How do you get your cat to take pills?

BigRich3113

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One of my cats has inflammatory bowel disease and as of recently, he has been difficult with taking his pill. I have tried pill pockets ,crushing and mixing with wet food, crushing in a pill pocket and spraying with cat nip. Each method has had limited success. Forcing it down his throat has been difficult and with little success also. Does anybody else have an effective technique that they have found success with? Thank you in advance!
 

Azazel

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I either ask if I can crush the pill and mix it with food or if there is an alternate liquid form.
 

kittenmittens84

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I’ve been giving my cat 3-4 pills a day for the past ~2 months and have finally found a routine that works for my cat, but every cat is different so you might have to do some experimenting!

Here’s what I do: coat the pills in a small amount of butter, fill a 1 ml syringe with water, fold a bath towel in half and put it on the floor. Get the cat, place him flat on the towel diagonally, about 6” away from one of the corners. Fold the back corner of the towel over his butt, then the left side over him, then the right side, then bring the front corner around to the right and hold both loose ends with one hand firmly. Then I give him some pets and he usually starts purring, he likes being swaddled.

Then I sit on the floor with my knees bent, take the little purrito and put him across my lap. Avoid putting them on their backs because it’s difficult for them to swallow in that position. I use one hand to gently open his mouth at the jaw joint and pop the pill in with the other hand, then hold his mouth and gently stroke his throat until he swallows. I’ve noticed my cat likes to swish the pill around in his mouth a few times but he’ll still swallow it after that - previously I was letting him open his mouth too soon and he’d spit it back out. After each pill I syringe a small amount of water into the corner of his mouth very slowly, and let him lick a small amount of butter off my finger so he stays interested. If your cat has a tendency to chomp down on your hands, a pill shooter might be helpful.

After the last pill I give him some of the water from a can of tuna as a treat and to wash down the pills. Cats can get esophageal strictures from pills fairly easily so it’s important to get them to drink water afterward.
 

LTS3

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Try the tips here:

Pilling Cats: Must-know Tips For Hiding Pills
The Best Pill-taking Secret I Know...
Pilling Cats and Dogs Safely
How We Give Our Pill Hating Cat A Pill
Getting Cat To Take Pills... Post Tips Here.

All the varieties of Pill Pockets contain chicken, even the fish one, which upsets many IBD tummies. I use a bacon flavored pill dough for my IBD cat.

Is the pill prednisolone? You can have it compounded into an easier to give form. Ask the vet for a prescription to take to a compounding pharmacy. Wedgewood Pharmacy is a popular one and has prednisolone available as chew treats and transdermal get. A local compounding pharmacy likely has similar option.
 

stephanietx

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I give pills in cheese. I just take a little bit of American cheese and mold it around the pill. If the pill is larger, I cut it into smaller portions and give it to them.
 

Meowmee

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One of my cats has inflammatory bowel disease and as of recently, he has been difficult with taking his pill. I have tried pill pockets ,crushing and mixing with wet food, crushing in a pill pocket and spraying with cat nip. Each method has had limited success. Forcing it down his throat has been difficult and with little success also. Does anybody else have an effective technique that they have found success with? Thank you in advance!
I usually put it in a tiny gel capsule, crushed up, and then I put a little butter on it, put it in their mouth and squirt a tiny bit of water- you have to get it right at the back of their tongue so they can swallow it. Neither Quinn or Merlin can be pilled now but that worked with all of my other cats. When I was giving M pills he ate it a couple times in a pill pocket but it was never consistent. I put it in a capsule first then as well. Now I am able to squirt the medication which is compounded into his mouth and he swallows most of it. I don’t know what I’m going to have to do if I have to give Quinn medication- when he was a kitten I could pill him with capsules then I had to only give liquid and now I can’t even get liquid in his mouth. But he will let me brush his teeth, really crazy😹
 
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di and bob

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I always had success with tearing off a small piece of pill pocket and using it to 'cement' the pill, or a piece of it to a small piece of bacon. Sometimes it took two or three times, but he loved bacon so much he basically just swallowed them. It also took cooking up bacon every week, but I would do anything to get him to take his pills. Like said above, cheese molded around the pill works well too. If you can crush them, mix them in a SMALL amount of tuna juice till drank, then give some more tuna. I always refridgerated the left over tuna for the next day after adding a small amount of water to get more juice.
 

LTS3

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I always had success with tearing off a small piece of pill pocket and using it to 'cement' the pill, or a piece of it to a small piece of bacon. Sometimes it took two or three times, but he loved bacon so much he basically just swallowed them. It also took cooking up bacon every week, but I would do anything to get him to take his pills.

It's easier to use bacon flavored pill dough like the one I linked in my post above :) It smells just like bacon and probably tastes the same at least to a cat. You could save bacon drippings from when you make bacon to use to coat the pill dough in if needed. I believe many brands of bacon contain nitrite which isn't good for cat. Catinfo.org recommends nitrite-free bacon.

Just an alternative option to cooking bacon 🥓 :)
 

Srwheeler

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My vet wraps them up in a purrburrito, and uses this awesome pill gun launcher, followed by a syringe of water to help it down. 🤷🏼‍♀️ I’m tempted to purchase one myself and try it out.
 

Azazel

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My vet wraps them up in a purrburrito, and uses this awesome pill gun launcher, followed by a syringe of water to help it down. 🤷🏼‍♀️ I’m tempted to purchase one myself and try it out.
Your vet should give you these for free.
 

sivyaleah

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Not all pills are as effective once broken up but if it is one which can be (the vet will let you know) things we tried that worked are:

Cut up the pill into smaller pieces pushed into dollops of cream cheese, of your cat like that (ours loved it)

Deli meats - wrap the smaller pill pieces into narrow pieces of deli ham, turkey or chicken - whichever your cat prefers.

Gerber baby food/plain meat variety. Use a small amount, again, small pill pieces pushed into the baby food. As long as you don't use too much food it's pretty certain the cat will get the pill in.
 

Cat Grrl

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I got my girl to eat her pill inside liverwurst. This will work for a couple of weeks then she will turn up her nose, so I switch to pill pockets, then on to lactose-free cheese balls, and so on. Everyone gets tired of the same thing day after day! I got the liverwurst tip from the great people on this forum! I like the bacon or flavoured dough or deli meats or cream cheese suggestions, though I have not tried them yet. I have had some success with Temptations (they have a soft centre if they are fresh). I just break the treat in half and use a toothpick to poke a hole in the soft inside and stick the pill in. Best of luck
 

Rylka

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I encased the pill in the smallest amount of pill pocket it could, then rolled that in crushed up instinct topper. Like a pill truffle :lol:
I used the pill gun once or twice, but it was traumatic for both of us.
 
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