Autoimmune Disease Management 101: Fighting Back

Ideas For Giving Cats Medications

Every cat is different; some are mellow about taking their medications, whereas others will spit a pill out no matter how you disguise it. Figuring out ways to be a little savvier than your cat can make giving medications less of a chore.


Scheduling medications around mealtimes can make it easier to give your cat oral medications. If you are accustomed to free-feeding or having dry food around for your cat to snack on throughout the day, stop leaving food out for the duration of their treatment. Having a cat that is especially hungry can make them more willing to take the medications, and it might be easier to disguise it in their food. Pill wraps can work well at this time, too. A pill wrap is a paste that can be molded around the pill to look, taste, and smell like a treat. A hungry cat will generally munch on the disguised pill, and depending on the taste of the pill, they might not even notice the change in flavor.

Pill Syringes

Pill syringes may go by different names, such as a "piller," but they are a special type of syringe that has an opening big enough to hold a pill. The objective is to load food or a treat into the syringe and then load the pill. When you press the plunger, the pill pops out, followed by the food. If possible, you might want to load the pill between two sets of food so the cat gets food, then a pill, and then more food. It might be easier to mask the pill, or they may have swallowed the pill before they realized the change in what was coming out of the syringe. Popular treats that can be put into the syringe are usually pureed cat treats, packets of gravy that are designed to go over food, or the juice from a can of tuna.

Variations Of Medicines

If you have a cat that is especially difficult to medicate, you should ask your vet if the particular medicine comes in other variations. Vets may often prescribe the least expensive, most accessible form of a medication, but it doesn't mean there are no other ways to administer the same medication. A compounding pharmacy is another option to see if the medication can be compounded into a different form that would be easier to administer to your cat. If you have multiple medications to give to your cat, some or all of the medications might be compounded into a single pill so you can medicate your cat quicker and with less effort. If possible, topical medications are the easiest to use. Generally, they are rubbed into the skin in an area where the cat cannot lick it, such as inside the ear or on the upper back.

Giving cats medications can be especially tricky because many of them become quite savvy about avoiding their medications. Having several strategies to medicate your cat will increase the chances of finding a regimen that is easiest on you and your cat. Contact your veterinarian for more information about options like compounded pet medication