If you’ve watched your Maine Coon eat a lot of food in a short amount of time, you might be asking yourself “Are Maine Coons greedy?”. You may also be wondering why is my Maine Coon always hungry?
The amount of food that a Maine Coon will eat is quite different from that of a normal cat.
Maine Coons eat much more than other cats, but it is not because they are greedy. Maine Coons are much larger and more active than other cat breeds, and simply need more calories in order to maintain their weight. Overall, Maine Coons are not more greedy than any other cat breed.
Maine Coon cats may not be greedy, but they certainly eat a lot more food than other cat breeds!
If you’ve noticed that your Maine Coon is constantly hungry, or seems to eat more than you think is normal, then read on to learn all about Maine Coon eating habits.
Are Maine Coons Greedy?
The Maine Coon is the largest domesticated cat breed in the world. They developed naturally in the state of Maine, where their long, thick fur helped them survive the cold, harsh winters.
Today, they are incredibly popular for their large size, as well as for their gentle, playful demeanor and extreme intelligence.
Maine Coon cats eat a lot of food, but it isn’t because they’re greedy! Not only are these cats much larger than other cat breeds, they are also very active. Maine Coons eat a lot of food because they simply require more calories than most other cats.
How Much Do Maine Coons Eat?
When feeding cats, the general rule is that you should feed them between 25 and 35 calories per pound of body weight.
Younger, more active cats will need more calories, while older and less active cats will need fewer calories. Considering Maine Coons are much larger and also more active than most cats, they need more calories than other cat breeds.
While the average house cat weighs between 8 and 10 pounds, Maine Coons can weigh anywhere from 8 to 25 pounds! This means that a Maine Coon cat will need anywhere from about 200 to 900 calories every day (source 1).
Why Do Maine Coons Eat So Much?
If your Maine Coon is constantly begging for food or eats its food immediately after you serve it, you’re probably asking yourself “Why is my Maine Coon always hungry?”
Here are the most common reasons why your cat always seems to want more food!
- Not Enough Food: If your cat is always hungry, the first thing you should find out is whether or not your cat is getting enough food. Talk with a vet to ensure your cat is at a healthy weight, and that your cat’s diet is meeting its caloric requirements.
- Low Quality Food: Even if your cat is being fed a normal amount of calories, if the food you buy is low quality, your cat might still be hungry. Low quality cat foods use a lot of filler content such as grains and corn meal, rather than protein and carbohydrates. Switch to a high quality cat food to ensure your cat’s nutritional requirements are being met.
- Wrong Bowl Shape: Believe it or not, your cat might not be getting enough to eat because you’re using the wrong bowl shape. Cats have extremely sensitive whiskers, and if their bowl is too deep, it might cause your cat discomfort while it eats. Try switching to a wider, more shallow bowl instead.
- Throwing Up After Eating: Cats have very sensitive digestive systems, and if they eat too quickly, they might end up throwing their food up right after they eat it! Naturally, this will cause your cat to still be hungry. If your cat throws up frequently, try feeding your cat smaller portions of food at a time, to encourage your cat to eat more slowly.
- Boredom: Maine Coons are highly active and intelligent cats. As a result, they need lots of enrichment and fun toys to stay intellectually stimulated. If your cat doesn’t have enough enrichment, it will likely become bored. Bored cats will often spend most of their time eating, because it’s one of the only activities they enjoy.
- Loneliness: Maine Coons are especially affectionate and sociable cats. If you or your family members are away from home most of the time, your Maine Coon will likely become lonely and might even begin eating more out of stress. Try spending more time with your Maine Coon, or consider adopting another cat as a companion.
- Stress: Stress can cause cats to eat more out of a desire for comfort. Major changes in a cat’s environment, such as a new family member or pet, or moving to a new location, can cause a cat to experience stress.
- Underlying Illness: While less common, underlying illnesses such as cancer or diabetes can cause a sudden change in your cat’s appetite. If your cat suddenly becomes much more hungry, and is also displaying other worrying symptoms, take it to the vet right away!
Do Maine Coons Need A Special Diet?
Overall, the Maine Coon dietary needs are no different from that of a regular cat. When it comes to nutrition, Maine Coons need the same balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates as other cat breeds.
The only main difference is that Maine Coons need a larger amount of food than other cats.
While all cat breeds need a large amount of protein, the Maine Coon’s exceptional size does mean that protein is an even more important part of its diet. Without sufficient protein, your Maine Coon will be malnourished.
Best Diet For A Maine Coon Cat
Although there are certain rules that every cat owner should follow, the diet you provide your Maine Coon can vary greatly. Here are the three main options for providing a proper diet for your Maine Coon.
- Dry Food Only: One option for feeding your Maine Coon is to only provide dry food. Dry food is good for cats’ teeth, as wet food has been shown to lead to more dental problems. However, because dry food has a low moisture content, it’s important to provide lots of fresh water. Maine Coons should be given about 3 oz of dry food every day, but this will vary based on your cat’s size and activity level.
- Dry Food and Wet Food: Some owners prefer to provide their cat with a mixture of dry food and wet food. Wet food is often preferred by cats due to its richer taste, and it also contains higher levels of moisture. However, feeding your cat wet food only typically leads to dental problems. You should feed your cat either 3oz of dry food or 9oz of wet food, or a combination of the two.
- Raw Food: The final diet option for a Maine Coon cat is a raw food diet. This is most similar to what these cats would eat in the wild, but it does require a lot more preparation. You will have to prepare a combination of raw muscle meat with organs, uncooked bones, and certain nutritional supplements to ensure your cat is getting all the right nutrients.
Maine Coon Eating Habits
Does your cat seem to have a bizarre way of eating?
Here’s a list of odd eating habits that some cats can develop.
1. Maine Coon Eating With Paws
An odd feature of many Maine Coon cats is that they use their paws a lot more often than other cats! Not only will these cats use their paws to pick up toys or play with water, but they sometimes pick up food with their paws, as well!
As adorable as this behavior might be, it can also lead to a bit of a mess. However, this behavior is perfectly normal and nothing to be worried about.
2. Maine Coon Messy Eater
If your Maine Coon drops food while eating, it might be considered a messy eater. In some cases, the Maine Coon might just be eating too quickly, but in other cases, the cat might be actually playing with its food.
You can discourage some cases of messy eating by only providing a small amount of food at a time, and encouraging your cat to play with toys instead of its food.
3. Maine Coon Food Aggression
Your cat might scarf down food or growl at you when you’re near because it has food aggression.
This behavior typically stems from cats who grew up in the wild and had to fend for themselves, or who feel threatened that their food might be taken away.
Increased Appetite In Cats
Have you noticed that your cat seems to be eating a lot more than it used to? Here is a list of common reasons why a cat might suddenly develop an increase in appetite.
- Stress: A stressed cat might begin eating more as a way to seek comfort. Big changes like moving or bringing a new pet or family member to the household can cause a cat to become stressed.
- Pregnancy: Pregnant and nursing cats require a lot more calories than normal to provide for their babies! If your cat is an unspayed female, look for other signs of pregnancy if it begins eating a lot more.
- Old Age: As cats become older, they naturally begin eating more as they slow down. While it’s okay to allow your senior cat a few extra calories, make sure it doesn’t begin gaining an unhealthy amount of weight.
- Hairballs: If you don’t groom your cat properly, it will start ingesting loose hairs as it grooms itself. This leads to a buildup of hair that can make it difficult for cats to digest food properly, causing an increase in appetite.
- Vomiting: If your cat is allergic to a food ingredient, or begins eating too quickly, it might start vomiting after it eats. This will naturally lead to an increase in appetite.
- Underlying Illness: Underlying illnesses like diabetes, parasites, or hyperthyroidism can all lead to an increase in appetite. Keep an eye out for other worrying symptoms and take your cat to the vet if you suspect it is ill.
How To Stop A Cat From Overeating
A cat that develops overeating habits will often become obese, which can cause a great deal of other health problems. It’s important to ensure your cat isn’t eating too much so it can live a long and healthy life.
The first step in preventing your cat from overeating is to determine just how many calories it should get every day. Most cats need about 25 to 35 calories per pound of body weight, with younger and more active cats requiring the greatest amount of calories.
Discuss a good meal plan with your vet before making any extreme changes to your cat’s diet. Then, you need to start regulating how much food your cat gets. Feed only the amount of food that you’ve already determined with your vet, and don’t give your cat any more food, even if it begs.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to stop your cat from overeating.
Are Maine Coons Picky Eaters?
Maine Coons are no more picky than other cat breeds. However, cats are notorious for being finicky eaters! Most of this has to do with a cat’s love of routine and sameness.
A lot of cats become quite used to one diet, and many cats refuse to eat if they’re suddenly given a new kind of food. Cats are also very sensitive to smells and taste, so you may have to experiment a bit before you find a kind of food that your cat enjoys.
Should I Give My Maine Coon Treats?
Treats are a great way to increase your bond with your cat, as well as encourage positive behavior such as tricks. The key is to not feed your cat too many treats a day, or else it can lead to weight gain and malnutrition.
The best treats for Maine Coon kittens and cats have high quality and natural ingredients, rather than lots of artificial flavors or filler ingredients like grains.
What Do Maine Coons Eat In The Wild?
Maine Coons are a naturally occurring breed that existed on their own in the wild before being domesticated alongside humans.
On their own, they would hunt for prey such as small mammals, birds, reptiles, and even insects!
Maine Coon Not Eating
Your cat’s eating habits can tell you a lot about their mood and health. If your Maine Coon is not eating, that’s often a big cause for concern. Here are some possible reasons why your Maine Coon has stopped eating.
- Stress: If a cat is stressed due to a recent major change, such as a big move or the addition of a new family member, then it might stop eating. If your cat is not eating and also spends more time hiding than playing or cuddling, this is a sign it is suffering from stress.
- Wrong Bowl Shape: As mentioned earlier, cats have sensitive whiskers, and prefer wide, shallow dishes to deep ones. Try changing the bowl shape to something more comfortable for your cat.
- Pickiness: Cats are picky eaters! They often rely heavily on sense of smell, and if they don’t like the way their food smells, or can’t smell it at all, they’re unlikely to eat it. Suddenly changing the type of food you provide can also cause your cat to stop eating, as cats enjoy routine.
- The Food’s Ingredients Were Changed: Cats are very picky about the food they eat, and also deeply dislike change. The type of food you always buy for your cat may have changed its recipe without you knowing, causing your cat to suddenly dislike it. You may have to experiment with new types of foods until you find something else your cat likes.
- Underlying Illness: Some cats can also lose their appetite if they are suffering from an underlying illness, such as cancer or pancreatitis. If your cat stops eating and also displays other symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or fever, then contact your vet right away to rule out any serious illness.
Foods Your Cat Should Never Eat
While it’s okay to give your cat table scraps every great once in a while, it’s important to learn about the different kinds of dangerous food for cats.
The foods on this list can result in dangerous symptoms and even death (source 1).
- Chocolate and Caffeine: Chocolate and caffeinated foods and beverages contain a substance known as methylxanthines, which cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other dangerous symptoms in cats.
- Alcohol: Cats that consume alcohol can become dizzy, disoriented, and nauseous. In some cases, it can even result in death.
- Onions and Garlic: Onions, garlic, chives, and other related plants can all cause anemia and even lead to death in large quantities.
- Grapes and Raisins: Grapes and raisins can lead to kidney failure, even in small amounts!
- Nightshades: Plants in the nightshade family include potatoes, eggplants, and tomatoes. Every part of these plants is extremely toxic to cats.
Maine Coon Food Allergies
Unfortunately, humans aren’t the only animals to experience allergies.
Maine Coons can be allergic to different kinds of food as well, with the most frequent food allergies being gluten or dairy. In rarer cases, Maine Coons can also be allergic to seafood or poultry.
Symptoms of allergies in cats include rashes, diarrhea, vomiting, or wheezing. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should take your cat to the vet to get tested for allergies.
Homemade Maine Coon Food
Learning how to make good quality cat food on your own may be a long process, but it’s a great way to ensure your cat is getting all of the nutrients it needs!
Most people who make homemade cat food choose to feed their cats a raw diet.
Keep in mind that there is a lot more to a raw food diet than simply giving your cat raw meat from the store. You should give your cat about 85% muscle meat, but also include uncooked bones, organs, and vitamin supplements. This will ensure your cat is getting all of the essential nutrients it needs.
Making your own food is a much longer process than simply buying cat food from the store. You’ll also need a meat grinder or heavy duty blender to combine all of the ingredients. However, providing your own homemade cat food can give you peace of mind that your cat is getting high quality food.
Here is one recipe to get you started feeding your cat a raw diet (source 1):
- 4.5 pounds boneless dark chicken meat with half of the skin removed
- 7oz raw chicken liver
- 14oz raw chicken hearts
- 8oz water
- 4 raw egg yolks
- 2000mg taurine
- 4000mg salmon oil
- 200mg vitamin B complex
- 200 IU vitamin E
- 2 tsp eggshell powder
- 1.5 tsp light salt
1. Cut up a quarter of the chicken meat into bite-sized chunks. Put the rest of the meat into a meat grinder or blender with the chicken liver and hearts.
2. Whisk together the egg yolks, vitamins, water, salt, and eggshell powder together in a bowl.
3. Combine all of the ingredients together in a slurry.
4. Feed your cat one serving and freeze the rest. It should keep for about one month.
Greedy Cat Breeds
The Maine Coon might need to eat a lot more than other cat breeds, but they certainly aren’t greedy. Here are five cat breeds that don’t have particularly high caloric needs, but will eat all day if you let them! (source 1).
- Turkish Van
- British Shorthair
If you’ve noticed that your cat seems to eat a lot more than other cats, you might be asking yourself, are Maine Coons greedy? Don’t worry though, as you definitely aren’t the first person to ask this question!
In short, it’s safe to say that Maine Coon cats are larger, more active cats, and therefore naturally require more calories than other cat breeds.
Maine Coons aren’t actually greedy- they simply need more food to stay healthy!
Maine Coon Supplements
If your cat is eating a balanced diet of high-quality cat food, then vitamin and mineral supplements should not be necessary. However, some owners may use supplements if their cat is sick.
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