If you’re a pet owner, it’s virtually guaranteed that you’ll have to give your pet medication at some point during its lifetime. Depending on the medication, this can be tricky, particularly with cats. We’re here to help get your pets the medication they need with minimal stress and/or damage.
To Give a Cat a Pill
- Ensure your arms, legs, and face are pretty much completely covered. Long sleeves, jeans, couldn’t hurt to try a beekeeper’s helmet or other protection for your head.
- If you have a pill dispenser syringe (like this one), load it before approaching your cat. (If you’re administering liquid medication, fill your syringe or dropper first.)
- Find a towel or blanket.
- Approach your cat slowly and nonchalantly. Everything is fine. Nothing out of the ordinary.
- Pick up you cat and hold its paws close to its body.
- As gently but quickly as possible, wrap your cat in the towel or blanket. The cat should be wrapped securely but not so tightly that it is uncomfortable. The goal is to immobilize the paws and keep your cat’s razor-sharp talons from your (protected but still vulnerable) skin.
- Really, just keep wrapping. Only your cat’s head should protrude from the bundle of cat and towel, like a cat burrito.
- Hold onto your cat firmly.
- Place the dispenser or syringe at the corner of your cat’s mouth.
- Quickly apply firm pressure to the corner of the cat’s mouth to open, and swiftly insert the syringe or dropper to the back of the mouth. Push or squeeze to dispense medication.
- If you’re using your fingers to administer a pill, start at the corner of the mouth and push all the way to the back of your cat’s mouth. Rub your cat’s throat to encourage swallowing.
- Watch for your cat to lick its lips to be sure the medication has gone down the hatch.
- Release the no-doubt very unhappy cat from its kitty burrito wrap.
- Apologize profusely.
To Give a Dog a Pill
- Wrap pill in bacon, cheese, lunchmeat, Pill Pocket, or really anything edible.
- Give it to yourdog.
- Enjoy dog kisses.
Of course, there are many different ways to accomplish these tasks, so experiment and find what works for you and your pet. As always, check with your vet before administering any medications, and ask your pet insurance carrier if they’ll cover any prescriptions. Many pet insurance plans will cover medications depending on the treatment.
Do you have your own method for giving your pet medication? Let’s see it in the comments!
NOTE: You may also find Pill Pockets for cats. However, I’m running at a 0% success rate with them, as my stubborn cat tends to nibble off the treat part and leave the pill. I hope, for your sake, that your cat is more gullible.