Maine Coon cats don’t come cheap, costing an average of $1000 (£811) each. With this in mind, you probably won’t be too surprised to hear that their diet will also feel like an investment too! How much to feed my Maine Coon cat is obviously a question you will be asking yourself, when you consider the final size of your adorable new kitten. Find out how to feed your Maine Coon correctly, without overspending on the latest designer cat food, which often tends not to offer much more nutritional benefit than other cat food.
The average male Maine Coons weighs between 6.8 – 11.3 kg (15 – 25 lbs), so requires a diet high in protein to ensure they grow to this immense size in a healthy manner. Their diet should also include carbohydrates, vitamins, fats and fatty acids. It is important not to overfeed your Maine Coon. Humans wrongly overfeed this breed, thinking they require far more food than the average cat.
What Do Maine Coon Cats Eat?
This playful stunning cat breed will remain playful all the way through from being a small kitten, well into their adult life. They are known for being the life and soul of the party, and continue to grow in size until age 3-5 years, whereupon they reach full size. It is therefore important to give them the energy they require to live a fit and healthy life, by providing them with a diet that suits both they physical, and mental needs.
Maine Coon cats are obligate carnivores, whom require meat in their diet to thrive. This means that protein makes up a key part of their dietary requirements, and must not be excluded. For a list of foods that you should avoid feeding your Maine Coon, click here to skip to this section.
The following table summarises the key Maine Coon’s dietary requirements, to help your Maine Coon live for as long as possible:
|Protein||Provides energy for this playful breed. Protein plays key role in Maine Coon achieving full growth.||Chicken, Fish|
|Carbohydrates||Required for healthy growth||Wet / Dry Cat Food|
|Fats and Fatty Acids||A small level of healthy fatty acids helps to maintain the shiny Maine Coons fur e.g. arachidonic acid, and amino acids such as taurine and arginine||Wet / Dry Cat Food|
|Vitamins||Cats require Vitamins in their diet, to ensure healthy growth patterns||Vitamins A, B, K, Niachin|
Maine Coon Cat Dietary Requirements
All cats require a healthy well balanced diet, including:
- Protein (high levels)
- Vitamins (A,B,K, Niacin)
- Fats and Fatty Acids (arachidonic acid, and amino acids e.g. taurine and arginine).
The Maine Coon cat is pretty unique, and different from a normal cat though. Their very large physique alone sets them apart from other cats, since many can grow bigger than small dogs!
This breed is particularly playful, with high energy levels that continue well into adulthood. The food you feed your majestic Maine Coon cat therefore needs to be tailored to ensure that your cat grows into a healthy, happy cat.
Don’t worry though, there are ample food choices available for your feline companion, that won’t break the bank.
Maine Coon Dietary Needs
If you scroll the internet you will quickly see that the dietary requirements of a Maine Coon cat are hotly debated, amongst professionals. If you are concerned about feeding your expensive Maine Coon cat the wrong food, take a look at their key dietary requirements below:
- Wet Food V Dry Food
- Varied Diet
- Maine Coon Diet According To Age
- Outdoor Maine Coons
- Indoor Maine Coons
- Exercise Levels
- Veterinary Check Ups
- Maine Coon Cat Treats
Maine Coon’s require high levels of protein in their diet, to ensure they grow at a healthy rate. Their bodies need extra protein to ensure that they have enough strength and energy, to support their large frame.
2. Wet Food V Dry Food
Whether you prefer to feed your cat wet, or dry food, is completely down to personal preference. However, it is important to be aware that a Maine Coons diet should mainly comprise of high quality dry food, since this supports their teeth and jaw health.
This is not to say that you should avoid giving your Maine Coon cat wet food. On the contrary, it is absolutely fine to include wet food in your cats dietary plan, so long as it is no more than 2-3 times a week.
Wet food might be beneficial for your Maine Coon cat due to its moisture levels. Moisture is particularly important for cats that do not drink much water, because the moisture helps keep their kidneys healthy.
3. Varied Diet
Can you imagine only ever eating the same food everyday? This probably sounds like a horrendous idea to you, and it’s no different for your cat, either.
Make sure your Maine Coons diet is varied. Switch between different high quality dry foods, wet foods and treats on a regular basis, to ensure that the food remains appealing for your Maine Coon.
If you notice that your Maine Coon is eating less than normal, try feeding them a different brand of cat food to see if this spikes their interest levels. If you don’t see an immediate change in their interest levels, make sure that you speak to a veterinary professional asap, to rule out any underlying health issues.
4. Maine Coon Diet According To Age
The table below shows the different dietary requirements of the Maine Coon cat, through their different life cycle stages:
|0-5 Months||Feed your Maine Coon a specially formulated kitten diet for a minimum of 4-5 months, to ensure your kitten is getting the protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats and fatty acids they need.|
|5-9 Months||Maine Coons grow at a slower rate than normal cats, not reaching full size until 3-5 years, whereas normal cats usually stop growing at 2 years. Some vets recommend you continue feeding your Maine Coon cat kitten food until Maine Coons are 9 months old. Speak to your veterinary professional for advice.|
|9 Months Onwards||Feed your Maine Coon high quality dry Food / kibble. Your cat will start to exercise less, as the years go on. Make sure to monitor their diet, to avoid obesity. Find ways to encourage your Maine Coon to exercise more.|
|Senior Cats||Senior Maine Coons have different dietary requirements. Make sure you change to high quality dry food suited for senior Maine Coons. Cats of this age are likely to be far less active than their younger selves, so make sure you don’t overfeed them since this breed is prone to obesity.|
When considering how much to feed my Maine Coon cat, it is imperative that you take their age into consideration. Whilst Maine Coon kittens might be known for being energetic, and very active, senior Maine Coons are not!
You will find varying opinions on what diet Maine Coons require. As with everything, review the varying advice and determine what seems reasonable. For instance, if your Maine Coon is always hungry, this maybe a sign that they need to move onto Maine Coon adult food.
If you have any further questions, ask a veterinary professional for advice.
a) Maine Coon Kittens Diet
Maine Coon kittens require a different diet than Maine Coon adults. Their nutritional needs change as they grow, so you will need to ensure they are eating the diet most suited to their particular stage of life.
During the kitten stage, your Maine Coon will be very energetic and lively. They are getting enough exercise naturally, so free feeding, where you allow them to eat as much as they chose, is recommended.
b) Maine Coon Middle Age
As your kitten grows into a full grown adult, you can expect their high levels of activity to decrease. Although Maine Coons are known for staying energetic and lively for many years, there will obviously be a point in time when they are opting to exercise less. At this point you need to monitor their diet intake, to ensure their food portions reflect their exercise levels.
It is important to not overfeed your cat at this stage.
c) Maine Coon Senior Age
Practise portion control for your Maine Coon, who is likely to be far less active now they are a senior.
In order to keep them fit and healthy, only feed them high quality dry food, containing the protein, carbohydrate, vitamins, fat and fatty acids that their older bodies need to function at optimal levels. High quality dry food will help limit the development of health issues known to be common for this breed i.e. hip dysplasia.
6. Outdoor Maine Coons
Maine Coon cats are primarily outdoor cats, with a reputation for impressive hunting skills. If you are lucky enough to live in a more remote location, and let your Coon outside the home to roam, your cat will naturally supplement their diet by hunting live prey i.e. mice. This is great exercise for them, and makes them less prone to obesity.
Outdoor Maine Coons will eat more food than indoor Maine Coons, because they require more calories to lead their active lives.
7. Indoor Maine Coons
Not all owners feel able to let their pricey Coon wander outside the boundaries of their own home though, due to the following reasons:
- Location they live
- Fear that harm may come to their cat
- Risk of traffic
- Some undesirable humans target Maine Coons, knowing they command a high resale price.
An indoor Maine Coons diet should be monitored carefully, since this breed are prone to obesity. Cats are naturally lazy beasts, and indoor Maine Coons will be exercising less than they require.
If you plan on keeping your Maine Coon as a indoor pet, make sure to exercise them regularly, to help keep their bodies and mind active. Purchasing a cat tower, and plenty of play toys to keep the Maine Coon active would be advisable.
Maine Coons are known for being great hunters. It is therefore important that they keep their broad jaw strong and healthy, and their teeth nice and sharp. In order to achieve this you should feed your Maine Coon cat with high quality dry food, designed to make your cat chew their food vigorously. Regular vigorous chewing helps to strengthen your cats jaw.
You Maine Coons diet should not be primarily filled with wet food, since the moisture and deposition might damage the health of their teeth. It also doesn’t encourage chewing to the same degree as high quality, dry food.
9. Exercise Levels
Every cat is different and unique. Whilst most younger cats enjoy exercising, there will likely be other cats that prefer to be lazy. Keep an eye on your cats daily exercise habits, to see what sort of Maine Coon you have!
When considering how much to feed my Maine Coon cat, it is important that you take your Coons activity levels into consideration. Put simply, the Maine Coons dietary requirements should directly reflect the amount of exercise that they do each day.
Maine Coons need a small level of exercise each day, to stay fit and healthy. If they are prone to laziness, try to find ways to encourage more movement i.e. cat tower, or cat toys. Until movement levels increase, make sure that their diet is lower in rich fats, and protein.
10. Veterinary Check Ups
To keep your prized Maine Coon in great health, make sure you give your cat regular check ups at your chosen veterinary professionals practise.
Vets are best placed to advise if you need to make any alterations to your Maine Coons dietary requirements.
11. Maine Coon Cat Treats
All cats love to be fed treats, but it is important that you do not overfeed your Maine Coon cat, especially if they are a little bit lazy in nature!
Avoid Feeding Your Maine Coon These Foods
Not all foods are good for your treasured furry friend. Take a look at this table, to make sure you are not including these foods as part of your Maine Coon cats daily diet.
|Foods To Avoid||Reason|
|Gluten||Gluten is common in wheat based diets, and should be avoid because it can stick to your cats teeth, possibly causing deposition of tartar. Gluten does not promote good digestive health, either.|
|Grain Based Food||Grains are unlikely to cause actual harm to your cat, though it is recommend that you avoid them, to prevent your cat becoming obesity.|
|Large Fish||Larger fish, such as tuna are not advisable. This is because large fish may contain higher levels of mercury, not beneficial to your Maine Coon. If you are keen to feed your Maine Coon fish, stick to smaller fish, such as sardines since they are likely to contain less mercury.|
Cat Food Regulation
Are you worried that your prized Maine Coons food might not be of great quality? If so, don’t be because various different pet food supply regulatory authorities have been setup across the world to ensure that our loved feline friends are always eating a diet suited to their physical needs.
Pet food regulatory authorities are bodies whom ensure that all cat food is produced to a certain standard. Every country is different, but here is a brief look at two countries pet food regulators:
1. United States
Each country has their own particular pet food regulations. The United States is no different.
In the United States, The Association Of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) have produced guidelines for manufacturers and suppliers on what all cat food must contain. This organisation stamps pet food supplies that meet these requirements. Before purchasing any cat food for your precious Maine Coon, check for this stamp mark first since it guarantees that your feline companion is receiving a well balanced, nutritious diet (source).
2. United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, the Pet Food Manufacturing Association (PFMA) is the leading trade body for the UK pet industry. It claims to have 85 members, which account for 90% of the pet food market (source).
If you are interested in the United Kingdom cat food guidelines, that businesses are required to follow click here.
‘How much to feed my Maine Coon cat’, is a commonly asked question. Most potential owners are not too sure, because they see this massive cat breed and expect the cat to eat far more than the standard sized cat.
In reality you do not need to feed your Maine Coon substantially more food than that of a normal cat, though food portions will be very much dependent upon their age, level of activity, and general levels of health.
In order to limit the chance of your Maine Coon developing future health issues, make sure you feed your cat with high quality dry food. It is also important that you don’t give your cat too many treats, especially later in life when their exercise levels naturally decrease.
I hope this has been a comprehensive guide for you, but if you still have any questions regarding how much to feed my Maine Coon cat, please contact your veterinary practise for additional guidance.