Giving Your Cat Medication: Everything You Need to Know

Giving Your Cat Medication

According to a study done by the University of Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences, cats are more independent than dogs. As they do not require their owners to be present to feel safe or secure, their dependency on an owner is minimal. However, as independent as cats are, they still have certain needs that can be met by their owners.

Giving Your Cat Medication: Everything You Need to Know

While cats can survive living primarily independent from help, they still need care and assistance to a certain degree. Besides nutritious food and a warm shelter, cats need specific medications to keep them healthy and happy. Luckily for them, there are a variety of medicines available to ensure a long and comfortable life. The drawback, however, is that administering medicine to a cat can be both tedious and complicated. Here’s everything you need to know about giving your cat medication.

Know What You’re Giving Your Cat

Cats are generally very picky about what they consume, and as a good owner, you should be just as concerned. First, if you’re giving your feline any sort of medicine, always consult your vet first and foremost. A good vet will be happy to make sure you keep your cat from medicinal harm. If you want to be more proactive, you can also check and see if what you’re giving your cat has FDA certified colorants and see if there has been a recall on the product as well.

Listen to Your Vet

As medications can vary from pet to pet, it’s highly recommended that you do not take the advice of what to administer to your cats from online sources. Generally speaking, the more amazing a cure-all is, the more likely it is not actually going to help your cat. A prominent example that you should be very wary of is the growing concern of using essential oils for cats; simply put, they will kill your cat. In general, when in doubt, you should always consult your vet about anything you want to try and give your cat.

Know How to Administer Medicine

If you’re hoping that it’ll be as simple as dropping a pill down their throats, I have the unfortunate news that it will not be that easy of a process. Your experiences might not be the same for past pets, but you should know that all not all cats react to medicines the same way.


For starters, see if your pet is willing to eat medicine without any hassle. Follow this common method to give your cat medicine without incentives:

  1. Hold your cat firmly so they aren’t able to panic
  2. Push gently into the corners of their mouth to open the mouth wide
  3. Place medication as far back into their mouths as you can.

If your feline rejects this method, you can try masking the medication in food. Try placing the medicine in pill-pockets, peanut butter, or their favorite treat to help disguise the taste and smell from your cat. If this does not work, vets suggest to crush the pill into a powder and adding it to tuna juice to keep your cat from vomiting the medicine up.

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Eye Drops

Giving your cat eye drop ointments for irritated or injured eyes can be a difficult feat to face. For these type of medications, you’ll likely have the greatest success of administering the drops if your cat is restrained. Once restrained, hold open their eyes with your spare hand and squeeze the drops into their eyes. If they have a gel-like medication that needs to be spread, you will need to blink their eyes for them with your fingers.

Don’t forget to be mindful of your cat; otherwise, they will likely try to wipe off the excess ointment with their paw, potentially injuring the eye further.


Subcutaneous injections, shots underneath the skin, can be one of the most difficult medicines to give to your cat. Although the process is quite simple, most owners find the task of sticking their cat with a needle quite daunting. The important thing to remember when giving shots is to follow the vet’s orders exactly and to keep calm. Depending on your vet, you may be told to give an injection to a certain area of your cat. Don’t worry though, these general steps will be helpful no matter the area.

Follow these steps to help make the process of giving injections easier for both you and your cat:

  1. You will want to first prepare the shot by shaking the vial of medicine thoroughly; this will ensure none of the medicine has settled at the bottom of the solution.
  2. Afterward, push the needle into the rubber seal and draw back the solution with the plunger.
  3. Once you have ensured your needle has exactly the right amount of medicine without air bubbles, you’ll want to hold the loose part of their skin on their back firmly and pull just enough to create a pocket in the skin.
  4. Push the needle at around a 30 to 40-degree angle of their back in the same pocket you created.
  5. Swiftly push the plunger and as soon as you have pushed the last drop in, pull the needle out quickly.
  6. Massage the area on the back that you injected the medicine to prevent the injection site from becoming sore and to ease the medicine throughout their skin.

Giving Your Cat Medication: Everything You Need to Know

Don’t forget to always throw away used needles after every use, and don’t reuse them, or your cat can get infections. It is also important to try to inject in different areas of your cat’s skin, to avoid other complications. After a little bit of practice, most owners find the whole event goes relatively quick and painless for both the owner and the cat.

Knowing what and how to give your cat their medicine is key. It is important to not only consult the vet with any questions but to also do your own research. With a little more knowledge than you previously had, you can rest easy knowing that you can take care of your pet as well as they deserve.


“Giving Your Cat Medication: Everything You Need to Know”

Guest Writer: Amber Kingsley

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