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Home > Cats > How to Give Liquid Medicine to a Difficult Cat: 2 Proven Methods

How to Give Liquid Medicine to a Difficult Cat: 2 Proven Methods

Cat Liquid Medicine

Most animals do not like taking medicine, and cats are no exception. But no matter how difficult your cat is, you may need to give them medication for an illness.

You can give them the medicine by making it taste better for your cat to take or use a technique that will help you administer the medication better to your cat.

Medicine can come in the form of pills and liquid form. In this post, we will see how you can give your difficult cat liquid medicine.


Method 1: Mix the Liquid Medicine With the Cat’s Food

Most cats will not recognize medicine when it is mixed with their food. Consider incorporating liquid medicine with wet food.

Also, remember to inform the vet if your cat is on any other type of medication.

When you mix the medicine with food, make sure to use little food so that the cat eats all the food and doesn’t leave any leftovers. This is the most you will need to do for most cats to entice them to take their medicine. However, if they don’t, here is another method to explore.

owner forced feeding a sphinx cat using syringe
Image Credit: Alisa Nichik, Shutterstock

Method 2: Use a Syringe

If your cat cannot take their medicine when mixed with their food, you will have to use a syringe to administer the medication.

Using a syringe to give them medicine is not easy, but the process will be less stressful with a little bit of preparation.

Here are the crucial steps you need to follow:

1. Prepare Your Materials

  • Lay Out a Towel: You will need to place a towel on the area where you plan to administer the medicine. You will later use the towel to wrap your cat up to keep them still and avoid scratching. You will need a full-sized towel, and ensure you stretch it out flat on the place where you plan to administer the medicine. It is vital to work from a convenient height, such as a countertop or table.
  • Prepare Your Medicine: You will need to read and follow the instructions that the vet provides. In most cases, you will find that you will need to shake the medicine before giving any dose. If you are administering the medicine directly from the bottle, you will need to place it on a flat surface that is easy to reach from the dosing area.
  • Prepare the Syringe: You need to fill the syringe with the prescribed amount of medication. Make sure you follow the instructions and measure carefully. Once you have measured the medicine into the syringe, place it within reach of your dosing area.

2. Prepare Your Cat

  • Position the Cat: It would be best if you placed your cat in the dosing area, i.e., the place where you put the towel. Make sure that your voice is happy, soothing, and relaxing to keep the cat calm. Place the cat in the middle of the towel with them facing you.
  • Immobilize Your Cat: This step involves making sure that your cat does not escape or wiggle during dosing. If your cat has a calm personality, it can be enough to hold it. If you have a person assisting, you should hold each cat’s shoulder and grip their upper forelegs. This will help keep the cat still and keep them from lifting their front paws to scratch. The person assisting you could cuddle your cat to your stomach or chest to keep them from wiggling sideways or backing away. If your cat is wiggling, they are likely to scratch you. It would be best if you wrapped the cat in a towel. Wrap them in a snuggly way with just their head protruding. Wrapping them with a towel ensures that their claws are safely tucked in, and they cannot scratch you. To efficiently wrap your cat, you need to fold half of the towel over the cat’s back and repeat with the other half so that the cat is well contained in the towel. Remove any slack in the towel around the neck so that the legs are well pinned against the body and well secured within the towel. If you have a person helping you, have them put their hands outside the towel over the cat’s shoulders to help steady the cat.
  • Open the Cat’s Mouth: With your forefinger and the thumb of your left hand, form an inverted C on your cat’s mouth. Make sure that your thumb and fingertips are resting on either side of the mouth while your palm is resting on your cat’s forehead. Press inwards with your thumb and fingertip, pressing the cat’s upper lip over the upper cheek teeth and the molars. If you are left-handed, you should use your right hand to open the cat’s mouth so you can leave your left hand to administer the medicine. This method allows you to open your cat’s mouth slightly wider and keep them from biting their lip, reducing the chance of them biting you too.
  • Raise Your Cat’s Head: Once you have opened the cat’s mouth, you should angle it towards the ceiling. You can easily do this by rotating your grip while making sure you do not shift your grip. When you tip the cat upward, it helps the lower jaw drop a little and open the mouth wider.
veterinarian opening maine coon cat's mouth
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

3. Administer the Medication

  • Place the Syringe in the Cats Mouth: Place the syringe just behind that cat’s lower fangs and angled over the tongue.
  • Administer the Medicine: Slowly press the syringe plunger to put about a milliliter of the fluid in the cat’s mouth. When the medicine gets into the cat’s mouth, they will try to swallow the medicine. Some cats lower their heads to swallow, so you may need to relax your wrist to allow them to drop their head in a natural swallowing position.
  • Finish the Dosing Process: When the cat has finished swallowing the first milliliter, repeat the process till the syringe is empty.

4. Reward the Cat With a Treat

Once done, unwrap your cat while gently talking to them. In most cases, the cat will run off after, but it won’t if you give it some affection and a treat.

Offering your cat a treat makes your cat less resentful of the medication process and makes the process much easier when you do it next time.

cat eating treat
Image Credit: Andriy Blokhin, Shutterstock



Giving your cat liquid medicine can be quite a task. However, if you are well prepared, it can be a walk in the park for you are your kitty. But if giving the medicine becomes too stressful for the cat, take a break and try giving it to them again.

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Featured Image Credit: thodonal88, Shutterstock

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