Maine Coon Diet: Guide On How To Pick The Best Food
A well-balanced Maine Coon Diet is essential to your cat’s health. Maine Coons need a high-quality kibble food to maintain their health and active personality.
In this article, we are looking into what are the Maine Coon diet requirements and what does your cat need to thrive in life.
Maine Coon Diet – Factors To Consider
When deciding what is the best diet for your Maine Coon, you should consider the following factors:
- Maine Coon Characteristics
- Age – Kitten, Adult or Senior
- Key Ingredients In Kibble Food
- Maine Coon Exercises Level
- Dry vs Wet food
- Benefits Of A Raw Diet
- Genetic Health Predisposition
Maine Coon Characteristics
Maine Coon is a large cat also known as a “gentle giant”. This beautiful cat has a sturdy, muscular body with a silky coat.
Read more about Maine Coon coats here Maine Coon Colors: How To Tell Them Apart
It’s essential you know what your Maine Coon’s characteristics are in order to understand their dietary requirements.
- Length – Maine Coon cats grow up to 40 inches in long
- Weight – The average Maine Coon cat weighs between 9 – 18 pounds or 4.1kg – 8.16kg
- Growth rate – Maine Coons, unlike other cats, don’t mature until 3-5 years old
- Prone to certain genetic health problems
When choosing your Maine Coon diet, you should take into considerations the above factors. However, food ingredients and how much to feed your Maine Coon are also important but we will look at those points a bit further down in this article.
Kitten – Maine Coon Diet
When it comes to Maine Coon diet, it’s important to take into consideration at what life stage your Maine Coon is.
As the Maine Coon grows at a much slower rate than other cats, their diet should accommodate this. Therefore, you should continue feeding them a kitten diet until they reach 1 year old.
The Maine Coon diet for a kitten should consist of a high quality dry kibble food that has the right formula. The ingredients should consist of the following:
- Protein – Maine Coon kittens should be fed 30% – 50% of protein daily
- Fats and Fatty acids
Adult – Maine Coon Diet
There are plenty of cat food options on the market and some even specifically designed for Maine Coon cats.
However, it’s important you understand what are the best ingredients for a Maine Coon diet, so you choose the right cat food brand.
Key Ingredients And Dietary Nutrition
Your Maine Coon will reach puberty at roughly 1 years old and be fully grown at 4 – 5 years old.
However, once your Maine Coon reaches puberty, you can start feeding them an adult Maine Coon diet.
With that said, the key ingredients in your Maine Coon diet should include:
- High Levels Of Protein
- Vitamins and Minerals such as Vitamin A and Niacin
- Low In Carbohydrates
- Fats and Fatty Acids such as taurine and arginine
The elements mentioned above are the approved list of minimum requirements from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO.
A high-quality kibble food is the top recommendation for a Maine Coon diet. Not only is this option high in nutrients but it’s also great for your cat’s dental health. This is because dry kibble food helps reduce tartar build up on the cat’s teeth and keeps a healthy jaw.
Maine Coon is the largest domesticated cat in the world. For the Maine Coon to reach their full potential in size and weight, they need a high level of protein in their diet.
As Maine Coons are known for their playful and active personality, the protein in your Maine Coon diet also helps maintain your cat’s energy levels.
The first ingredient in your Maine Coon’s food should always be protein. This would appear on the label as –turkey, chicken, beef or fish.
Finally, Maine Coon diet for an adult cat should consist of 25% to 40% daily protein intake.
Minerals and vitamins are essential ingredient to your Maine Coon diet. They help improve your Maine Coon’s health and promote growth. It’s imperative you always check if your cat’s food include the following beneficial ingredients:
- Vitamins A
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin K
Essential minerals include:
Cats in the wild don’t have a nutritional need for fiber. The reason for that is, their natural prey would include fur and bones, which are indigestible and act as fiber in the digestive system.
However, the domesticated Maine Coon diet doesn’t include these indigestible materials found in the wild. Therefore, we as pet owners must ensure the food we feed our cat includes fiber to promote gut health.
Fats And Fatty Acids
Fats and fatty acids are important part of your Maine Coon diet. These elements keep your Maine Coon coat healthy and shiny. The healthy fatty acids include amino acids such as:
- Taurine and Arginine
- Arachidonic acid
Although, carbs are not an essential part of your Maine Coon diet, they still play an important role such as help with digestion and provide energy.
Your Maine Coon would get their necessary carbs from grains such as wheat and rice. However, you should avoid uncooked soybeans and other legumes as they don’t contain nutritional factors.
Maine Coon Exercise Levels
Another important factor to consider when it comes to your Maine Coon diet is – exercise levels. Although, Maine Coons are known for being very active and playful, each cat’s exercise levels would vary.
Factors that might affect this can include:
- How often you play with your cat
- Is your Maine Coon allowed outside? If yes – they would be getting more exercise than just sitting indoors. Therefore, they would need more food to replace the used up energy
- Do you have any cat trees or tunnels for your Maine Coon to play indoors
Your Maine Coon diet should always be in proportion to the physical activity done by them. Moreover, Maine Coons are prone to obesity.
Therefore, it’s your responsibility to ensure your cat gets their daily exercise which should be minimum of 15 minutes per day.
Dry vs Wet Food
There are many options available on the market when it comes to cat food. One of these options is wet food.
Although, the majority of your Maine Coon diet should consist of dry kibble food, mixing it with wet food, can help avoid your cat getting bored.
Dry Kibble Food
- Helps keep the teeth and jaw healthy
- Rich in nutrients
- Dry Kibble food should be your Maine Coon’s main food
Wet Cat Food
- By adding wet food to the mix, you’re adding variety to your Maine Coon diet
- Wet cat food is rich in moisture content. This is a good option for cats that don’t drink enough water
- You shouldn’t feed your Maine Coon a diet that consists of only wet food because of the lack on nutrients. In addition, the soft food can result in your cat’s teeth disintegrating
- Wet food should only be fed to your Maine Coon – 2-3 times a week
Benefits Of A Raw Diet
Many processed cat foods include elements such as grains or rice that are used as bulking components. However, cats don’t easily digest these ingredients and can lead to gut difficulties and overall discomfort.
Many cat owners pick raw meat diet for all the health benefits such as:
- Improved digestion – Unlike dogs, cats struggle to digest all other types of meat other than raw meat. However, if you change their diet to raw meat diet or at least add raw meat to their current diet, you’d be improving their digestion system and overall gut health
- Healthy Coat – Feeding your Maine Coon raw diet is not only beneficial for their inside health but also for their outside looks such as their coat and fur. You’ll notice your Maine Coon’s coat looking shinier and silkier in no time
- High energy levels – Cats fed with processed foods tend to be more tired and lethargic. If you want your Maine Coon to not only be healthier but also more energetic, raw meat diet can achieve that. Moreover, raw meat is a natural source of protein which is what your Maine Coon needs to be active
- Better dental health – If you choose this Maine Coon diet, you’d be minimizing the chance of developing dental diseases such as gum disease and more.
Not only would raw meat diet keep your cat’s teeth clean, but it would also keep their jaw working when tearing up the meat. In addition, you won’t have to worry about plaque build-up as you would do with a carbs diet
Genetic Health Predisposition
Maine Coons are predisposed to certain genetic conditions. However, these conditions can sometimes also develop due to poor diet. On the other hand, some can be cured by improving your Maine Coon diet.
The health problems affected by your Maine Coon diet include:
- Hip Dysplasia – This is a common joint health problem in Maine Coon cats. In these cases, controlling your cat’s weight is imperative for the progression of the disease and the comfort of your cat. Therefore, a Maine Coon diet that is low in fat and low in carbs is recommended
- Diabetes – Once Maine Coons reach middle age, there is a higher risk of developing feline diabetes. If your Maine Coon suffers from this, they should be on a low protein and low fats diet
- Polycystic Kidney Disease – If your Maine Coon suffers from this illness, you should feed them a diet that doesn’t contain phosphorus. This is because the breakdown of phosphorus would overwork the kidneys and weaken them
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy – This a serious health problem that affects Maine Coon’s heart. If your cat is suffering from this condition is important their diet is low in carbs
- Dental problems – In the wild Maine Coon use their teeth to break down bones and cartilages. Therefore, it’s important we provide a high quality dry kibble food for them to crunch on. This would maintain their dental health
Cat Food Ingredient List – The Good And The Bad
When reading the food packaging label, the ingredient list should include the following:
- Real meat such as chicken, beef, turkey or fish as the first ingredient
- Corn, Wheat, Soy should be further down the list if included at all
- If the word “meal” is included, ensure it states that it’s from real meat source, for instance – chicken, beef, or salmon
You should avoid the following:
- Statement such as “with” or “flavor”. This indicated a small percentage of real meat
- The same ingredient is mentioned more than once. For instance – high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sugar, sucrose
- Avoid wording such as “recipe”, “dinner”, or “formula”. For instance – Salmon Formula for Cats
How Much And How Often Should I Feed My Maine Coon
As mentioned earlier, Maine Coon cats are prone to obesity. Therefore, how often and how much you feed your Maine Coon is essential to their health and weight management.
It’s your responsibility to monitor your Maine Coon’s food portioning. In addition you should encourage them to exercise daily by playing with them. This is especially important if they are strictly an indoors cat.
As mentioned earlier, your Maine Coon diet would depend on variety of factors such as physical size, level of exercise.
Normally, on the cat food packaging there are the recommended portion sizes depending on your cat’s weight.
However, when it comes to wet cat food, you must feed it to your Maine Coon only 2-3 times a week. It should be mixed with the dry food – 80% kibble and 20% wet food.
Foods To Avoid Feeding Maine Coon
In addition to the good elements of a Maine Coon diet, there are components that you should always avoid.
Grains – This is not toxic or dangerous to your cat’s health. However, you should limit how often you feed grains to your Maine Coon as it can lead to obesity and joint problems
Gluten – Another element you should avoid feeding your Maine Coon is Gluten. It can lead to not only cause digestive problems but it could also result in tartar build-up on their teeth
Top Cat Food Brands For Maine Coon
The following are recommended cat food brands for your Maine Coon diet.
Royal Canin Maine Coon
If you are after a specialised Maine Coon diet, you should try Royal Canin Maine Coon.
Royal Canin Maine Coon adult food is enriched with Taurine, DHA and EPA (omega-3 fatty acids) to help support and maintain healthy cardiac function.
The Maine Coon has a large jaw which gives it a characteristic way of picking and chewing its food. That’s why the kibble in Royal Canin Maine Coon Adult food is specially designed to be king sized and cube-shaped – prolonging the action of chewing which helps to support good oral hygiene.
To cater to each cat’s individual preferences, Royal Canin Maine Coon Adult is also available as wet food in delicious gravy.
This food is only for Maine Coons that are over 15 months old.
Royal Canin Kitten Food 400g
A specialised formula for your Maine Coon kitten is Royal Canin Kitten Food
Ingredients: Dehydrated poultry protein, rice, vegetable protein isolate, animal fats, maize flour, hydrolysed animal proteins, wheat flour, maize gluten, yeasts and parts thereof, beet pulp, vegetable fibres, fish oil, soya oil, minerals, fructo-oligosaccharides (0,38%) and more
Purina ONE Indoor Dry Cat Food Turkey And Wholegrain
Purina One Indoor Formula is specifically designed for cats mainly living indoors and can be used to minimize hairball formation.
It is proven to facilitate the elimination of hair from the digestive tract, thanks to its high fibre content.
The chicory contained in its formula, a high-quality natural ingredient proven to reduce litter box odour, promotes a balanced gut microflora and supports a healthy digestive system.
Ingredients: Turkey (17%), wholegrain wheat (17%), dried poultry protein, maize, soya meal, maize gluten meal, wheat gluten meal, animal fat, dried beet pulp, natural dried chicory root (2%), minerals, digest (with added heat treated Lactobacillus Delbrueckii and Fermentum powder 0.025%), yeast
No colours, flavours or preservatives.
Wysong Epigen 90 Starch-Free Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog & Cat Food
First 4 ingredients: Chicken Meal, Organic Chicken, Meat Protein Isolate, Chicken Fat
- Ultra-high protein, meat-based diet is formulated to optimize your furry friend’s wellness with 63% protein including real organic chicken
- Patent-pending extrusion process creates a truly starch-free diet that closely mirrors the diet she was biologically designed to eat
- Also features chia seeds and apple pectin, along with beneficial probiotics, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals; rich omega fatty acids help support healthy skin and a lustrous coat
- Made in the USA at Wysong’s manufacturing facilities with domestically-sourced, USDA and FDA-approved ingredients.
Maine Coons are the largest domesticated cats and one of the most popular cat breeds in America. It’s essential you feed these “gentle giants” the right Maine Coon diet in order to live a happy, healthy life and develop properly.
Maine Coons need a high quality dry kibble food in order to get all the nutrients they need. However, you can always add wet cat food in the mix for variety. This should only be done 2-3 times weekly as Maine Coon’s are prone to obesity.
A healthy, well-balanced Maine Coon diet should consist of the following ingredients:
- High Levels Of Protein
- Vitamins and Minerals such as Vitamin A and Niacin
- Low In Carbohydrates
- Fats and Fatty Acids such as taurine and arginine
Another option for your Maine Coon diet is raw meat diet. By feeding your Maine Coon raw meat, you’d be providing them with a natural source of protein and minimizing the chance of developing dental disease or obesity due to the lack of carbs.
Regardless which one of the recommended Maine Coon diets you go for, it’s important your cat’s health is number one priority and you take them for regular vet checks.