“You want me to give my cat what?!?”
I usually get a look of horror or anxiety whenever I tell an owner that they have to medicate their cat. You can assume at some point during your cat’s life, it will need to be medicated for either an illness or an injury. A lot of times people struggle with giving cats medications because, as we know, cats are not the most food motivated species.
This is a way to train your cat to take pills before they are needed. Pill training your cat now (before he or she is sick) will help to save you stress in the future.
- Find a soft treat, such as a Pill Pocket or Pill Paste, that your cat will readily eat. There are many varieties of these kinds of treats, so experiment until you find one your cat will love.
- Place a piece of crunchy kibble in the center of the soft treat. This will mimic the texture of giving a Pill Pocket filled with a medication. Then start giving your cat these combo treats every day.
- When you have to actually give a medication, use the “3 treat technique.” Give your cat 1 Pill Pocket + Kibble combo, followed quickly by a Pill Pocket + Pill, and then followed again with a Pill Pocket + Kibble. The theory is that the cat is so excited to eat all the treats, (s)he doesn’t notice the pill in the middle.
I know this isn’t a perfect system, and your cat won’t follow the plan 100% of the time. My cat, Ziggy, is a perfect example of this. Just keep working on it. Find something that your cat really values (be it Pill Pockets or deli meat) and go from there. If you get stuck, call us. We’re always glad to give more tips and tricks that we have found useful.