maine coon care

How To Care For A Maine Coon Cat

Maine Coon Cat Care

| How To Care For A Maine Coon Cat

To care for a Maine Coon cat correctly, you need to understand their dietary, grooming, health, social, mental and exercise needs.

In this beginner’s guide to keeping a Maine Coon cat, we show you the best ways to entertain a Maine Coon, how to keep their fur in tip-top condition, and more!

Maine Coon cats are obligate carnivores. Feed them high-quality food that has a high protein content of 50% or more, 2-4 times a day. Groom Maine Coons 2-3 times a week to avoid fur matting. Play with your Maine Coon for 30 minutes a day, to prevent obesity. Spend ample time with around your cat. Give a Maine Coon safe access to the outside world.

Keep reading to discover the best way to Maine Coon Cat Care or cat.

Maine Coon Kittens For Sale

How To Care For A Maine Coon Cat

Maine Coons are pedigree long-haired cats thought to have originated in the state of Maine, United States.

They are famous for their mysterious history, laid-back and gentle temperament, and status as the official State cat of Maine!

These large cats make great pets and thrive in families where they experience more social interaction.

Here is a snapshot summary of how to care for a Maine Coon:

Dietary Needs

Maine Coon cats are obligate carnivores so need meat in their diet to enable them to thrive. Protein should therefore make up a key part of their dietary requirements.

Feed Maine Coons high-quality protein-rich dry food 2-4 times a day. Do not feed them wet food more than twice a week. Avoid overfeeding your Maine Coon

Seek veterinary advice if considering a Maine Coon raw food diet.

Below are the key food types Maine Coons need to eat (source 1):

1. Protein

Feed your Maine Coon Cat Care with a diet high in protein. Protein has been proven to play a key role in Maine Coons reaching their full growth potential.

  • Daily Intake Needs: >50%
  • Food Source: Chicken, Fish, Rabbit, Mice

2. Carbohydrates

Provides cats with the energy needed, to play and exercise.

  • Daily Intake: 0-3%
  • Food Source: Dry Cat Food

3. Fats And Fatty Acids

To keep your Maine coon care fur looking shiny and in top-notch condition, ensure their diet contains a small level of healthy fatty acids i.e. amino acids.

They also need arachidonic acids, e.g. taurine and arginine

  • Daily Intake: <20%
  • Food Source: High-Quality Dry Food

4. Fresh Water

Maine Coons love water and need a constant supply of fresh water to keep hydrated.

  • Daily Intake: Frequent Water
  • Food Source: Water Bowl, Cat Water Fountain

5. Vitamins

Vitamins A, B, K, and Niacin are essential to your Maine Coon cat, to enable them to grow healthily.

  • Daily Intake: As per veterinary advice
  • Food Source: Dry and Wet Food

Best Dry Food For Maine Coons

Feed your Maine Coon high-quality dry food containing high levels of protein to enable their body to grow to its full potential, and remain fit and healthy.

Always check that ‘cheaper’ cat food contains ingredients that adequately meet this pedigree cat’s dietary requirements. If in doubt, check with your local veterinarian.

Homemade Maine Coon Cat Food

According to this cat nutritionist, you can keep your large muscular cat fit and healthy by feeding them 4 grams of animal protein per kilogram of their body weight.

This equates to a daily intake of roughly 36-45 grams of protein.

Use a Maine Coon Cat Care food calculator to determine how much food to give your Maine Coon cat.

The table below shows how much protein is found in various meat sources, per 100g:

Meat SourceProtein Level
Turkey27g
Beef26g
Chicken27g
Tuna26g
Mackerel19g
Table showing the protein levels found in different meat types.

If you are considering feeding your Maine Coon cat a homemade raw food diet, make sure you read Raw Food For Maine Coons.

Switching From Kitten To Adult Cat Food

Feed your Maine Coon specially formulated kitten food during the first 4-5 months of their lives. This is important for ensuring your kitten is fueled with:

  • Protein
  • Vitamins
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats
  • Fatty Acids

Do not transition your Maine Coon kitten onto an adult Maine Coon food diet before they are 9 – 10 months of age.

This cat specialist advises large cat breed owners to wait until their cat reaches 2 years before switching them to adult Maine Coon food.

Water Supply

Maine Coons need a continual source of water to stay hydrated. They will drink roughly 3.5 – 4.5 ounces of water, for every five pounds of body weight.

The amount of water consumed by a Maine Coon varies, and depends on a cat’s:

  • Size
  • Diet
  • Health
  • Activity Levels
  •  
  •  
  • They have a preference for drinking fresh running water, so cat lovers should buy their beautiful feline a pet water fountain.

    They love drinking water and enjoy playing with fresh moving water.

    Grooming Needs

    Maine Coon cats are famous for their shaggy, long fur and should be brushed 2-3 times a week, and more during the shedding season or if their cat goes outdoors.

    Compared to other cat breeds, the Maine Coon grooming requirements are considerably higher, especially if your cat is prone to knots and tangles.

    It is essential to brush a Maine Coon regularly to ensure its dead loose fur does not become caught within this cat’s thick three-layer dense fur.

    The best brushes for Maine Coon cats include:

    1. Dematting Comb

    Dematting combs are excellent cat brushes for removing excess, loose hair from your Maine Coon.

    2. Slicker Brush

    The Hertzko slicker cat brush is great for grooming long-haired cat breeds, like the Maine Coon.

    This is one of my 5 Favorite Cat Brushes because it does not yank or pull on the cat’s fur, and can be quickly cleaned by the push of one button.

    Slicker brushes have angled bristles to remove dirt, debris, and shedding hairs from the cat’s fur.

    3. Silicone Cat Grooming Brush

    Silicone grooming brushes are excellent cat grooming brushes since they are ultra-soft on the cat’s sensitive skin, and do not scratch your furry friend.

    This type of Maine Coon cat brush is effective at removing up to 90% of loose cat hairs.

Exercise Requirements

Maine Coon cats are prone to obesity, so owners need to ensure their cat is exercising for roughly 30 minutes each day to keep them fit, healthy, and happy.

Divide the 30 minutes into 3 shorter 10-minute sessions.

Outdoor Maine Coons generally exercise more than indoor Maine Coons because nature offers them a variety of natural ways to exercise, including:

  • Chasing small live prey
  • Climbing trees
  • Chasing leaves

Owners of indoor Maine Coons, however, will need to exercise their cats by:

  • Playing with them every day
  • Purchasing an extra-large cat tower for them to climb and jump on
  • Buying them Maine Coon proof cat toys

    Here are some ways to encourage your Maine Coon to exercise:

    1. Playing Games With Your Cat

    Maine Coons adore human company. Playing with your cat strengthens the bond between your cat and you whilst also keeping your cat fit and healthy.

    2. Purchase A Cat Tower

    Buy one of these Extra-Large Maine Coon Cat Tree, so they can scratch, jump and climb up the cat tree.

    Pick a tree with multiple levels that your cat can jump around on, and look for cat trees made using natural sisal rope which they will enjoy scratching on.

    This is our multi-level cat tree, by RHRquality, in the UK. It is specifically designed for large cat breeds like the Maine Coon:

 

3. Take Your Maine Coon For A Walk

Walking a Maine Coon on a leash or harness is a great way to exercise your cat, particularly if they are prone to laziness.

4. Cat Proofing Your Garden

Catproofing is a great way to encourage indoor Maine Coons to exercise outdoors and will enable them to roam freely within the safety of their garden.

Vaccinations And Medications

To ensure your big cat has a long, healthy, and happy life, make sure they are up to date with all their vaccinations. If you are unsure what medication your cat requires, speak to a veterinary professional.

Additionally, apply regular flea drops to prevent their thick dense fur from becoming infested with unwanted itchy fleas.

You should also give your cat deworming medication regularly to ensure optimum health.

All preventative medications should be given to both indoor cats and outdoor cats, as per product guidelines.

Health Issues

The Maine Coon cat is a hardy cat breed capable of withstanding the harsh Winter elements of New England.

Regular veterinary health checks are essential to ensure early detection of the following Maine Coon health problems:

1. Hip Dysplasia

Large cat breeds are prone to developing hip dysplasia, which can cause Maine Coon arthritis. It can also cause paralysis (source 1).

Symptoms of Maine Coon hip dysplasia include: 

  • Reduced levels of activity
  • Joint looseness or laxity (an early sign of disease)
  • Joint degeneration and osteoarthritis (a later sign of disease)
  • The cat avoids jumping, climbing, running
  • Thigh muscles lose muscle mass
  • Shoulder muscles may become enlarged
  • Hind-limb lameness

2. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is also known as HCM. This genetic illness is uncommon in Maine Coons but should never be ignored:

  • Thickens the heart walls
  • Deteriorates the heart function
  • Causes a very poor blood flow

The key symptoms of Maine Coon hypertrophic cardiomyopathy include:

  • Breathing Problems
  • Limb Paralysis
  • Pulmonary Edema

3. Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Maine Coon spinal muscular atrophy is a hereditary genetic disease that causes the cat’s spinal muscles to gradually degenerate.

This health issue may shorten the lifespan of your Maine Coon kitten and is usually visible when your kitten reaches 3-4 months old.

Veterinary Genetics Library claims SMA is not painful, or fatal, but will cause progressive instability with unsteady gait and abnormalities in the kitten’s posture.

Common symptoms of Maine Coon spinal muscular atrophy:

  • Swaying Gait
  • Odd Posture
  • Weakness In Hind Legs
  • Loss Of Muscle Mass
  • Back Sensitivity
  • Tremors In Hind Legs
  • Exercise Intolerance
  • Unable To Perform Ordinary Tasks

4. Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)

This is an inherited feline condition that results in multiple cysts in a Maine Coon kitten’s kidneys when they are born.

As the cat ages these fluid pockets gradually increase in size, leading to kidney failure, if the function of the kidney has been disrupted.

The following symptoms of PKD do not become apparent until the cat reaches 7 years old:

  • Lethargy
  • Loss Of Appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Weight Loss
  • Poor Quality Coat
  • Increased Thirst
  • Frequent Urination

5. Obesity

Maine Coon’s do not reach full size until 3-5 years, which often results in many Maine Coon owners mistakenly overfeeding their cats, assuming their feline is underweight.

Some free-fed Maine Coon cats also like to overeat, resulting in feline obesity.

Maine Coon Lifespan

According to The International Cat Association (TICA), Maine Coon cats have a life expectancy of 12+ years (source 1).

A pet insurance company researched the lifespan of various cat breeds living in Sweden between 2003 – 2006 and found the median lifespan of Maine Coon was > 12.5 years.

According to the research, 74% of Maine Coon cats lived to 10 years or more, whereas 54% of the sample lived to 12.5+ years (source 1,2).

Trimming Cat Claws

Maine Coon cats will keep their claws in a groomed condition, provided their owners give them access to a Large Cat Scratching Post or Cat Tower.

Cat scratching posts are beneficial for your cat’s claws and encourage positive scratching behavior.

Pet parents should buy a strong and sturdy cat scratching post that cannot be toppled over. Avoid buying small posts that a Maine Coon kitten will quickly outgrow.

I love This Extra-Large Cat Scratching Post sold on Amazon. Watch This Video I Made On YouTube to understand why this post is great!

Litter Tray

Cat owners who live with an indoor Maine Coon cat will need to purchase an extra-large litter tray, so their cat can do their business.

Make sure the litter tray is within easy access of your cat and cleaned regularly, ideally after your cat has used the litter tray.

Felines are notoriously clean creatures that become stressed and upset if they’re unable to do their business in a clean litter tray.

These are my favorite extra-large cat litter trays.

If you’re like me and hate cleaning cat litter trays, buy a Self-Cleaning Litter Tray like this one on Amazon.

Pet parents with outdoor Maine Coon cats that have free access to the outdoor world are unlikely to need a litter tray.

Bathing

Maine Coons are fastidious self-cleaners so do not need bathing unless dirty, or unable to clean themselves due to health issues.

Bathing is optional, but effective at:

  • Keeping Long Thick Fur Clean
  • Removing Dead Hairs
  • Removes Excess Dander
  • Removes Dead Hair

Maine Coons should not be bathed more than once per month.

Only use these Shampoos Specifically Designed For Use On Cats since human shampoos contain chemicals that are harmful and toxic to Maine Coons.

Bathing a Maine Coon can help reduce allergy sufferers’ symptoms. This is because the washing process removes a cat’s dander and detaches excess cat hairs covered in dander.

Hypoallergenic

Maine Coon cats are not 100% hypoallergenic, though some cat specialists claim this large cat breed produces less Fel d1 protein, a common cause of cat allergies.

Individuals who experience cat allergies are allergic to a cat’s dander i.e. dead skin cells.

Cats shed dander regularly. It often becomes caught within the cat’s fur, which is why people claim they are allergic to cat fur.

Cat allergy sufferers should read this guide: Should People With Cat Allergies 

Sociable

Known as the dog of the cat world, Maine Coons have high social needs like dogs do.

These sociable cats love nothing more than being able to spend time with their humans.

It is important cat owners spend plenty of time with their Maine Coon to help prevent the cat from suffering from depression or Maine Coon Separation Anxiety.

Don’t be surprised if your curious cat follows you around the house. This is Why Maine Coons Follow Their Owners.

Spaying Or Neutering

Unless you’re planning on breeding a Maine Coon, spay or neuter your cat between 4-6 months old. This will prevent your cat from ‘marking’ your home or breeding.

The best age to neuter or spay a Maine Coon cat is between 4-6 months old before the cat reaches puberty.

Spaying is the “surgical removal of a female cat’s ovaries and uterus”. Neutering “is the removal of a male cat’s testicles” (source 1).

These medical procedures are considered routine, and should only be completed by trained licensed veterinary professionals.

Benefits of spaying or neutering include:

  • Prevention of unwanted cat births
  • Reduces unwanted animals being euthanized to control the cat population
  • Some male Maine Coons become more docile, after neutering.
  • Eliminates or reduces sexual behaviors in cats
  • Cats less prone to fighting with cats in your neighborhood
  • Avoids urine spraying from female cats.

Aggressive Behavior

Maine Coons are not naturally aggressive felines, therefore, if your large Maine Coon is growling at you, look at your behavior to determine why!

Immediately STOP what you are doing as it is frustrating your Maine Coon cat, and making them angry whether you intend to, or not.

When Do Maine Coon Cats Stop Growing?

Maine Coon cats are different from normal cat breeds since they do not reach full size at 2 years of age.

Instead, the Maine Coon cat breed grows exceptionally slowly and will not be full-size until 3-5 years of age.

Learn more about what impacts the Maine Coon growth rate, and how big you can expect your 1-year-old Maine Coon will be, in this article about Maine Coon Growth.

 

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