The cat is sick and the veterinarian has prescribed tablets. But how do you get your velvet paw to swallow the necessary medicine? This guide tells you the best strategies and tricks for how to give a cat a pill — and the best joke about it.
- How to give a cat a pill: The challenges
- How to give a cat a pill: crushing and camouflage
- Methods to administer tablets directly: steps
- How to give a cat a pill using a tablet inserter
- Trick to ‘hide’ entire tablet
- How to give a cat a pill funny joke
How to give a cat a pill: The challenges
Mouth open, tablet in and down with it – nice if it were so easy as the method for how to give a pill to a cat. For many cat owners, tablet administration is a real challenge. Many treatments had to be stopped because the kitty simply did not want to swallow the pills.
Unfortunately, you cannot explain to your cat that the medication is necessary. So only cunning and trickery helps. In this article you will learn the best tricks to give your cat tablets.
In principle, you have three options for giving your cat tablets:
- Crush tablets and mix them with paste, feed or water for camouflage.
- Hide the whole tablet in a treat and cheer your cat.
- Put tablets directly into the mouth.
Maybe you have to try several ways to find the best trick for tableting your cat. Don’t lose heart, one of these methods will definitely work.
How to give a cat a pill: crushing and camouflage
To outwit your moggy as a way for how to give pills to cats, you can finely grind the tablets and mix them with cat paste, food or water for camouflage. All you need for this is a commercial mortar with which you crush the tablets. If you want to dissolve the tablet powder in water, you will also need a syringe.
If your cat has to take the tablets for an extended period of time, it may be worth buying a special tablet mortar. You can get this, for example, in the pharmacy.
Important: Check with your veterinarian beforehand whether the tablets may be ground.
How to give a cat a pill: Crush and mix it with a spoon of soft food
- Mix the crushed tablet with a cat food that tastes good for your kitty. Alternatively, you can also use sausage meat.
- Grind the pill with the help of the mortar until a fine powder is formed. Then mix this powder thoroughly with a small portion of cat paste. About a teaspoon should suffice.
- Then let your kitty lick and enjoy. With a little luck, it will not notice anything about the tablet powder.
How to give a cat a pill: Crush the tablet and mix it into the meal
You can also try to simply stir the medicine into the normal amount of cat food for a meal. For this trick in how to give a cat pills, you also need a mortar. Then mix the powder thoroughly with your cat’s food.
However, this trick only works if the pill does not have a strong taste. In this case, you can add a few intensely tasting treats to the tablet in the mortar. Dreamies with cheese, for example, are well suited. Mix everything well together before stirring it into the food.
Attention: Some medicines must not be taken with dairy products. As a precaution, ask your veterinarian if there are any objections to cheese pastes or cheese snacks.
How to give a cat a pill: Syringe and water
Alternatively, you can dissolve the tablet powder in some water or another liquid, such as chicken broth. This is also the method for how to give a cat liquid medicine.
- Then draw the solution onto an injection syringe (without needle!) on.
- You can get the syringe from the veterinarian or pharmacy.
- Then gently inject the mixture into your cat’s mouth.
Warning: exact dosing is not possible
However, with the mortar method, it is not possible to precisely dose the medication. A few crumbs always fall by the wayside. Like sick people, sick cats often have little appetite. Maybe your cat doesn’t feel like cat paste or she doesn’t eat up its feed ration. Then it is better to mix the tablet with liquid or administer it whole. As we said, this is also the strategy for how to give cat liquid medicine.
Methods to administer tablets directly: steps
Sometimes even the best tricks for giving tablets to your cat do not help. Especially if the kitty is very sick and eats little, it makes no sense to mix the medicines into the feed. Some patients also do not have an appetite for treats in which you can hide the tablets. And some cat breeds are more aversive to this than others. In such cases, you can try to give your cat the tablet directly into the mouth.
Not entirely safe
In the following section you will find a short explanation of how to do it. However, be sure to have this method shown in advance in the veterinary practice, because this method is not harmless: your cat could accidentally bite you in the hand.
1. Hold on well
- Hold your cat well when administering tablets. It works best if there are two of you.
- Sit on the floor and pick up the cat and hold it between your legs.
- The cat’s bottom points in your direction. So the way back is cut off.
2. Open mouth carefully
- Take the tablet in a hand between your index finger and thumb. Right-handed people take the right hand, left-handed take the left hand.
- Then open your cat’s mouth with the other hand. To do this, slide your index finger into the gap behind the pointed canine. Your cat’s head should point slightly upwards.
- With the middle finger of the hand holding the tablet, gently press the chin of your kitty down. Now push the tablet into your mouth from the front.
3. Place tablet in the back of the mouth
Make sure that the pill is placed at the very back of the mouth at the bottom of the tongue. Otherwise, the cat probably spits out the medicine immediately.
Important: Always go with your fingers from the front into the mouth of your cat so that you are not accidentally bitten. Cat and kitten bites are also dangerous for people. If you have any doubts, do not use the direct method.
How to give a cat a pill using a tablet inserter
The direct administration of the pill with a so-called tablet inserter is much safer. These devices are also available from the veterinarian. Check with the AVMA to find a vet nearby.
Tablet inserters look similar to a syringe and they also work similarly. First water is drawn up, then the tablet is clamped at the front of the tip of the device. Then gently insert the inserter into the cat’s mouth so that the tablet is at the very back of the mouth.
If you now gently press the stamp, the cat has no choice but to swallow the tablet together with the water.
This method also requires a lot of sensitivity and a quiet cat that does not fidget around. Otherwise, you run the risk of hurting yourself or your cat.
Trick to ‘hide’ entire tablet
Whole tablets can be camouflage by giving them a tasty shell. There are various possibilities here. Basic requirement: Your cat must find the sheath really delicious, otherwise the trick will not work.
Chewing stick sandwich
Most cats love chewing sticks. You can use this preference to “hide” your cat’s tablets in it.
- For the chewing stick sandwich, you need a chewing stick for cats and a sharp knife.
- First, cut the chewing stick into small pieces. The sections should be about two centimeters long. Then carefully cut the chewing stick section lengthwise to the middle.
- Then push the pill into the resulting gap and gently squeeze the sandwich with your fingers.
- Make sure that the tablet does not slip out when you give your velvet paw the chewing stick sandwich. With large tablets, it is sometimes easier if you divide the tablet and make two sandwiches.
Tip: Alternatively, you can also trick your cat with a small piece of sausages. Cut a bag into the sausage piece with the knife and gently slide the tablet into it.
Tools for hiding
If the sandwich trick is too cumbersome for you to give your cat the tablets, there are various tools for hiding. You can buy them, for example, from the veterinarian.
For example, there is a special playdough into which you knead the tablet or small snacks with a cavity for the tablet. Camouflaged as a treat, you can administer an entire pill to your kitty in this way.
Important: Try a few times without a tablet beforehand whether your cat likes the product at all.
Ask your veterinarian
No matter which trick you choose, be sure to discuss your procedure with the veterinarian. Not all tablets may be divided or crushed. Some snacks are also not compatible with certain medicines.
Especially if you administer the tablet directly to your cat without further “camouflage”, you should definitely have the appropriate handles shown in advance. This also applies if you use a tablet inserter for your cat.
How to give a cat a pill funny joke
- Take the cat in the bend of your left arm, as if you were holding a baby.
Place the right thumb and middle finger on both sides of the mouth and push the tablet inside and let the cat close the mouth. Collect the tablet from the floor and bring out the cat behind the sofa.
- Take them back on your arm and repeat the procedure.
- Get the cat out of the bedroom and throw away the scraped tablet.
- Take a tablet from the package, put the cat back on your arm and hold the paws with your left hand. Force the jaw and push the tablet into the back of the mouth. Close it and count it to 10.
- Fish the tablet from the aquarium and the cat from the wardrobe. Call your husband for help.
- Kneel on the floor and clamp the cat between the knees. Hold the front paws tight.
- Ignore the growl of the cat. Ask your husband to hold the cat’s head and push her a wooden ruler into her throat. Let the tablet roll down the ruler and then rub the cat’s neck.
- Pick the cat out of the curtain. Take a new tablet from the pack. Write down to buy a new ruler and mend the curtain.
- Wrap the cat in a large towel. Drape the tablet into the tail of a stohhalm. Ask your husband to take the cat into the sweatbox so that only the head looks through the elbow bend. Lever the cat mouth with the help of a ballpoint pen and blow the tablet into the throat.
- Check the package leaflet to make sure that the tablet is harmless to humans. Drink a glass of water to get rid of the taste. Connect your husband’s arm and remove the blood from the carpet with cold water and soap.
- Get the cat out of the neighbor’s garden cottage. Take a new tablet. Put the cat in a closet and close the door at the level of the neck so that the head looks out. Lever the mouth with a teaspoon. Flit the tablet with a rubber band in the throat.
- Take the screwdriver out of the garage and hang the closet door back into the hinges. Put cold compresses on your face and check the date of your last tetanus vaccination. Throw away your blood-speckled T-shirt and get a new one out of the closet.
- Let the fire department pick up the cats from the tree on the opposite street. Take the last tablet out of the pack.
- Tie the front and back paws of the cat together with a clothesline and tie them to the legs of the dining table. Put on garden gloves, open the mouth with the help of a crowbar. Stuff the tablet into it, followed by a large piece of fillet steak. Hold the cat’s head vertically and pour water afterwards to rinse down the tablet.
- Let your husband drive you to the hospital. Sit still while the doctor sews your finger and arm and removes the tablet from your right eye. On the way back, stop at the furniture store and order a new dining table.
Dr Alma Peterson is a skilled veterinary surgeon specialising in small animal practice and focusing on natural veterinary solutions wherever possible.