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Tips for Safely Pilling a Cat

Giving pills to cats can be challenging. Even experienced veterinarians can have trouble pilling cats sometimes! Don’t worry if you are having a difficult time trying to get your cat to take his or her oral medication. Read these tips below for some strategies to make the process easier.





Use Food

The number one method for getting your cat to take his or her pill is to hide the pill in food. This may not work for all cats, or for all pills, but it can work wonders if you hide the pill in something delicious. For example, you can hide the pill in some tuna, salmon, or cream cheese. There are also soft treats available for purchase called pill pockets that have a crevice indented in the treat where you can hide the pill for your cat. It is possible that your cat will ingest the treat but spit out the pill, so he or she should be observed to make sure that the pill is ingested.


Pilling by Hand

Maybe your cat won’t accept the pill or continues to spit it out. Sometimes, depending on the pill, it might have a bad taste that your cat simply won’t want to eat. In that case you can try giving the cat the pill by hand. Some cats will tolerate pilling by hand. You can either give them the pill as it is or lubricate it with a bit of butter to help your cat swallow the pill. Once you find a method of restraint that works well for your cat, use your fingers to open the cats mouth and place the pill as far back it it’s mouth as possible. To help the cat swallow you can try rubbing it’s throat.


Use a Pill Pusher

If food is not working, you can purchase and use a pill pusher or pill popper. They are plastic syringes that you can purchase on Amazon. When you insert the pill, you will use the syringe to push the pill directly into the back of your cat’s throat. This method works well because you don’t risk your fingers getting bitten. Some cats may require two people to use this method, one person to restrain the cat and the other to use the syringe. It is highly recommended to follow the pilling by giving your cat liquid such as water or chicken broth to help your cat swallow the pill.


What method do you use to pill your cat?

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