One of the most distinctive characteristics of a Maine Coon cat is it’s long, flowing fur. It’s a big fluffy cat! But with that comes the very understandable concern that you may be able to get enough fur all over your house to make another Maine Coon, and that’s not something that most pet owners really want.
If you are thinking about getting a Maine Coon, and the amount of cat hair you’ll have to vacuum is worrying you, read on.
Do Maine Coons shed a lot?
Short answer: a healthy Maine Coon, despite its appearances, does not shed any more than any other cat, at least on average. And some shed a lot less than other cats! It all boils down to genetics and health.
The Shedding Cycle of a Maine Coon
Like any other cat, Maine Coons follow a shedding cycle where you will see more fur coming off and other times where they won’t shed much at all. There are two types: year-round and seasonal.
An indoor cat generally follows a year-round shedding cycle, assuming you use things like air conditioners and furnaces to heat and cool your home.
By manipulating the temperature of your home to remain steady year-round, your cat doesn’t really know any differently and so won’t shed more or less throughout the year.
Outdoor or partly outdoor cats on the other hand follow a more seasonal shedding cycle. The cooler temperatures in the fall and winter will trigger them to shed their summer coat and grow in a winter one and vice versa in the summer.
Reasons for Shedding
Aside from seasonal changes, Maine Coons will really shed a normal amount of hair and generally in response to temperature changes. But there are health reasonswhy you may notice your cat shedding more than usual. These include:
- Thyroid imbalance
Ringworm causes patchy hair loss. Stress can make a cat over-groom, which then makes their fur shed in patches, causing rashes, and other skin irritations.
Allergies will do the same thing and cats will often scratch more, have rashes, or lose fur. And a thyroid imbalance can cause the fur to become brittle and fall off.
Other reasons for shedding too much:
- Malnutrition. If your cat is shedding a lot, they may not be getting all the nutrition they need to stay healthy. Remember, like large cats, they need to eat more than other domesticated cats!
- Poor grooming habits. Cats that are old or ill won’t groom properly. As the owner, you should also be brushing a Maine Coon daily to get rid of loose fur before your cat has to do it for themselves and possibly trigger more hair loss.
If you notice that your Maine Coon is shedding more than usual, check for rashes, and stress reactions, or take your cat to the vet to get checked for parasites or other health conditions. A healthy Maine Coon should not be excessively shedding.
A healthy cat’s amount of shedding is mostly genetic. Some cats naturally shed more than others. You might be lucky and have a Maine Coon that hardly sheds at all!
Dealing with the Shedding
Now, just because a Maine Coon doesn’t shed much more than any other cat doesn’t mean you should just ignore it either! Loose hair is irritating to cats, can cause hairballs if they swallow it, and can get tangled up, causing mats.
There are a few things you can do to help your Maine Coon keep its amazing coat.
- Brush your cat every few days. Some say daily, others say every few days. It really depends on what your cat needs and what it will tolerate. Either way, giving your cat a brushing every few days with a good brush is not only a way to support its health, but also do some bonding.
- Bathing: Most cats hate water, and we wouldn’t necessarily recommend a bath, but many Maine Coons actually like water and don’t mind a bath. Use warm water and pet shampoo to get rid of mud, dirt, and dust. If your Maine Coon hates baths, use a wet facecloth instead or a spritzer and be patient.
- Make sure to feed your cat a diet rich in protein and Omega fatty acids. This is what will give your cat’s coat its healthy luster.
Kittens do tend to shed more than adultsas well, so keep that in mind if you are worried about how much your cat is shedding.
Maine Coon fur is usually easy to clean up too since it clumps into little tumbleweeds of fluff, making them easy to sweep up, compared to other breeds that “explode” in little strands all over the house that are difficult to deal with.
Although Maine Coons are well known for their fall of long fur and thick coats, they don’t tend to shed any more than any other cat, and compared to some breeds, they shed less.
They will follow either a seasonal cycle or shed year-round, and it should be easy to stay on top of with brushing every few days.
But if you notice an excessive amount of shedding, it’s important to talk to your vet to rule out any health concerns. Otherwise, stick with a grooming schedule, keep your cat on a well-balanced and healthy diet, and you shouldn’t notice any more fur than you would with any other cat.
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.