Unless you have a kitty that takes pills like a champ, having to medicate your cat is frustrating and can be difficult. Many cats are stubborn and despite your best efforts to administer their treatment, they spit the pills right back out, wriggle away before you can even put the medicine in their mouth, manage to scratch or bite you in the process, and of course, they don’t want to touch the food in which you mixed in the medicine, because they are obviously more clever than you thought.
How do you give a stubborn cat much-needed medication?
Simple. Use a pill shooter!
What is a pill shooter for cats?
A pill shooter for cats is a device resembling a syringe used to pop a tablet right into the back of your cat’s throat, ensuring that the cat will swallow it rather than spit it back up. They are also known as pill guns or pill poppers.
Let me tell you more about this simple but magical device!
Do pill guns work for cats?
Yes, pill guns work for cats! They are used by vets and made to precisely administer tablets straight at the back of your cat’s mouth with swift movements to considerably lower the chances of your cat spitting the pills back out. Some pill shooters are even suitable for liquid medication!
What is the best pill popper for cats?
The best pill shooter for cats should be non-toxic, pet friendly, durable (made from high-quality materials), have a soft rubber-like material tip, and can also be used for liquid medication, not just for administering tablets. Why? Because being able to draw water will help ease the pill down your cat’s throat and prevent the pill from getting stuck in the cat’s esophagus.
You need to find the one that works for you. Take into consideration at least what type of treatment your cat needs to take and how many days the medicine needs to be administrated. If your cat has to take only tablets for a few days, and you think you won’t need a pill popper afterward, you can get a pill shooter designed only for hard pills. If your cat has tablets and liquid medication, get a pill shooter that can do both. If your cat has to take medication for a few weeks then get a durable pill popper that lasts longer.
Before I show you my choices of pill shooters, I need to make sure you REALLY tried everything, including the number one vet choice in the U.S for giving pills to cats hassle and stress-free:
Feline Pill Pockets by Feline Greenies
The Feline Pill Pockets it’s THE hassle-free way to give medicine to your cats. A pill pocket is designed to hide away the flavor of medicine replacing it with delicious chicken or salmon and tuna taste and can be used also as a treat! They work even for very intelligent felines that do not like to take any pills! Just insert the pill into the pocket, squeeze it at the top then give it to your cat. They will gobble it down unless you are using it wrong and you touch the outside of the pill pocket with the same hand you touched the medicine. The pockets are made out of natural ingredients and contain minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients good for your cats. Their only downside is that they are not suitable for liquid medication. But it can’t all be perfect right?
If your cat doesn’t like the pill pockets or has to take some liquid medication as well, try one of the pill shooters I listed below, but I must warn you the list is very short, there are not so many good choices out there.
1. Buster Pet Pill/Tablet Syringe by KRUSSE
This pill shooter is an extremely useful item for giving your cats medicine without a fight. It can hold different size pills and is also designed for liquid medication, which means you can easily suck in some water, chicken broth, tuna water, or the liquid from canned food and give it to your cat at the same time as the pill to help easy swallowing. This way your cat is less likely to spit the pill back out.
It’s like magic, poof and the pill is gone!
They don’t even know they took it! The Buster Pet pill is practical and easy to use, looking almost like a normal syringe but with bigger finger holders on each side of the transparent barrel, for easier control. It has a soft tip ensuring your cat won’t be scratched inside its mouth. You can use it multiple times over years and is also suitable for dogs or other small-sized pets, not just cats. Make sure to wash it thoroughly if used with liquid medication or smelly liquids in aid of tablets.
2. Qiyadin Pet Piller Gun from PETHOUZZ
This feeding dispenser tool comes with two changeable silicone soft tips, which makes it suitable for both tablets and liquid medication, the downfall is, it doesn’t work with both at the same time, which means your cat might need some extra help if the pill gets stuck in her food tube, so maybe you need to coat the pill in some butter or cornstarch before. Good for small pills only as the silicone tip can’t hold large pills. Also, a customer stated in their review for the product that their cat swallowed one silicone tip in the process of administering a pill, but I don’t see how that can happen if you don’t jam the pill shooter itself down the cat’s throat, or you don’t fix it properly as instructed. Anyway, overall this is a durable, reusable, and easily washable device that I would recommend getting.
I tried finding more suitable cat pill shooters but really, they are just cheap imitations of these two listed above, so until they make a new one worthy of displaying here, these are your best choices.
You can also ask your veterinary clinic if they have a specific pill gun in there that you can get.
How to use a pill gun?
A pill shooter works like a standard syringe. It is composed of three parts, a hollow housing, an inside plunger, and a rubber tip that normally holds the pill. You need to insert the pill into the rubber gripper of the tip, pull the plunger and release the pill into the back of your cat’s mouth.
Well, not if your cat is headstrong…
To ensure your stubborn kitty actually takes her medicine even with a pill shooter, and also make it easier for you, follow these 4 steps:
- Make a cat purrito: To make sure your cat won’t wiggle out of the situation, get a towel, let her sit on it, then wrap it up around her, leaving only the head out. This will also avoid scratching. Talk calmly to your cat so they don’t become scared.
- Get the popper ready: insert the pill in the gripper tip and load the gun by pulling the plunger
- Get a good grip on your cat: hold her head near the temples and lift the head upwards until your cat’s mouth is facing the ceiling. This position will make sure that the pill is going straight to the back of her mouth.
- Place the tip of the shooter into the cat’s mouth and release the plunger
If the cat however spits the pill back out again, repeat steps 3 and 4.
Dobby, on the other hand, it’s a born talent at swallowing pills even without a pill shooter! Such a good boy!
See more cat care articles below:
Getting a pill shooter should be a last resort in giving your cat medicine, if you tried the Feline Pill Pockets and still didn’t work then a pill shooter is ideal for cats that are so stubborn with taking pills in any other way. It’s easy to use and highly practical, especially if your cat would scratch you in the process of administering some much-needed treatment.
With that much said, I wish you all luck. Let me know how it goes in the comments below. Feel free to let me know if you found another good choice for a pill shooter that I can add to my list above.