Giving a Maine Coon a pill is a skill. Make no mistake about it, if your Maine Coon doesn’t like the idea then there could be plenty of resistance, so it’s a skill you may very well need to master. Your Maine Coon might have a fantastic temperament in which case that’s great, but plenty of cats, Maine Coons or otherwise don’t like the procedure.
Remember, taking a pill is unnatural for a cat. The pill may smell funny and trying to get it to swallow its medication involves hands around its mouth and nose which are protected areas for any cat. In short though, there are two main ways of giving a Maine Coon a pill, hand fed and with a cat piller. A cat piller is a long tube with a depressable plunger that releases a tablet, hopefully down the back of the throat and not your table top.
Your Maine Coon is likely to be a big cat so unless you are giving it a bowling ball as a pill then most types of cat pill size should be fine. However, a kitten will be considerably smaller so make sure the pill size is the recommended size and dosage appropriate to your Maine Coon.
Worming tablets are the most common type of pill your Maine Coon may receive. Included in this list will be the types of ringworm and tapeworm tablets that you may wish to give your cat periodically. They will be designated in pill sizes for up to a cat weight, say 11kg. So best off know your Maine Coons weights
The other type of pill will be oral medication and likely you will receive instructions from the vet as to how to pill your Maine Coon. You should of course take the vets advice above all others. Such pills as anti-parasitics, antifungal or anti-inflammatories would be included here.
There are number of options to give doze to the cat like liquid medication or injections. But, there are cases when pill is the only option. There are number of factors to be considered, which are:
First and the foremost, the size of the pill should be appropriate for the cat so it can swallow the pill easily. This can be done by pet owners by judging which size of pill would be suitable for their cat after having selected a preferential pill on manufacturers advice.
Secondly, the Maine Coon should be trained and its temperament should be brought to such a level so that it goes easily for cat, which takes a bit of a practice!
To give a pill to the cat with bare hands, prepare breakfast for your Maine Coon and when it is on its way to take the food, you will start the process of giving it a pill. This is a well versed thought and easy way of giving a pill to your Maine Coon and it trains it into thinking of taking a pill in a positive way. It associates the pill taking with eating.
Try to ensure that the Maine Coon cannot back away. Any cat has a tendency to walk backward away from a problem so try to shift the Maine Coon so that it is buttressed up against your body so it cannot walk backwards. Constant stroking and ear tickling may also ensure a smoother process to get your Maine Coon in a favorable mood.
To give the pill in as smooth a manner as possible, try cuddling the Maine Coons face, as doing so will make the cat feel comfortable, which is good for a smooth process. Then while massaging the face and chin of the cat, gently pull the Maine Coon’s chin upwards so it is looking at the ceiling. Hopefully it can’t back away. If you lift by the upper lips then as the head points to the ceiling the mouth will start to open quite naturally.
With your other hand drop the pill at the back of the mouth and keep the chin pointed at the ceiling. The Maine Coon’s throat passage will remain open and if you gently stroke the the throat the cat should naturally swallow.
Mixing it with the food is not a good idea, because it will end up being spat somewhere in the house.
One pro tip for giving a pill to the Maine Coon is that you can dip the pill in a foodstuff that is particularly liked by your Maine Coon. Dab a little wet food on the pill and it will smell and taste much better. Alternatively you could always try yoghurt or cream, something that every Maine Coon is partial to.
The whole process takes about 10 seconds or less, which gets better with the practice. It is good practice to give a pill with food and afterwards some water, as some cats have trouble swallowing the pills and this way it’ll go easy for them. Although you can do it with a single person, this process can be much easier if two people perform the task as the Maine Coon can be held more securely.
Here’s a handy little video explaining the process so you can see how easy it should be.
A pill pocket, if you have a particularly resistant Maine Coon and your hands and arms are getting too many scratches is an excellent little trick if it works. It is malleable food designed to wrap around the pill and trick the cat into thinking it’s eating some kind of treat. They are available in most pet stores or vets so you can check them out there.
The trick is to make the treat small enough so the Maine Coon doesn’t chew it. This may necessitate you having to break up the pill and wrap it in the pill pocket flavor. It will be a case of buying your Maine Coons favorite flavor and trying it.
To see just how easily it can work, check out this video below;
The process is much the same as trying to feed your Maine Coon by hand but instead of dropping it in, you place the piller at the back of the throat quickly and depress the plunger forcing the pill into the cats throat.
This is a very useful little instrument if you have a particularly bite prone Maine Coon and generally saves a lot of lacerated fingers. Any cat piller can be used by Maine Coon owners who are afraid of getting cut by their cat’s teeth or paws, as the cat might try to struggle when they are gently grabbed for the procedure.
Essentially you load the pill into the tool, pull the cat’s face towards ceiling by grabbing from its mouth. Discharge the cat piller putting the pill to the back of the throat and stroke the neck for 2-3 seconds so that the cat can swallow it. For the liquid medication, the same technique is to be applied.
A good video so you can watch the process is shown here;
With a bit of practise, if you have to give pills to your Maine Coon regularly should get easier over time. If your Maine Coon has a great temperament then hand feeding should be easy, but if there’s any issue then you have a fall back of using Pill Pockets or a Cat Piller.
Make sure the cat is calm and easy all times, which will help with any medication you have to give. Cats are very sensitive to nervousness in you and may become agitated if one tries medicate them while being nervous. Pet your Maine Coon, talk softly and wrap the cat in a towel with the head protruding from if you must. The process is simple, but it might be difficult to start, which will get easier with the practice.