• Before giving your cat a pill, wrap it in a towel to protect yourself from its claws. Photo: Companion Animal Hospital (2013)

  • When administering the pill, try to get it to the back of the tongue, near the throat. Photo: Companion Animal Hospital (2013)

  • Close the cat's mouth and rub its throat to encourage swallowing. Photo: Companion Animal Hospital (2013)

Dr. Donna Baird is Associate Veterinarian of Companion Animal Hospital. To reach Dr. Donna Baird call (831) 288-8383.
How to Give Your Cat a Pill

SANTA CRUZ – Administering medication to a cat can be difficult, especially if it’s uncooperative and the medicine is in pill form. However, by applying a few simple steps, you’ll find that giving your cat a pill can be surprisingly easy.

First, place your cat on a towel and wrap it in the folds until only its head is exposed. This will prevent your cat’s front paws from scratching you. Next, gently pull back on the cat’s upper lip with the thumb and forefingers of one hand while simultaneously tilting its head back, which will cause its mouth to open naturally. Fully open the cat’s mouth by gently pulling down its lower jaw with your other hand. When administering the pill, it’s important to get it to the back of the tongue, near the throat. Pop in the pill, close the cat’s mouth, rub its throat and lightly blow air on its nose to encourage it to swallow.

While these first steps may be effective, a final step is important to ensure your cat doesn’t spit out the pill. While you’re holding its head back, use an oral syringe to administer a small amount of water into its mouth. Close its mouth, rub its throat and blow on its nose as before. Applying this small amount of water will ensure the pill gets swallowed.

Dr. Donna Baird is an Associate Veterinarian and Marketing Director at Companion Animal Hospital, a Diamond Certified company since 2011. She can be reached at (831) 288-8383 or by email.

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