I have a cat which has had a couple seizures, and the vet has prescribed 50 mg of zonisamide daily. It's proving quite difficult to administer the medication.

Initially we tried mixing a flavored suspension with a small amount of wet food. Normally she eats wet food with gusto, but with one lick she walked away.

We tried squirting the suspension in her mouth. She ran off and foamed at the mouth. I've tasted a small amount of this stuff and it's extremely bitter. Yuck.

I'm told pills aren't an attractive option since they are quite large.

The latest suggestion is a chewy treat. We've tried some unmedicated samples and she'll gladly eat them, but I suspect they won't taste quite so good with zonisamide in them. I'm hoping to avoid paying for medication that will ultimately be unpalatable.

Does anyone have some experience getting a cat to take this medication? How? Or, are there other anticonvulsants which are still effective in cats but taste less horrible?


3 Answers 3


Next time you are at your vet you can ask the vet or vet tech to show you their technique for giving a cat liquid medicine (meds). Next try the technique yourself right there that way you can ask any questions and the vet or techs can give you feedback / pointers.

Some things to be aware of:

Cats hate being force-fed things. They will clamp their mouths shut, struggle and spit out pills. The fact that the medicine tastes bad is actually not a big issue. You can try to force-feed a cat the most delicious treat in the world and they will resist you and may very well spit it out (maybe only to eat it again after they sniff it to determine it is something they should allow in their mouths).

If the "make the medicine taste delicious" trick was easy to pull off, the pharmaceutical companies would be all over it (e.g. flavored children's cough syrup, liquid sleep aids, gummy/chew able sugary vitamins etc.) It would not be technically difficult to hide a small dose med in a delicious chewy cat treat and then charge people more.

Also cats generally do not like to be roughly handled or restrained. You have to be gentle and quick. Pet your cat a bit to relax it beforehand. I prefer quickly straddling the cat, but the towel method works too. It takes time to learn how to give cats oral meds so be patient. If you spend more than about 3 seconds trying to give them meds they will catch on to your plan and you are in for a struggle.

If you are administering medicine from a dropper or pre-filled oral syringe I have found it best to quickly insert the dropper/syringe tip between their teeth and their cheek then quickly dispense the medication deep into the pocket of their kitty cheek. The dropper/syringe should be in line with (parallel to) the cat's spine. Cats cannot spit things out with the same precision a human can but they will open their mouth and shake their heads, stick their tongue out and cough. Some foaming / drooling is to be expected and is a normal reaction.

The bottom line is if your cat's seizures are reduced/eliminated, it is getting enough of the medicine even with the foaming/drooling etc.

Also after you give the cat it's meds, praise the cat and give it a lot of affection. You can also give the cat its favorite treat. This will help make the whole experience more pleasant for the cat and you may even condition the cat to better tolerate medicine administration.


The towel method is good, you place the cat on a towel and wrap it up, ensuring everything is in the towel except the head. Tilt the head up and open the mouth, squirting the liquid down the throat, keep the head tilted to ensure it is swallowed. If aggressive behaviour Is shown scruff gently.


I use the kneel-over-the-cat technique and (gently) get them to look straight up. This allows you to put pills where the cat's only choice is to swallow. I would give the nice food afterwards to remove the taste. If the cat is likely to claw you, you can swaddle them in a towel. Keep the process short and sweet and reward her afterwards - as presented at this image from Google.

imagine of a kneeling girl with a white, brown and black cat between her legs. She has one hand on its chest & she is brushing it

  • 1
    for legal reasons you shuld include the source of the picture if it is not your property,to credit the producers work. Jan 1, 2018 at 10:16

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