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How do you get a cat to take a pill?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I forgot to ask before I left the vets, but how do I administer a pill to a cat? Keep in mind I want her to still love me after the ordeal.
post #2 of 16
I put the kitty on my lap facing out. Then I open the cat's mouth with my left hand and with my right hand put the pill as far back as I can as quickly as I can. Then I gently but firmly hold the muzzle closed until the cat licks his or her nose. Then I give petting and a treat (which is important because it helps the pill get all the way to the stomach rather than get stuck in the esophagus). The treat can be food or liquid--cat milk is always good.
post #3 of 16
Here's a great video that shows how to pill a cat. You really need to follow the pill with a little bit of water or even a little babyfood because the pill can get stuck in the throat and erode through the esophagus. I always try to syringe a couple of cc's of water after giving a pill. Good luck!

http://www.felinevideos.vet.cornell....le/index.shtml
post #4 of 16
If the vet says you can put it in food, mash it to a fine powder and hide it in a small bit. But just make sure she eats all the food. That's the only way I've been able to give Swanie a pill. Or some cats will eat the pill pockets. Mine won't (even without pills), so I would offer her a few first to see if she'll eat them before trying it with a pill.
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cairo View Post
I forgot to ask before I left the vets, but how do I administer a pill to a cat? Keep in mind I want her to still love me after the ordeal.

I do what the next poster says. The pill I have to give Humble is 1/4 of a benazapril and is wee tiny. Good luck!
post #6 of 16
You can also buy Pill Pockets at Petsmart or Petco.

They are treats with a hole in the center for a pill. You put the pill inside and squish the treat closed around it. My cats eat them right up, and never realize there's a pill inside. That way, I'm not seen as the "bad guy"!
post #7 of 16
If all those other methods fail, you can also crush the pill to a powder, mix with liquid and give that using a syringe (no needle). I have never been able to pill a cat, and Pill Pockets don't fool my current cats. I use the crush-and-mix-with-food method whenever possible, otherwise I use a syringe to "force-feed" liquid meds.
post #8 of 16
I use two methods to administer pills:

1) For Holly Golightly - I use Pill Pockets, which is the treat with a whole in the center. I simply slip the pill inside and she chews the treat.

2) Buster is too smart for that trick and refuses to eat a Pill Pocket. For him, I use a pill popper, which is a tool that vets use. You can buy one at a pet food store for about $2.00. You simply put the pill at the tip (it looks like a syringe) and just shove towards the back of the mouth. You press the top and it pushes the pill inwards. It sounds a lot more complicated than it sounds.

Administering pills to a cat takes lots of practice. Also, make sure they swallow because cats do have the tendency to spit pills out when you're not looking. Buster was sophisticated! He hid the pill under his tongue but I didn't know about it until I found a stash of three pills under my bed at the end of the week!
post #9 of 16
For Chase, I take a little bit of cheese, and squash it around the pill, and he gobbles it right up. Apparently it's not so easy for most though...
post #10 of 16
I got a pill popper today that has helped with Sassy taking her meds. Also, I put her in front of her food and water afterwards, which appears to help make sure that the pill doesn't stay in her esophagus.
post #11 of 16
Depends on the cat. I had one that had to take a pill every day for awhile. He was a good Russian Blue - practically opened his mouth on his own when I called him to take it (but he's an exception)

Most cats you either have to use a pill gun (which I don't like), or open their mouth and push the pill down the back of the throat and hold their mouth shut till they swallow.

You could also crush up the pill in some strong smelling canned cat food (fish/tuna is good for this) and give them a teaspoon of the food.

I've had to do both of the above with my cats - luckily none of them really got sick often to have to take pills.


Pookie-poo - that's a GREAT video
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Depends on the cat. I had one that had to take a pill every day for awhile. He was a good Russian Blue - practically opened his mouth on his own when I called him to take it (but he's an exception)
My sweet little Cleo takes pills this easily. She knows that she gets pills every other day and actually "asks" for them! She also "asks" for her sub-Q fluids, and purrs and kneads throughout the fluid sessions.
post #13 of 16
I just use my hand to give the pill when necessary. I have never experienced a problem like that. All 3 of my cats have had to have a pill at some point, as with cats in the past, kittens included.

I know that video is made by a vet medicine college, but that really just looked like a huge amount of unnecessary stress for a cat, that is probably already stressed from being sick as it is.

Good luck to you, let us know how you get on when you've pilled her a few more times.
post #14 of 16
I use the Pill Pockets that others have mentioned. Mine don't consider them treats though and won't just eat them up.

I put the pill inside and pinch off as much of the Pill Pocket as I can, leaving just enough to cover the pill. I form it into a round ball and bury into their wet food. They almost always gooble it up without even noticing. BTW, the reason for forming it into a round ball is because the PP stuff is kinda of oily and making it round helps it slide down their throat.

Basically I use the PP to coat the pill so that it doesn't touch their tongue.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
I keep telling myself how lucky I am that it's Cairo and not Paris that I'm having to medicate. In addition to her pill twice a day, she also has to have a dropper full of nasty banana flavor antibiotics. But Cairo is so cooperative. I just love her to pieces.

The dropper she takes with a yucky face afterwards, but the pill was so easy! I just did what cloud shade said, and it was a breeze. I noticed on the discharge sheet from the vet she wrote "coat pill with butter". Well butter is another one of Cairo's favorite treats so all I had to do was put a tiny amount of butter on the pill and laid it on her tongue and she took it and licked my fingers afterwards! Then both kitties got a treat. Paris is a little miffed that she isn't getting what Cairo's getting though.

I'm definitely going to need all the other methods though if Paris ever needs to take pill.

Thanks everyone for the excellent advice!
post #16 of 16
It is really easy to just scruff the cat (hold the skin on the back of the neck like a mother carrying her babies) and lift the cat so the front feet are off the ground. Just the front feet. They pretty much go stiff and the mouth is easily opened and you can use one hand to help the mouth open, and push the pill into the back of the throat with a finger. Do this all quickley before the cat has a lot of tiime to think about it.
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