Last Updated on May 23, 2023 by ellen
If you’ve ever had to figure out how to get your cat to take their medication, you’ll know that it’s not an easy process. As a pet sitter, I’ve had to give my client’s cats medication several times. Even the nicest cat generally doesn’t just open wide and swallow without a bit of a fight.
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How to Get Your Cat to Take Their Medication
There are a few different ways that you can get your cat to take their medication. Which one you choose will depend on how friendly the cat is and whether or not you have a liquid or pill form medication.
Please touch base with your cat’s veterinarian to be sure this method will work for the type of medication you’re administering.
Giving liquid medication to your cat
If you have a liquid form medication, you may be able to add it to their wet or dry food and mix well. This is only possible if you are certain that the cat will eat all of the food in the bowl in one sitting.
Also, it’s important to be sure that no other pets in the house will also eat from the same bowl.
Be sure the food will all be eaten quickly and that no other animals will eat from the bowl. Or, you will have to administer the liquid medication directly.
I find that it’s easiest to use an eyedropper. Pick the cat up carefully and spend a few moments petting them and making them feel comfortable.
Slip the eye dropper into the side of their mouth (behind the teeth). And, administer the medication quickly. If they are truly unhappy being held, you may need to corner them gently between your side and the side of the couch and hold their head.
Watch the claws if you use this method.
Giving your cat a pill
Be sure to give them only the amount of food you’re sure they’ll eat in one sitting. And, keep all other animals away from the food dish.
Holding your cat to give it a pill
If the pill needs to be administered all at once, cradle the cat in your left arm just like holding a baby. Then, place your forefinger and your thumb on either side of the cat’s mouth.
And, gently apply pressure to the cheeks while holding the pill in your other hand.
Once the cat opens their mouth, pop the pill in quickly. And, be certain that the cat swallows it. Be very gentle and act quickly to avoid mishaps.
You can rub their throat gently to encourage them to swallow. You’ll know the pill has gone down when they lick their lips.
No, do you have any tips for administering medication that I haven’t included? Learn how to care for feral cats in the winter.
Ellen runs a small pet sitting business in southern Vermont. She has experience with a variety of small animals, dogs and cats. She has also cared for ducks, chickens and rabbits. Combined, she has over 20 years of experience in pet care and pet sitting.