How to Pill a Cat

I think I have told you that I have been going through my YouTube videos and I came across this one the other day that I did of me giving Rags a pill (note my torn and tattered t-shirt – just the way I like them, but not ideal for filmming! I was a novice – wait, I still am =)).

How do you pill your cats? Or do you just take them to the vet to get ‘er done?

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6 thoughts on “How to Pill a Cat

  1. Teresa says:

    Agree with Sondi that every kitty is different just like their unique personalities so I have to be mindful of each one of my 6 to give their meds according to how they are feeling. Some days I find that one of my kitties, who requires daily meds, likes to eat her pill in a Pill Pocket, and other days, she will not touch it because she has nausea secondary to her kidney failure. On those days, she gets her antiemetics first to see if it will calm her nausea and then offer her the pill pocket. If she refuses that, I just give it to her calmly and quickly (like Jenny’s video).

    Think the most two important things are trust and calmness that we possess because if our kitties notice that, they respond with anxiety and fear. For those who have had prior traumas maybe feral or abused animals, they may need some extra special TLC and coaxing but it can be done. Giving treats along with meds helps get them to realize that it is not so bad and they will get rewarded for their efforts.

  2. Sondi Moore says:

    Giving pills to any cat take practice and patience. Just because you can pill one cat does not automatically mean you can pill every cat; some cats just refuse to swallow.
    Watching a cat spit a pill out many times and then looking at you like WHAT? is frustrating but keep at it. I have found that keeping the cat calm and relaxed works best and it still is easier to use ones fingers than a pill shooter but if you can start training your cat at an early age with empty pill pockets, it helps when you really need to add the pill. Cats know what’s inside but just keep trying. Mom always knows best, even with giving icky pills.

  3. Judy says:

    I put just a dab of peanut butter on the end of my finger to hold the pill there, and then open the ‘trap’ and poke the pill down the hatch. Works pretty slick!

  4. Betty says:

    Jen – You & Rags make that look so easy! I had to watch it twice to believe it! Marcia, I hear you. Oscar gets pilled every other day and squirts every other day too. He is more accepting now of the routine (though when he suspects its time, he hides) but hie still cheeks them and I find tiny pink pills in various places. We have done the touching the nose trick & the stroking the throat, to mixed success. I am going to show my husband how fully you stroked Rags’ throat though. The squirts? He drools and foams them out all over the place. It is so gross.

    Do you think its the raggie personality (Oscar is just your avg tabby)? I know when I was giving Andy squirts of cider vinegar, he was easy…

    I am curious to see the reports.

  5. Marcia says:

    Oh my goodness! Can I borrow your cat?? I have the pill monster!! My Vet gave him “the award for the hardest to pill cat” 2 weeks ago and he continues his prove himself. I have to give him Pepcid 2x/day and well, for one thing Persians have very WIDE jaws and flat faces and you have to try and hold his face with one hand and pry the jaws with another- I have very small hands- he has a very wide face! There is no little mouth at the end, just a wide bulldog jaw and he is the MASTER of bringing the pill back out of his mouth!! GRRRR I should make a video of “How not to pill a cat” with him starring! Pill pockets? He is not in to them!! After 9 tries last nite, I think I got it in to him…unless it is hiding in his hair. I was feeling at least more confident after watching the video, but now have 2 puncture wounds on my palm near my thumb from his claws while attempting my morning pill routine. After about 7 tries, pills on the floor, and him escaping twice, I “think he got it?”

    • Nvc says:

      I have to give my cat thyroid med twice a day, and I was at the end of my rope, having tried all sorts of tips and tricks. What finally worked for me was using a pill crusher, which pulverized the pill into a fine powder, and then sprinkling it on wet cat food. I don’t know if taste of pills makes it harder for some meds, but it worked for the felimazole and my picky cat, who will only eat one brand of dry food and one or two of wet food. It may be worth a shot, if you have pills that are able to be cut or crushed (check with vet to be sure).

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