How-to give a cat a pill tutorial

How-to give a cat a pill tutorial


Hi, my name is Dr. Uri Burstyn. I’m a veterinarian in Vancouver BC and I’d like to welcome you to my series of practical skills for pet owners. I’m here with Mr. Pirate to show you how to do one of the most dreaded activities one ever has to do with our cat which is give them a pill. Now, there’s a lot of joke videos on the internet about how to pill your cat and they’re very funny. But this is actually a really useful skill to have and it’s quite easy. Now, some cats have a personality that’s a little easier to pill than others, but you really should be able to give oral medication to your cat regardless of their temperament. Now, there’s a number of options other than pills you can give liquid medications, you can even do transdermal medications that are absorbed through the skin. But sometimes the pill really is the best option and sometimes it is the only option. The key to giving a cat a pill first of all is selecting an appropriately sized pill, which our veterinarian should be able to help you with and then we try to make it a smooth and relatively pleasant operation for the cat. This is a skill. It takes a little bit of practice. So don’t be put off for the first couple times you end up either not getting the pill in or you end up getting a little bit of a scratch. It’s just a question of practice like any skill. We have a couple tools at our disposal that do make giving cat pills a little bit easier. This is a cat piller which is a little device where you put a pill in the end there and you basically depress the plunger and it pops the pill into the cat’s mouth. I’m gonna demonstrate doing it with just your bare hands and then the piller afterwards. So Mr. Pirate here’s got some inflammatory bowel disease. I’ve given him a pill every morning for the last seven or eight years. And it’s generally a very smooth operation What I like to do is have his breakfast ready. So have a little bit of cat food. You put it down on the table Come here, sweetness or the floor or wherever the heck the cat hangs out Put down the food and you give them the pill on the way basically when the cats on his way to the food. That way after a while. It just becomes a part of his feeding ritual and even though he may object or struggle or wriggle around a little bit on as you’re giving the pill really it’s just a part of his breakfast and he’s not gonna be too fussed about it in the long term. So we got some food. We have our cat who’s interested in the food. We intercept on the way there. Next step is to have your cat kind of secure and a cat’s best defense against medical procedures is to back up. So you want to make sure he can’t walk backwards. So usually I position him up against my legs or up against my body if he’s up on a table. Just because I know that as soon as I try messing around with his face he’s just kind of back up if he’s not securely supported from behind. So we’ll just put him right here and then you give him a little bit of a cuddle. Now what we gonna do is gonna pop the pill right into the back of his mouth. Don’t bother trying to put into food or anything like that, he’s just gonna spit it out you might as well just throw it in the garden. We have to put it right in the back of his mouth. If you put in the front of his mouth again, he’s just gonna stick his tongue out and his pills gonna pop right out. What we want to do is deposit the pill right in the back of the mouth and then point his chin up at the ceiling for a count of three. We can stroke his throw it a little bit to help him swallow. But really just the most important thing is to point that chin at the ceiling. Some older cats have neck arthritis and this is a bit harder to do but for most cats this is really kind of a key part of successfully giving your cat a pill. So having positioned and really it’s all about positioning. Some cats are wriggly, you can actually put a little towel like a little bib around their shoulders and neck kind of to protect- prevent them from giving you a high-five with their paw Most cats however, it really just gets in the way. And with a bit of practice you can just do it like this. Usually takes about ten seconds to do in the morning should be quite easy now we get some pills here. Take the pill. *talks to Mr. Pirate in cat language* I usually just swipe it in some cat food. You can also use sour cream, yogurt, a little bit of butter. Anything your cat really likes, you know cats can’t taste sweet. So peanut butter doesn’t work like it would for a dog, but certainly yogurt or sour cream most cats would love. Pirate loves his wet foods. So I just swipe it through his wet food. Are you licking your chops? Yeah *smooches* All right. And then basically, I just wanna grab his face by the whiskers just lift his upper lips up which just tilts his chin up as I tilt his chin up his mouse is gonna come open and then just shove the pill right in the back of his throat. Then one two three chin at the ceiling and we’re done. It’s not gonna be that easy the first time you do it, but it can be this easy with a bit of practice. Shall I demonstrate again Pirate? So this time because he already got his pill I’ll use a little bit of food as the pill. You peel back his lips. Start to tilt his chin up till his mouth opens. And just pop it to the back of the throat one, two three one two three chin pointing up at the ceiling And then he can have his food. It’s quite important to actually have a little bit of food a little bit of water after a pill because some cats have trouble swallowing pills. So I’m really a big fan of having food out as you do this. With liquid medication you can use exactly same approach except you’ll have your liquid medication in a syringe and you’ll squirt in his mouth. And with a cat piller we use exactly the same approach except the pill is loaded into the front. Grab him by the lips, just smooth his whiskers back grab by the lips tilt that mouth back gently and when the mouth comes open, just work at the back of the mouth. Pop it in one two three. Alright, so I hope you find that useful. Please give us a like, feel free to share this video and remember to have fun with your cat.

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  1. This is really helpful! I'm lucky, Beowulf is very food motivated, so I give him a pill in the middle of giving him treats; I'll get a wet treat (normally the whole tuna treats, but I imagine wet food would go well, too) and give him half, then rub the other on the pill, feed him the pill, then quickly give him the remainder of the treat!

    I'm sure the results will vary with other cats, but I really like this method because it doesn't involve having to manipulate him physically and make him uncomfortable.

  2. Mr. Pirate is GORGEOUS! And so well-behaved! He just sits there waiting for the video to proceed. LOVE it! I can easily pill all my cats except one – Pumpkin. His tongue seems to go the entire length of his throat since he can get that pill back out of his mouth no matter how far back I place it. He has IBD as well 🙁 Even the pill popper won't do the trick. It's quite comical to watch. I videoed it once because I couldn't believe how many tries it took us. Thanks for the video, doc!!

  3. Great video. I wish we had doctors like you here in India. Keep sharing the knowledge. It can save someone's life.
    And I'm in love with your cat. Such a well behaved baby. Beautiful.

  4. The cat just sits down on his own at pill time? This cat isn't trying to get away at all. I'm on my third attempt and if I can get the pill in her mouth at all, she spits it out. She won't open her mouth either. I have to force the pill into her mouth. The way this is going, my cat will hate me within a week.

  5. Vets and vet techs always amaze me at how easily and well they handle cats. Now, me, trying to pill a cat….oh, it has been like all the bad jokes. I will try this. Perhaps the two of us will survive!

  6. Love ur presentation as well as topics! 9 times out of 10 u make me at least smile, if not laugh outright and I ALWAYS learn from u! Thank u so much! 😸😻

  7. It doesn't matter what I rub the pill in, my cat HATES pills. She pretends to swallow the pill when her head is tilted, I massage her throat, then she licks her lips, waits till I put her in front of her food, and then spits it out again. If it's a long course of pills, she gets suspicious of meal times, and only eats when I'm not close by. If there's any kind of discernible pattern to her pill schedule, she'll find a way around it, so I literally have to just carry one around in my pocket and wait for an opportunity where she's relaxed her guard. She's a crafty girl, but she keeps me on my toes!!

  8. Here is something your channel can use. I have 3 pitbulls, two 8 mos and 1 2yrs who got ringworm fungus. my vet said to use the shampoo $23 on the worst, and athlete's foot creme $1 on the other 2. They hate the bath even with warm water, but the creme is like being petted, no problem

    What I found was, the easy way to use it is forget the cap, and cut the bottom end off, or half off on a diagonal. the creme comes out easy and i can spread it with the end of the tube like a putty knife and then rub it in. Making it go in the right place is easy and faster on a moving target.

  9. My cat doesn't open his mouth when pointing his head to the roof, I have to press to open it. Does this mean I not doing this technique correctly? (he has some problems, a leg malformation and megacolon to start)

  10. I have a very tempermental kitty who needed meds and I was terrified of how she'd react. Your video actually made me feel like it I could do it though, and I did! It took 4 tries, but she got the first pill down and has already forgiven me. Thank you SO much for the encouraging explanation. Now just 13 more pills to go …

  11. Your videos are so helpful and Mr Pirate, Clawdia and Lancelot are so cute and cooperative! I watch your videos over and over again, in Belgium 🙂 THANK you very much, doctor Uri! Could you please post a video on how to put a liquid salve into my cat's eye, which is suffering from conjunctivitis. One of us is trying to hold him, I have a treat nearby to reward him, but we don't manage, and instead get scratched…. I hope you can help us out and learn us the tricks we need 🙂

  12. i have never been able to pill my cat, even using a piller. it looks easy on the vid, but this cat has been doing it for years.

  13. My cat is one of those squirmy cats that is impossible to pill. Is there a way to do this using the "burrito" technique? I will never be able to get him to behave as nicely as the cat in the video, and he's quite strong. I have been in tears the last few days since I can't get the pills down him (he has to take several), and we're both quite frustrated with each other.

  14. From my experience, trust is very important to giving pills to cats and it looks like Mr. Pirate loves and trusts you a lot:) great video!

  15. Sueprb!!!! Loved the idea! My cat fidgets so much it's impossible to give him anything. But this dipping in fav food thing helped a lot! Thanks!!

  16. I always found it easier to do it on the floor kneeling down and putting the cat between my legs. I could grip it gently with my knees and if it tried to go backwards there was nowhere for it to go and no worries about it falling off the table.

  17. I have the opposite experience with most of my cats. They will get the pill back up no matter how long their chins are turned up, but putting it in some food is fast and easy.

  18. I used to take care of this cat that acts and thinks like a damn pig. The cat would eat anything so the giving her the pill was no problem !

  19. Hong Kong vets supply pills in zip lock bags and when my cats hear a plastic bag they immediately hide behind the wardrobe. 🤨

  20. When my cat was sick and would not eat food but had to take pills, I would wrap the pill in a tiny amount of Pill Pocket before throwing it into the back of her throat – I found it helped the pill go down more smoothly rather than get stuck in her mouth. Just another idea if you're struggling!

  21. My cat does not just sit there and not move! Every time, he's struggling, moving his head, trying to close his mouth, and I have to try to hold him down with one hand, and the other trying to put the pill in his mouth. Most of the time, the pill doesn't go in far enough and he spits it out.

  22. Nice channel. I would love to hear some tips about how to to keep your cat cool in the summer. It gets pretty hot where i live and i cant verify all the info i get. I shave him and let him drink his cold water, hes has his cold spots he likes to hang out around the house but i wonder what what could be really effective to keep them safe from hot weather. thanks!

  23. I had to give one of my cats pills for 2 weeks the last 4 days she knew shed open her mouth lift her chin and take it was amazing

  24. I just had to start giving my 10-month old kitten pills for some of her issues, and I'm so glad to see this after the fact because it confirms what I've been doing is the most efficient form of giving it to her. I tried to use pill-pockets, but that worked for only 2 days. I look forward to when her issues go into remission and I don't have to give her pills, but until then, this method works awesome for her!

  25. Pill wraps/pockets work too. Cat won't complain if it doesn't know its taking a pill and is just eating a treat. I just mix his meds in with his wet food though.

  26. I used to give my cat his Methimazole every day for 6 years before he was put down eventually (thyroid meds). It got very routine, but it was just like that – get it to the back of his mouth and hold the mouth closed for him to swallow. Make it fast as they hate it.

  27. My cat loves dry food. I think I might practice with dry food now that she's healthy so she will already know the procedure when she's sick. She gets aggressive sometimes, I'm always happy for ways to reduce stress for both of us.

  28. Hey, love your videos! Any chance you could do one about how to give cats antibiotics via syringe? As in, spraying it into the mouth, not via injection.

    My cat got a bladder infection a little over a week ago, and I got liquid antibiotics to give him, and while it went "okay" at first, a few days ago he seemed to be REALLY fed up with it, and is acting out every time I try to give it to him.. last night he even started to hiss at me and clawed me. I've tried several restraining/holding methods but none of them really work.. I don't know if I am doing it right though.. I am very scared of hurting him so I'm being careful, maybe too careful.. could be why I'm failing?

    Either way, a video about this, or even a comment here would be very much appreciated! <3

  29. This was so helpful! Thank you. My fur baby is recovering from gastritis. He still won’t eat (2 days after ER visits). I’ve tried bland foods, putting some on my finger, no interest. He’s almost two, neutered. His reg vet is out of town (no on-call, so probably back to the ER). Any suggestions would be most welcome. 🥺

  30. Thank you for this video and how kind and loving you are to this cat. I'd definitely bring my cats to you if I were in BC!

  31. Took me a while, but I figured this out the hard way with experience. My cats love the back up technique to try and get out of my grasp.

  32. I got the pill in my Cat on the second time. But I still prefer to just give it to him in his food.
    This video does help when he's not hungry,
    Thank You.!!!

  33. Ive seen a vid on instagram, kinda similar to this, but the cat refuse to open mouth when the chin tilted. He growled instead. And the person have to use her middle finger to pull the lower mouth down to open the mouth. She doing it good. I cant do either, this way or that instagram way. I have to ask my sister to help me hold the cat 😓

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