9539 Liberty Road, Frederick, MD 21701 ē (301) 898-4009
Gentle, complete veterinary care for the felines in your family

HOW TO PILL A CAT

Hiding the Pill/ Crushing Pills into Food/ Compounded Medications /Traditional Method
There are a variety of methods to try when medicating your cat. Cats are finicky creatures anyways, and once you try to medicate them, they can become even more difficult to handle. Of course the most heard complaint from cat owners is: "Once he sees me coming and he knows heís going to get medicated, Iíll never catch him!" It does take perseverance on your part, but making sure your pet finishes all prescribed medications is truly in his best interests. We have outlined four different methods below to help you.

Using a Pill Popper

We use what is called a pill ďsyringeĒ (or pill popper) that can be used to draw water up behind the pill (to help wash it down the catís throat).
Draw up water into the syringe, place pill into the prehensile (gripper-like) claws, open catís mouth and place syringe as far back as possible and empty the syringe.

Hiding the Pill

Disguising the pill in a treat is another option of medicating your cat. We carry two very tasty, easy to use products that you can put a pill into.
ďPill PocketsĒ are an item that is a small treat with an opening on one end to put pill into and then pinch closed. Most cats will eat the whole treat without knowing there is a pill inside. However, some cats will actually eat around the pill! This product comes in salmon flavor or chicken flavor.
ďFlavor-DohĒ is another item that can be used to disguise a pill. It is spreadable, like peanut butter, and is very easy to use. This product comes in fish flavor or chicken flavor.
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Crushing Pills into Food

Some tablets or capsules can be crushed and mixed into canned food for the cat to eat. There are two warnings to trying this method however: the cat may not actually eat all (or any!) of the medication or the medication may change the flavor or taste of the food and the cat may avoid the meal altogether. This one just depends on your catís attention to detail when it comes to mealtime!
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Compounded Medications

There are pharmacies that make what are called compounded medications which are the same type of medication, however in a different formulation.
    Transdermal Medications
These are creams / gels that are put directly onto the catís skin and absorbed into the system. These meds are rubbed onto the catís inner ear flap (the hairless area-photo 2) where it is the quickest absorption area. Many types of medications now come in transdermal form and are very easy to apply. Some cats dislike being held down / restrained for any length of time and may struggle to get away rather than have their ear rubbed! We recommend keeping the medication next to the couch and while the cat is sitting peacefully with you watching tv, then you apply med while she isnít paying attention! *All transdermal medications must be applied while wearing gloves because if they are absorbable through catís skin, they are through yours as well!
    Liquid
Most medicines can be compounded into a liquid form. They can also be flavored: chicken, tuna and beef are the most common choices. The liquid medication can be drawn up in a syringe. Place the syringe in the corner of the cats mouth and slowly administer the dose. It can also be placed and mixed in food.
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Traditional Method

Giving your cat a pill can be very frustrating for both you and the cat. Having patience is critical. Depending on your cats disposition, we have found this method can work well. Sit with the cat up against your body, as you are sitting on the floor, and grasping his top jaw with your non-dominant hand. Place your thumb and and second finger (as shown) at the corners of the cat's mouth.
Tablet or capsule should be held in your dominant hand while you:

gently tip your cat's head back, pull top jaw towards your body and lower jaw away from your body. Grasp pill and drop it towards the back of the cat's throat and quickly close the mouth. Stroke the throat to encourage swallowing or gently blow in your cats nose, as this also induces swallowing. It is always a good idea to inject a little bit of water into the cats mouth to help wash down the pill.


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