here are some quick tips for giving pills directly to your cat. 

  1. Hold them facing away from you, ideally with their body against you.
  2. With one hand, gently grip over their head, with your thumb and middle finger either side, towards the back of their upper jaw. 
  3. With your other hand, hold the pill between your thumb and first finger.
  4. Gently open their mouth by applying pressure to their lower front teeth with your finger (avoiding the sharp canines).
  5. Place the pill at the back of their mouth and close their mouth.
  6. Stroke their throat in a downward direction to encourage them to swallow. 
  7. Release them and let them run off, or give them plenty of fuss and praise if they want to stay with you. 

If your cat struggles, ask someone to help hold them, or gently wrap them in a towel to keep their legs still and help them feel calm.

Crush The Medication And Sprinkle On Your Cat’s Food

If the pill is in a solid form, place it between two spoons and gently squeeze them together to crush it into a powder. 

Some powder-based medications or supplements are contained within a plastic capsule. Gently squeeze one end and pull it away from the other end to take the two halves apart, and tip out the powder. 

Now you can sprinkle the medication onto your cat's food or on a tasty treat. 

Use Pill Pockets Or Treats To Hide Your Cat’s Pill

Pill pockets are mouldable treats that you can squeeze around the pill so that your cat thinks they’re getting something delicious. You can do the same with other treats, like cheese or ham. However, cats are notoriously good at working this out. So watch your cat to ensure they take the pill as well as the treat, rather than pick it out and just enjoy the snack.

Try A Cat Pill Syringe

This uses similar techniques to the first option, but instead of holding the pill in your fingers, you use a special pill syringe which enables you to get the pill further to the back of their mouth to encourage swallowing. Once you get the hang of them, they’re very effective and are often used in rescue centres where they have to medicate lots of cats quickly. 

How Can I Tell If My Cat Has Swallowed Their Pill?

If you’re holding them and stroking their throat, you should be able to feel them swallow. Although be warned, they can be tricksy little rascals. Don’t confuse this for moving their tongue around in their mouth—they’re trying to push the pill out. 

Most cats lick their lips or their nose once they have swallowed—a good sign that it’s gone down. 

What Do I Do If My Cat Spits Their Pill Out?

Stay calm, make sure you are in a quiet, distraction-free area. Hold them firmly and try again directly into their mouth. Make sure to gently hold their mouth closed, keeping their nose free, and watch for the swallow. You can always try some of the other methods above, too. 

If it happens again, the pill might begin to dissolve. This means your cat may not get their full dose. Consult the dosage amounts on their medication, or consult your vet to ensure that trying with a fresh tablet isn’t going to overdose them.

What If I Keep Failing To Give My Cat Their Medication?

If your cat is being so difficult that you can't get the medication into them, your best option is to speak to your vet. They may be able to offer a different formulation, perhaps a liquid option you can syringe into their mouth more easily or onto their food. They may also be able to offer you an injectable or long-acting formulation.

A New Alternative - Antinol® Plus Easy Feed Capsules

Here at Vetz Petz, we want cats to be as happy and healthy as possible. Our vision is to keep happiness in motion for our magnificent feline friends the world over. But we know that giving picky cats their Antinol® Plus capsules might sometimes be a battle. A battle that no one wants to fight. 

So, we developed our innovative new Easy-Feed capsules. 

Simply cut the top and squeeze the delicious Antinol® oil onto your cat’s food, a treat, or into their mouths. Some cats love the taste so much; they’ll lick it straight from the capsule! 

Don’t choose between their health and their happiness. Put the claws away with Antinol®’s Easy-Feed Capsules. 

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