Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: June 23, 2023 by Crystal Uys
Rumor has it there are some cats who take pills easily, but if my personal experience and that with my readers’ and clients’ cats is any indication, they’re few and far between.
There are multiple options for pilling cats, from quickly shoving the pill deep into the cat’s mouth to using a pill gun to pill pockets to crushing up the pill and mixing it with a small amount of food (caution: the latter may not be appropriate for all types of medication, check with your veterinarian to be sure). Many medications are also available in liquid form, which may make dosing easier for some cat owners. Some can even be compounded into tuna or chicken flavored liquids. Some medications can be compounded into a transdermal cream that is rubbed on the inside of the cat’s ear.
Gelatin capsules make giving medications easier
One option that is often overlooked when it comes to pilling cats are gelatin capsules. These empty gel caps come in different sizes. Since they’re capsules, they’re easier to administer and slide down the cat’s esophagus more easily than pills. They are especially useful for cats who are taking multiple medications at the same time: simply open the capsule, put all the meds in the capsule together, and administer. Instead of having to give multiple pills, you only have to pill your cat once.
Gel caps also help avoid the dangers of “dry pilling” (giving pills without following with a syringe full of water,) a practice that can cause serious damage to the delicate lining of the esophagus.
Capsuline CATcaps: flavored gel caps for cats
Capsuline, a manufacturer of hardshell gelatin, vegetable and flavored capsules, has taken the gel cap concept one step further and has added flavoring to the capsules, making administration even easier. CATCaps™ are made with BSE free 100% bovine pharmaceutical-grade gelatin and water. They come in chicken and bacon flavors.
I used gel caps extensively with all of my previous cats, and I wish I had had the flavored versions available back then. Even though the unflavored caps worked well for us, I’m sure that the experience of being pilled would have been even more pleasant for my cats with a little flavor added.
DIY Capsule Kit for Cats
The cleverly designed CATCaps™ capsule kit makes filling the empty gel caps super easy. Simply separate the capsules and place the longer half in the holes. Use the microspoon provided with the kit to fill the empty gel cap with medication or powder. Press the top of the capsule down on the longer piece. Make sure you feel a little snap to ensure a tight seal. That’s it!
Even though Allegra and Ruby are both relatively easy to pill, I wasn’t going to shove an empty caspule down their throats for the sake of a product review, but they both showed quite a bit of interest in the capsules, so I’m guessing the chicken flavor is pretty strong (and no, I wasn’t willing to taste one myself for the sake of this review…)
For more information about The DIY Capsule Kit for Cats, and to purchase, please visit their website.
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About the author
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.