Tips & Tricks For Giving A Cat A Pill
Over the years, I've had to give cats pills hundreds of times. This hasn't always been a good experience -- for me or the cats! These are some of the tricks I've learned for giving a cat a pill, sometimes by trial and error and sometimes by just trying to think like a cat.
First, A Word About Pills
When given a choice, I prefer liquid medication. The cat can't spit it out when you're not looking. And pills are difficult for a cat to swallow. They tend to get stuck in the cat’s esophagus and can stay there for as long as 15 minutes, causing a painful and sometimes dangerous burning sensation. If you must give your cat a pill, follow it with a few bites of wet food or a chaser of water in a syringe.
If your cat is going to be on medication for life, ask your veterinarian for medicine that's been compounded into liquid that tastes good to cats, soft moist treats or a gel that you'd rub inside an ear tip. Don't take no for an answer! You and your cat have to live with each other, and if you have a major struggle over medicine twice a day, he's soon going to decide he hates you or is terrified of you. If you don't have a compounding pharmacy in the town where you live, you'll find many good ones online.
As with everything cat, your attitude will determine whether you're able to give your cat a pill without a major struggle and trauma to both of you. If you're calm and confident and treat him with love and respect, chances are he'll take his medicine willingly. Here are some ways to make the experience as painless as possible.
-- Make the cat comfortable. Some feel more comfortable taking their medicine when they're up high, so try putting your cat on a table, counter or perch of your cat tree.
-- Disguise the pill. Cats aren't easy to fool, but these disguises work for most cats. If your cat is on long-term medication, you might have to disguise the pills in different ways as time goes on.
The Straightforward Approach
If you and your cat decide the straightforward approach is best for the two of you, this is the way that works best for my cat friends and me.
Helpful Aids For