(If only it were this easy!)

Most cats initially struggle with going to the groomer, being handled by strangers, or experiencing physical examinations at the vet. Being touched, lifted, prodded and preened can be a huge challenge for many felines, particularly if they did not grow up accustomed to that kind of treatment. Because of this, many cats have a hard time being force-fed oral medications, and pet owners can get easily exasperated with trying to help their cats take the medicine and battling it out with them every day.  Whether your kitty has been assigned pills, capsules, or liquid drugs to be administered orally, here are some helpful pointers to ease the burden of this task.

Methods of Administering Different Medications

Liquid medications: Fill a dropper or syringe with the liquid drugs, and wrap your cat in a dishcloth or towel.  Speak in a comforting voice to the cat so that he will feel soothed and relaxed while you begin giving the medication. Hold your cat on your lap, his head in one hand. Place the dropper or syringe between his teeth, and position your hand so that the mouth is closed over the tip of the syringe.

Once everything is in place, slowly drop the medicine, or squeeze the syringe into his mouth. Pause every few moments so the cat has a chance to swallow the medicine down.  Do not release the liquid too quickly, since this could cause choking or gagging, which could lead the cat to spit it out.  When the liquid has fully been given to the cat, remove the dropper/syringe, and blow gently on the cat’s nose.  This often causes the pets to lick their noses and swallow immediately afterward. Though this might be an unpleasant experience, remember that failing to give your feline the medication he needs is far worse than having to deal with a squirming kitty on your lap.

Capsules or pills:  There are a few options about what you can do with pills or capsules. Some cat owners will wrap the pill with a handful of kitty treats, or will bury the capsule deep into the center of a flavorful cat chew, hoping their pet won’t notice.  This might work some of the time, but if the cat should happen to bite straight into the capsule, causing the distasteful medicine to fill their mouth and taste buds, it could result with the animal spitting everything out, and wasting one dose of the pill.  Another way to approach the feeding of capsules or pills is to grind them up, or empty them directly into the cat food. Then mix it carefully until the substance has entirely dissolved into the mixture. If you are particularly worried that the taste could overpower the dish, add some pungent and strongly flavored additions to the bowl, such as canned tuna, tuna water, or fresh salmon. That way if the food tastes rather different than usual, the cat might simply think it is only the added salmon, and will lick the plate clean. 

If you are concerned that your cat still is resistant, or unwilling to take the medication at all, contact your vet or pet health adviser to see what other options may be available to you.