How to give a cat medicine

4 June 2020
Allan Grisdale
cat teeth

Getting cats to take their medication is hard. You can mix it with food, squirt it in their mouth or give them a chewy treat.

Cats hate being force-fed things. They will clamp their mouths shut, struggle and spit out pills. The fact that medicine tastes bad is actually not a big issue. Try force-feeding a cat a delicious treat and they will resist you.

If the “make the medicine taste delicious” trick was easy to pull off, the pharmaceutical companies would be all over it. It would not be technically difficult to hide a small dose med in a delicious chewy cat treat and then charge people more.

Also, cats do not like to be roughly handled or restrained. You have to be gentle and quick.

It takes time to learn how to give cats oral meds so be patient. If you spend more than about 3 seconds trying to give them meds they will catch on to your plan and you are in for a struggle.

  • Pet your cat to relax it beforehand
  • Quickly straddle the cat and put a towel over it. The towel should wrap the cat, ensuring everything is in the towel except the head
  • Tilt the head up and open the mouth
  • Squirt the liquid down the throat and keep the head tilted to ensure it is swallowed

Praise the cat afterwards and give it a lot of affection. Give them their favourite treat. You want to promote a positive association. This helps make the whole experience more pleasant and may even condition the cat to better tolerate medicine administration.

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