How To Give a Cat a Pill
If you’ve ever had to give a cat a pill, you’ll likely agree that it’s no easy task. Some cats love to spit out pills and may give you a hard time administering medication. Nevertheless, you can make the process easier if you follow certain steps and apply some helpful tips.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the best practices you can follow when you need to give your cat a pill.
How To Give a Cat a Pill
Before you give your cat medication, it is important that you carefully read the prescription’s instructions. Take note of the frequency and dosage and ensure that you understand the procedure for administering the medication. You can also contact your vet if you have any questions about how to administer the pill.
When giving a cat a pill, it is also very important that you try to approach the task calmly and confidently. If you’ve never given a cat a pill before, you could ask a vet to show you how to safely administer oral medication.
Once you’re ready to give your cat the pill, you’ll need a way to restrain your cat. If you can, ask a friend to help you. Having another pair of hands will make it easier for you to successfully restrain your cat.
You can spread out a large towel on a flat surface such as a tabletop and place your cat on it. If you’re working alone, however, you may find it easier to wrap the cat in a towel or blanket with her head exposed. You could also place the cat on your lap or kneel on the floor with the cat restrained between your thighs.
Once you have restrained your cat, you’ll need to open her mouth. Use your non-dominant hand to hold up the cat’s head. Place your forefinger and thumb in an upside-down U position over your cat’s head. Your fingers should rest along the cheekbones on your cat’s face.
Next, place your thumb and forefinger on your cat’s upper lip and raise her head upwards. When you do this, her jaw should drop open slightly. Now, carefully press your thumb and the tip of your forefinger into your cat’s mouth. You can also use your dominant hand to further open her mouth by gently putting pressure on her lower jaw.
Now, hold the pill with your dominant hand between the tips of your middle finger and your thumb. Quickly drop the pill into your cat’s open mouth. Aim to drop it as far back on the cat’s tongue as possible to stimulate an automatic swallowing reflex. If the pill lands on the tip of the tongue, use your middle finger to push it further back.
If you’re not comfortable with the idea of placing your hand in your cat’s mouth, you can use a pill giver. A pill giver or pill popper is a plastic tool that aids in administering pills. You simply load the pill giver with the pill, insert it gently into your cat’s mouth, and press the plunger to discharge the tablet into your cat’s throat.
Once you’ve placed the pill in your cat’s mouth, you can release your fingers and close her mouth. Rub your cat’s throat for a few seconds and return her head to its normal position. Hold the mouth closed until you see your cat swallow. To stimulate swallowing, you can also blow lightly across your cat’s nostrils.
Once you can confirm that your cat has successfully swallowed the pill, give the cat some water to drink and something to eat. Treat your cat with her favorite food and toys and pet or play with her.
This will help your cat to create a positive association between taking medication and having fun and could make the process easier in the future.
How to Administer Medication With Food
If your veterinarian approves, the easiest way to give a cat a pill is to hide it in food. Some cat pills are very tiny and, thus, can easily be hidden in food. To ensure that your cat is hungry and ends up swallowing the pill during a meal, you can take away food for a few hours beforehand.
You should also place the pill in a small amount of food that the cat will certainly eat. Once you’re sure that the cat has swallowed the pill, you can then serve the rest of the meal. Since there is a possibility that your cat may spit out the pill, it is important to carefully observe your cat during and after the meal.
Another excellent way to administer a pill is to hide it in your cat’s favorite treat and serve it alongside the food. You can make use of treats such as Pill Pockets, which have specially designed cavities where you can place the pill. These tasty treats, which are available in different flavors can be a great way to give pills to your cats without much hassle.
You can also combine medication with food by delivering it in powder form mixed in with a portion of your cat’s diet. You can use a pill crusher to convert the pill into powder and mix it with a small portion of your cat’s food.
If you choose to use this method, ensure that your cat eats the food containing the medication and keep it away from other household cats.
If, despite your best efforts, you can’t get your cat to swallow a pill, you can inform the veterinarian. You vet will be able to advise you on what alternatives are available, if any. In some cases, the necessary medication could be administered in other forms such as veterinary injections or oral liquids.
Giving a cat a pill can be a daunting experience. However, if you apply the tips and suggestions discussed in this article, you’ll improve your chances of success and make the process less stressful for yourself and your cat.