How to Persuade Your Cat to Take Whatever Medicine is Prescribed


When they are sick most cats prefer to be left alone to recuperate in peace, but, occasionally, you will need to aid your cat’s recovery by giving him tablets and medicines.

Cats often make recalcitrant patients. Like children they are most adept at holding tablets in their mouths, and they object to any cream that has to be smeared on to their bodies. If they have had to be stitched after an operation, they will spend all their recuperative energies in breaking their stitches with their teeth, unless restricted. It is, therefore, important to train your cat to accept medical care, and for you to become adept at administering medication.

Equipment: Antiseptic scrub, optional pill-popper, plastic syringe, baby sterilising solution, Elizabethan collar.

Training objective: To persuade your cat to take whatever medicine is prescribed.

Training steps – give tablets

  1. Wash your hands with antiseptic scrub and make sure the tablet is readily available.
  2. Place your cat on your lap, or on any other firm surface.
  3. If you are right-handed, grasp your cat’s head with your left hand. Pinch the corners of his mouth with the fingers of your left hand. Pick up the tablet with your right hand, while holding the mouth open with your left hand. Pop the tablet towards the back of your cat’s mouth with your right index finger. Allow your cat to close his mouth and gently blow into his face to make him swallow the tablet.
  4. Praise your cat and give him his reward of an extra special food treat. Wash your hands after this sequence.
  5. If you find you still cannot manage to give your cat his tablets manually, you can try a pill-popper’, which is available from most veterinary practices. You will need to open your cat’s mouth to insert the spring-loaded pill-popper, which shoots the tablet into your cat’s mouth. Even though your fingers do not get covered with so much feline saliva, you still need to wash your hands before and after using this implement.
  6. Sterilise the pill-popper for further use with baby sterilising solution, diluted according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Training steps – giving medicine

  1. Use whatever measuring device your vet gives you to administer the medicine.
  2. Make sure your hands are clean and your cat is sitting on a firm base.
  3. When placing the syringe or plastic eye-dropper into your cat’s mouth, open his mouth (as detailed above) and gently syringe or drop in small quantities. Allow your cat to swallow between each application. Do not be trigger-happy with the syringe feeder; if your cat receives a very quick and large volume of liquid into his mouth, he may choke.
  4. Any size of syringe up to 5 ml is easily manipulated by one hand, anything larger can cause problems.
  5. Wash your hands, and remember to sterilise the syringe or dropper after use.

Training steps – applying skin creams

  1. Make sure your hands are clean and your cat is sitting on a firm base.
  2. Apply the cream where directed. Talk to your cat for a few minutes to discourage him from licking off the cream.
  3. If the cream has to remain on his coat or wound for any longer, use an Elizabethan collar, which is obtainable from your vet, and will prevent the cat licking himself.

After you have carried out whatever medication is needed, praise and reassure your pet. He is probably feeling miserable and will welcome the extra attention from you. If possible, give him food treats, but do not interfere with your vet’s instructions on feeding during your cat’s illness.

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Related posts:

  1. How to Give Medicine by Mouth
  2. How to Find a Good Medicine Plan for Asthma
  3. How to Train Your Cat to Lie Down
  4. How to Train Your Cat to Accept Dental Care
  5. How to Use Herbal Medicine Correctly

Filed Under: Pets & Animals

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About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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