As all experienced cat people know, medicating kitty is often a challenging task. But with the right tools and a little advanced preparation, it doesn’t have to be difficult.

Most cat parents find liquid medication the easiest way to give their cat meds. Ask your vet if the medication they are prescribing can be changed to a liquid. Some medication can be mixed in your cat’s food, yet others need to be given as a pill. Nowadays, there are some medications that can be given on a transdermal patch.

Don’t worry if you do have to give your kitty a pill – once you learn how it’s easy. Whatever type of medication your vet recommends, ask them to demonstrate how to give the medicine before you leave their office.

Here are some helpful tips:

Liquid medications will come with a dropper for administration. Fill the dropper and hold the cat facing away from you with their hindquarters against your body. Use one hand to hold your cat’s head. With the other hand, insert the tip of the dropper in the corner of their mouth between the cheek and teeth and administer the medication. Don’t tilt their head back; this could cause them to inhale the liquid. After you empty the dropper, hold your cat’s mouth closed and stroke their throat to encourage them to swallow.

To give your cat a pill, put them in the same position as you’d use for liquid medications. Use one hand to hold their head, open your cat’s mouth and put the pill as far back as you can and hold their mouth closed and stroke their throat until they swallow.

It’s worth trying a Pill Pocket to see if your cat will eat the pill when it’s wrapped in the pocket. Some cats taste the medicine and spit it out, but you may be lucky and your cat will swallow it all down!

If you have a powder that you mix with food, give it to your cat with just a tiny bit of food before they eat their regular meal (so they are hungry). This way you can monitor if they eat it all.

If your cat needs restraint to give them their medication, it will be easier with a large towel and a helper. Wrap your cat in the towel so they can’t scratch you and hold them against your body leaving only their head free and administer the medication. Don’t wrap them too tightly, just enough to secure their claws.

After your kitty has taken their medication be sure to give them an extra special treat as a reward. With a little practice, you’ll both get the hang of this quickly.

Here are some visuals that may help you:

How to give your cat medicine.