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A Vet-Approved Guide on Giving Pills to Cats

Most of you would agree that the worst part about being sick is taking medicine to get better. It’s the same for your canine and feline companions, too. Giving cat medicine is occasionally necessary to improve their health, whether due to an ailment or allergies. Cats are notorious for spitting out pills, and administering them medicine usually requires you to avoid their claws and teeth. Even the most expert veterinarian has difficulty administering medicines to cats.┬áThis guide provides you the information on how to give a cat a pill?

How to Give a Cat a Pill?

While not every pet owner is a vet tech specialist, it’s still important to know how to give a cat a pill so that they don’t suffer and you don’t have to take them to the vet for as long as possible.

#1 Make your cat feel comfortable

A cat’s mere presence can stress him out. Pick up your cat cautiously with a soft, soothing voice and talk to her. Ensure that a towel or blanket supports her legs so they don’t hang freely, as that can make her feel nervous. Preparation is key when giving pills to cats or liquid treatment. It is important that your cat is comfortable with you touching its mouth. Begin by carefully petting your cat. Rub the head, lips, face, and muzzle.

#2 Do not surprise them

Just like you wouldn’t like biting into, let’s say, an ibuprofen pill while munching on your cookies, the same applies to your cat, who will be even more difficult to fool due to their strong sense of smell. 

  • To help your cat ingest the tablet, lightly lubricate it with margarine or butter. This is best way to give a cat a pill.
  • Keep the pill in your thumb and index finger. Use your dominant hand if you are right-handed.
  • With your other hand, gently grip the upper jaw of your cat. Tilt your cat’s head, so her nose points upward. Her mouth should be slightly open.
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  • Gently push the bottom lip and the front teeth with your pilling palm.
  • Reposition the pill as far back as you can. Try putting it on the back of the tongue to trigger an automatic swallowing response.
  • Restore the normal position of the head by closing the mouth.
  • Gently rub or blow on your cat’s nose. This should help to swallow. When a cat ingests a drug, it usually licks its nose. With a teaspoon or bowl, administer the tuna juice or flavor broth to assist the cat in swallowing the tablet.
  • Use positive reinforcement by treating and petting while pilling a cat.

Best Way to Give a Cat a Pill With Food

Don’t feed your cat anything other than cat-specific tablets. Provide them with their treatment first, followed by the medication and another treatment. Insist on not putting medicines in your cat’s food bowl. In some cases, it disintegrates or spits out. As a result, other household pets may consume unprescribed medications, which can be harmful to them.

  • As a first step on how to pill a cat, confirm that the tablet is safe to take with food. Always check first or ask your vet
  •  Everyone’s experience of giving a cat a pill varies. Some felines are far feistier.
  • Deprive your cat of food for 12 hours to ensure that they have a huge appetite
  • Remain calm and gentle with your cat.
  • Remember to hold the tablet at your fingertips rather than your palm this is the best way to give a cat a pill with food. The tablet’s flavor and texture might be unusual to the cat like Pink cat pills.
  • Make sure the snacks are small enough for the cat to chew. Small tablets can be disguised in favorite foods like soft cat food (or cat food jelly), chewy cat treats, soft cheese, soft meat or fish, or butter, or in a small amount of best food to hide cat pills in.
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  • You can also crush the tablet entirely with a pill crusher.
  • Feed the cat from a regular bowl or your hand/fingers (pay attention to the precautions) 
  • There is a possibility that cats will spit out the tablet or eat around it while eating.If the pill is safe, you can crush it and thoroughly mix it in a small amount of highly delicious food. (see your vet or the tablet’s instructions). To make this work, use palatable tablets plus a strong-flavored pleasant reward (like tinned fish in oil). Assuming your cat consumes the food, check to see if it swallows the tablet.
  • The rest of your cat’s normal supper can be given.
  • If you want to conceal a pill, use a pill pocket or another pill-masking tool. You have the option of purchasing or making your own pill pockets. Cone-shaped sweets with a hole in the middle are called pre-made pill pockets for cats.
  • A favorite treat without pills occasionally fosters future pilling cooperation. In addition, it will expedite the pill’s passage through the gastrointestinal tract and into the bloodstream.

Tips for Giving Cats Pills

Cats can be very difficult to give pills to, but these tips on how to give a cat a pill will make the process much easier.

  • Medications might get caught in your cat’s esophagus or food pipe with no water. Despite their smooth, gelatinous exterior, dry-pilling capsules can easily lodge in the esophagus.
  • Several capsules or tablets may lodge in a cat’s throat if dry pills are regularly swallowed.
  • Following dry pilling with 6ml of water via a needle-free syringe or dropper is one approach recommended by vets. Syringe feeding a cat with water or low-sodium broth, follow pilling with liquid, followed by a water chaser. 
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  • Rather than shoving the syringe into your cat’s mouth, approach it from the back or side for simpler liquid administration. 
  • Don’t tilt the cat’s head back to make swallowing easier. Allow your cat to ingest a liquid chaser after dry pilling.
  • Always hold them over their heads to avoid being bitten.
  • If your cat assaults you, get medical help. Bacteria from a cat’s teeth can cause sickness.
  • If your cat scratches or dislikes handling, you should try covering its torso and legs with a wet towel. Keep their head exposed throughout.
  • Give your cat some snacks and gently pat them if they feel anxious.
  • Administer the tablet with the help of a second person if necessary.


With a little patience and skill, you can get your cat to swallow medicine. If your cat is unhappy and you are unable to get them to consume its medication, contact your veterinarian. Your cat not taking their medication as prescribed could have serious consequences for its health. If an appointment with a veterinarian is necessary, a veterinarian can recommend options.