Giving Medications

Most likely at one time or another you will need to give your cat some sort of medication. Although this may seem like an arduous task at first, it actually can be mastered quite easily.


  1. Hold the pill between your thumb and finger in one hand.
  2. Use your other hand to hold the cat’s mouth open with the head tilted slightly back. You can do this by placing your thumb and middle finger in the sides of the mouth (keeping the palm of your hand resting under the cat’s jaw or on the back of the head, whichever is easier for you).
  3. Place the pill as far back in the throat as you can (do this very quickly).
  4. Shut the cat’s mouth and keep holding the cat’s head back slightly.
  5. Massage the cat’s throat slightly (to stimulate swallowing) for about 10 seconds.
  6. Watch the cat to make sure he/she swallows before releasing his/her head. You may also want to keep an eye on him/her for a few minutes afterwards to make sure there is no vomiting or spitting up of the pill.

There are two approaches that can be used to syringe feed that seem to work well.

  • Hold the cat on your lap (sit on the floor with your knees bent upwards) so the cat can be sitting with his/her back on your legs, facing your face and sitting up fairly straight.
  • Put your hand around the back of the cat’s head so that the thumb and middle finger are placed in the sides of the cat’s mouth. This way the fingers are holding the cat’s mouth open.
  • Tip the cat’s head back at an angle (for easier swallowing) and place little squirts of food/medicine into the cat’s mouth.
  • For medicine that tastes bad you may want to hold the cat’s mouth shut and the head tilted back with one hand and stoke the throat with the other hand to help the cat swallow rather than just spit it out.


  • Kneel down behind the cat (while the cat is standing or sitting) so that the cat is kind of between your knees and facing away from you.
  • From this position hold the cat’s head (same thing with the fingers in the side of the mouth and head tilted) with one hand and feed with the other hand.
  • This is easier with a cat that isn’t as trusting or used to lying down or on his/her back.


  • If your cat tends to vomit after taking a pill you might want to feed him/her a treat after taking the pill. This will put a ‘good taste’ in your cat’s mouth and help your cat forget about the pill.
  • You can purchase a pill gun at your local pet store if you have trouble giving your pet pills.
  • You can also crush up pills and hide them in your cat’s food if your cat has trouble with the whole pill-swallowing process.