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Welcome To Gunbarrel Veterinary Hospital
Gunbarrel Veterinary Hospital

How To Pill A Cat - Fear Free

Yep, you read that right! We're gonna help you put the treat in treatment in 7 (sort of) simple steps!

  • First ensure the medication can be given with food. The type of treat the pill is hidden in is important. Try out different types of treats to find what works best for your cat
  • Have precut portions of the treats ready when you're pilling so you can easily dole them out in fast order
  • To build the excitement and hide the pill further, randomize the number of treats you give and the order of the pill to keep the clever kitty from learning the pilling order and turning her nose up at the treats
  • Whichever hand you use to hide the pill inside the treats, use the other to seal the pill in the food so picky cats can find no trace of medication on the outside part of the food
  • Keep the portion size small enough or soft enough so your cat doesn't chew, only licks and swallows. This prevents chewing of the pill which can be problematic with metabolism of certain medications. Chewing may also release a nasty taste when the outer coating is broken
  • Get your cat used to the pilling motion. Part of the fear factor of being pilled is the frightening situation of having their face held and their head held back. But if your cat is used to this move and associates it with something pleasurable it's not such a big deal
  • Teach cats to eat broth or canned cat food from a syringe or pill gun. You can place liquid or tiny pieces of a soft treat inside the pill gun. Start by smearing a soft treat on the outside of the syringe or pill gun for your cat to lick off, to accustom them to the object near their face

Just remember, even cats with previous negative associations can relearn the process. You can help them to
relax and enjoy fear free pilling if you break the training down into pieces your cat is comfortable with.

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Gunbarrel Veterinary Hospital
4636 N. 55th Street
Boulder, CO 80301
Phone: 303-530-2500 Fax: 844-273-9514
Hospital Hours
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 7:45AM to 5:30PM
Tuesday & Thursday: 7:45AM to 7:00PM
Saturday: 8:00AM to 12:00PM
Sunday: Closed