How To Give A Difficult Cat Liquid Medicine?

feed difficult cat liquid medicine

Ain’t gonna lie.I dread bringing my cat to the vet.

Not because he turns into a monster at the vet and vet bills costs an arm and two legs at times. But I shudder to the core when I have to feed my difficult cat liquid medication.

I have spent hours trying to catch him and wasted bottles of liquid medication just trying to feed him the required dosage.

If you are reading this, I feel your frustration just as much as you feel mine.

But I’ve used a few methods to great effect when it comes to feeding my cat oral medication.

Hopefully, it can make your life easier too.

Let’s get started.

How To Trick A Cat To Take Liquid Medicine?

Most cats are notoriously difficult when it comes to giving them medicine. Truth be told, even for us humans, taking liquid medication can be a drag at times given the taste and smell. Cats, with their super sense of smell, will do what they can to avoid taking any form of medication.

As difficult as it may seem, your cat still needs to take its medication to get better. Some medication only comes in liquid form like mixing Miralax in water for constipated cats.

However, there are some ways that you can effectively employ to trick your cat into taking its medication without putting up too much of a struggle.

How Do You Open A Cat’s Mouth For Liquid Medicine?

First of all, let’s learn to do it the normal way. If you have a cat that is really fine with taking medication, this method is for you.

  1. Get everything that you need ready like the syringe, liquid medication, towel, tissue. Don’t go rushing to get something at the last minute.
  2. Place your cat on something firm and secure like on the floor or tabletop.
  3. If your cat has a tendency to struggle, have someone hold it firmly or wrap a towel around it with the head exposed (don’t grip or wrap your cat too tightly or it will feel more stressed)
  4. With one head, gently lift up your cat’s head so that it is slightly pointing upwards
  5. Insert the syringe behind the front canine teeth and between the lips of your cat. This will cause your cat to open its mouth.
  6. Gently squeeze the liquid medication into your cat’s tongue and not into the cat’s throat. Do not forcefully squeeze everything in at one go thinking it will be easier. This can shock your cat and cause it to choke. The slower and more gentle your actions, the more cooperative your cat will be.
  7. Some vets will also recommend not tilting your cat’s head up and let it slowly lick the liquid medicine.
  8. Make sure that your cat has swallowed everything. You can help with this process by stroking its chin and throat slowly.
  9. Once done, wipe clean your cat’s mouth and lips.
  10. Give your cat lots of praise, pets and some treats for a job well done.

A few other tips that can make this process easier is to let your cat smell and taste the liquid medication beforehand to get accustomed to it. Some cats may not like their medicine cold so it might be best to feed it at room temperature.

My Cat Is Foaming At The Mouth After Taking His Liquid Medication

As alarming as it may seem, this is a rather normal reaction by many cats to be frothing at the mouth after taking medication in liquid form.

Your cat isn’t having a seizure or having an adverse side effect. It is their natural defense mechanism after eating something sour or bitter.

But if your cat is foaming at the mouth and vomiting, stop giving your cat the medication and bring it to the vet for a check as it might be allergic to the particular medication.

It is normal for cats to spit out some of the medication. Don’t refeed your cat that amount as it might lead to an overdose. Just stick to the prescribed amount and try again later when it’s time for medication.

Foods To Hide Cat Liquid Medicine In

Hurray! You have a cat that is so easy to work when it comes to feeding medication to your cat.

If you’re like me, getting to step two would already be problematic with my difficult cat. Cats are smart and know when you’re getting the medication ready for it.

Thankfully, food works for many cats to disguise the taste and smell of liquid medications.

Tuna Water Or Broth

canned tuna juice

Tuna water or broth has worked wonders for me when it comes to feeding my cat oral medications. The smell of tuna is usually strong enough to mask the taste and smell of the medicine.

What you need to do is prepare some homemade tuna water. Once done, let it cool to room temperature before mixing some with the liquid medication. Follow the above steps and it should be easier for your cat.

You can also give some tuna water to your cat before mixing it with the medicine just to get it wanting more.


There are some cats that go crazy when fed butter. If your cat is one of them, this trick will work for you.

Melt some butter and let it cool to room temperature. You can add some to the medicine but make sure it’s a small amount as too much better is not good for cats.

Another tip is to dip the tip of the syringe into the melted butter and gently squeeze the medication directly into your cat’s mouth as it is happily licking up the butter.

Canned Food

If you feed your cat canned food, you can try mixing the medication directly into the food. Make sure to use only a small amount of wet food to ensure that all the medicine is eaten by your cat.

I usually like to use some canned tuna in water for this. Just take some of the tuna chunks and mash it up thoroughly with the medicine.

Some cat owners also use baby food but make sure there are no harmful ingredients in there that can be toxic to cats.

How To Make Giving A Difficult Cat Liquid Medicine An Easier Process?

cat hissing at nothing

It is not possible to turn back time if you have an adult cat but if your furkid is a kitten, now is the best time to start training it.

Don’t wait to start getting your kitten used to being syringe fed. Do it every few days with some tuna water to get it used to have a syringe in its mouth.

Having a cat that can tolerate being fed medication can be a godsend especially when you need your cat to finish its course of antibiotics.

Kittens are easier to manage and are more open to such training. Having your cat used to this process from a young age can save you lots of headaches in the future.

Even if you have an adult cat, do the same thing. Start feeding it some tuna water via a syringe to get your cat used to it.

It will probably take longer than training a kitten but who knows, your cat might surprise you.

Cat Won’t Eat Food With Liquid Medicine

If your cat won’t even touch food that has been mixed with liquid medicine, try asking your vet for an alternative mode of medication. They might be able to give the medicine in tablet form or even an injection instead.

What Not To Do When Giving Medication To My Cat?

Don’t Get Upset

If this is your first or tenth time trying to feed your cat liquid medication, please be patient with your cat and don’t get upset with it.

It isn’t easy for your cat to understand why it has to be force-fed such a horrible smelling and tasting liquid as well.

Just keep trying and be patient with your cat. Most cats will start to get the hang of it after some persistence.

Don’t Mix Random Human Food

Don’t start mixing random food or solutions to your cat’s medicine just to make it more palatable for your cat. Some types of human food are toxic to cats and should be avoided.

When in doubt, consult your vet first.

Don’t Heat Up The Liquid Medicine

You might think that heating up the liquid medicine in the microwave might make it tastier for your cat.

It won’t.

And by heating up the liquid medication, you can alter the properties of the medication ready which can make it less effective or toxic.


Giving liquid medication to your cat can be one of the most frustrating experiences for many cat owners. Chances are, your cat won’t be too cooperative at first. But keep at it and feeding medicine to your cat will get easier over time.