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Keeping your cat healthy and groomed can sometimes involve giving the medicine at home. Whether it is antibiotics or a dewormer, your little feline won’t like being caught by surprise, especially when a surprise is a human trying to shove nasty-tasting pills down their mouth. It can be a stressful experience for your already sick sweetie. Gladly there are a few ways to help the medicine go down smoothly! Let’s dig in and discuss some claw-er ways to help you successfully give your cat their medicine! 


The Old Fashioned Way: Place the Pill in your cat’s mouth


The most simple way to give a cat a pill is by giving it to the cat. However, it is not easy as cats are intelligent and can smell the medicine in their food! And we all know that not all cats will let their hooman put something in their mouth, especially when it smells weirdly off! If placed incorrectly, your sweetie will just spit it right back out. 


However, it can be very easy to do when you know how! 


The idea is to place the pill as far back and centred as possible. You want to put the pill at the far end and as centred as possible on the tongue. 

With your non-dominant hand, gently tilt your cat’s head back and with your dominant hand, slightly open the mouth and quickly lay the pill at the back centre of the cat’s tongue. Cats have barbed tongues that face backwards, meaning that once something is in this place pretty hard to spit it out. And now what you have left to do is to watch your feline closely to see they haven’t spit the pill out. 


It is essential that your cat feels comfortable having its mouth touched. Therefore we also recommend doing some ‘role-play’ beforehand. 


If your cat doesn’t like being touched, try sweetening up first and feeding them crunchy treats. Your mission is to slowly ease in and make them trust you more. Once you have done this a few times and tried giving small treats first, you can ease in and pop the pill into their mouth next time instead of the crunchy treat. Sometimes they won’t notice the difference! 


The good news is that there are cats that are totally chill with taking pills, but if your cat is not one of them, there are other methods. 



Give their medication with food – our recommendation


Another commonly used method is to trick your cat into thinking they are eating their dinner! Before you take this route, ask your vet if this specific medication can be crushed into powder form. If the medication can be crushed, try mixing it with tuna water, stock, or other wet food. 


However, a spoonful of tuna might not cut it with your cat, as they can smell the medicine in the food and be averted by this specific food later on. 


If your cat needs to be more impressed by your smart pill-crushing skills, we can also recommend a popular method that some cats like pill pockets


A pill pocket is a flavoured treat with a built-in pocket that holds the pill. Once the tablet is placed in the pocket, try giving it to your cat; since they have a strong meaty flavour your cat will probably gobble it up! But still, stick around to ensure your intelligent sweetie hasn’t spit it out! If they spit it out, take a break, watch some funny cat videos, and try one more time. Stay patient! 


Some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • Approach the situation in a friendly and relaxed way; if you are tense, your cat is going to become tense too and will be extra vary of your following actions;
  • If your cat becomes extremely anxious and tries to scratch you, try swaddling your puuur-fection in a soft blanket and talking gently to them to ease them down;
  • Have plenty of treats available before and after giving the pill;
  • Always stay close after to make sure they swallowed the pill! 


If you are unsuccessful in these methods and cannot get your cat to take the pill, consider taking them to a vet for a consultation. Your local vet can show you how to administer the medicine to your sweetie and tell you tips and tricks at home to be used explicitly for your cat. You can sign up here for a Just Cats pet health plan which gives you free consultations with a cat specialist! 


Happy Purring!