2001-Fri Jan 20 05:10:47 EST 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Cat owners know: Getting a feline to
swallow a pill can be a challenge. In fact, it might be one of the biggest challenges when it comes to cat care.
Finding a way to
give your cat medication in a low-stress manner is crucial to her health. Fortunately, there are
some simple strategies for camouflaging medication in food and treats.
One word of caution: Certain medications may be compromised if they are cut, crushed or mixed with food. Before incorporating any of these tips, talk to your veterinarian.
Get your cat accustomed to eating a variety of foods. Assuming your cat doesn't have a medical condition that requires a
specific diet, introducing a variety of
cat foods over time can make it easier to find treats and soft foods ideal for disguising pills. One way to diversify your cat’s palate is to place a very small amount of the
new cat-safe food in her bowl with her normal food, or to serve the new food at the same time but in a separate bowl. Monitor the cat’s intake so you can tell which food, and how much of it, she is eating. Repeated exposure can encourage your cat to tolerate — and even enjoy — different foods. Be aware that introducing new foods can cause
stomach upset, so if you notice any
vomiting or diarrhea, discontinue the new food and call your veterinarian.
Use the right treat and the right approach. I have had the best luck
hiding pills in treats that have a strong taste and flavor and that can be molded around the edges of the pill to completely cover it. To eliminate any trace of medicine on the outside of the treat, use one hand to fill and the other hand to seal the treat.
Try the three-treat trick. This is a go-to method for many veterinary offices. The first treat is empty of medicine; the second contains the well-concealed medicine. The third treat encourages the cat to finish the medicine treat so she can get one more nibble. All three treats should look alike and should be given in a similar manner to hopefully prevent the cat from guessing which contains the pill. The number of treats can be changed if needed — if the cat needs more than one pill, for example, or just needs a little extra coaxing.
Cut it into pieces. Ideally, your cat’s pills will be small enough that they can be swallowed whole. If the pill is too large to swallow, talk with your veterinarian about using a pill cutter to break it into smaller pieces; divide those pieces into as many swallowable treats as needed.
Crush it. Some pills can be crushed, but
talk with your veterinarian before you go this route. Be sure that the medication won’t be compromised and keep in mind that crushing a pill may release a bitter taste. If your cat’s medication can be crushed, you can conceal it in a soft binding food, such as
canned cat food, or in a small amount of
fish or lean meat. Another option is to dilute the crushed medication in a liquid, like low-sodium chicken broth or the water drained from a
can of tuna or clams. Talk with your veterinarian about which option is best for your cat.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Want to choose the best food for your
pet? Here's why you shouldn't fear
preservatives or fall for marketing…
Electronic cigarettes may be growing in
popularity, but their higher concentrations
of nicotine can poison cats and…
Are you handling your pet the right way?
Our vet shares five things your pup wishes
you knew about picking him up.
We combed through 505,270 kitten
names to determine the hottest male
and female monikers of the year.
We scoured our database of 1.1 million
dogs to find out which male and female
monikers reigned supreme this past…
The laid-back American Wirehair’s crimped, coarse coat requires almost no brushing or combing.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.