How To Give A Cat A Pill? – Practical Guide

Cats are amazing creatures. They love to play, cuddle, and purr. However, sometimes cats get sick and need medicine. It’s hard to give pills to cats because they hate taking them, and it can be frustrating.

How to give a cat a pill

Luckily, there are several ways to give your cat a pill without hurting your feline or yourself.

Before looking into methods of making your cuddly friend take a pill, let us go through some of the things you should consider before pilling your cat.

Things To Consider When Giving Your Cat A Pill

1. Don’t Forget About Taste Buds

Cats are susceptible to tastes. Even tiny amounts of bitter-tasting substances like aspirin can cause them pain.

Therefore, always check whether any medicines contain ingredients that would upset your cat before administering them.

Also, note that some pills are not safe to be given to pregnant cats. You should consult your vet about this

2. Be Careful With Eye Drops

Veterinarians often prescribe eye drops to treat conditions such as conjunctivitis. But they shouldn’t be given to pets unless specifically instructed otherwise.

Even humans have trouble handling eye drops correctly. And since cats tend to rub their eyes constantly, there’s no telling how much damage these drops could do.

3. Keep An Eye On Reactions

Keep track of your pets’ reactions after receiving the prescribed treatment. Observe closely over several days to see if symptoms improve. If they don’t, contact your vet immediately. Sometimes animals experience adverse reactions to certain medications.

These include:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • excessive salivation
  • tremors, seizures
  • lethargy
  • weakness
  • loss of appetite
  • depression
  • fever
  • increased thirst
  • urination
  • constipation
  • lack of coordination
  • difficulty breathing
  • drooling
  • twitching
  • trembling
  • stiffness
  • convulsions
  • coma

Be prepared for all possible side effects.

4. Never Leave Your Cat Alone With Their Medication

Even though some people think that leaving medicine bottles open is safe enough, it’s hazardous. Animals who take prescription meds should never be left unattended. They can easily overdose by accident.

And even if an accidental overdose doesn’t happen, the risk still exists. Cats are notorious for getting into things like medicine bottles.

Once they start eating from them, they’ll continue until they’ve eaten everything. That includes any leftover pills. You wouldn’t want to find out about it too late!

5. Always Read The Manufactures Advice And Check With Your Vet

Some drugs need refrigeration, while others must remain at room temperature.

Having understood things to consider when medicating a cat, let us look at different ways of administering a medication to your fuzzy friend.

7 Best Ways To Give A Cat A Pill

1. Mix The Pill With Treats

The best idea to give a cat a pill without it knowing would be to mix the pill with some tasty kibble – cats like crunchy foods such as cheese puffs, dried liver, and other snacks.

When combining the two, make sure that the amount of treat is equal to half of what you have given your cat.

Best ways to give a cat a pill

Before mixing a pill in cats’ food, first, find out if it’s the right thing to do. Some tablets can be given with food, while some cannot. After confirming that it is safe to administer with food, follow the following guidelines.

  • Hide the pill in food and make sure that the cat is starving, and it won’t hesitate to grab the food containing the medicine. If you try giving the food a pill when the cat is full, It will be a waste of time.
  • If the drug is tiny, it is easier to hide it in small pieces of food that your cat adores.
  • Ensure that the pill is completely concealed inside the food. Cats are super sensitive, and they can sniff and fish out the drug if not correctly hidden.
  • Place the food containing the medication in your cute friend’s favorite feeding bowl.
  • Be close to check if the cat has eaten the tablet alongside the pill and not spat out.
  • After making sure that it has indeed swallowed the medicine, you can add his regular meal ration.

2. Use A Spoon

This works best on young kittens or puppies who are still learning how to eat. Here is how to give cat medicine using a spoon

  • Take spoon.
  • Hold it upright above the mouth of the cat.
  • Drop several spoonsful of powdered medicine directly into mouth.
  • Make sure each drop is swallowed whole.

3. Water Bottle Method

Steps included:

  • Take a clean plastic water bottle.
  • Cut off one corner of the baggie.
  • Fold open edge inward.
  • Push medicine deep into the center of the hole.
  • Twist closed. Keep twisting until the medicine has been pushed all the way through.
  • Replace cap securely.
  • Leave the bottle outside where the cat will find it.

4. Pour The Pill Into Milk

Milk is another excellent option when trying to administer a pill to your cat. This method works well for both liquids and dry tablets.

  • Pour the pill into a bowl of warm milk.
  • Your cat should drink all of the milk before eating the pill

5. Administration Of The Tablet By Hand

If it has become hard for your cuddly buddy to be motivated to take the pill alongside its food, you can give it to him manually.

It will work best for someone who understands the traits of its pet and knows by heart how it reacts. Here you will need to restrain your cat, and it should be gentle and relaxed because cats are sensitive and can sense if you are nervous.

  • First, using one hand, hold the pill between your thumb and forefinger
  • Using your other hand, approach the cat from the side and keep hold of its head. Praise your cat by motivating it, rub its fur, massage its head gently. These Furry pets do love cuddles a lot, and it will encourage them to keep calm.
  • Make sure that the head is firmly and gently held between your thumb and forefinger extending downwards to either side of the jaws.
  • Next, tilt the cat’s head upwards as you use the other hand’s middle finger containing the pill to make your cat open its mouth by pulling down the jaw. Remember to do it gently.
  • As you tilt the head up, drop the tablet quickly to the center and the farthest end of your cat’s tongue. Put the pill under its tongue so that it gets swallowed easily. It will be difficult for the little one to spit the medicine when you drop it further back. Note that this only works if the cat usually swallows. Otherwise, it won’t work.
  • After dropping the pill, try rubbing its nose gently or throat right below the chin to stimulate swallowing and give it a little water to follow the medication. Make sure the drug doesn’t stick to the roof of the mouth. Now, wait patiently for the pill to dissolve entirely; if the cat licks its mouth, bingo! The drug has been swallowed successfully.

6. Using The Pill Popper

If you don’t dare to administer the pills manually, you can opt for a pill popper.

It has rubber on its end, and it’s not going to hurt your little cat’s throat when you push its far end when pilling it – using a pill popper.

You can also divide tablets into two if your cat doesn’t need the whole pill. Here is how you can use the pill popper:

  • First, place the pill on the tip of the device.
  • Secondly, tilt your fur babies head backward as you open the mouth
  • Finally, release the drug by pushing the pill popper downwards, and that’s it done

7. The Cat Pill Giver

Using a pill giver has proven effective for many cat owners who don’t want to insert their fingers in a cat’s mouth. Here is how to use it in pilling your kitty.

  • First, restrain your cat by holding its head with your non-dominant hand, having the cats’ ears under your index finger and thumb.
  • Then, place the pill at the nozzle of the pill giver. Before that, test if the device is working by putting something at the nozzle and releasing it by pushing.
  • Open the cat’s mouth and gently pushing the piller to the back end of your cat’s tongue.
  • Release the pill by pressing the plunger.
  • Follow the tablet with a little bit of chicken soup or tuna juice. Dry pilling a pet is not safe and can erode the esophagus.


Pilling a cat is not a walk in the park! It can be a frustrating experience for many cat owners.

But luckily, you don’t need to feel intimated by the process; follow the steps mentioned earlier and then choose a purr-fect method that best suits your cute furry companion. If any of the above methods fail, consult your vet to determine the suitable way to pill your kitty.

Some compounding pharmacies can create alternatives for the medication like through a capsule or chewable tablet with irresistible chicken for fish flavor. All the best!