How to Orally Medicate
At some point, most people will need to give their cat an oral medication. Even though it’s not easy to do, it’s in the cat’s best interest to administer their medication as directed by your veterinarian. Medicating a cat can seem like a very daunting task, but here are some suggestions for making it as easy and stress free as possible!
First, try hiding the medication in a tasty treat. Greenies Pill Pockets contain a built-in pouch designed to easily disguise pills. Purina Whisker Lickin's Tender Moments are a popular and palatable alternative if your cat will not eat Greenies Pill Pockets. These soft treats come in chicken, salmon, and chicken and cheese flavors. Simply mold the treat around the pill and give to your cat!
If your cat won’t eat soft treats, try hiding the pill in a small amount of meat, cream cheese, or butter. You can also crush the medication and mix it in a small amount of chicken or turkey baby food, tuna juice, or canned cat food.
If all else fails, pet pillers are a quick and easily solution. Simply insert the pill into the rubber tip and pull out the plunger until it clicks. Coat the pill and the end of the pet piller with a small amount of baby food or canned cat food to disguise the medication to make your cat more likely to swallow the pill.
1. Come from behind your cat, gently holding the top of the head in your palm with thumb and middle finger resting on the bony prominence between the ear and eye.
2. Hold the head up with neck slightly extended.
3. Insert the tip of the pet piller in the gap behind the canine, aiming diagonally to the back of the throat toward the opposite ear. In one fast motion, push the pet piller toward the back of the throat and depress the plunger, ejecting the medication to the back of the throat. Withdraw the pet piller quickly from the mouth. Offer your cat a small treat or follow the medication with 1 – 2 mL of water to keep the medication from resting in the esophagus and praise your cat thoroughly!
We understand that cats are not always as patient at home as they are here on the exam table. You can limit their mobility when pilling at home by kneeling behind them, which prevents them from backing away from you.
You can also wrap them in a towel, making a “kitty burrito,” which will limit their mobility and keep them from pawing at the pet piller.
Kitty Burrito Step 1
Kitty Burrito Step 2
Kitty Burrito Step 3
Kitty Burrito Step 4
We hope these suggestions ease the stress and difficulty of giving your cat oral medications. If you have any concerns about medicating your cat, the staff at Morrisville Cat Hospital is always happy to answer any of your questions!