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How To Pill a Cat


So the veterinarian says Tiger needs these pills and your cat glowers at you with jaws clamped shut? Take command-- you can do it with these instructions.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 2 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Wrap the cat securely in a large towel baby-bunting style, so that only his head protrudes.
  2. Hold the cat securely in your left (non-dominant) arm, while gently grasping the sides of his cheeks with your left thumb and forefinger.
  3. Tilt his head back until his mouth drops open slightly.
  4. While holding his head securely in this position, grasp the pill with your right thumb and forefinger.
  5. With the little finger of your right hand, press down on Tiger's bottom front teeth to open his mouth so you can see inside.
  6. The 'target' is the v-shaped area at the back of his throat. Flick the pill at the target or reach in and place it there with your fingers.
  7. Withdraw your fingers and hold your patient's mouth closed for a moment.
  8. Blow gently in the cat's face or stroke his throat softly until you can see and feel a swallowing motion.
  9. Let go and watch him a few moments to make sure he doesn't spit out the pill.
  10. Follow Step 8 with a half-dropper of sodium free chicken broth, diluted with water, or plain water. If you've ever tried to "swallow dry," you'll appreciate some of your cat's inherant dislike for pilling.
  11. If he does spit out the pill after step 9, retrieve it and practice steps 1 through 9 until you both get it right. If the pill becomes too soft for handling, discard it and use a new pill
  12. Congratulate yourself and praise your cat. A treat is also in order, unless it's meal time.


  1. If Tiger is uncooperative, enlist a helper to hold him while you concentrate on administering the pill.
  2. For very tiny pills, try one of the plastic 'pill-shooters' available from your veterinarian, for step 7.
  3. Do not grind pills and mix with cat food unless your veterinarian gives the okay. (It's hard to ensure the cat gets a full dosage.)
  4. Unless otherwise instructed, try to give the pill before mealtime, so that he will have a reward to look forward to. Otherwise, give him a special treat reserved for these occasions.

What You Need

  • Towel for wrapping
  • small container of broth
  • plastic eye-dropper
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Give a Cat a Pill

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