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The easiest way to pill your cat

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So your vet has prescribed a pill to help improve your kitty’s health, but you’re not sure how to administer it. The good news is that pilling a cat can be even easier than you’d think! Here’s how it’s done.

Prepare well in advance

Some cats will run and hide at the sound of a pill bottle! If this is the case, take out the pills an hour or more before you need them. You can also store the pills in the same drawer as your treats to keep your kitty guessing.

Getting your cat used to being handled will also ease the pilling process. Without giving a pill, regularly hold your cat’s head and practice gently opening his or her jaws. Afterward, give your cat treats, praise, and plenty of petting to help build positive associations.

Disguise the pill in treats or food

With a Greenie’s Pill Pocket®, you can place the pill in the center and then roll the pocket in your hands to completely hide the medicine. For a less expensive option, many Temptations treats come with a soft center. For smaller pills, break the treat in half and hide it in the treat.

If your cat eats wet food on a schedule, you can use this to your advantage. Before the full meal, scoop a little of the wet food into a spoon. Then, place the pill in the middle of the food and let your cat eat from the spoon, pill and all!

Don’t forget to ask your vet first if the pill can be taken with food.

Mix it up!

If you have a crushable pill, use a mortar and pestle to grind it down. Mix the powder with ¼ teaspoon of water, tuna juice, or chicken-only broth. Load the mixture into a needle-less syringe, and then squirt it into the corner of your kitty’s mouth. Do not squirt the liquid into the front of the mouth or too far down the back or else it will gag your cat.

Your vet can also tell you if your cat’s pill can be crushed and mixed with food or water, or if your cat’s gel cap pill can be opened and sprinkled over wet food.

If all else fails

Ask your vet about pharmacies that can specially formulate flavored medicines. The Dechra Academy also has a comprehensive video to help you pill your kitty manually.

Did you know that Katie’s Kitty has pet sitters that can give oral medication to your cat? Give us a call to book an appointment today!


Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

photo by Th_icky on Flickr

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