How To Give A Cat A Pill – 8 Simple Steps

“How do I give a cat a pill?” is a question cat moms and dads the world over will ask at some point or another.

This really isn’t a daunting task if you’re patient (but you might require thick gloves – ouch!).

Cats with medical conditions that require a round of antibiotics or daily pills can be difficult but this has worked for us.

If you’re looking for a simple way to give your cat his pills, read on.

how to give a cat a pill

In this article, How To Give A Cat A Pill, we walk you through 8 simple steps that you can use to make sure your kitty gets the right dose of medicine, on time, with the least amount of stress as possible.

Before we present the 8 steps, we thought you should know two other methods that are discussed briefly in the video below. They are compounding and transdermal application. Watch the video at the end of this article and talk to your vet or pharmacist about these methods.

Side note: The cats in our care who need medicine do realize what we’re doing. Some are triggered when they see the spoon – smart little kitties! However, as long as we can get the cat to hold still for just 2 or 3 seconds, the medicine goes down quickly and relatively easy. (This method also works for dogs so if you need to get pills down your dog, follow the steps the same way and you should be good to go.)

How To Give A Cat A Pill – 8 Simple Steps

Step 1

Gather supplies. You’ll need the correct pill dosage, a spoon, a medicine dropper, a paper plate, a fork, small amount of water (broth or chicken stock) and at least know where the cat is, of course.

Step 2

*Take the pill and crush it on the paper plate. Keep the spoon nearby and fold the paper together to make sure all the powder falls in the folded part. Slowly tip the plate up and pour the powder contents into the spoon. *Some pills cannot be crushed. Be sure to ask your veterinarian if this method will work!

8 steps to give a cat a pill
Crushing The Pill And Combining It With Liquid (Water or Broth) Makes It Easier To Give To Your Cat A Pill

Step 3

Pour a small amount of water (or chicken stock) into the spoon. Use the fork and mix the pill powder and liquid together.

Step 4

Take the medicine syringe and use it to withdraw the small amount of powder and liquid mixture.

Step 5

Hold the medicine syringe up and depress the plunger so you force most of the air out of the container.

Using A Syringe Makes Pilling A Cat Easier
Using A Syringe Makes Pilling A Cat Easier

Step 6

Go to the kitty, be calm and give them a little pets and love. This shouldn’t be a scary experience for them.

Step 7

Once you’re ready to give the medicine you can scruff the back of the kitty’s neck gently (or just grasp the head firmly) and tilt the cat’s head up a little.

Step 8

Put the syringe in the corner of the kitty’s mouth closest to you. Mouth doesn’t have to be open completely. If the kitty still has their head tilted back just squirt the liquid into the mouth. The cat will swallow and lick. Most of the liquid should easily go down if you squirt it in quick enough. Pet the kitty and comfort them after, if they don’t run away.

Please note: The tips and suggestions on how to give a cat a pill are not to replace any directions given by your veterinarian. We are NOT veterinarians, we’re professional pet sitters. We suggest you contact your medical provider before using any method we present.

Side note: Certain medications have to be given in a specific way, some have to mixed with food or taken after or before a cat has eaten. Be sure to read all the directions before you give any medicine to your cat.

Another method we use is outlined in this article, How To Pill A Cat Using Lunch Meat.

Both methods work for us and if you’re struggling with giving your cat his prescribed medication, try this method! If it doesn’t work either, talk to your veterinarian about compounding and transdermal method, you’ll hear descriptions of these in the video below.

If you’re brave and want to try and give your cat a pill the ‘good ol’ fashioned way’, here’s a great video that shows you how…

Thanks for watching,

Kelley Stewart, CEO|Pet Sitter
sit-stay-play In-home pet sitting & more.LLC
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