How to Give Liquid Medication to Your Cat

Published: 6/8/2021

Administering medications to pets is always tricky, especially when your pet has sharp claws and teeth. Cats are generally opposed to taking meds since this isn't an instinctual behavior for them,  but don't get discouraged!
We're prepared to share with you several ways to give liquid medication to your cat without a fight. Let's begin.

The wet food method

Most pet parents find the wet food method is the easiest way to give liquid medicine to cats. For this method, you'll need a syringe and a can of wet food that your cat enjoys. 

It's best to use a small amount of food so that your cat will eat it all in one sitting. Draw up the medicine as directed on the label and squirt it over the top of the wet food. Mix the food well to make the medicine undetectable to your feline. Then, serve the food as usual. 

It's important that you do not warm the medication in the microwave since this can cause the medicine to become ineffective. You can, however, gently warm the food before mixing the medicine in. Unfortunately, this method will not work for meds that cats need to take on an empty stomach.  

The syringe method

The syringe method is a little more difficult than the wet food method, and it can take some trial and error to get the technique down. This method is the best option for cats who require medicine that has to be taken on an empty stomach. 

Start by setting out everything you need to administer the medication. For this, you'll need a towel, the medication, and a small syringe. It is especially helpful to have someone else assist when using this method. It may also help to perform this method in a small room like a bathroom for this process since it will be easier to catch your kitty if they try to run away. 

Gently wrap your feline in a towel, making sure to tuck all their paws inside. Hold the cat gently but firmly in one arm and pull back on the scruff of the neck with the other hand — cats naturally open their mouth slightly when pressure is applied to the neck skin.

Have your assistant gently squirt the syringe contents in the cheek pocket behind your cat's canine teeth. Do not attempt to squirt the medication in the very back of the throat since this can cause the feline to aspirate or choke. After administering the medication, gently massage Fluffy's throat to get them to swallow.

Tips for giving liquid medication to cats
  • Shake the medication bottle to mix it before dosing it out for your cat.

  • Give your kitty time to swallow and dispense a small amount of medicine at a time. 

  • It can help to alternate sides of the mouth when dispensing medication into the cheek pocket.

  • Do not give your cat extra medicine if they spit some medicine out. It's better to underdose your cat than to give them too much.

  • Give your cat treats and praise after their medicine to create positive associations and to make them more willing to cooperate in the future. 

  • Follow the storage instructions on the medication and refrigerate if necessary to make sure the medicine doesn't go bad.


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