The Proper Way To Pill A Cat

The following entry is a guide to pilling your cat.  My cat Tigre is the not-so-willing participant in this demonstration.  Note the displeasure on his face.

 Step 1: Wrap the cat in a towel.  Make them a ‘kitty burrito’. 


Step 2:  Hold the cat’s head from the top with your non-dominant hand.  Point the cat’s chin at the ceiling.  The lower jaw will open automatically in this position.

Step 3:  Coat the pill or capsule with butter before administering to your cat.  The butter will help the pill slide down the esophagus without sticking. 

Step 4:  Pop the pill down the cat’s throat.  When the cat swallows and licks its lips, you know they have swallowed the pill.

Step 5:  Administer 3 cc’s of water to flush the pill into the cat’s stomach.  Depending upon the type of medication administered, esophageal strictures may form from a ‘stuck’ pill.  To avoid this serious side affect, never dry pill a cat.  Always butter it and administer water after pilling.

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.