Maine Coon cats are large, active cats that require proper nutrition in order to stay healthy. In fact, nutrition is one of the best things to control if you want your cat to live a long and happy life!
Maine Coon cats don’t really have an “off” button when it comes to eating either, so monitoring their intake and making sure they don’t overdo it falls on you.
So, what do Maine Coon cats like to eat?
Maine Coon cats will generally eat the same things as any other domestic cat, though the best food for them is high-quality wet and dry food – again, like any other domesticated cat!
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What Do Maine Coon Cats Need in Their Diet?
Although Maine Coon cats basically eat the same things as any other cats, they are larger, take longer to mature, and are prone to hip dysplasia, so you have to consider their diet a touch more carefully than you might a mixed domestic breed cat.
All cats require the following in their diets:
- Protein. Maine Coons need a lot of protein to keep up with their active lifestyle and body size.
- Carbohydrates. All cats, Maine Coons included, need carbs for energy
- Fats and fatty acids
- Amino acids (especially taurine which cats only get from red meat sources)
- Vitamins and minerals
Any high-quality cat food will have a good mix of all of these things. Maine Coons just may require a larger serving compared to other breeds due to their size.
Do I Need to Buy My Maine Coon Specifically Formulated Cat Food?
There are some brands of cat food that are marketed specifically for Maine Coon cats. You can buy them if you want, but honestly, it makes no real difference.
The big difference is that Maine Coons have to stay on kitten food longer than other breeds because they take longer to mature. Maine Coon kittens should stay on kitten food until they are around nine months of age, as opposed to the four to five months of other breeds.
The brand of food you land on for your cat will probably be based on your budget, your morals, and what your cat is willing to eat.
A raw food diet is controversial for many owners – some swear by it, others consider it too expensive and not really worth it.
What matters is to choose a quality food that your cat will enjoy and that you can afford. And have a backup brand, just in case, though remember to make switches gradually as many cats don’t casually swap the food they like.
How Much Do Maine Coon Cats Eat?
The general rule of thumb is to feed your cat 24 to 35 calories per day per pound of body weight. Maine Coon cats range between eight and twenty-five pounds, so that’s a huge range of food, up to 875 calories per day!
It’s also important to note how active your cat is and its age as these things will also have an impact on how much your cat needs to eat to stay healthy.
Maine Coon cats are prone to being lazy and loving food, so it’s important to keep your cat engaged with plenty of exercise and monitor their food intake. Some good toys for Maine Coons include:
- Extra-large cat trees for them to climb on, sharpen their claws on, and move around. (This also provides them with a safe place to hide and perch to look outside).
- Puzzle toys. Maine Coon cats are quite intelligent and puzzle toys keep them busy and happy for a while.
- Balls and mice. Chasing these things helps Maine Coons work out their high prey drive. Even a piece of string or a laser light will do the trick
Don’t be fooled by a Maine Coon’s fluffy coat! It can be hard to gauge their weight through their fluff, leading many cats to get over or underfed. Weigh them regularly to get a good handle on their health and take them to the vet regularly.
Feeding Maine Coon Cats Through their Lifespan
Just like any other cat, the nutritional needs of the Maine Coon will vary over its lifespan.
As kittens, Maine Coons require a lot of feeding to keep up with their growth. They should be fed two to four times a day on quality kitten food (both wet and/or dry) until they are around eight to nine months of age.
Some owners will leave dry food out for them to graze on all day, but you should only do this if your cat isn’t a binge eater! Otherwise, they should get wet food two to four times a day plus some kibble.
At the ten-to-fifteen-month stage, Maine Coons still need plenty of dry food and now their wet food can come down to twice a day (morning and night usually). And at the fifteen-month mark, most Maine Coon cats are ready to switch fully to adult food, though they will still need a lot of food until they are fully grown at age three to five years.
Adult cats usually require 3oz of dry food or 9oz of wet food per day and then seniors require less food since they are less active. Senior cats can also benefit from being switched to senior food since it has more nutrition to support what older cats require.
Can I Feed My Maine Coon Cat Treats?
Of course, you can! But because Maine Coons really love food, you should make sure to limit their treat intake and choose high-quality ones with lots of protein.
They can also be trained using treats as positive motivation, though you don’t want to rely too heavily on this, or else you may end up with an unhealthy cat.
Maine Coon cats, as a rule, enjoy food and enjoy eating. They are large enough and active enough that they require more food than other breeds, but it’s important to monitor their weight carefully as they are prone to obesity (or being undernourished by owners who mistake their coats for body fat).
Feed your cat properly and it stands a much better chance of living a long and healthy life!
What does your Maine Coon cat like to eat? I don’t own one myself right now, but both my cats enjoy eating wet fish cat food and kibble. They won’t touch the turkey canned food (though I imagine they’ll happily go for roasted turkey).
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.