You’ve probably seen some big cats in your day, but not as big as the Maine Coon. This breed is what we humans would call “plus-size,” being much larger than the average cat. Maine Coons can reach up to 16 inches high and, in some cases, be up to 40 inches long. Though many weigh 10 to 18 pounds, they have been known to tip the scales at over 20 pounds in some cases.
- Rich in real animal protein
- Blend of omega-3
Though the Maine Coon is not your average cat, there is a lot to love about him. These cats are friendly and good-natured, plus they are adaptable to many different lifestyles. If you’re looking for a people-friendly cat that isn’t high-maintenance, the Maine Coon might be right for you.
In this article, we’ll explore the Maine Coon cat breed to learn more about its history and personality. We’ll explore common health issues to determine what role your cat’s diet may play in treatment, and we’ll show you our top picks for the best Maine Coon cat food.
What Is The Best Cat Food For Maine Coon Cats?
- NomNomNow Fresh Cat Food Delivery
- Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain
- American Journey Duck Recipe
- Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Mature Chicken
- Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free
- Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken
- Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic
- Nutro Wild Frontier Real Salmon & Trout
History of the Maine Coon Cat Breed
As the name implies, the Maine Coon cat breed became popular in Maine during the early 19th century. Originally used as a mouser, farm cat, and ship’s cat, little is known about the breed’s actual origins. It is a natural breed many believe was brought to the Americas by the Vikings centuries ago. Others suggest they might be descendants of the long-haired cats sent to American in advance of Marie Antoinette’s arrival. One thing is for sure – they are not related to the racoons they resemble.
The first published reference to the Maine Coon breed comes from 1861: a black-and-white long-haired cat named Captain Jenks owned by the Horse Marines. In 1895, a female Maine Coon won Best Cat in a cat show held in Madison Square Garden. The breed continued to gain popularity in Boston and New York in various cat shows and became the fifth breed registered when the Cat Fanciers’ Association formed in 1908.
The popularity of the Maine Coon waned for a few decades when exotic breeds like the Persian and Siamese came over from England. Things turned up again in the 1960s when the Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association was formed in 1968. Today, Maine Coon cats are one of the most popular breeds and they are the official state cat of Maine.
Maine Coon Health and Personality
Maine Coon cats are known primarily for their size and their long coats. Most Maine Coons weigh 9 to 18 pounds, but males have been known to reach 20 pounds or more. The important thing to note about the breed is that they don’t reach their full size until they are 3 to 5 years old.
When it comes to owning a Maine Coon, you need to be able to accommodate their needs for space, but they are not a high-maintenance breed. These cats have sweet and friendly personalities with the typical curious nature cats are known for. This breed loves being with family and can be quite affectionate, but they don’t need a lot of attention. They have a moderate energy level and moderate social needs – they also tend to get along well with dogs and other cats.
In addition to their unique appearance, Maine Coons have a unique way of communicating. Rather than the typical meow, they communicate with a chirping trill. These cats love to play fetch and they can be taught to walk on a leash. This makes them great for people who like to travel with their pets, though Maine Coons are also perfectly happy to hang out at home as long as they have someone to pet them.
As a natural breed, Maine Coons may not have the same risks as certain domesticated breeds but they are not immune to hereditary issues and other health problems.
Here are some of the most common health problems seen in the Maine Coon breed:
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy – A common form of heart disease that causes thickening of the heart muscle.
- Hip Dysplasia – A hereditary defect of the hip socket that can eventually lead to pain and lameness.
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy – A condition caused by death of the spinal cord neurons that activate the trunk and limbs, leading to muscle weakness and degeneration.
- Polycystic Kidney Disease – A slowly progressing heritable form of kidney disease that may result in renal failure.
These conditions can be serious and treatment is not always a cure. The best thing you can do is ensure that you get your Maine Coon from a reputable breeder who does the necessary genetic testing to prevent the spread of heritable conditions. You should also remember that Maine Coons are very kitten-like until 3 to 5 years, so they could develop signs of inherited health problems at any time.
What is the Best Food for Maine Coons Cats?
Though Maine Coons are certainly a unique breed, they don’t require a special breed-specific diet. All cats have the same basic nutritional requirements, though there may be some subtle differences between breeds in terms of nutrient uptake.
When it comes to choosing Maine Coon food, you have to keep in mind the requirements established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). AAFCO has created food nutrient profiles for cats and kittens which dictate recommended minimums for key nutrients like protein and fat. Pet food companies are required to meet these minimums if they want their product to carry the AAFCO stamp of approval. According to these nutrient profiles, kittens require a minimum of 30% crude protein in their diet and adult cats need a minimum of 26%.
The thing to remember about Maine Coons is that they don’t reach their full size until 3 to 5 years. This means you might want to feed your Maine Coon kitten food for at least two years, maybe three. You should also remember that Maine Coons are very large, and they can be fairly active, so the additional protein, fat, and calories will be a benefit.
Aside from meeting your Maine Coon’s basic needs for energy, make sure he gets plenty of high-quality animal protein in his diet. Protein is essential for developing strong muscles in kittens and for maintaining lean mass in adults. You also want to make sure your cat gets the vitamins and minerals he needs, ideally from natural sources like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables while keeping the total carbohydrate content of his diet fairly low.
To make sure your cat’s nutritional needs are met, we recommend a high-quality Maine Coon kitten food until your kitten reaches full size. From there, you can move on to an adult food. You’ll see our recommendations below but, before we get there, learn how we make our recommendations.
How Do We Choose the Foods?
We want your cat to be happy and healthy, so we would never recommend a product we wouldn’t be happy to feed our own cats. We double-check each recipe for quality and nutrition, bringing you our top picks while respecting your right to choose. We base our recommendations on AAFCO requirements, keeping in mind that just because a product meets AAFCO minimums doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a high-quality product. We also take a look at the ingredients list to make sure that the food contains plenty of animal protein and fat with natural sources for essential nutrients.
Here are some of the general requirements for a cat food to receive our recommendation:
- A source of high-quality animal protein as the first ingredient
- At least 30% crude protein for kittens and at least 26% for adults
- A minimum of 9% crude fat for kittens and adults
- A balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, primarily from animal sources
- A rich blend of nutrients from natural sources and supplements, as needed
- Limited carbohydrate content from digestible sources (like whole grains and veggies)
- No low-quality fillers, by-products, or artificial additives (preservatives, dyes, or flavors)
The 9 Best Cat Foods for Maine Coon Cats
When it comes to choosing Maine Coon cat food, your best place to start is with a high-quality cat food rich in protein and healthy fats. This breed has higher protein requirements due to their size and higher fat requirements due to their long kitten phase and moderately high energy level. Start with a nutritious kitten food and monitor your Maine Coon’s growth – when it starts to slow down between 3 to 5 years of age, make the transition to an adult maintenance formula.
There are plenty of cat foods out there that could be a great choice for your Maine Coon but here are some of our top picks:
|Our 2020 Picks: Best Cat Foods for Maine Coon Cats|
|NomNomNow Fresh Cat Food Delivery ||CHECK PRICE|
|Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain ||CHECK PRICE|
|American Journey Duck ||CHECK PRICE|
|Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original ||CHECK PRICE|
|Blue Buffalo Wilderness Mature Chicken ||CHECK PRICE|
|Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet ||CHECK PRICE|
|Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken ||CHECK PRICE|
|Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free ||CHECK PRICE|
|Nutro Wild Frontier Real Salmon & Trout ||CHECK PRICE|
Our Top Overall Pick: The best Maine Coon food is one that will nourish your cat’s body and provide for his nutritional needs, but you also have to think about quality and digestibility. Many pet experts agree that fresh food is the best option for cats because it is made with wholesome, natural ingredients that haven’t been subjected to high heat processing. NomNomNow is our favorite fresh pet food company. When you sign up, you simply provide information about your cat’s breed, age, weight, and activity level to determine his daily calorie needs. From there, choose from two different protein options and start receiving regular deliveries of pre-portioned fresh food meals. NomNomNow uses only the finest natural ingredients and prepares their food in small batches to ensure quality. What more could you ask for?
Most Popular Cat Food for Maine Coons: Because there are so many different brands of cat food out there, it can be difficult to choose just one. You can always go with a reputable brand like Taste of the Wild and we recommend this Rocky Mountain canned food recipe. Canned cat food tends to be higher in protein and moisture but lower in carbohydrates than the average dry food, making it a great option for Maine Coon cats or kittens. This recipe contains a dry matter calculation of 44% protein, so it will more than provide for your cat’s needs in any life stage. It features fresh salmon as the main ingredient, a rich source of protein and healthy fats, with sunflower oil to provide omega-6s to balance out the omega-3s. Overall, it contains only wholesome, natural ingredients with added vitamins and minerals for nutritional balance.
Most Affordable Cat Food for Maine Coons: Good cat food can be expensive, but you don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune to feed your Maine Coon well. This American Journey duck recipe dry food is loaded with protein at 40% and contains a rich blend of fresh duck, chicken meal, duck meal, and menhaden fish meal as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. This formula is packed with natural sources for key nutrients but still contains the necessary supplements to ensure nutritional balance. It contains chicken fat as a nutritious source of essential fatty acids with probiotics to support healthy and regular digestion. Overall, it is loaded with real poultry flavor and packed with high-quality nutrition.
Best Maine Coon Kitten Food: Your Maine Coon will be a kitten for at least three years, so choose a high-quality kitten food to give him the best start in life you can. This Original Kitten Recipe from Instinct by Nature’s Variety is one of our favorite all-around kitten foods because it is packed with protein, healthy fats, and calories from high-quality, natural sources. This recipe is made with 81% real animal ingredients with 0% grains or potato. It features fresh chicken as the main ingredient with turkey meal, menhaden fish meal, chicken meal, and white fish meal as supplemental proteins. Overall, it contains 42.5% protein and 22.5% fat with all of the essential nutrients your kitten needs to grow and develop properly.
Best Food for Senior Maine Coons: As your Maine Coon gets older, he may not need as many calories to sustain his metabolism, but protein will still be very important. A mature recipe like this Wilderness formula from Blue Buffalo is a great option. It is 100% grain-free, featuring real chicken as the main ingredient, a lean source of real animal protein. This recipe is inspired by the wild feline diet and designed to promote healthy digestion and urinary health with plenty of moisture and natural flavor. It is a rich source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well to support your cat’s skin and coat.
Best Food for Maine Coons with Sensitive Stomach: Maine Coon food allergies are no more common than allergies in other cat breeds, but they can happen. If your cat has food allergies or sensitivities, we recommend a highly digestible limited ingredient diet like this turkey recipe from Merrick. It is made with just a few high-quality ingredients with added vitamins and minerals to ensure optimal nutrition with a low risk for triggering allergies and sensitivities. This Maine Coon food is packed with lean protein from fresh turkey and contains healthy fats from flaxseed to support your cat’s skin and coat. With a single source of animal protein, this is a great option for any cat with sensitivities and it is loaded with moisture and natural flavor your cat will love.
3 More Top Picks for the Best Maine Coon Cat Food
If you’re looking for an ultra high-protein diet for your Maine Coon, this Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken recipe is a great option to consider. It contains only three main ingredients aside from supplements – chicken, chicken broth, and sunflower seed oil. At 16% crude protein as fed, it contains 80% protein on a dry matter basis. The thing to keep in mind is that because it only contains a protein and a fat ingredient, most of the nutrients are synthetic supplements. It may be best to use this recipe as a high-protein cat food topper to boost your cat’s protein intake while keeping a nutritionally balanced dry food as his main diet.
Another great option in Maine Coon kitten food is this organic recipe from Castor & Pollux. It features USDA organic ingredients like chicken, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, and peas in a protein-rich formula. This recipe contains all of the nutrients your kitten needs to thrive including DHA for healthy growth and plenty of animal protein. Overall, this recipe is packed with healthy nutrients and real chicken flavor, making it irresistible to your kitten.
If your cat prefers wet food, this Nutro Wild Frontier Real Salmon & Trout recipe is a great choice. Because it’s a wet food, it is higher in protein and moisture than the average cat food – it also contains few added carbohydrate ingredients. This recipe features fresh salmon and chicken as the top two ingredients with chicken liver, pork broth, and chicken broth for flavor. It comes in an easy-to-feed tray with two portions, making it that much easier.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Do Maine coons need special food? Generally speaking, all cats have the same basic nutritional requirements. When it comes to the Maine Coon breed, however, there are certain nutritional factors to consider. These cats take 3 to 5 years to fully mature, so they may require a higher concentration of protein and calories than the average adult cat during that time. Once they reach maturity, Maine Coons still need a protein-rich diet, but the calorie content should be moderated based on your cat’s activity level.
- How long do Maine coons live on average? The average cat lives up to 16 years but the Maine Coon, possibly due to his size, has a slightly shorter lifespan around 13 years. Breeding plays a key role in determining your cat’s life expectancy, but so does diet. A high-quality, nutritionally balanced diet is the best way to determine your cat’s long-term health. You should also keep up with routine vet visits to monitor long-term health problems.
- Do Maine coons have sensitive stomachs? Many domesticated cat species suffer from sensitive stomach but it is less common in natural breeds. If your cat doesn’t show signs of food sensitivity or allergies, you should still feed him a high-quality, highly digestible diet. Look for wholesome, natural ingredients and don’t be afraid to include some whole grains. If your cat shows signs of food allergies, you may need to switch to a limited ingredient diet to reduce the risk of triggering a reaction.
- How much should I feed my Maine coon cat? The amount you feed your Maine Coon depends on his size and activity level as well as his age. Maine Coon kittens require plenty of protein and calories to sustain their growth and development, often for 3 years or longer. Your best bet is to start with a Maine Coon kitten food and follow the feeding instructions according to his weight. As your kitten approaches his full size, you can transition into a high-quality adult cat food and follow the feeding recommendations there. Some Maine Coons do fine with open feeding, but you should be mindful of overeating because Maine Coons are prone to obesity.
- How often should I feed my Maine coon cat? Most cats do well with two meals per day, but active breeds like the Maine Coon may do well with an extra meal, especially as kittens. When determining how much to feed your cat, remember that the recommendations on the package are usually made for the whole day – you’ll need to divide that amount by the number of meals you plan to feed your cat.
If you love big, fluffy cats then the Maine Coon could be the perfect fit for you. These cats are absolutely beautiful to behold, and they make wonderful pets. Like any cat, however, they require a certain kind of diet to maintain their health and wellness. Don’t take your cat’s health for granted or put it at risk by feeding him a low-quality cat food!
Choosing the right cat food for your Maine Coon doesn’t need to be difficult since this breed doesn’t require a unique, breed-specific diet. Start with a high-quality recipe made from natural ingredients and go from there. If you don’t know where to start, check out our recommendations above!