How to Use a Piller to Pill Cats

Surprising your cat when she's relaxed often makes giving pills easier.

Surprising your cat when she's relaxed often makes giving pills easier.

While some cats take pills without problems, most put up a fight. And unlike dogs, cats don't usually fall for tricks such as hiding pills in food. If your cat dislikes taking her medication, try using a piller. These easy-to-use medication dispensers can save you both a lot of stress.

Insert the pill into the tip of the piller and pull the plunger out until it reaches the designated stop line or clicks into place, depending on the specific piller you are using. You may want to coat the tip of the piller with butter or cat food.

Approach your cat when she is very relaxed. If she is very resistant to taking medication and tends to become aggressive or run away, you may need a second person to help you.

Pet your cat and talk to her, but do not let her see the piller. Administering the medication will be easier if it is a surprise. If you expect a fight, have your helper stand behind your cat with a towel or blanket. If your cat attempts to run away, your helper can wrap her in the blanket to hold her still.

Move your hand into position but do not yet make contact with your cat. Keep talking to her calmly.

Place your hand over your cat's head from behind. Use your thumb to grasp one side of her jaw, and grasp the other side with your fingers on the same hand. Press in gently and tilt your cat's head back a little. This should open her jaw.

Slide the piller into your cat's mouth using your other hand. The end should be near your pet's throat but toward the side of her mouth. Depress the piller to administer the pill. If you are using a piller that contains a water chaser, administer that, too.

Hold your cat's mouth closed until she swallows. Stroke her head with your other hand and talk to her to calm her. If she refuses to swallow, blow gently at her nose, but not into her nose.

Watch your cat to make sure she does not spit the pill out or throw it up. Offer her a treat or drink as a reward.

Items you will need

  • Cat food
  • Treat

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About the Author

Sandra Ketcham has nearly two decades of experience writing and editing for major websites and magazines. Her work appears in numerous web and print publications, including "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "The Tampa Bay Times," Visit Florida, "USA Today," AOL's Gadling and "Kraze Magazine."

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