How to Give a Pill to a Cat

How to Give a Pill to a Cat – without hurting the cat or being damaged yourself…

how to give a pill to a cat

Stories about giving a cat a pill are the stuff of legends.

I have one of my own…some day I will write about how you should NEVER try to save your clothes from cat hair by attempting to give your pet a pill while you’re in your underwear!

So below are some tips and a video I wished I had seen before my pilling a cat semi-naked episode:

From the experts at the Animal Plant

Keeping calm is the key. Cats are sensitive to nervousness, and they may become agitated. Never try to medicate an excited or nervous cat.”

“Narrow the field of battle. Confine your cat to one room. The bathroom is ideal.”

Give kitty something to grip. Placing your pet on a piece of carpeting or rug is good – cats will want to grip or rip a surface once they figure out what’s going on – better the shag then your skin.”

Sweet talk’em. Spend time petting, talking softly to your pet in order to calm them – and yourself. don’t try to give a pill when you are in a rush for time.”

Wrap’em if necessary. Some cats are stoic and will suffer the indignity of pills with a minimal amount of fuss. And other cats, like people HATE taking their meds. So if you need to wrap your cat in a towel, with the head protruding. This protects you and secures the kitty for easier handling.”

Video: How to Give a Cat a Pill – Using a Pill Popper


As you can see in the video above, a basic pill “popper” or “gun” makes giving solid medications to your sick cat both painless and stress-free. Which is good for you both.

A pill popper is usually a device with a long plastic barrel  with a split or rubber tip on one end to grip and hold the med and a plunger on the other.

These devices can administer tablets and capsules to cats more quickly, safely, and easily than you can with bare fingers.

Here are the steps to pill a cat again…

1.) Place the pill or capsule into pill popper’s rubber or grip tip (before you pick up your pet!)

2.) Open your pet’s mouth and tilt the head slightly upward. A 45 degree angle is ideal.

3.) Insert the popper and place the rubber tip on back part of tongue.

4.) Quickly push the plunger to eject the medication.

5.) Withdraw the piller immediately and close your pet’s mouth.  Watch for swallowing, usually indicated by your cat licking it’s nose.

You can aid  the cat’s swallowing process by giving them a sip of cool water from an eyedropper.

In an emergency, if a pill seems to get stuck in the cat’s  month, you can also use your own saliva to help get a pill down.

Yes I know UGH, but if you have to you can quickly tilt their head back and release some of your saliva into their mouth! Better this than have your pet choke on an undissolved pill.

Now an alternative to a pill popper is a pill wrap or pocket. These pockets eliminates the need to force a pill down a pet’s throat or wrap it in some kind of fatty table food like cheese or hot dogs.

The pockets are hollow so almost size pill can be hidden inside. Plus they are made from easy to digest foods that taste good to even the most picky eater.


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