All cat owners know the stress and gamble that is “pilling a cat” (giving a tablet or capsule by
mouth). With a little preparation and training, this may not have to be a struggle. While we do
have some injectable antibiotics, sometimes there are better choices for a specific infection.
We can make the experience more positive with a little preparation. First, don’t give your cat
their breakfast, or pull their feeder if they are “free fed.” Training goes a lot smoother if they are
hungry and you are holding the treats.
Second, get the cat used to you holding their head. Give your cat a treat when they allow you to
handle their head. Then, start giving them a treat while holding their head. If they won’t take it
from your head, you can begin practicing opening their mouths to place the treat.
Once you get to this point, you need to repeat this and always provide a worthy treat. If your cat
starts to regress and get grumpy, then let them have a break. Don’t keep pushing if your cat is
When it comes to actually giving a tablet or capsule that may not taste good, you can follow it up
with a desired treat so they still get that positive reinforcement.
Keep in mind that these steps can also be used with a “pet piller” if you’re not comfortable
putting your fingers between your little tiger’s teeth.
Note: There’s no reason that you couldn’t use these same steps with your canine companion as