A Spoonful of Sugar: Tips on giving your kitties their oral medication!

No one is eager to take a swig of Buckley’s when they have a fever or a cold – but we do it anyways, because we know it will help. Unfortunately our furry friends aren’t privy to the same knowledge! So, when they get ill, it is sometimes a struggle to get them to take their medications. Here we have learned a few “tricks of the trade” to make it a little easier.

By far the easiest way to give a food motivated kitty their pills is by using pill pockets. These can be purchased at the pet store and come in a variety of flavours. They are basically a malleable treat that can be molded around a pill. On occasion kitties catch on, or decide they do not like the pill pockets any longer. Often these kitties can be convinced to gobble up the pill pocket with the pill inside if it is placed in the midst of a few temptations. To go a little farther, you can even try squishing a couple temptations onto either side of the pill pocket.

 pill pocket

For kitties that are not motivated by food, you may have to give them the pill directly. You can easily do this in a few easy steps. First you want to find a position to hold your kitty that is comfortable for both of you , and secure. My personal method is depicted below.
secure hold
Next, place a finger on either side of their jaw and press gently. This will lead the kitty to open their mouth, as seen below.
molly mought 2molly mouth
You can then use your free hand to place the pill in the back of the kitties mouth.  You may want to hold the kitties mouth shut for a few seconds, in case they try to spit it out! This is also an easy way to administer liquids orally from a syringe. Some cats might get rather feisty when you’re trying to give them medications that they don’t want, in which case it may not be such a good idea to be putting your fingers in their mouth! Here we use a “Pet Piller”, which looks like a large syringe. You place the pill in the tip of the “Pet Piller” and press the opposite end down, similar to a syringe. This will “shoot” the pill into the cat’s mouth, and your fingers are safe and sound!!
pet pillerPet Piller (above)

If you need extra tips or help on how to give your feline family their medications your family veterinarian is also a great resource!!

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