How Can I Give A Pill To My Cat?


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As a cat owner, one of the most challenging things you deal with is having to provide your kid kitty with a pill. Cat’s behavior can be very aggressive if the pill has an unpleasing flavor. And because very few pills taste good –for instance the one in the picture below- you need to learn how to give a cat a pill in a proper way.

The procedure is easy, and anyone can follow it. So this is how to give cat a pill:

Put your thumb and your index finger in both sides of your cat’s mouth and squeeze it a little bit to make it accessible. With your free hand kindly push down the bones of the chin and fill in the pill profoundly, in order for it to go straight to the throat. After that keep your kitty’s mouth unopened and rub his throat while you give him a little blow at the nose until he ingests it. If he starts to clean his nose with his tongue then your mission is complete!

As easy as it sounds the procedure doesn’t always go smooth and effortless, almost all the kitties feel threatened when you squeeze their mouth and push there bone chin, and there is where it becomes complicated. So, under these circumstances, we need a new way of how to give a cat a pill.

One of the techniques that showed their efficiency is: professional Cat whispering. No matter how turbulent your cat behavior is, a cat whisperer has always a way of controlling him and seemingly effortlessly pills your cat in a short amount of time.

Since not all of us is a cat whisperer, nor have we her tremendous skills on how to feed a cat a pill, it’s good to know this option exists, as a cat owner you never know when you’ll need it, especially that it combines both agility and composure.

Those two components: agility and composure are the most important ones in the process of how to give a cat a pill. If you’re not serene and rapid at once your cat might get nervous and start agitating which could fail the mission.

#1 Controlling fluffy:

At some point you’re going to have to control your cat. Sometimes you only need to put your kitty on a flat surface and then apply a little pressure on him with one limb while you pill him with the other one.

Otherwise, you can sit on your knees, twist your feet and put fluffy between your laps in a way that his skull lays before you. Your cat behavior can be a bit aggressive due to fear, he might want to escape therefore it’s important to keep your feet twisted in order to keep him safely still.

If you’re not the cat owner, in this case you might need assistance from someone who is familiarized with kitties, steady when dealing with turbulent kitties and self-assured to control the cat to pill.

The person assisting you might need to seize the cat from the back of his nick using one hand, and trying to keep his body still with the other one. If your cat’s behavior gets brutal, wrapping his body in a towel and only showing his head will help you keep him steady and still.

Like every good cat owner you must want to get this painful yet necessary situation over with in the shortest amount of time possible. Thus, the answer to how to give cat a pill is agility and composure.

These are few techniques on how to feed a cat a pill:

  • Dip the pill into some butter to make it more edible and also to make it easy to get into the cat’s throat.
  • You can utilize a utensil that pops the pill directly into his throat. You need to recall that the aim is to put the pill in the back of the tongue so that he gulps it easily and avoiding putting your finger at risk.
  • Most of the pills are enclosed in a fragile skin to prevent the cat to sense its bad flavor so try not to crack the pill. If you split it it’s more likely that your cat is going to be aggressive in every possible way.
  • In the other hand we have the possibility to buy some pills with different flavors; your vet will definitely advise if you ask him about it.
  • Maybe if you put the pill in the hollowed part most treats have, or even putting it inside a tender treat your cat wouldn’t sense if. But this is not always useful for all kinds of treats nor for all kinds of kitties, some cats might even show a repulsive behavior toward the treat if they sense the presence of strange substances.
  • If the vet can offer you a liquid version of the pill it would be much easier with some cats to ingest using a needleless syringe.

No matter what approach you choose to pill your kitty, just make sure you make it after a good plan and act quickly and peacefully.

What happens when you can’t pill your kitty cat?

As easy as pilling a cat might sound, some owners just can’t figure it out with their cats, if you ask them how to give a cat a pill? They will simply tell you:” I just don’t!”
Some cat owners even went far on describing the process , and said that once you intend to pill them they transform into the Devil of Tasmania, that even two people can’t do handle them, at least safely, if they succeed that would be with a lot of physical damages . With such a situation the best is to consult a vet to give you alternatives for the pill.

If the vet was able to substitute the pill with some injections or pastes that would be less nerve-racking for you and for your kid kitty.

Columbine a member of our team and our forum, gave us her personal interesting adventure with liquid meds and pilling:
“One of the common questions requested in the forum is: «how to give a cat a pill”. The possibilities are high if your kitty spares you the brutal cat behavior and accepts to take it, or if you disguise it with some flavorsome food or treats.

Some pharmacies got creative and provide you the service of adding flavors of meat or fish to the pill to help you disguise it for the kitty. But it doesn’t work for all the kitties; for some it’s obvious, for others, the sickness makes them refuse to eat. If you run out of solutions you just have to pill your kid just like we showed you in the beginning of the article.

Pilling your kitty cat on your own isn’t that easy though, it has its complications. If you’re lucky enough, your cat will be easy-going and will be pilled in no time. But, this is rare and every time a vet gives meds to a cat owner gets you a new challenge.

I was once in the same situation; Calidor my cat kid had a heart condition and I had to treat him with pills. Every time it was time to give him the pill it was a chase all over the house, it was the case for many years; too many years of stress! Until the vet decided that it’s bringing more damage than recovery.

This situation relieved me for a while. Until we got to a place where day-to-day meds where vital for him. So for a month I had to go to the vet to give his some longer-acting injections. Going to the vet each and every day became more doable than pilling Calidor myself!

So if someone starts complaining about the situation, I can relate, I had to go through it all once!
When Calidor’s sickness got worst, I was obliged to find another alternative. I had to find a liquid remedy, which was way less annoying than the pill. And also I was able to make sure that he gulped it all and not pretended to finally throw it away when I wasn’t there.

We have rough times. The stress he endured every time it was meds time lead to a respiratory disorder and I had to run see the vet to maintain him stable. Nothing seemed to work, but I had to find a solution. By the times I would wait for him to relax then I would administer him the meds. Before that was fixing the timing.
Suddenly everything changed!

The secret remains in the serenity and the patience. When I was waiting for appropriate moments to give him the meds, it all happened smoothly and that prevented the nerves to wreck for him and for me. Caldor deceased a few years ago. But I learned so much from his company, which is exactly what I use with Asha, my new kid kitten; I found her stray in a farm. She’s now trying to get used to this new life, sometimes she still doesn’t accept the touches and some others she gets so excited by them.

So when someone asks me “how to give a cat a pill” here’s the procedure I give him:

  1. Try to choose the moment your kitty is loose, easygoing and in an adequate emplacement (in my case it’s the sill of the window). Recall that his head should be in the right position as well.
  2. Prepare the meds, and go close to the cat.
  3. Utilize the hand next to him (if your right handed make sure it’s the left one and vice versa) make a little pressure on him to prevent him from going ahead and with your arm and body prevent the back motion.
  4. Kindly stimulate your cat’s mouth with your finger to open.
  5. With the spare hand, put the meds in the cat’s mouth; try to do it in an angled line, in order for the meds to go to the back of the cheek instead of directly in the throat ( particularly with liquids, we don’t want to have an aspiration problem).
  6. In case the medications are liquid, moderately inject the liquid and between two injections leave your kitty time to gulp. If the medicine contains more than 2ml depending on your cat ability to swallow.
  7. When you’re done make sure you caress your cat showing him what a good kitty he is, if you add a treat to that attitude this would definitely leave him with a pleasant emotion of this experience.

As for the kitties who are much more easy-going and used to being handled, these steps are for them:

  1. Get on your knees with your kitty in your hands on a flat surface and curl up your cat in the middle of your laps.
  2. Your posture and your feet will prevent him from going in the back, and the right hand (if you’re right-handed) prevents him from going ahead.
  3. Then take it from step 4 above.

To answer the famous question: “how to give a cat a pill?” the most important things to recall are the followings:

  1. You need to be the most distressed, because if you’re not the cat will sense it.
  2. You need to be hundred per cent sure that this treatment is to cure your kitty and that this is the only way to handle it. Do not show any shred of doubt in your movements, be decisive and fast (imagine what the vet would do and take his attitude.
  3. You must move abruptly, it needs to be over before your cat even realize it has started.
  4. A soft, calm and rhythmic pep talk with your cat would help too, especially when you have many treatments at the time.
  5. Prepare everything ahead, do not leave anything, if necessary use assistance, it would help you a lot in case you have many treatments.
  6. If your cat behavior becomes brutal do not insist! You can try later when your cat is more relaxed. The point is to make him have the meds even after time not getting you both nerve-wrecked.
  7. When you have to administrate to him liquids make sure you have a wet mop beside you to clean up his fur if anything spills on.

Columbine had the kindness to share with us vides of her and her cats while giving them the meds. After her experience she concluded the most important is that you need to make sure to be fast and decisive.


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