How to Give a Cat Medicine

Administering cat medicine can be a challenge for both cats and their owners. Nearly every cat will require cat antibiotics, vitamins, pain relievers, parasite medications or other types of medicine at some point in their lives, and owners should know how to give a cat pills, capsules or liquid medication. Knowing how to give your cat medication in a safe and efficient manner is an essential part of being a responsible cat owner.

How to Give a Cat Medicine

Pill guns can be a helpful tool for owners who must give an uncooperative and aggressive cat oral medication. Pilling devices can be purchased from pet stores and allow owners to administer medication without placing their fingers in a cat's mouth. Some owners try to hide pills in food or treats, but finicky cats tend to eat around the medication. For owners that do not own pill guns, follow these instructions to quickly and safely give a cat pills.

  1. Ask a friend or family member to restrain the cat, especially if this is your first time giving your cat medication. Have the helper approach the cat from behind and grasp both sides of the cat, holding the elbows of the front limbs. It may help to wrap a towel or T-shirt around the neck and body of the cat to stop scratching.
  2. Hold the medication in your dominant hand. Place your other hand on top of the cats head and grasp the cat by the cheek bones. Tilt the cat's head back. If the cat does not automatically lower his bottom jaw, use the middle finger of your dominant hand to open the cat's mouth, being careful NOT to press down on the sharp fangs of the front teeth.
  3. Quickly drop or press the pill on the back of the tongue.
  4. Massage the throat of the cat or sharply tap his nose to encourage swallowing of the pill. Always check the mouth to ensure your cat has taken the medication.
  5. Offer a treat or some favorite food as a reward and to prevent the pill from getting stuck in the cat's throat.

If your cat must take liquid medication, owners can use similar steps to administer the cat medicine.

  1. Place your hand on the top of the cat's head and use these fingers to pull back the cheek of the cat. Do NOT tilt the head back like you would when giving the cat pills or capsules. Tilting the head back may cause the liquid medication to enter the windpipe.
  2. Put the medicine dropper in the pouch between the teeth and cheek and administer medication.
  3. Close the cat's mouth and massage the throat or sharply rap the cat on the nose to encourage swallowing.
  4. Treats or food may be offered as a reward and to remove any medication taste.

Cat Medicine

Allows follow your veterinarian's instructions with dosage amounts and medication schedules with all types of cat diseases. Continue to administer medication for as long as your vet has prescribed, even if symptoms clear up early in order to prevent a relapse.