Open WideYou’ve just taken Kitty for a veterinary visit. He needs some medication to get over his illness. You love your pet, but you are also aware of the fact that he is fast, agile, and has extremely sharp teeth and claws! How in the world are you supposed to safely pill or medicate your cat?!

Hide pills in food or a treat

While many dogs can be fooled into taking medication in a food or treat, cats are a bit trickier. This is because they have much more sensitive taste buds than dogs, and can usually sense a pill in their food from a mile away. You have to be sneaky about it.
You can try giving the pill in a small amount of your cat’s favorite canned food. The best time to do this is in the morning, when Kitty is extra hungry. Alternatively, you can try mixing it with a little chicken or turkey baby food, or a small amount of tuna juice. Make sure your cat eats all of the food, or he might not be getting the full dosage.

Treats meant for hiding pills, such as Pill Pockets, are also a big hit with dogs, but not so much for cats. These treats have a small hole where you are able to insert the pill, then seal the treat closed. After a few doses, many cats figure out that something is not right about their treat and will refuse to eat it. If you are one of the lucky few with a cat that can be fooled with these treats, go for it!

Pill directly

Giving your cat a pill directly into his mouth might be the way to go if he will not eat the medication in his food. You will need to hold the pill in your dominant hand. With the other hand, you must firmly grasp your kitty’s head across the top, holding the cheekbones with your thumb and Kitty Nose & Mouthfingers. Lift your cat’s head towards the sky and the mouth will naturally open. Drop the pill back as far into the back of the mouth as possible and then give your kitty a squirt of water with an oral syringe to help him swallow the medication.


Liquid medications are usually a very good option for cats. In most cases, it is much easier to give a cat a dose of liquid from an oral syringe than to try and force a pill into their mouths. If the medication your cat needs has a liquid form, you should go for this option. As with pills, you can try mixing it with a tiny bit of tasty food to see if Kitty will go for it.

Pill gun

Pill guns are a sort of last resort for getting the pills into the cat. Pill guns are similar in appearance to a syringe. The end has a hollow opening where the pill is inserted. The gun is placed in the side of the mouth, behind the canine teeth. Press back on the plunger – and voila!

There are many options for giving your cat the medication he needs. You may need to try several before you find the best method for your kitty. If you need help, call your veterinarian for a demonstration or more tips.