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How to Get a Cat to Take a Pill
Cats Care

How to Get a Cat to Take a Pill

How to get a cat to take a pill without stress? Administering medication to your cat can often feel like an uphill battle, filled with resistance and stress for both pet and owner. Fortunately, there are proven methods and tricks that can simplify the process, transforming it into a manageable, and sometimes even positive experience. In this guide, we'll explore several easy-to-implement strategies that have helped countless cat owners successfully administer pills to their pets without the fuss.

What Are Your Cat's Needs?

The Importance of Medication Adherence

Ensuring that your cat receives their medication exactly as prescribed is critical. Accurate dosing ensures that the drugs can efficiently treat your cat’s conditions.  

Medicine requires a consistent habit within the frame to be powerful, making consistency key. Not adhering to the prescribed routine can also cause pointless stress for both the cat and the owner, as untreated or partially dealt with conditions can worsen.

Assessing Your Cat's Temperament

Understanding your cat's temperament is an essential step in figuring out the approach for “How to give a cat a pill?” Cats range substantially in their responses to strain and dealing with. A few may remain calm and compliant, whilst others ought to display resistance or even aggression. 

Tips on Understanding Your Cat's Behavior

  • Have a look at your cat's habits: Take note of when your cat is especially energetic throughout the day. Administering pills at some point during their calm periods could make it smoother.

  • Note their response: Some cats might not mind being picked up and held, while others might also find it distressing. Pick a method that aligns with their attitude to physical management.

  • Assess their diet preferences: Knowing whether your cat is food-motivated can help you decide if hiding the pill in treats or food is a possible method.

  • Analyze visits to the vet: Reflect on how your cat behaves at the vet, mainly if they've been given capsules earlier. Their reaction can provide you with insights into what methods might be useful at home.

  • Reaction to new things: Cats who are curious and open to new things will probably be easier to trick into pill administration.

  • Pay attention to vocal cues: A cat's meows or growls can offer clues about their temper and readiness to accept remedy.

Methods for Administering Pills

Direct Method and The Cheekbone Technique

Direct technique: Keep the pill between your thumb and index finger. Gently open your cat's mouth with the other hand, and locate the tablet deep on the tongue, encouraging them to swallow.

The Cheekbone technique: Gently press on the sides of the cat's mouth near the cheekbones, which encourages the cat to open its mouth. Once the mouth is open, the pill can be quickly placed on the back of the tongue, and the mouth is then closed to encourage swallowing.

Using Pill Pockets and Maskers

Pill pockets and maskers are designed to conceal the pill with food, making it simpler for your cat to swallow without detecting the medicine. Those can be purchased at most pet stores or online, and are available in various flavors to lure even the pickiest of eaters.

Towel Wrap Technique

In case your cat is resistant to taking tablets, you could use the towel wrap technique. Wrap a small hand towel or washcloth around your cat's body, leaving their head uncovered.

Assistance From a Friend or Family Member

Having someone to hold your cat could make a huge difference in regards to giving them a pill. This will be useful if your cat is particularly squirmy and nervous about taking medicine.

Alternatives to Oral Medication

In case your cat completely refuses to take pills, discuss along with your veterinarian the possibility of the usage of compounded medications. In a few cases, when it’s impossible to use oral medicine, transdermal (implemented to the pores and skin) or injection options may be available.


Administering pills to your cat might seem like a daunting task, however with the right approach and expertise of your cat's needs, it can be attainable. Make an effort to evaluate their behavior, try one-of-a-kind methods, and do not hesitate to ask for assistance if needed.

Frequently Asked Question

How do I get my cat to take a pill?

One effective trick is to hide the pill in a small amount of their favorite treat or a special pill pocket designed to mask the medication.

How do you give an uncooperative cat a pill?

If your cat is uncooperative and resistant to taking a pill, you can try wrapping them in a towel to keep them still, using the cheekbone technique to open their mouth, or enlisting the help of a friend or family member.

How to get a stubborn cat to take a pill by yourself?

If you are unable to get assistance from someone else, try using the direct method of placing the pill on their tongue or using a pill pocket. You can also try distracting your cat with treats or toys while quickly administering the medication.

Is it okay to crush pills for cats?

It is not recommended to crush pills for cats unless specifically instructed by a veterinarian. Crushing pills can alter the effectiveness of the medication and may also change the taste, making it harder for your cat to take.