So, your cat has seen his or her veterinarian and the vet has told you that your kitty has to take some medicine for a while. Perhaps your cat has to take a pill once a day for a few days or a similar situation. It's a common thing to happen when your cat sees the vet, and you may be left wondering what is the best way to give your cat the pill it needs while at the same time not being traumatic to the animal.
A cat doesn't know that it has to take medicine, or why you're trying to do strange things with them. The cat doesn't understand that it's medicine is important for it's health, and may be frightened when you try to give it the pill. There are a few ways to give a cat a pill, I will explain the various methods and give advantages and disadvantages to each of them.
Your vet may have given you a 'pet piller'. This is a simple device that looks like a syringe, that has a rubber pill holder on the end. You insert the pill, put the pill in your cat's mouth and push the trigger to eject it. After that step, you retract the piller and close your cat's mouth to make them swallow. This is an easy idea in theory, but cats tend not to want to be cooperative with you when doing this, and may spit the pill out afterward. Still, using a pet piller is easier than trying to give the pill by hand, which is a difficult task. Sometimes the vet may recommend wrapping your cat up in a blanket or towel, like a burrito; so that you can immobilize them and so they can't scratch at you with their claws.
Pill pockets are another option you can try, you can find these at just about any pet supply store. These are a hallow treat that you insert the pill in and then get the cat to eat it. It's a simple idea, but the cat may notice the hard object hidden inside and spit out the half chewed pill.
The method with the highest success rate and least threatening or traumatic to a cat that I have found is crushing the pill into a powder and mixing it into a wet cat food. You don't need any special equipment to crush the pill, all you have to do is take a spoon and press firmly on the pill to crush it. You may find it easier to crush if you cut or break the pill into a few smaller pieces to start with. For best results, I would recommend a wet cat food that has a gravy with it, such as a pouched cat food or a cat appetizer style product. Use whatever type of food your cat will want to eat.
In my experience, the cat does not have any clue that there is medicine hidden in the food and will happily eat it just like any other time. Check with your vet before doing this, to make sure the medicine is safe to crush and mix in. If the medicine were a timed release formula for example, you would not want to do this.