Introduction: How to Pill a Cat, the Easy Way.

Picture of How to Pill a Cat, the Easy Way.

Well, my mother bought this beautiful Selkirk rex, but it turned out, her entire litter was infected with a parasite. *sigh* We got the medicine, but sadly enough, tuna is not her flavor... Gravy on the other hand she gobbles up without even tasting. We also have 5 other cats, so I had to think of something to get her to eat her pill, and only her. I came up with this!

Step 1: What You Will Need

Picture of What You Will Need

1. A needle-less syringe, I picked mine up at the drugstore for less than a buck.
2. Can, jar or mix yourself pack of your kitties favorite flavor gravy (don't worry, your not giving them tons, so as a short term diet effector, it's not terrible)
3. Your pill.
4. small shallow bowl
5. Spoon
Or instead of 4 & 5 a mortar and pestle (make sure it's a marble or smooth ceramic, you don't want to lose the pill, or have it stuck forever in your pestle)

Step 2: Gravy Preperation!

Make gravy according to directions, if your using ready made jar gravy, warm it up and jump to next step.

Step 3: Pulverize the Pill

Picture of Pulverize the Pill

I used a mortar and pestle, so it came out real fine, but basically take that pill and crush it into a fine powder. It has to be fine or it will never fit through the small opening of the syringe. I have taken a close up pic of what your pill should look like, any chunkier than this and your never gonna get it through.

Step 4: Mix the Concotion

Depending on the size of your pill you only want about a tablespoon of gravy (we had a large pill, and had to use the whole tablespoon)
Slowly stir the powder into the gravy (not the other way, the pill will clump if you do).

Step 5: Suck Up the Juice!

Picture of Suck Up the Juice!

Pull the gravy into the syringe, it will be thick, but will go in easy as long as you made the powder fine.

Hold the cat like a baby and squirt just a small amount on it's nose so it gets the taste, once it know whats going on, it will lap at the syringe, continue depressing it until it's empty.

Congrats! You just pilled your cat, and it will love you for it!


SusanJ63 (author)2016-08-12

I have read somewhere to wait 12 hours to make sure they are good and hungry, and then hide it in a treat. give them one with no pill, then one with a pill, then again one with no pill. like i said before, gooey american cheese has worked for me. some cats like fish and other treats, but if they ever find it in that treat, they seem to have good memories, and may never eat the treat again. If possible, make sure the portion is small enough for them to swallow it in one bite, but the pill is very hidden.

SusanJ63 (author)2016-08-12

I have found that using american cheese works. it is gooey, and they
don't seem to find the pill in it. velveta works good, or probably the
slices too. cats are smart, so only time will tell if it will keep

ElisaG11 (author)2016-06-30

I have read so many tips, but my cat is very skittish and sees me coming. He takes off, so the problem is getting hold of him to 'burrito' or anything else. At my wits end here.

JenP26 made it! (author)2016-05-16

I have to pill my 13 year old Hymalayan twice a day for her Thyroid problem. I first tried the transdermal gel, putting it in her inner ear like it's supposed to be applied, but after 22 days she rejected it and got sick so we stopped that and vet prescribed her methimazole in pill form. I really didn't think I could pill her because she can be very disagreeable. So I bought some Greenies Pill Pockets, she wouldn't even touch them, and none of the other cats liked them either. I got syringes as well, but first I tried to hide it in her food, I chose fancy feast because a lot of people on cat forums said that's the best way to pill a cat, but she soon figured out where the pill was and ate around it. I didn't want to use the syringe much, so I tried the old-fashioned way, I pulled her head back with my left hand, fingers and thumb right under the back of the jaw, opened her mouth with my right hand, put the pill in the back of the tongue, close her mouth, and blow on her nose, eventually she licked her lips (it's natural for them to do that), and that means she has swallowed the pill. First I was very surprised that she let me do it, I thought she would scratch the crap out of me, and it helps that the pill is tiny and has a pink sugar coating. I would rather not do it that, so I will try the baby food with the meat in it, we'll see where that goes, but I have no trouble pilling her and I'm so grateful for that. Sophie has gained some weight, much more than she did with the gel :) Hope this post helps someone here. There are many videos on google about pilling cats, some are very good, some are made my veternarians, so you know you'll be doing it right.

1roswell (author)2016-04-16

Thank you, thank you, thank you! My part Persian finicky cat actually took medicine for the first time in 18 years! That was a Godsend suggestion! It worked the first time. Thank you, again!

CeeK (author)2015-06-23

I might have to ring the vet and see if crushing the pill will help my cat.

He's heavy and strong, and caught on to the pill-inside-the-treat game very quickly, eating the treat part but spitting the pill back out so he could get more treat!

I have to prise his jaw open to get him the medication he needs to take to stop the sides of his mouth getting infected, and he can't tell that I'm just trying to help :(

katerlyn (author)2015-01-28

I had to keep looking for ideas, my cat with pleural effusion vomited a lot of liquids when i tried this way. 8-(. capsules are helping but still not our answer...I did some videos to help others, but after 30 days i am still floundering.

KDS4444 (author)2014-08-24

I have a cat whom nothing gets past. I have tried to hide pills and fractions of pills in everything-- he sniffs all of his food very carefully before he even considers biting it, and if he detects the slightest irregularity, he will reject the whole food item. He is a picky eater anyway. Will not eat Greenie's Pill Pockets even with NO pill in them! He is also as wiry as a python, and (justifiably) suspicious of anything unusual. Will NOT be placed on his back "like a baby." I am going to try mixing a tapeworm pill into some gravy and putting it in a rubber "ear medication" syringe and see if I can squirt it into his mouth enough for him to just swallow some of it. Things are getting desperate here.

sbadri (author)2014-01-04

I've done that with my sick dog , after he was better he would refuse to eat the certain flavor cause he would think it got medication in it ...

pixie353 (author)2012-07-08

Using the straw sounds like a great idea except I wonder if the pill could accidentally be shot down the windpipe instead!

tackam (author)2008-05-11

Caveats: - Cats should not be given garlic or onion, and most gravy mixes will contain one or both of these ingredients. Try watering down plain meat baby food instead (read the ingredients! some of these also contain onion/garlic). - Some pills have a time-release formula and can cause overdose if given crushed. Plus, fat vs water solubility of active ingredients may mean that crushing and mixing is a bad idea. Check with your pharmacist. - Some pharmacies can compound drugs into a palatable liquid (some have meat-flavored compounds just for pets), which simplifies dosing if you're giving the medication for more than a couple of days.

TschNJ (author)tackam2010-05-25

During my most recent cat's illness, I spoiled my Sunny rotten by feeding her baby food meat.  There is nothing except meat in 'meat' baby food.  I fed her turkey and added a separate vegetable like sweet potato in a small portion and she liked it.  Also beef is only beef in the baby food line.  It's when you try to use a pre-mixed beef and vegetable baby food that it becomes a problem:  it DOES contain either garlic or onion powder.  I use separate meet- and vegetable-only and pour a little of the veggy food into the meat after it's been emptied onto a plate.  Sunny likes beef and carrot.  I cannot continue to feed her this way since there is no, or very little taurine which cats require for their eyes.

karent (author)2009-07-19

I must be really "old-fashioned", but when I had cats and they needed pills, I would grab them by the scruff of their necks (like their mother did when she carried them around) with my left hand, open their mouth, if it wasn't open, and put the pill way back towards the throat, then close the mouth with the left hand, hold it closed and stroke the throat downwards to make them swallow. Never had problems except with one cat who had a bad mouth, but I can't remember how I handled her!lol Holding them by the scruff, they usually can't/don't move much.

TschNJ (author)karent2010-05-25

What you describe is how I gave my (late) Marley a pill.  I made sure that my nails were trimmed short so I didn't scratch the inside of his mouth.  He was so easy to pill.  I could have given him a placebo and he'd feel better!

bwpatton1 (author)karent2009-08-09

I do believe that is how our vet told us to do it, lol

NXTreme (author)2010-04-01

The thing that works every single time for me is actually quite nice for the puss. My cat loves cheese so I cut a little block of it, push the end of a straw through it to make a hole, put the pill in the hole, fill the ends of the hole up with some more pieces of cheese and then give it to him. He has never once guessed what was inside so its actually quite easy. No cat burritos, no bloody fingers, it just works!

Yerboogieman (author)2008-03-07

why are cats so nasty? they lick them selves, shed, and puke and poop everywhere

NXTreme (author)Yerboogieman2010-04-01

I take it you have never seen an outdoors cat. Most cats that stay inside do get annoying but most cats that spend most of their time outside are actually quite clean.

Madrigorne (author)Yerboogieman2008-03-14

If you clean their litterbox regularly, most cats will poop only in the litter box. If you feed them hairball control food - and feed them regularly (so they will not gorge) they will excrete the hairballs out in their poop - in the litter box - and as such will not puke. If you brush your cat regularly, they will not shed so much, will not have so many hairballs, and will be a much healthier cat over all. All cats lick themselves. That's just something you're going to have to get over.

hishealer (author)Madrigorne2009-08-26

Cats are not clean, they are just covered in cat spit! >.<

Dystonia (author)2010-04-01

well speaking only for myself i watch vet get cat to take small pill for fleas-it was on a slick table top and he just used thumb and other finder on jaw hinge and index finger under nose to top teeth at lip-sort of got ahold of teeth as well in middle  -pulled back--"nice view inside" -pop pill in  to back on top of tongue -and close mouth they will swallow -don't get it past tonge -they will gag it -it works 99% of time-for me  100% if done correctley   

Ruth Williams (author)2009-10-17

I think the syringe is a great idea. Taking into account the type of meds you're using this seems to be less traumatic for both the cat and its human. Less invasive, and saves hands and arms from damage. Kudos to you. If it works - run with it.

_kira_ (author)2009-10-17

my cats a sniffer, he would sniff the powder all up hahaha

Art Nut (author)2009-10-15

Everyone has problems giving cats pills.  Please ask you vet formeds in liquid or powder form.  The drug makers will soon get the message.
Thanks for the tip about time release pills.  It might be dangerousto crush them.

ELF (author)2008-03-08

I have to ask... What's "litter"? English is not my native language, so I looked it up in a dictionary, where it said it could mean a bunch of youngs from one birth, but could also mean trash or "waste product", it's the latter, right? Is it still called a litter then when a cat gives birth?

hishealer (author)ELF2009-08-26

It's like clay pebbles that go in the pan to absorb all the smelly stuff. The cats also like scratching in it.

technodude92 (author)ELF2008-03-09

in this context it's the first definition you listed not trash

ELF (author)technodude922008-03-09

Ah, fair enough :) Also what I thought, but just curious if it were parasites, like worms, found in the... waste :S thanks for clearing that out :)

LinuxH4x0r (author)ELF2008-03-08

It most likely means that her, and her siblings were (brothers and sisters) were infected. Yes, a litter is the name for all of the offspring.

bruno13069 (author)2008-03-08

A group of us tried to pill a cat for a few days. One of us would mummify the cat in a bathsheet or blanket. One of us would brace the head. One of us would pry the jaw open. The last one would shove the pill in and rub the neck to get it to swallow. It was easier after we learned to wrap the tail in with the body. This cat was all muscle and heavy.

hishealer (author)bruno130692009-08-26

Sounds like my house; it takes 2 of us to bathe the cats, but only a few minutes of actual bath. One waits beside the tub with shampoo hands, and the other brings the cat in, dunks him quick. Shampoo hands rubs him down, another dunk, and the bringer already has towel cocoon ready. By the time he gets pointy, he's burrito-cat and warm. It works, but takes great timing!

Magicmoper (author)bruno130692008-03-09

My family did the exact same thing, but sometimes I wouldn't have anyone around and I would spend like 30 min trying to do all of that by myself

kb999999 (author)2008-03-14

My cat has asthma and I give her two pills a day - I just place her on the counter, hold her with my left arm and using my right-hand, holding the pill between thumb and index fingers, use one finger to pry open mouth and push pill with one finger = works great and she knows that a treat is given afterwards.

hishealer (author)kb9999992009-08-26

I think that immediate treat is the best training tool. I bet she doesn't even fight it anymore!

JFStan (author)2008-03-11

I have a cat that became exponentially more violent (and strong, BTW) every time he had to take a pill. We finally started rolling him up in a blanket with just his head poking out and sat on him to give him the pill. His name is Bean, so we called this method the "Bean Burrito". Don't worry, it didn't hurt him. :)

hishealer (author)JFStan2009-08-26

That method has always worked well for me. I remember having to give Flagyl to one cat, and I tried everything! But that pill is the most bitter thing on this earth, I think. (It's a human med too) The burrito method + waiting (insert favorite strong flavored treat here) is a winner even with nasty pills. After a week, she would even sit still for the bitter, cuz she knew tuna was imminent.

georgedotcom (author)JFStan2008-03-13

I once saw a cat take on 5 men at a vet clinic, and it scared everyone in the vicinity... It sounded like it was going to murder everyone. After two people went to the emergency room for stitches, and everyone else was a bloody mess, one of the vet's thought to use the Burrito method... and it worked! If they had tried that first, the devil-cat would not have taken so many victims. Wrap the cat in a blanket before it's head starts spinning, and you will spend a lot less time fighting, and have fewer body parts needing to be stitched back.

Glad to know I am not the only one who brings his own welding gloves to the vets. I am not a welder, the gloves were bought specifically for the cat. Good for play time too. When he wrestles he grabs your hand with both front paws hooking his claws in then uses both back paws to shred your arm. While biting. He hasn't gotten through the welding gloves yet and they go far enough up the arm to keep skin out of the shred zone.

collard41 (author)orangepeel912008-12-05

my fat tabby cat does that to me as well when he gats angry, or maybe just playing.

Cashew772 (author)georgedotcom2008-03-31

Last time we wrapped up or cat "Burrito style" he launched the syringe and pill 20 feet, and then banged his head on the table in a loud crack. Luckily, the pill eventually went down, and he didn't get a kitty-concussion. Maybe this method will work next time.

Lotus14 (author)georgedotcom2008-03-27

I surprised. My vet has a rip-stop nylon and Velcro thingy that you wrap the cat you a cat sausage. It's designed to work very quickly. I have a very small deaf cat, and in the vet's words is she is "explosive", because she sometimes doesn't understand what is going on. . The vet wraps "Mojo the Magic Cat" (she can disappear and reappear in a different place, at will), and give the pills, shots and all the rest without lacerations. I would expect that all vets have this "cat sack".

Burgdorf (author)JFStan2008-03-12

Lol that's awesome

tubeforme (author)JFStan2008-03-11

WoW! You are very brave... I am counting my blessings that I have never had to give either of my two cats pills yet. I might have to keep the Burrito method in mind though as I don't think I will have the patients to follow the "easy way" method...

daliad100 (author)2009-06-30

Apparently, stroking the throat of the animal makes it swallow. Not sure if this works though as I don't need to give the pet hamster pills.

AstralQueen (author)2009-06-28

what my dad did was he wrapped a pill (or half a pill as the cats were tiny) in fried fish skin. the cats loved it.

VanillaXtiffy (author)2009-05-19

Wow. I read through these comments and you guys have some pretty mean cats. I have 4 and they're all gentle as can be. Even my big giant male. He's enormous but very gentle. When he plays with us, he keeps his claws retracted like he knows he'll hurt us. With toys, it's claws out baby. Anyway, I never have a problem with the open mouth put in pill method.

Kate Allison (author)2009-05-16

I have seen both cats and dogs that have gotten the pills down their trachea and died when a "pill popper" is used. Most medications for animals are not "time released." This is because the GI tract is MUCH faster and most "time released" meds will just come out the other end, totally intact. Most of the time, crushing them works well. Plus, you can get your vet to write you an prescription to take to a compounding pharmacy where they can mix it into something nasty like "triple fish" paste or a PLO formulation. With the PLO, you just place the gel on the inside of the ear flap (on the non-haired side), and it absorbs. Also, I second the no garlic or onion thing. Even in small amounts, for a short period of time, both of these additives can cause hemolytic anemia. One of my fellow vets saw a dog that had persistent anemia. They did all sorts of tests to find out what was going on. Something like $3000 later, the dog was not eating well in the hospital and the owner brought in the dog's favorite treat: some "Krystal's" hamburgers (like White Castle), which have onions all over them. Yep, that was where the anemia came from. Cats react more strongly and more quickly.

Prof I.tiki (author)2009-05-10

will it work with dogs

RunTotoRun (author)2009-05-01

well, that's the nice way of doing it... I usually just put the pill in a straw and shoot it down his throat by blowing on the other end

twingosmum (author)RunTotoRun2009-05-07

Your way sounds good so long as you you don't get a sneeze starting and take a great gasp of air at a crucial time! Hey ho, you'd get a matching dose to the cat - you'd not get each others ailments though!!

About This Instructable




More by sunitgir:The $10 Hermit Crab Tank HumifierHow to pill a cat, the easy way.
Add instructable to: