Fussy Kitty: How To Medicate a Difficult Cat

Medications can often be difficult to give to your pet, especially pills. For stubborn or sneaky pets, the ol' "hide it in food" trick isn't always effective as they'll simply spit them out.

It is important that your pet receives all of their medications prescribed by the vet in accordance with its labeling. Below we have provided some helpful hints, tips and step-by-step instructions on administering tablets and oral solutions to your pet.

Helpful Hints

  • Always read the label instructions carefully
  • Check the label or ask veterinary staff as to if the medication needs to be given with food or on an empty stomach. If it can be given with food, try and place the tablet within a piece of meat or a small amount of wet food.
  • Ask a friend or family member to help
  • Avoid slippery surfaces when medicating large dogs on the floor, as they could cause injury to you or themself
  • Stay calm and speak in a positive and friendly manner whilst administering medications. Your pet can sense if you are nervous or upset, and will often mirror the behaviour making it difficult to apply the treatment.

Always praise or treat your pet with a treat after giving their medication when possible. This associates a positive reward with the experience, and they will be more likely to tolerate their next dose when expecting a nice reward at the end!

Medicating your Cat - Oral Pills

Step 1

  • Place the pill between the thumb and index finger of one hand
  • Hold the top of your cat's head and grasp their cheek bones with the index finger of the other hand

Step 2

  • Tilt their head back until their eyes are facing upwards
  • Usually, the cat's jaw will drop open on its own. If not, apply a little pressure on the lower jaw with your middle finger
  • Bring the pill to your cat's mouth

Step 3

  • Keep your middle finger over the small incisor teeth to keep jaw open
  • Deposit the pill as far back on the tongue as possible
  • Immediately close their mouth

Step 4

  • Gently stroke the throat or blow on the nose to encourage swallowing
  • Work fast to avoid being bitten

Medicating your Cat - Oral Liquids

Fill the provided syringe with the correct dose as indicated on your pet's script. Do not tip their head back. Place the syringe into the side of their mouth, just past their teeth. Slowly but steadily squirt the medication into their mouth, taking pauses to allow your cat to breath and swallow the medication.