How to give a cat a pill

Many times there is no choice, and we have to give our cat medicine in the form of a pill or tablet. Some anti parasites come in tablets, other times the vet prescribes some medication in a pill, such as an antibiotic.

In any case, those who live with cats have had to find ourselves in that awkward situation of asking ourselves: “How do I give this pill to Misifú?” (Substitute Misifú for your cat’s name).

In this article, we will see some tricks to be able to answer that significant doubt. My advice is that you follow the one that is most respectful to your pussy and most comfortable for you. I take it for granted that every human who reads me wants the best for their cats, and it is not the same to have to give a pill to a cat that is affectionate than to a cat that is scary and “suspects” everything. Or a cat that has taken medications from a young age to another who has not. Find the method that is best for everyone and adapt it to your way of being and needs.

Tablet information

First of all, it is essential that you know about the medicine you are going to give the cat, know how to deliver it, possible side effects, etc. For it:

  1. Follow the recommendations of the professional. Only the veterinarian or accredited professional can tell you what the cat should take. It is important not to “invent” things or give medications without having been prescribed for that occasion, and especially not to try our medicines, as we could poison the pussycat.
  2. Read the medication instructions. As in the TV commercials, the first thing is to read the instructions for use carefully and, in case of doubt, consult your pharmacist or veterinarian.
  3. Ask about how to manage it. Before following one method or another, you should check if the pill you are going to give the cat can be crushed or split (some extended-release medications lose their properties when broken), if it can be accompanied by food (not suitable for drugs that should be consumed on an empty stomach), etc.

Once you have everything you need to know, choose the method you will use to administer the medication.

Instructions for giving cats pills


Whatever formula you are going to use, it is essential that:

  • Keep calm and serenity at all times. Treat the pussycat carefully, give affection, speak softly, observe it, and act kindly …
  • Prepare everything in advance; If you need any material, keep it handy. Organize time and form before you start doing it.
  • Ask for help, whether you find yourself unable to do so (ask your veterinarian), or someone who can support you when giving the pill (possibly, someone you trust for your cat, and thus not add more tension to the matter ).

Give pills with food

There are medications that are designed to make the cat “fancy” and eat them alone, but it is not the most frequent.

In case the tablet allows it (not all allow it), one of the best options is to offer it with food, either the whole or crushed tablet.

You must perfect the technique according to the palate of your pussy since many cats are sensitive to new flavors, textures, “strange things” in food …

To mix the pill with cat food, you can apply the following tips :

  • Remove the menu a few hours before. It is pure logic, to make sure you eat the food, you better be hungry. You can also do it the moment you know that your cat always eats, in our case in the morning they usually ask for food (many times because they have finished it during the night), so that could be a good time.
  • Mix it with wet food . Especially if it is something that your pussy likes a lot, which is usually yes. If you hide something from me in a chard dish, I will find it, but inside a chocolate cake, it won’t give me time. The same happens to my cats. In addition, the wet texture usually gives more play when mixing.
  • Use prizes. There are prize snacks for cats that come with a particular hole to put the pill inside (in English they are called pill pockets ). On Amazon, they sell these pill pockets for cats, or you can do it by putting the pill in the soft prizes you give it.
  • Watch that you have eaten it. It is better that you put less food than you usually put, and make sure that it is finished and leave the plate empty. Once checked, give him the rest of the food. It is also essential to separate other cats from the house so that

the one who does not touch does not take it.

Another option is to crush the tablet before mixing it. For this, it is essential that you make sure that the medicine allows it since some cannot be broken or crushed. To convert the pill into powder, it is better to use a tablet crusher (they are sold in pharmacies or on Amazon ). Once it is crushed, it is to follow the same advice above.

Give pills by hand

We can try to put the tablet on the index finger and offer it to the pussycat, but it is very likely that he will not eat it; so, regretting it a lot, it will have to be immobilized.

How to immobilize the cat

It can be done more or less with your hands, placing the cat on a stable surface (a table or the floor), putting it sitting in front of you with your back and gently holding the legs. It is tough to do it alone and, depending on the cat, little effective.

The most frequent to immobilize the cat is to use a towel, it is better with help and following these steps:

  1. Select a more or less large sheet that allows you to wrap the cat comfortably.
  2. Place the towel on a stable surface such as the table or, failing that, the floor.
  3. Wrap the cat with the towel. Put each side around the cell, wrapping it gently as if it were a baby. This type of wrap is commonly called “de burrito” because the cat is packed like this typical Mexican dish. The legs are glued to the body and covered with the towel, without it being painful for the pussycat but being effective so that it cannot scratch, run away, etc. It is vital that the cat’s head does protrude from the towel.
  4. Keep the cat wrapped on the stable surface, firm but gently. If you are two, one will be in charge of keeping it that way, and another will supply the tablet. In case you are alone, one formula of doing both is to hold the wrapped cat between your thighs, for

this, you must be on your knees.

In this gallery of images from Wikihow, you can see step by step how to immobilize the cat with the towel:

How to administer the pill in the mouth

Once it is immobilized, whoever is going to give the medicine should hold it between the thumb and forefinger. And, with the calm he deserves, but the necessary agility, give him the pill in his mouth like this:

  1. Place your free hand on the cat’s head and tilt its head up. To do so, gently approach in a friendly, non-threatening manner.
  2. Put your index finger and thumb on the forehead of the pussycat, U-shaped.
  3. Place the tips of these fingers on the upper lip of the cat, leaving each finger on a different side of the face.
  4. Press gently, it will open its jaw. Accompany this movement with the index and thumb fingers, in the direction of the muzzle, to further open the jaw.
  5. Place the index finger on the tip of the cat’s chin, between the lower fangs, and press down a little to open the mouth completely.
  6. Drop the pill into the mouth, toward the back of the tongue. That way, it will be difficult for him to spit it out. If it falls towards the tip, you will have to help the index finger to push it towards the throat.
  7. Make sure that it has been swallowed, either by closing its snout for a while or blowing gently on the nostrils (nostrils), to cause the reflex effect of eating.

And when everything is over, offer water, a prize, see what you need and give it (be quiet, pampering …).

In this image gallery, you can see the previous steps:

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