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Getting Your Cat To Take Medicine

Cat in TowelBefore you attempt to medicate your cat, ensure that you have all of your supplies (medication, treats to make the experience better for your cat, and a towel incase you have to wrap your cat) together.

Liquid Medications

Place your cat on a flat surface, with their hindquarters against your body. Have the medication drawn up into the syringe prior to this. Use your free hand to tilt your cat's head up slightly. Place the tip of the syringe in the back corner of your cat's mouth, squirting the medication into the space between the cheek and gums. Be sure to reward your cat with a favourite treat afterwards!

Pills or Capsules

Place your cat on a flat surface, with their hindquarters against your body. Using one hand, steady your cat's head and tilt it slightly upward. Hold the pill between your thumb and forefinger of the opposite hand. Use your middle finger to open your cat's mouth and slide the pill down the center of the tongue to the back of the mouth! 

An alternate way to give pills is to use a pill gun (a device use to hold the pill so you don't get bitten) to place the medication on the tongue at the back of your cat's mouth. Continue to hold your cat's head slightly tilted with their mouth closed until you see the cat swallow. Reward your cat with their favourite treat afterwards!

If your cat struggles, or tries to scratch you, wrap a thick towel around your cat's neck and front legs to protect yourself from your cat's claws!

For pills or capsules, another option is to hide the medication in food or a pill pocket! Try putting the pill in the middle of a ball of canned food or a piece of cheese and give it to them that way! 

Sometimes, medications come in alternate forms as well.

  • Some liquid medications can come flavoured, to ensure that your cat will want to eat it!
  • Some medications are available as a transdermal gel, meant to be absorbed through the skin. This medication is generally applied to the inside tip of the ear.
  • Some medications come as a transdermal patch with medication embedded in them, which then are paced directly on the skin. 

If you have any questions about medications, and how to get your cat to take them, call your veterinarian for help!