Medicating Our Feline Friends

Medicating our feline friends is a job that is often approached with much apprehension and reluctance by most cat owners which is completely understandable.  Medicating a cat can be very stressful and even dangerous, especially for the owner.  Fortunately, many of the parasite preventatives are now available as topical applications but there are however many mediations that need to be regularly given orally.

There are several ways to give a tablet to cats: Adult cat sitting next to a jar of pills

  1. Crush into food – check with your vet that the medication is suitable to be crushed and given with food.  This is not a reliable method and should be a last resort.
  2. Hidden in a favourite treat eg. cheese, butter or meat.  This method is also unreliable.
  3. Oral dosing – by far the best method as you can be sure your cat has got its medication in full.

There are helpful few tips that should make this necessary task of pilling or medicating your cat more achievable and much less of a chore for the both of you.

Method for medicating a cat:

Giving a tablet to a cat may require two people, this way one person stands behind the cat and holds the front paws, enclosing the cat’s body with their arms so the other person doesn’t get scratched whilst medicating the cat.  If you do not have anybody able to assist you with this process then these tips below will hopefully make tableting your cat achievable and stress free.

step by step how to give a cat a tablet


  1. Place the tablet between the thumb and the index finger of one.  With the other and hold the top of the cat’s head and gently using your thumb and index finger grasp the cheekbones, near where the mouth ends.
  2.  With a secure grasp, gently tilt the cats head back and the jaw will naturally open a little.  Using your ring finger, gently lower the bottom jaw and drop the tablet toward the back of the tongue.
  3. The further back you can get the tablet in the mouth the better chance you have that your cat will swallow the tablet with ease
  4. Whilst still holding the head gently, stroke the cats throat this encourages the cat to swallow and presto, the tablet is gone.

Helpful Tips:

  1. Your first attempt is your best attempt.  Cats learn quickly and are usually much less cooperative as times goes on so be prepared the first time.
  2. Move slowly.  Harsh movements scare your cat and they are more likely to lash out.  (Except when placing the tablet in their mouth, which needs to be quick).
  3. Stay calm.  If you get nervous an hour before it’s time to tablet your cat, so will they.
  4. Give your cat a treat as a reward afterwards or pill him/her just before dinner.


Always complete the entire course of tablets.  If your cat becomes ill on the tablets (especially vomiting or inappetant) then continue the course while consulting your veterinarian as soon as possible.

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