How To Give A Cat A Pill?

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From antibiotics to deworming tablets, there are various pills that you must sometimes give to your cat. Unfortunately, most cats are notorious at spitting out their pills or refuse them altogether.

Since you cannot hand your cat her pills and a glass of water, saying “Take 2 and hiss at me in the morning,” you might wonder what is the best way to give your unwilling ferocious feline its important medicine without any bloodshed?

Here are some strategies that you can use for a successful pill taken without the stress and scratches.


1. Restraining Your Cat

Cats are notorious at scratching anything when forced to do what they don’t like. So, to avoid such pain, you might need to restrain your cat using a large sheet or towel. You can place a towel on the table where your cat will sit comfortable and prevent slipping.

If your cat is quite ferocious and known to scratch, then it is best to wrap her in a towel so that her paws are snugly wrapped inside. This is style is usually called the burrito wrap that keeps their claws and paws out of scratching range.

2. Opening Her Mouth

Now that your feline buddy has been restrained, you will now have to give her the pill. Use your non-dominant hand to hold your cat’s head. Make an upside-down U shape by positions your thumb and forefinger on your cat’s forehead. Your finger should rest on either side of her face along the cheekbones.

When you raise her head with her nose angled towards the ceiling, her jaw will slightly open. Gently press your fingertip and thumb into your cat’s mouth. Make sure that you keep your cat’s lips between the teeth and your fingers. Your cat will feel her lips press against her teeth so she will naturally open her mouth in order to avoid biting her own lip.

If you are giving liquid medicine with a syringe, a slight opening would be enough. However, if it is a pill, then you will have to open her mouth wider.

3. Giving The Pill

Using your dominant hand, hold the pill using your middle finger and thumb in a pincer-like grip. Opening her mouth widely by applying gentle downward pressure on her cheeks, drop the pill into her mouth.

Just make sure to drop the pill over the back of her tongue. Placing the pill far back, even if your cat tries to spit it out, the contractions of her tongue will actually push the pill back to the throat then swallowed.

In case you drop the pill and lands at the tip of her tongue, keep holding her mouth open and use your middle finger to push the tablet further back.

Release her mouth and make sure that the pill is swallowed.

4. When She Refuses To Swallow

If your cat is one of the most stubborn felines alive and refuse to swallow her pill, then consider this strategy:

Blow gently across her nostrils. This triggers a swallow reflex and will make her start gulping. Check and see if she does not spit the pill out.

5. Give Water

Once her pill is successfully swallowed, offer your feline buddy a drink or something to eat. This will make sure that the pill has gone all the way down her esophagus and into the stomach.

Other Ways To Give Pill To Your Cat


1. Consider a Pill Giver

If you are quite hesitant to put your fingers inside your cat’s mouth, then consider using a pill giver. This a plastic grabber which grips the pill.

  • Load the pill in the pill giver.
  • Open your cat’s mouth.
  • Gently insert the pill giver into your cat’s mouth deep into the back.
  • Quickly press the plunger in order to release the pill out of the grabber and it should fall down on her throat.

2. Hide Tablet in Her Food

There are some medications that are designed with fussy cats in mind and the pills are quite small making them easier to hide in food.

  • First, you will have to make sure that your cat is hungry by taking away her food for a few hours.
  • Give your cat a quarter of her regular meal with the pill hidden in it. When the plate is clean, give the remainder of his meal.

You can also try to use pill pockets. These are tasty treats which have cavities in them for you to place the pill inside. The tasty outer pocket disguises the taste of the pill and your cat will happily swallow it down.

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