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Owning a pet cat can be immensely rewarding, and Aussies know it! At present, there are roughly 3.8 million pet cats in Australia, meaning that are part of the fabric of our society. As a pet owner, you want to take care of your fluffy pal, however - as online training in animal care shows - when it comes to administering necessary oral medication, they don't tend to like it very much. 

Can Cats Smell Medicine In Their Food?

A common way people try to get around the problem of giving oral pill medication to cats is to grind them up and mix them into their food. The thing is, a cat's sense of smell is as much as 14 times keener than ours, so while you might think you're being sneaky and clever, your favourite feline will almost certainly detect it immediately and turn its nose up at it. 

What Is The Best Way To Give A Cat Oral Medicine?

Depending on the treatment your cat requires, the medication they need won't always be in liquid form, so you need to find a way to give them pills or capsules. So, here we look at how the pros do it, ensuring that the cat in question doesn't get too distressed and ends up lashing out at you in an attempt to stop what you're doing.

  • Step #1 - Tilt Back Head 

First off, you should first comfort your cat to get them as calm as possible before you start. Then, gently tilt your feline's head back with your left hand - which often results in their lower jaw opening - with your middle finger and thumb positioned on each side of their upper jaw. At the same time, you need to have the capsule in your other hand, ready to go. 

  • Step #2 - (If Jaw Doesn't Naturally Open) Use Thumb & Index Finger 

As short courses online in animal care illustrate, pets don't always do what you want them to, so you need to know how to react when this happens. If your cat doesn't naturally open their mouth when you tilt back its head, you should use your thumb and index finger to gently encourage them to do so. You should only have to press lightly to achieve this. 

  • Step #3 - Drop In Pill & Encourage Swallowing 

The next step is a tricky one, as you're going to be trying to get them to do something they don’t want to - swallow! However, it's a necessary evil, so you can get the desired result by dropping the pill into their open mouth as far back as possible and then closing the mouth. Interestingly, blowing on a cat's nose encourages them to swallow, so be sure to do that at the same time.

  • Step #4 - Use A Pill Delivery Device 

If the previous steps aren't proving successful, then you could invest a few dollars in one of the many pilling devices that exist on the market. They greatly reduce the chances of fingers getting bitten and are great for placing pills right at the back of the throat - to ensure they get swallowed. 

  • Step #5 - Speak To A Vet If Not Successful 

If after following steps 1-4, you're no further ahead, you shouldn’t keep on distressing your cat, as it will do them no good at all. Instead, perhaps speak to your local veterinary expert who'll be able to suggest other methods to try. Failing that, they may be able to suspend the pill in a liquid (although not always) or actually get you to go to the clinic so they can do it for you. 

You have to keep in mind that the pill is given to your cat for the good of its health, so you shouldn't go overboard in trying to do it yourself. Stress can be really bad for your cat's health, meaning you should always stop and rethink if what you're doing is upsetting to them. 

OCA Online Learning - Your Key To A Career In Animal Care 

If you're someone with ambitions of a career in animal care, OCA short courses online represent a valuable resource. Created in collaboration with top industry experts, our online training is 

CPD-Endorsed (which is great for your personal development plan) and video-based, meaning that it's so much more stimulating and engaging than traditional text-based learning.

Our next-level learning experience is one that our students love, resulting in many telling us that we offer the best online education Australia can provide. Why? Well, for one thing, the course content provided is top-notch, and you get 1-to-1 mentoring when you need it. Courses like those in our top-value Job Ready Vet Nurse Bundle give you everything you need to start applying for roles!

Take a brief look at our Student Study Demo, and you'll see that ours is an all-encompassing learning service that leaves nothing to chance. Every possible aspect of your learning journey is covered, and our full course library includes training from more than 20 different industries, so there's something there for everyone - no matter which direction you're looking to go in. 

To find out more about what we offer, visit us today at, where you'll see a selection of flexible payment options to make our cheap courses even more cost-effective. Alternatively, to get in touch, either call 1300 611 4040 or email [email protected].

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