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C2002-12

Dear Christopher Cat

I’m having trouble giving pills to my cat.  Do you have any suggestions?

Christopher Responds

Some cats will take pills if they’re hidden inside treats, but I won’t, so let me share with you the technique my mother used to train me to be a good pill taker.

Have your cat eat a bit of food to lubricate his throat and get him in the habit of swallowing.

Then place the pill on the back of his tongue using your fingers or a pet piller.  These handy devices are easy to use and widely available, and they keep your fingers out of your cat’s mouth. 

Tilt his head up, and stroke his throat for a moment.  Once he licks his nose, it’s likely he has swallowed the pill.
Then let your cat continue eating so the pill is washed down and he learns to associate pilling with his favorite food.

If he’s not eating, be sure to follow the pill with a teaspoon of water in an oral dosing syringe so the pill doesn’t lodge in his esophagus.

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