Many pet owners can agree that learning how to give a cat a pill is probably one of the most unpleasant tasks They’ve had to encounter, especially considering cats are notoriously stubborn. With dogs, it’s much easier. All you have to do is wrap a pill in a piece of food and a dog will gobble it up instantly. But giving cats medication is a whole new ball game. This guide on administering medication to cats will include some great products that will help make the job significantly easier on both you and your feline.
If you’re new to cat ownership and you’ve never administered medication to your pet before, then the products I’ve included in this guide are definitely worth a closer look. I’ve also put together a buyer’s guide that will include important information you should look for concerning which type of pill administration method will work the best for your cat based on their age, personality, and medication needs.
Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that will include each of the products that made it onto my list, their best features, and how they rated.
How to Get a Cat to Take a Pill Product Comparison Chart
|PETHOUZZ Pet Piller||Syringe||Yes||1|
|FELINE GREENIES Pill Pockets||Pill Pocket||No||45|
|Kruuse Buster Pet Pill||Syringe||Yes||2|
|Vetoquinol Pill Wrap Treats||Paste||No||1|
PETHOUZZ Pet Piller
This pill syringe comes with two soft silicone tips. One of the tips can be used for liquids, while the other tip can be used for small pills. The syringe is made out of high-quality silica gel and is washable and reusable. This syringe can be used to easily slip your cat a pill in seconds, following the included user instructions.
- Two silicone tips included
- Low price
- Must wash by hand
This lightweight, reusable syringe comes with two medication administration options, so it can be used for both medications in either liquid or pill form. The included instructions will guide you on how to quickly administer medications to your feline in a matter of seconds. Easy to use, this is a must-have for cat owners with stubborn cats who are difficult to medicate.
FELINE GREENIES Pill Pockets
This bag of Greenies brand pill pockets includes a total of forty-five pill pockets that are tuna and cheese flavored. These pockets are a less stressful way to administer medication to cats. To use, simply stuff the pill inside and pinch the end closed. The pill will be completely closed and your cat will have no clue there’s a pill hidden inside.
- Tuna and cheese flavored
- Easily masks the taste of medication
- Includes 45 pill pockets
- Low price
- Can cause digestive upset in cats with sensitive stomachs
These pill pockets will make it easy to trick your cat into taking their medication. Since these pockets are flavored with cheese and tuna, cats will think they’re simply getting a treat, which will make the entire process less stressful for both the cat and the owner.
Kruuse Buster Pet Pill/Tablet Syringe
This is a two pack of syringes that can be used for tabs and capsules. The longer length of the syringe and the slim design will make it easy to slip it into the side of your cat’s mouth, press down on the plunger, and shoot the pill or capsule down the cat’s throat. The included finger ring design also provides more control. When administering the medication, you can also draw water up prior to placing the tablet or capsule in the syringe. This will aid in the pill easily sliding down the animal’s throat.
- Easy to use
- Two pack
- Can be used for tablets and capsules
- Finger ring design makes it easier to control
- Does not work for larger capsules
This two pack of pill shooters is a great choice for cat owners who have a difficult time administering pills to their animals. The long, slim design will make it easier to fit into the side of the cat’s mouth, while the ring finger design will give users more control over the process.
Vetoquinol Pill Wrap Treats
These pill wraps by Vetoquinol can be used for cats and dogs, allowing you to easily disguise a pill, turning it into a tasty treat all pets will love. This moldable pill masking paste allows you to hide any type of pill and contains all-natural ingredients that are designed to mask both the taste and smell of the medication. It’s also mess-free and easy to swallow. Each tub comes with enough paste to use for up to fifty-six pills. Using the moldable paste, you can turn medication time into treat time for your pets, thanks to the rich bacon flavor that both cats and dogs will love.
- Moldable paste
- Can be used for up to fifty-six pills
- Bacon flavored
- All-natural ingredients
- Very strong scent
If giving your cat a pill is usually a struggle, then this paste by Vetoquinol is the perfect solution. Because the paste is moldable, it can be used for all types of pills including capsules and tablets of all shapes and sizes. The all-natural bacon flavor will easily mask the scent and taste of the medication, making pill time a cinch.
How to Get a Cat to Take a Pill: Buyer’s Guide
Giving your cat a pill can be a real struggle. Holding a cat down to give them their medication can also be very traumatic and stressful for them, especially if medication has to be given several times a day. Fortunately, there are many companies who have produced a wide variety of medication administration tools, pastes, and pill pockets, that will make it easier on both you and your cat come medication time.
You’ll find that there are a few main options when it comes to giving cats pills. Most pet owners recommended beginning with treats; however, this may not work for all cats. For younger cats, it can be easy to trick them into taking their medication using some type of tasty distraction. While you can disguise the pill with some type of food such as yogurt, cheese, or peanut butter, using a product called a pill pocket is the most foolproof option.
Other people will try to use a type of pill administering device, designed to shoot the pill down a cat’s throat. While the device can work in some cases, if you’re dealing with an older cat, or one that’s very aggressive, it can also be a choking hazard, so it is not recommended for all pets. In this guide, I’ll go over the benefits of using pill administering tools, the top-rated products on the market, and how these products are designed to make it a cinch to give your cat a pill.
Now below, I’ll go over some of the benefits of using these products or devices to administer medication to your favorite feline.
Benefits of Using Devices and Food Products to Give A Cat a Pill
We’ve all been there. Our cat is sick, we receive the medication, and then it’s up to us to make sure our cat takes it. But this is often much easier than it sounds. Many cats will struggle, hiss, possibly bite, and many will definitely scratch. Using commercial products such as pill pockets or other types of treats that are specifically designed to hide pills can be a much safer and effective way to ensure your pet gets the medication they need, every time.
While it’s true, you can manually attempt to insert a pill in your cat’s mouth, close their mouths, and rub their throat to ensure they take it. In many cases, you’ll find the pill somewhere around the home later on. This is one of the most common problems pet owners will encounter when their pet is on medication. The best solution is to use products that are designed to look just like a cat’s favorite treats and insert the pill inside in order to trick a cat into believing they’re eating a treat only. Why? Because this ensures the cat is chewing up the medication and swallowing it along with the treat. No longer will you find half dissolved pills around the house that have been hidden inside your feline’s mouth for who-knows-how-long. Additionally, if your cat has a strong gag reflex, they may simply regurgitate the pill the minute you leave the room.
If your pet has a serious underlying health condition and they need their medication in order to survive, then you must take that extra step to make sure that they take their pill and it stays down.
Cats that are prone to anxiety or experience digestive upset with stress can be even more difficult to medicate. Using pill administering products or treats is the easiest way to avoid stressing out your pet.
Now that you know more about the benefits of using one of these products, I’ll go over the different types available and what you should look for before you buy.
Pill Administering Types
As I mentioned above, there are some options concerning edible pill administration devices that are designed to make it easier and safer to give your cat a pill. Below, I’ll go over a couple of options available in terms of these edible devices, how they work, and why your cat will love them.
Pill pockets are by far the most common and popular option. These tasty treats consist of a pocket like shape with an opening on one end. The opening is where you will stash the pill. These treats are moist, small, and are available in a variety of tasty flavors including cheese, tuna, salmon, and chicken. For many pet owners this can be the perfect solution.
Wraps are very similar to pill pockets and the name is very self-explanatory. The size of the wraps is similar to that of the pocket once the pill has been inserted. They’re also available in as many flavors as the pill pockets and can also do the trick allowing you to easily medicate your cat without a fight.
Pastes are essentially similar to wet pet food except they feature at stickier consistency. There are a variety of pastes to choose from and they make it easy to camouflage a pill and allow your pet to quickly gobble up both the paste and the medication in a matter of seconds.
As I touched on earlier, there are other mechanical devices available to choose from that can help make administering pills to cats much easier, but if you don’t know how to use one of these devices correctly you could end up causing them to choke or aspirate. These pill dispensers go by many names including pill shooters or pill poppers. The pill shooter looks just like a straw and comes equipped with a soft tip that’s made out of rubber that will encase a pill. On the other end of the tube is a syringe. The correct way to use this device is to allow a cat to sniff and become familiar with it before use. Once the owner is ready to administer the medication, they will open their pet’s mouth, place the device gently into the back of the cat’s mouth, then depress the syringe. The owner must hold their pet’s mouth closed and stroke their throat until they note a swallowing action.
If you have a cat that has a sensitive stomach and you’re no longer able to give them the occasional treat, then this is definitely something that you want to take into consideration before you try using a paste, wrap, or pill pocket. Make sure you look at the main ingredients in the treat and try to identify anything that may potentially upset their stomach. Obviously, if you feed a cat one of these edible products and it upsets their stomach causing them to vomit, then using this method will be counterproductive. In cases such as these, speak with your veterinarian for product recommendations.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Food Can I Hide my Cat’s Pill in?
If you want to try hiding your cat’s pill in food, then you can use butter, cream cheese, yogurt, wet cat food, or baby food. Many pet owners recommend using butter since it does a great job of coating the pill, making it easier to swallow.
Can I Crush My Cat’s Pills?
You should never crush your pet’s pills unless instructed to do so by the vet. Crushed pills may not be as effective since your cat may spit some of it out. Additionally, some medication is long acting and is not meant to be crushed since this can cause the animal to feel all of the effects at once.
How can I get my Cat to Eat His Medication?
Try mixing the pill in some wet pet food and watch as your cat eats their meal. Check their dish to make sure the pill was ingested and not spit out. If your cat did not eat the pill, then you will need to try another alternative, such as pill pockets or paste.
Learning how to give a cat a pill is definitely not easy, but from time to time it is going to be necessary. There are many ways you can give your cat medication, but the options I have included here are often the most effective and the safest. Using a pill wrap, paste, or pocket will be one of the most effective methods to use since you can be sure your cat has completely chewed up the pill and swallowed it. When using mechanical devices such as pill shooters, you will still have to worry that your cat will regurgitate or simply spit it out when you’re no longer in sight. This buyer’s guide, and the products I have included here are designed to help you find the simplest, most effective, and gentlest way to administer medication to your ailing feline. I hope this guide helps to set you on the path to choosing the correct product based on your cat’s age, taste preferences, and personality.