5 Ways to Get Your Cat to Take Supplements or Medications

Whether your cat is on supplements or medications (or both), getting him to take them can be a huge challenge. Here are five ways to make the task easier and less stressful.

As a cat parent, you know your kitty sometimes needs to take supplements or medications to stay healthy. You also know that getting him to take them is easier said than done. He might fight you when you try to insert a pill into his mouth, or refuse to swallow and spit it out again, making the task a major headache. Following are six easy-to-implement ways to get supplements and medications into your cat without distressing him (or getting scratched).

1. MIX THEM WITH CAT FOOD

One of the best ways to give your cat medicine or supplements is by adding them to her daily food. This is easiest if you give her wet or raw food. These food types more easily disguise crushed-up pills, liquids and powders, making it more likely your cat will ingest them. It might not be as easy if you feed your cat dry food, but you can try sprinkling the supplement or medication on her food, then adding a tasty topper like bone broth or the liquid from a tin of salmon.

2. ADD THEM TO HIS WATER

It depends on the supplement or medication your cat is taking, but some can be added to his water bowl if your cat is very resistant to taking them in his food. For this to work, though, the supplement or medication has to be flavorless, and it also shouldn’t change the clarity and consistency of the water.

If you use this tip, watch your cat to ensure he continues drinking enough water throughout the day. If you notice he won’t drink it with the added supplement or med, supply him with fresh water and try a different technique.

It’s also important to keep in mind that this option won’t allow you to give your cat an accurate dose of medication, since he won’t drink the whole bowl of water at once. So this is a better option for supplements.

3. USE A SYRINGE

If your cat is very stubborn, you may not be able to trick her into ingesting her medications and supplements no matter what you do. If this is the case, and the product you’re giving her is in liquid form, you can try administering it with a syringe.

To use this method, you’ll need to hold your cat in your lap and gently squeeze the liquid into her mouth with the tip of the syringe between her teeth. Be very careful, as you do not want your cat to inhale the liquid. It’s a good idea to discuss this option with your vet before trying it out.

4. HIDE THEM IN CAT TREATS

Even though cats are notoriously picky, they usually enjoy treats. So another technique is to try making tasty homemade treats and hide your cat’s medications or supplements inside them (this really only works with soft, moldable treats). Not only does this help ensure your cat gets the dose she needs, but it gives you control over the treat ingredients. It’s also a great way to get more fiber or protein into your cat’s diet without added fillers or preservatives.

If you don’t want to make your own treats, look for natural packaged treats that are also soft and moldable. You could also try using pieces of chicken, turkey or fish to disguise the supplement or medication.

5. CONSIDER A TOPICAL ALTERNATIVE

Some cats remain extremely resistant to taking any kind of medication or supplement. If this sounds like your kitty, you may need to try a completely different method. One possible option is to switch to a topical form of the medication or supplement your cat is taking. Depending on what that is, it may not be available in topical form, but it’s nevertheless worth asking your veterinarian about it if all else fails.

Topical solutions can be applied to your cat’s fur or skin to be absorbed into his system. Some topical medications may be unsafe for your cat to ingest, so you’ll need to apply them to an area he can’t reach.

The Manual Method

While simply putting the medication or supplement in your cat’s mouth isn’t a very glamorous method, you might be able to accomplish it if you go about it the right way. It’s best done with pills or capsules that are very small and easy to swallow.

To be successful, you need to have a good hold on your cat and insert the pill into her mouth as far as you safely can. You might need a helper — someone to hold the cat while you administer the pill.

If your cat struggles and fights you, it’s best to try one of the other suggestions in this article. You don’t want to distress her, or accidentally injure her.

Unlike dogs, cats are far less likely to simply gobble up whatever you put in front of them. They are much more suspicious and resistant to trying new things, especially if they don’t taste or smell very good. So if your cat is on any type of supplement or medication, you may need to try several of the suggestions in this article before you find one that works.


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