How to Give a Cat a Pill

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Cats love taking pills about as much as they enjoy taking bubble baths. Since you can't hand your cat a glass of water and say, "Take two and hiss at me in the morning," what's the best way to give your unwilling feline its medicine without any bloodshed?

Keeping calm is the key. Cats are sensitive to nervousness, and they may become agitated. Never try to medicate an excited or nervous cat. Confine your cat to one room, placing it on a piece of carpeting: cats may want to grip the surface until they figure out what's going on. Spend time petting, talking softly. Wrap your cat in a towel, with the head protruding. This protects you and secures the kitty for easier handling.

Placing your thumb and middle finger at the hinge of his jaws, gently pry open his mouth. Without yanking or holding too tightly, tilt the head back slightly, so you can see the back of your cat's mouth, where the tongue begins. Drop the pill into the center of the mouth, and then quickly close it. Rub your cat's throat, encouraging it to swallow. You'll know the pill has gone down the hatch when your cat licks its lips. Once your cat swallows, give it a small amount of water from a needleless syringe to help the pill dissolve smoothly.

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