How to Give A Cat A Pill

icon March 26, 2024

Giving medication to pets, especially cats, can be a daunting task for many pet owners. Cats are notorious for their finicky behavior and their ability to resist anything they perceive as unpleasant, including taking pills. However, with patience, technique, and a gentle approach, administering medication to your feline friend can become a manageable and stress-free task. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various methods and tips on how to give a cat a pill effectively, ensuring your cat's health and well-being.

Understanding the Importance:

Before delving into the techniques, it's essential to understand the importance of administering medication to your cat as prescribed by the veterinarian. Just like humans, cats can suffer from various health issues ranging from infections to chronic diseases. Administering medication correctly ensures that your cat receives the necessary treatment to alleviate symptoms, fight infections, and improve their overall health. Therefore, mastering the art of giving your cat a pill is crucial for their well-being and longevity.

How to Give A Cat A Pill?

a. Preparation:

Preparation plays a key role in successfully giving your cat a pill. Before attempting to administer medication, gather all the necessary supplies:

1. The medication prescribed by your veterinarian.

2. A pill dispenser or pill gun for easier administration.

3. Treats or a favorite food to mask the taste of the pill.

4. Towels or blankets to wrap your cat if needed.

5. Someone to assist you if your cat is particularly difficult to handle.

Once you have gathered everything you need, find a quiet and comfortable space where you and your cat can relax without distractions.

b. Techniques for Administering a Pill:

There are several techniques you can try when giving your cat a pill. Experiment with each method to find the one that works best for you and your cat's temperament:

1. Pill Pocket Method:

  • Pill pockets are commercially available treats with a hollow center designed to conceal pills.
  • Place the pill inside the pill pocket and offer it to your cat as a treat.
  • Many cats will eagerly consume the pill pocket without realizing there's medication inside.

2. Mixing with Food:

  • Crush the pill into a fine powder and mix it with a small amount of your cat's favorite wet food.
  • Ensure your cat consumes the entire portion to receive the full dose of medication.
  • Be cautious when using this method, as some cats may detect the presence of the pill and refuse to eat the food.

3. Manual Administration:

  • Hold your cat securely but gently, ensuring they cannot escape.
  • Tilt their head slightly upwards to help open their mouth.
  • Use your dominant hand to hold the pill between your thumb and index finger.
  • With your other hand, gently pry open your cat's mouth and place the pill as far back on the tongue as possible.
  • Close your cat's mouth and hold it shut while gently stroking their throat to encourage swallowing.

4. Pill Gun or Dispenser:

  • A pill gun or dispenser is a useful tool for administering pills to cats, especially for those who are resistant to manual methods.
  • Load the pill into the dispenser and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Place the dispenser in your cat's mouth and push the plunger to release the pill.
  • Be gentle to avoid startling your cat.

c. Tips for Success:

In addition to the techniques mentioned above, here are some tips to increase your chances of success when giving your cat a pill:

1. Stay Calm and Patient:

  • Cats can sense your emotions, so it's important to remain calm and patient throughout the process.
  • Avoid becoming frustrated or agitated, as this can make your cat more resistant.

2. Use Positive Reinforcement:

  • Offer praise, treats, or a favorite toy as a reward for cooperation.
  • Positive reinforcement can help create a positive association with pill administration.

3. Practice Makes Perfect:

  • Practice administering pills to your cat when they're not actually due for medication.
  • This allows you to refine your technique and familiarize your cat with the process.

4. Be Consistent:

  • Stick to a consistent schedule for administering medication to your cat.
  • Consistency helps establish routine and reduces your cat's anxiety about the process.

Best Food to Hide Cat Pills in

1. Wet Cat Food:
Mix the pill into a small portion of wet cat food, ensuring your cat consumes the entire serving.
2. Cream Cheese:
Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on the pill to mask its taste and texture.
3. Tuna Juice:
Use a small amount of tuna juice to coat the pill, enticing your cat with its strong aroma.
4. Chicken Baby Food:
Dilute chicken-flavored baby food with water and mix in the pill for a palatable option.
5. Canned Salmon:
Mash a small amount of canned salmon and conceal the pill inside for a tasty treat.
6. Pill Pockets:
Commercially available pill pockets are specifically designed to conceal pills and come in various flavors cats enjoy.


  • Tool or helper for feeding tablets, pills, capsules, liquids, powder or other medicines to pets
  • There are two kinds of soft silicone feeding tips, split and round (non-split), serving your muti-use needs; the split tip for capsules, tablets, pills or solid medicines, and the round tip for liquid or powder medicine
  • Available for various forms of medicine, which is easy to use.


  • Easy segmentation
  • Help control the dosage

7. Turkey or Chicken Deli Meat:
Wrap the pill in a thin slice of turkey or chicken deli meat for a savory disguise.
8. Fish Oil:
Coat the pill with a small amount of fish oil to mask its taste and encourage your cat to swallow it.
9. Cat Treats:
Crush the pill and mix it with your cat's favorite soft treats, ensuring they consume the medication along with the treat.
10. Cheese Slices:
Wrap the pill in a small piece of cheese slice to mask its taste and texture, making it more appealing to your cat.

Is It OK to Crush Pills for Cats?

Crushing pills for cats is generally safe if advised by a veterinarian. However, some medications have specific formulations that should not be altered. Always consult your vet before crushing pills, as it may affect the medication's efficacy or cause adverse effects.

Can A Cat Choke on A Pill? 

Yes, a cat can choke on a pill if not administered properly. It's important to ensure the pill is placed far back on the tongue and that the cat swallows it properly. Using appropriate tools and techniques can minimize the risk of choking.


Administering medication to your cat doesn't have to be a dreaded chore. With patience, practice, and the right approach, you can effectively give your cat a pill while minimizing stress for both you and your feline companion. Remember to consult your veterinarian if you encounter any difficulties or have concerns about your cat's medication regimen. By mastering the art of giving your cat a pill, you're ensuring their health and well-being for years to come.

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