What Is the Best Way to Give My Cat Medication?

CatChannel expert Jeanne Adlon, professional cat sitter, offers some helpful ways to get cats to take their meds.

By Jeanne Adlon | Posted: April 24, 2009, 3 a.m. EDT

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Q: What is the best way to give my cat medication?

A: In my years as a cat sitter, I have had to medicate many cats in my care, which can be challenging. One client said she would be going on vacation and her kitty, Marina, was on meds and would need a half-pill a day. She added that it was very easy to give Marina her pill — that was because her husband restrained her while she was giving it to her. I laughed and reminded my client that her husband would be away as well, but if she left him home to help, there would be no problem!

Well, off they went and I had to figure out the best way to give Marina her meds. It didn’t help that she was very shy. Luckily, she was also a true princess and loved being brushed. It sounds ridiculous but I would sit on the living room floor, wave the brush and call out, “Marina, brushies!” and she would appear. I would have the pill ready in one hand, while brushing her with the other. I’d wait for just the right moment when she was the most relaxed and quickly pop the pill in her mouth — and I never missed a brush stroke!

It’s been my experience that if you don’t make a big deal out of medicating, you have a better chance of getting it done. As with Marina, pick a time when they are being groomed or relaxed. Have the pills ready and do it quickly instead of stressing her with a big procedure.

For medicating cats, I prefer pills over liquid if there is a choice. Liquids can be messy and get all over you and your cat. Cats can also spit out the liquid or drool so much that most of it ends up on the floor. For difficult kitties, wait until she is hungry and try crushing the pill in some baby food or a tiny amount of tuna. There is also a wonderful product that allows you to place a pill in the center of a tiny pea-sized food treat. It creates a pocket for the pill, surrounded by a yummy treat. I have recommended this many times to clients and have used it myself.

As with all medications, have your vet show you the proper way to administer it and please follow all directions.

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Reader Comments

Michalle    Portland, OR

9/11/2012 1:15:34 PM

The way you give cats pills depends on their unique personality and likes. The pill pocket treats sound like a great idea.

CatChannelEditor    Irvine, CA

5/23/2012 9:41:57 AM

Barbara -- Here is a link to a pill pocket example: LINK

Barbara    philadelphia, PA

5/22/2012 2:44:06 PM

what is the pill pocket you talk about> We need it.

debby    oxford, MN

4/14/2011 10:53:16 AM

good reading

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