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17.05.2022

The highs and lows of owning a Maine Coon

Maine Coons can be some of the most lovable, friendly cats to have around your family.

Every breed has its foibles, though, and sharing your life with a Maine Coon may require more effort than you were expecting.

From diet and exercise to avoiding health issues common in the breed, knowing how to look after your Maine Coon properly can save you—and your kitty—worry and hassle. How high-maintenance can they be? Read on and find out everything you need to know about owning a Maine Coon cat!

Maine Coon pros and cons—what are Maine Coons like?

Maine Coons may look intimidating, but in reality, they’re pussycats.

This breed has a deserved reputation for playfulness, to the extent that adult Maine Coons will retain many kitten-like qualities well into old age.

The most noticeable characteristics that set Maine Coons apart from normal cats are:

  1. They are trainable
  2. Maine Coons love the outdoors
  3. Hunting is second nature
  4. They love company
  5. They can be shy with strangers

Training your Maine Coon

Maine Coons are highly intelligent and can be trained almost as easily as dogs.

They can be taught to love games of catch, fetch, hide and seek, and tag and can even get used to going for walks with their human parents.

Maine Coons love the outdoors

While other breeds—such as Ragdolls, Sphynx, and Siamese—like nothing more than to curl up indoors, Maine Coons can’t resist the call of the wild.

You will see your cat spending long hours in the garden honing hunting skills, and you should make sure access to the great outdoors is easily accessible—and large enough for your Maine Coon to squeeze through.

Hunting is second nature

Maine Coons are prolific hunters and voracious eaters, so you may be confronted with regular gifts, such as:

Regardless of how well trained your Maine Coon is, you probably won’t be able to get rid of the hunting instinct.

Maine Coons love company

Though not as tactile as Ragdolls, Maine Coons love being around their humans.

You should be prepared for company whenever you sit down anywhere comfortable, and reading the paper or working on your laptop can become a frustrating experience.

Not only are humans excellent cushions for Maine Coons, but dogs can also become great friends. Unlike many cats that remain aloof from their canine cousins, Maine Coons are generally happy to share games and fun with your family dog.

Shyness with strangers

Despite their friendliness with members of their own family, Maine Coons can become shy when strangers are around.

Having told your friends how friendly your cat is, you may be perturbed to find your cat goes AWOL as soon as they arrive.

Maine Coons generally take their time to warm up to newcomers—once they are happy that the stranger is not an alien, they will start testing out how comfortable your visitor is.

“Now where’s that squirrel gone?”

Source: Pixabay

Coon physical attributes and how to prepare your home

Maine Coons are big cats. Most smaller cat breeds—such as British Shorthairs, Russian Blues, or Abyssinians—are fully grown by the age of 12–18 months. Maine Coons continue growing far beyond that, only reaching their full size at around 4 years.

The typical growth pattern of a Maine Coon looks like this:

Maine Coon Age

Male Kitten

Female Kitten

Birth

90–170 g

90–150 g

1 week

190–290 g

160–260 g

2 weeks

290–430 g

280–410 g

3 weeks

430–600 g

410–550 g

1 month

620–820 g

550–740 g

2 months

1.1–1.6 kg

1–1.4 kg

3 months

1.7–2.4 kg

1.5–2.3 kg

4 months

2.9–3.8 kg

2.5–3.5 kg

5 months

3.3–5.5 kg

2.7–4.2 kg

6 months

3.4–6 kg

3.1–4.3 kg

7 months

4.1–6.5 kg

3.3–4.6 kg

8 months

4.4–6.9 kg

3.7–5 kg

9 months

5–7 kg

4.1–5.2 kg

10 months

5.1–7.8 kg

4–5.5 kg

11 months

5.5–8 kg

4.3–6 kg

12 months

5.8–9 kg

4.5–6.5 kg

After 12 months, Maine Coon kittens have usually reached their final length and height but will continue to add muscle mass.

The final weight you can expect your Maine Coon to reach is:

  • Up to 9 kg for males
  • Around 6–7 kg for females

Fully grown Maine Coons can take up a lot of space, so it's worthwhile ensuring you have enough room in your house and garden before inviting one into your life. Your Maine Coon should be able to roam around without feeling cramped.

If you don’t have a garden, you should be aware that your feline will probably spend a fair amount of time roaming the streets—there are dangers inherent in this, such as:

  • Traffic—Maine Coons are fairly street-savvy and shouldn’t get into danger
  • Other cats—Maine Coons may get into territorial battles with other cats in your neighbourhood but are usually well capable of handling themselves in a fight. Neutered Maine Coons tend to be less aggressive
  • Eating things that may disagree—Your Maine Coon may be partial to the odd blade of grass or plant leaf and might also go raiding bins for leftovers. Any of these can result in food allergies or tummy upsets

        “It’s not fat! It’s FUR, human!”

        Source: Pixabay

        Common Maine Coon health issues to be aware of

        While being fairly robust cats, Maine Coons are prone to several breed-specific health conditions, and caring for them demands your constant attention.

        The most common health issues in Maine Coons are:

        1. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
        2. Weight control issues
        3. Hip dysplasia
        4. Dental problems

        Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

        Maine Coons can suffer from this hereditary heart disease that can cause:

        • Cardiac arrhythmia
        • Shortness of breath
        • Seizures
        • Acute paralysis of the hind limbs

        Most Maine Coons are screened for the recessive gene that causes the condition, but you should always check your cat’s heritage to be safe.

        Weight control issues

        Considering the long growth period and above-average lifespan of this breed, some Maine Coon parents find it difficult to gauge when enough food is enough. The result is that adult Maine Coons often keep on growing—mostly sideways.

        Although their active lifestyle usually prevents major fat cat issues, the combination of too little exercise and a low-quality diet that is high in calories from carbs can quickly lead to weight gain that can have serious ramifications, including:

        The only way to get a slim, svelte Maine Coon back is to engage in more exercise, supported by a healthy diet.

        Hip dysplasia

        Hip dysplasia is a hereditary malformation of the hip joint that can be made worse by:

        You can address the symptoms of hip dysplasia with medication or complementary nutrition, such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate, but the best cure is prevention. Queens or male Maine Coons with a heritage of hip dysplasia are generally not used for breeding purposes.

        Dental problems

        Older Maine Coons can start losing teeth, their longer lifespan often catching up with them in the form of dental issues.

        Good dental hygiene from an early age is crucial to ensure your Maine Coon’s teeth last as long as the rest of your kitty.

        “Book me an appointment at the salon!”

        Source: Pixabay

        Feeding your Maine Coon healthily

        Generally, Maine Coons are not fussy or prone to allergic reactions, but they do have a reputation for having sensitive stomachs. This can manifest itself in short bouts of:

        Food sensitivity problems can usually be mitigated by choosing their food carefully and basing your choice on what cats naturally eat.

        As obligate carnivores, a cat's diet should consist of:

        1. Animal protein
        2. Animal fat

        Animal protein

        Meat or fish are the only foods that give cats the amino acids—like taurine—they need to:

        • Get energy
        • Build muscle
        • Keep their skin and coat healthy
        • Maintain organ function

        Animal protein comes in many forms, but the healthiest foods for your Maine Coon contain the highest-quality cuts of real meat or fish, such as:

        Animal fat

        Animal fat—as you find in good quality cat gravy or jelly—is the ultimate way to drive your cat wild about the taste of their food.

        Cats have evolved to love the taste of animal fat, but it also plays a nutritional role, delivering essential fatty acids, such as:

        • Linoleic acid
        • Arachidonic acid
        • Omega-3 and omega-6 acids

        These help maintain cell membrane integrity and can assist with regulating your Maine Coon’s inflammatory healing response.

        Carbs, grains, and cereals

        Cats don’t need carbs, grains, or cereals in their diet.

        If you notice any of the following vegetables on the ingredient list when buying cat food, you should steer well clear:

        Your Maine Coon gets all the nutrients they need from animal protein, and extraneous ingredients only serve to reduce the nutritional value of what is eaten.

        Choosing high-protein, high-quality food for your cat also means you will help alleviate common feline health conditions, such as:

        Maine Coon food—the bottom line

        Whatever type of food you choose—raw, dry, semi-moist, wet, or homemade—choosing the highest-possible quality will keep your Maine Coon:

        • Healthy for as long as possible
        • Active well into old age
        • Slim and trim

        With the plethora of commercial cat food on the market, though, the choice of the best food can be a bewildering one.

        Untamed is here to help with your Maine Coon

        Step forward Untamed—the best you can do for your Maine Coon!

        Untamed cat food understands what cats need and is committed to delivering it in every tin. With a variety of recipes to choose from—like Chocka Chicken, Tuck-in Tuna, or Full-on Fishy—every tin features:

        1. Huge amounts of exclusively animal protein
        2. Vet-formulated recipes
        3. Gentle and ethical production methods to keep the quality in

        Huge amounts of exclusively animal protein

        Meat or fish make up the bulk of every Untamed product—you’ll find no:

        • Artificial flavourings
        • Added colourants
        • Unnecessary additives
        • Common allergens

        Vet-formulated recipes

        Developed by vets, Untamed diets give your Maine Coon everything needed for health and happiness—with the added advantage of a taste that’s irresistible. From weaning to 18 years old or more, feeding Untamed will help your Maine Coon enjoy life to the fullest.

        Gentle and ethical production methods

        Rather than aggressively cooking or leaving food raw, we gently steam Untamed products to destroy harmful bacteria and seal in the goodness.

        We also ensure our whole supply chain is as kind to the planet as possible—we are 100% recyclable, carbon-neutral, and committed to working with sustainable, cruelty-free suppliers.

        With all this goodness on offer for your Maine Coon, what’s stopping you from trying Untamed today?

        A month’s supply of health and happiness!

        Image (c) Untamed

        Where can you get Untamed for your Maine Coon?

        Getting the healthiest and best for your Maine Coon couldn’t be simpler—visit our online cat food store and do is:

        1. Tell us about your Maine Coon
        2. Select the products your feline will enjoy
        3. Order your first trial pack

        Once your trial pack arrives, your Maine Coon can check out the food sensations on offer—we’ll make sure you are kept stocked up with your feline’s favourite food.

        According to our clients’ feedback, here are the changes you can expect to see once you start our monthly cat food subscription:

        Timeline 

        The Untamed effect

        In week 1

        • More energy
        • Lower stool volume

        After week 8

        • Better muscles
        • More verve and playfulness

        After month 4

        For life