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How to Give Your Cat a Pill

Giving your cat medication may not be as difficult as you think. Follow these simple steps. The more times you do it the easier it will get.

  • If possible, find someone to hold your cat's front legs and chest from behind. This will hold the cat in place allowing you to do the rest. Draping a blanket or towel around your cat may also help to hold your cat in place.

  • Place your hand over the top of your cat's head, thumb and index finger near the corners of the mouth. Tilt the head back until the nose points to the ceiling.

  • With your other hand holding the pill between your thumb and forefinger, separate the jaws and gently press down on the lower jaw, pushing the pill as far back on the tongue as possible.

Close your cat's mouth and lower it's head. Gently stroke your cat's throat until you feel a swallow. If this doesn't work try rubbing it's nose; this will force your cat to lick it's own nose which will make swallowing easier.

Helpful Hints

The more quickly you perform the above steps, the better.
Film coated pills work the best. They go down easier and don't dissolve quickly.
If you cannot get the pill down, try disguising it in a food that your cat loves, such as tuna, crème cheese, or liver sausage. Be sure to check with your veterinarian, as some medications should not be taken with food.
Do not give your cat "human" medications. Some of them such as aspirin or acetaminophen can be harmful or even fatal to cats.
Always follow your veterinarian's medication instructions completely, no matter how quickly your cat seems to be doing better.