If you’ve never been a massive fan of cat hair deposits over your clothing, and furniture, but are keen to own a feline friend, Maine Coons might be your best option. Whilst some will shed quite a bit of hair, this breed is not usually known for shedding hair excessively, especially if you brush your Maine Coon regularly. Instead, you are more likely to find tumbleweeds of their dead hair rolling around your floors, that are quick and easy to clear.
Maine Coon cats do shed hair, just like other cat breeds. However, this breed sheds hair at different rates, so you maybe lucky enough to own a Maine Coon that doesn’t shed much hair. Or, hair shedding maybe limited to certain times of year. Regular grooming will reduce hair shedding, matting, and hairballs.
Maine Coon Distinctive Features
Maine Coon cats are very distinctive due to their impressive size, but also their magnificent coat of fur. Their mane of thick hair around their neck, added to their impressively bushy tails contribute to the Maine Coons very majestic look. Often nicknamed as ‘a lion’, the Maine Coon really does attract a lot of attention. Their beauty and gentle temperament have made them one of the most popular cat breeds to own in the United States, and Japan.
The Maine Coon is one of the oldest natural cat breeds in North America. They are the state cat of Maine, and are known for being a very hardy breed of cat, able to survive the harsh Winters in Maine.
Whilst many other breeds would struggle in the New England Winter, the Maine Coons thick dense fur has been key to their survival. If you take a closer look at your Maine Coons beautiful coat, you will see that they have two undercoats, and a guard coat. The undercoats are thick and dense, helping to keep this magnificent breed warm even through the most bitterly cold Winters.
Why Do Cats Shed Hair?
Shedding is a natural process that cannot be avoided. All cats, except a few specific breeds discussed below will shed their dead hair either seasonally, or all year round. The amount of hair droppage will be dependent upon the cat breed you purchase, and your cats own particular hair shedding cycle.
Do Maine Coons Shed More Hair Than Other Cats?
With all that fur, you might be wondering do Maine Coon cat sheds a lot? Although you would naturally assume they shed more than other cat breeds, it is not a given that they will definitely shed more than other cats. In fact, they may shed less hair!
All Maine Coons are different, some shed hair all year round, whilst others only shed during certain seasons. Maine Coons with fluffier coats are likely to shed at a greater rate than Coons with soft and silky textured hair. However, some specialists also argue that the amount of hair shedding is likely to be a directly linked to the condition of a Maine Coons coat.
Ultimately the genetics of your Maine Coon will determine the level of shedding, however, regularly grooming your Maine Coon will help to reduce hair shedding.
How To Reduce Hair Shedding In Your Maine Coon Cat
A level of hair shedding is inevitable when you own a cat, however there are steps that you can take to reduce hair shedding in your Maine Coon cat.
The table below shows six key ways to reduce hair shedding:
|Grooming||Regular grooming reduces hair shedding. It helps detach dead hairs before they become matted, or shed|
|Bathing||Wash your Maine Coon no more than once a month to remove loose dead hair|
|Diet||Feed your Maine Coon high quality dry food, packed with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids|
|Cat Wipes||Wiping your Maine Coon with cat wipes helps to keep fur clean. The stroking motion removes excess hair|
|Medication||Make sure your cat is fully medicated against fleas or parasites, do reduce excessive scratching|
|Health||Regular vet checkups with identify any underlying health issues, that may be causing excessive hair shedding|
|Tools||Deshedding tools will help reduce hair shedding in long haired cats|
|Hydrate||Make sure that your cat is drinking enough water, to avoid dry skin and excess shedding|
Maine Coon Shedding Tips
Maine Coons are admired for their thick luscious hair. Many factors can affect the quality of their coats and resultant shedding levels, including diet, health issues, and grooming.
Let’s take a closer look at the tips identified in the table above, to give you a greater understanding on the subject matter:
Maine Coon hair can be quite high maintenance. The best way to reduce Maine Coon shedding is by brushing your cat on a regular basis, ensuring that its coat remains smooth and silky. Grooming is incredibly important because it not only builds a stronger bond between the cat and its owner, but also helps to detach dead hair that has become tangled with the Maine Coons live hair.
After grooming your cat, always feed them a treat. This helps your Maine Coon associate grooming with treats, making them more willing to be groomed in the future.
Grooming should always be a playful process. If your Maine Coon becomes distressed at any point, stop the grooming session immediately to avoid causing them distress.
In general the Maine Coon cat is known for being a laid back cat breed, with a great deal of patience. However, if they are particularly nervous about being brushed when you first introduce the idea to them, allow them to sniff and play with the brush for a little time before starting to groom your Maine Coon. This will help your cat understand that the brush is not to be feared, and will likely increase their willingness to being groomed.
Maine Coons have masses of hair, which is prone to matting if not maintained, particularly during the cold, damp, Winter months where it can easily become tangled. To help avoid this, aim to groom your cat no less than once a week.
A Maine Coon will become very distressed if its fur becomes matted. Cats like to keep themselves clean, and matted hair can quickly become dirty and unmanageable for the Maine Coon. If your notice your Maine Coon pulling out clumps of matted hair, potentially leaving bald patches of skin visible, seek immediate veterinary advice. You should also implement a regular grooming process to help your Maine Coon manage their shedding.
If you notice your Maine Coon vomiting up hairballs on a regular basis, you need to groom your cat more regularly. Hairballs are the result of a cats self grooming process, and can be uncomfortable for your pet. It is not always possible for these hairballs to pass through a Maine Coon’s digestive system, if the hairball is particularly big.
Whilst most cats are not known for being big fans of water, the Maine Coon cat breed is somewhat unique due to their known love of water!
Bathing your Maine Coon might sound a little extreme, but it will definitely reduce hair shedding around your home because it is a very efficient way of detaching the cats dead hair from their fur. It is important to make sure that the shampoo you apply to your cats hair is cat friendly though, and specifically designed to be used on cats. This is extremely important because cats like to groom themselves regularly, so make sure any shampoo used on your feline friend is not toxic to them.
Although most Maine Coons are known for liking water, it is not necessarily true that your own Coon will, so tread carefully in this matter! This patient docile breed are more likely to be accommodating to bathing, if you introduce this concept whilst the Maine Coon is still a kitten.
How To Bathe A Maine Coon Kitten
If you are not too sure how to introduce bathing to your Maine Coon kitten, then the most important thing I can tell you is that you should not rush the process.
- Start by filling your bath with a very small amount of lukewarm water.
- Place your Maine Coon kitten on the side of the bath
- Let the tap running slightly, and allow your kitten to walk around the bath edge, and explore the running tap.
- Watch their behaviour and mood carefully.
- Do they appear interested in playing in the water? If yes, let them play for a few minutes, then encourage them to jump into the bath water. Maybe they will jump straight in, maybe they won’t. Whatever you do, never rush this process. The Maine Coon kitten needs to understand that it is entirely their choice.
- Does your Maine Coon kitten seems wary or frightened of the water? If yes, they will likely jump away from the bath. At this point, do not try to force them near to the water again. Try introducing bathing again, on another day.
- If you have a Maine Coon who is seemingly happy to play in the bath water, gently stroke them, pouring small amounts of water over their fur. Once again, watch their reactions!
- As your kitten gets more used to the water, you can gradually increase the amount of lukewarm water in your bath. You may wish to add shampoo into the bathing process at this stage.
- When you take your Maine Coon kitten out of the bath, gently wrap it in a towel and carefully dry their fur as best you can.
A Maine Coons diet plays an important role in keeping shedding to a minimum. Owners must make sure that their cats diet is high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, to ensure this pedigree cats coat remains healthy, shiny and smooth.
Maine Coons are expensive to purchase, and if you plan on feeding your Coon a Maine Coon specific diet, you will quickly notice that this breeds tailored food doesn’t come cheap either! Although you may be tempted to pick cheaper cat food brand to save a few bucks, this is not always advisable.
If your Maine Coons hair requires a lot of regular grooming and maintenance, take a closer look at their diet. Ensure that you are only feeding your Maine Coon high quality dry food containing the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals their bodies need.
Not all Maine Coons are fans of bathing, especially if this idea was not introduced to them whilst they were kittens. Therefore, why not consider using cat wipes to help loosen the excess dead hair that has become tangled within their thick dense undercoats? The stroking motion of the wipe will help loosen dead hair, ultimately reducing the amount of shedding.
Have you noticed your Maine Coon scratching itself more often? If so, make sure that your treasured cat does not have fleas or parasites, causing them to scratch their fur more.
It is important to regularly treat your Maine Coon for fleas and parasites, particularly if you allow your Maine Coon outdoors on a regular basis. Whilst you may not think that your cat is infected, it is best practise to ensure that they do not get infected in the first place. Removing a potential medical issue will also prevent your cat becoming distressed.
Although shedding is a natural process, it may seem that your cat is shedding more excessively than is normal. In such instances, seek professional veterinary advice as soon as possible, to discount any possible underlying health issues that might be increasing the shedding rate of your Maine Coon.
Hair shedding is an inevitable part of owning a pet. However, there are various deshedding tools that are highly efficient in helping to remove dead cat hair stuck in a Maine Coons thick fur.
Be careful when using deshedding tools on your Maine Coon though, since these tools can tug on your cats skin, causing them discomfort.
Maine Coons should have access to water, at all times. This is important because cats that do not remain hydrated often develop dry skin and hair, causing an extra level of moulting (source).
Keeping your cats water bowl full, and clean at all times will limit the chance of your cat drinking harmful bacteria. Maine Coons like to pat their water bowls, to ensure they are only drinking fresh water.
Why Is My Maine Coon Shedding So Much?
If you feel that your Maine Coon is shedding excessively, you should seek veterinary advice.
The table below lists the underlying health issues that could be causing your Maine Coon to shed at a higher rate than you are used (source):
|Ringworm||Ringworm can affect cats of all ages. This fungal infection thrives on skin, causing brittle, broken hairs to fall of quickly|
|Stress and Anxiety||If your cat is suffering from anxiety or stress, their will shed more hair than normal. They might also over groom themselves, resulting in bald patches of skin, or redness|
|Thyroid Disease||Cats with over or underactive thyroids often experience higher levels of hair loss|
|Cat Allergies||Some cats are prone to seasonal allergies which increase shedding i.e. pollen or foodborne allergies|
How Often Do Maine Coons Shed?
Every Maine Coon is unique in its shedding cycle, so it is not be possible for you to purchase a Maine Coon, knowing for certain that the cat will not shed too much hair.
Maine Coons have two main shedding cycles:
- All year round
- Seasonal shedding
If you are unsure whether to buy a Maine Coon, due to their possible high levels of hair shedding, talk to the breed. Ask the breeder for information on the Maine Coons parents. This information will help you decide if the cat is likely to shed a lot of hair. High shedding parents are likely to produce a kitten that sheds a lot of hair, and vice versa!
Which Breeds Of Cat Shed The Least?
Cats are often known for their luscious hair. However, not everyone is a fan of their cats shedding their hair all over their clothes and furniture. If this sounds familiar, consider buying one of the following cat breeds that are known for shedding the least hair, or buy a hairless cat! (source)
- Oriental Shorthair Cat
- Cornish Rex
- Russian Blue
- Japanese Bobtail
- Devon Rex
Cats that shed less hair require less grooming, or maybe even none at all if you purchase a hairless cat! These breeds are generally considered to be more hypoallergenic than other cats, which is an important factor to take into consideration if you have an allergy to cats.
The answer to do Maine Coon cats shed a lot is not a clear cut thing. Whilst some owners may experience high levels of hair shedding in their cat, other owners might not find shedding to be much of an issue.
The likelihood of owning a Maine Coon that sheds a lot of hair will ultimately depend upon their predefined genetics, and those of their parents. Fluffy Maine Coon kittens may look extremely cute, but you can expect them to shed more hair than a silkier textured kitten.
Always ask the breeder for details on the Maine Coons parents before buying a kitten, if hair shedding is an interest or concern to you. Approved breeders should be able to answer all your queries reference the parents hair shedding levels, and better still, let you meet the parents.