How to Give Liquid Medicine to Cats: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Give Liquid Medicine to Cats: 11 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Give Liquid Medicine to Cats: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

Cat medications come in different forms such as pills, capsules, cream and liquids. Cats are notoriously difficult to medicate, and while liquid oral remedies are easy to administer, this is not always the case. Cats tend to fight and resist having something pushed into their mouths, and the syringe is no exception. However, with a little preparation and following a few simple tips, giving your cat a liquid medicine doesn't have to be stressful.


Part 1 of 3: Prepare the Materials

Give Cats Liquid Medicine Step 1

Step 1. Roll out a towel

Where you plan to give the medicine, choose a large, clean towel. Unless your cat is calm, use it to keep him still and avoid getting scratched.

  • A beach or bath towel is ideal.
  • Fully stretch it.
  • Choose a comfortable and convenient height, such as a table or bench.
Give Cats Liquid Medicine Step 2

Step 2. Prepare the remedy

Follow the package or veterinarian's instructions. In many cases, liquid medications need to be shaken before each dose.

If medicine is given directly from the bottle, place it on the used surface, easily within reach (ie, close to the towel)

Give Cats Liquid Medicine Step 3

Step 3. Prepare the dropper

If medicine is given by dropper or syringe, fill it with the prescribed amount.

  • Follow the instructions and measurements carefully.
  • Put the dropper or syringe where you can easily reach it.

Part 2 of 3: Prepare the Cat

Give Cats Liquid Medicine Step 4

Step 1. Position the cat

Gently take him to the treatment area (the towel) and use a calm, cheerful, and relaxing tone of voice. Place it in the middle of the cloth, facing you.

Give Cats Liquid Medicine Step 5

Step 2. Immobilize him

At this point, you will need to make sure the animal cannot move or escape.

  • If your cat is calm, that should be enough. If he has a helper, he can hold the shoulders and gently grasp the front legs. This will keep it still and prevent it from scratching.
  • You and your helper can also hold it against your chest or belly to prevent the animal from running away or dodging.
  • If the cat is agitated or might scratch it, you will need to wrap it in a towel. Wrap your feline comfortably, with just your head out. Allow slack in the neck to ensure the claws are securely contained and cannot scratch it.
  • To do this, fold the towel in half on top of the cat and repeat with the other end so that the animal is unable to move. Wrap any leftovers around the neck to keep the paws tucked against the body and contained within the towel.
  • If you have a helper, ask them to put their hands inside the towel and hold the animal's shoulders to calm it down.
Give Cats Liquid Medicine Step 6

Step 3. Open the cat's mouth

Form a "C" with your index finger and thumb with your left hand. Hold the animal's head with your fingertips at the corners of the mouth and your palm resting on the cat's forehead. Lightly press inward, forcing the upper lips onto your upper teeth cheek (the molars).

  • If you are left-handed, use your right hand to open the animal's mouth so that your left hand is free to administer the medicine.
  • This approach forces the cat to open its mouth to avoid biting its lips, while also decreasing the chances of being bitten.
Give Cats Liquid Medicine Step 7

Step 4. Raise his head

Once the animal has opened its mouth a little, lift its head towards the ceiling.

This can be done without changing hands, simply turn your wrist. Doing this helps to lower the lower jaw, giving it a wider opening

Part 3 of 3: Administer the Medicine

Give Cats Liquid Medicine Step 8

Step 1. Put the syringe in the cat's mouth

Grasp it with your free hand and position the opening behind the lower fangs (the long teeth), pointing towards the tongue.

Give Cats Liquid Medicine Step 9

Step 2. Start giving the medicine

Slowly and gently press the plunger of the syringe to gradually release the liquid.

  • As soon as you give the medicine, the cat will move its tongue to try to swallow.
  • Some cats like to lower their head to swallow, so you may have to release a wrist to get them back into a comfortable position.
Give Cats Liquid Medicine Step 10

Step 3. Finish giving the medicine

After the cat has swallowed, give it another half milliliter of medicine.

Repeat this process until you have administered the entire prescribed dose

Give Cats Liquid Medicine Step 11

Step 4. Reward the cat

Speak calmly as the towel unrolls. He will probably run as soon as he can; otherwise pet him and give him a treat.

The reward after giving the medicine will make you less resentful and make the task easier next time


  • While it's possible to medicate a cat wrapped in a towel on your own, it's much easier to have a helper hold it. This allows you to have both hands free to administer the medicine.
  • Test the syringe with water first to make sure it has no clogs.
  • If you prepare a food that your cat likes before giving the medicine, it will be a satisfactory recommendation for her to enjoy later.


  • Be patient and give the medicine slowly. Quickly squirting the liquid can cause the cat to inhale it, which can cause a potentially serious form of pneumonia.
  • Avoid putting your finger directly between your cat's teeth as this increases the risk of being bitten.
  • Never give more medicine than recommended by the veterinarian.
  • If capsules are prescribed, always check with your veterinarian before crushing it to dilute it. Some tablets are made for slow release of the active ingredient, or have a protective coating to survive stomach acid and become active in the intestine. Crushing such tablets decreases their effectiveness and should be avoided.

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