When it comes to feeding your Maine Coon, one option is to buy off-the-shelf food. But is there a better option?
Keeping reading to find out what the benefits of homemade Maine Coon cat food are, for this large domestic cat breed.
Pay special attention to the food you give to Maine Coon cats, in terms of the food’s health and nutrition values. Off-the-shelf cat food might be convenient, but there are many health advantages to preparing homemade cat food, for example, you know how fresh the meat you are feeding your cat is.
Discover more about homemade cat food, and how to make the perfect Maine Coon cat food.
Keep scrolling to also read the results of a poll conducted by Katrina Stewardson on Maine Coon Central’s YouTube channel, where viewers were asked if it was safe to feed Maine Coon cats chocolate.
What do you think the results were?
Table Of Contents
Why Consider Homemade Maine Coon Cat Food?
Maine Coon cats are a stunning breed, known for their large size and playful personalities.
Originating from the harsh climates of North America, these felines have evolved to be efficient hunters, requiring a diet rich in protein.
As obligate carnivores, Maine Coons need a diet primarily made up of meat (source 1).
One of the benefits of homemade Maine Coon cat food is that owners can ensure their pets get the right balance of nutrients.
By providing a homemade mix of raw cat food, this feeding method allows owners to control the quality of ingredients and the specific nutritional content, tailoring it to their pet’s needs.
Maine Coon’s need at least 50% of their diet to be made up of protein, with low fat and low carbs.
As a result, many owners opt for a raw food diet, as raw meat is packed full of the protein Maine Coons crave and need for their energy levels (source 1).
Careful planning is required to ensure that a Maine Coon raw food diet provides all the necessary:
- Essential Vitamins And Minerals
With care, our homemade cat food recipes can provide the needed balance for a Maine Coon raw food diet, offering you a viable alternative to commercial cat foods.
Understanding what is wrong with cat food allows owners to make informed decisions about their pet’s nutrition.
Benefits Of Homemade Maine Coon Cat Food
Many sources suggest significant issues with commercial cat food, highlighting the potential impacts of low-quality protein and unhealthy additives.
Many Maine Coons are housebound pets, and unable to supplement their diet with prey. It is therefore especially vital that the problem with cat food is resolved by looking at alternative strategies for feeding them.
Homemade cat food can potentially mitigate these issues.
Below are four key benefits of homemade Maine Coon cat food:
1. Control Over Ingredients
Homemade cat food allows control of the quality and quantity of ingredients.
2. Avoid Additives And Fillers
Many commercial cat foods contain the following which contribute to cat health problems:
- Low-Quality Ingredients
3. Tailored To Your Cat
Your cat is unique, and homemade food allows you to adjust your recipe to suit your individual Maine Coon.
4. Avoiding Obesity
By controlling portion sizes and the nutritional content of the food, homemade diets can help prevent obesity and associated health problems.
Here are the key signs of obesity in Maine Coon cats.
Preventing your Maine Coon from becoming obese is one of the most important benefits of homemade Maine Coon cat food.
This is because obesity is very harmful to felines and causes health issues.
What To Feed A Maine Coon Cat
Maine Coon cats are a breed known for their large size and robust health. However, like other living creatures, they require a balanced diet to maintain their health and vitality.
The benefits of homemade Maine Coon cat food are therefore clear to see, as owners can use the following feline nutritional information to determine what to feed a Maine Coon cat.
Here is a breakdown of what your pet will need in their food to maintain a healthy diet:
Vitamins And Minerals
Maine Coons require a range of vitamins, including:
These vitamins can be obtained from various sources such as:
- Fish Oil
- Wheat Germ Oil
Vitamin A is essential for:
- Immune Function
Maine Coons need a well-rounded diet that includes an essential component – fatty acids.
This breed thrives on the right balance of fat from animal sources, which supplies vital fatty acids such as:
- Linoleic Acid
- Arachidonic Acid
- Omega-6 Acids
Ideally, these fats should comprise about 20-30% of their diet.
Besides providing energy, these fatty acids play a key role in (source 1):
- Maintaining their glossy fur
- Promoting organ health
- Facilitating the absorption of vitamins that dissolve in fat
Animal protein is a must-have for Maine Coon cats.
It provides the amino acids necessary for:
- Energy Building
- Organ Health
- Skin Maintenance
- Coat Maintenance
Good sources of animal protein include:
The recommended protein content for a Maine Coon’s diet is over 50%, but this may vary depending on the cat’s age and activity level.
While humans can take protein from both animal and plant sources, it is essential to consider the question, what do Maine Coon cats eat?
What Raw Meat Can I Feed My Maine Coon?
Maine Coons require a nutrient-rich diet to maintain their health and vitality.
A raw food diet can be a great way to deliver these essential nutrients as it mirrors what they would naturally eat in the wild.
In the wild, a cat does not just eat the muscle meat of its prey. They also consume the bones, organs, and sometimes even the fur or feathers!
|Prey Part||Meat||Nutritional Benefits|
|High in animal protein, provides |
essential amino acids for muscle
growth and energy
|Calcium and phosphorus, vital |
for bone health
|Excellent source of Vitamin A, B5, B12, |
and many others essential for vision,
growth, and immune function
|Provides B vitamins, crucial for cell |
|Fish||Salmon||Rich in animal protein and Omega-3 |
fatty acids, beneficial for skin and coat
|Egg Yolks||Packed with Vitamins D and E, |
important for bone health (D) and cell
The best raw food for Maine Coon cats is a mix of different animal meat and organs, as this will ensure a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and essential fats and proteins.
How To Make Homemade Cat Food
Creating homemade cat food can be a rewarding and healthy alternative to commercial cat food options.
One of the most evident benefits of homemade Maine Coon cat food is that it allows you to control the quality of ingredients and cater to specific dietary needs.
Two popular methods of preparing homemade cat food include the ‘Prey Model’ and the ‘Bones and Raw Food (BARF)’ diet.
We will now explore these two options and determine which is the best for a Maine Coon cat:
1. Prey Model Raw Diet For Cats (PWR)
What is the prey model raw diet for cats?
The Prey Model Raw diet, also known as PMR, aims to replicate the natural diet of a wild cat.
It primarily consists of raw meat, organs, and bones, typically in a ratio of:
- 80% Meat
- 10% Organs
- 10% Edible Bones
This model excludes fruits, vegetables, and grains as they are not part of a wild cat’s diet.
The idea is to provide a diet that closely mimics what cats eat in the wild, thus providing all the essential nutrients they need (source 1).
2. Bones And Raw Food Diet (BARF)
What is the BARF diet for cats?
The Bones and Raw Food diet is another popular choice for homemade cat food.
Unlike the Prey Model, the BARF diet includes some fruits and vegetables, along with raw meat, bones, and organs.
The typical ratio is:
- 70% Meat, Organs, And Bones
- 30% Fruits And Vegetables
Proponents of the BARF diet argue that cats can benefit from the additional nutrients found in fruits and vegetables (source 1).
BARF Diet Vs Prey Model
The main difference between the BARF diet and the Prey Model is the inclusion of fruits and vegetables in the BARF diet.
Some believe that the extra vitamins, minerals, and fiber from plant matter can be beneficial to a cat’s health.
However, others argue that cats, being obligate carnivores, do not have the necessary digestive system to process plant matter effectively.
Best Raw Food For Maine Coon
Maine Coons, known for their size and lush fur, have specific dietary needs, compared to the general domesticated cat population.
They require a high-protein diet with plenty of moisture to maintain their muscular bodies and keep their coat healthy.
Both the BARF and Prey Model diets can be suitable for Maine Coons, provided they are correctly balanced and diverse.
The added fruits and vegetables can provide antioxidants and other nutrients that support overall health.
Vet Approved Homemade Cat Food Recipes
It is crucial to consult with a vet before deciding on a diet plan for your Maine Coon.
Assuming you have already done so, here are two simple recipes that your Maine Coon will enjoy.
As for what is the best homemade food for cats, that decision may lay in their paws more than yours, and you may find that some offerings are declined while others are quickly consumed.
1. Any Meat Recipe
This recipe is ideal for mixing with dry supplements or serving on its own (source 1).
Please use the following ingredients in your homemade cat food:
|28 oz.||Boneless Protein |
(meat of your choice)
|2 oz.||Animal Liver|
|6 oz.||Animal Kidney|
|1 tsp||Eggshell Powder|
|1/2 tsp||Vitamin Supplement |
|500 mg||Salmon Oil|
|1 Large||Egg York Per |
Pound Of Food
- Combine the eggshell powder and vitamin supplements in a small bowl.
- If using chicken, remove half the skin and use some dark meat.
- Cut the protein, liver, and kidney into grinder-friendly chunks.
- Position a bowl under the grinder.
- Grind the meat and organs, adding salmon oil capsules slowly.
- Move the ground mixture into a large bowl.
- Add dry supplements, egg yolk, and water to the mixture.
- Mix until combined.
- Divide the mixture into portions.
- Store in the fridge or freezer.
2. Chicken And Salmon Recipe
This recipe uses a mix of chicken and salmon meat, along with a mix of other protein sources to keep your Maine Coon satisfied (source 1).
Below are the ingredients to this homemade Maine Coon cat food recipe:
|24 Ounces||Chicken Wings With Bones|
|4 Ounces||Salmon With Bones|
|2 Ounces||Chicken Liver|
|2 Ounces||Beef Kidney|
|5 Ounces||Chicken Heart|
|2 Quantity||Whole Raw Egg (With Shell)|
|1 Small Pinch||Low Sodium Salt|
- Ensure you have a meat grinder or a powerful blender like a Vitamix.
- Blend all the organ meats with water in the blender.
- Gradually add the chicken and salmon to the blender.
- Add eggs and taurine to the mixture.
- Blend until everything is well combined.
- Divide the mixture into portions.
- Freeze the remaining mixture for future use.
How Much Should You Feed a Maine Coon?
For Maine Coon cats the amount of food they require each day depends on their weight.
A full-grown adult Maine Coon typically weighs between 12-22 pounds, according to the TICA breed standards.
They require around 20 calories per pound of body weight for maintenance. Thus, an adult Maine Coon weighing 15 pounds would need roughly 300 calories per day.
See the table below for a full Maine Coon feeding chart (source 1):
|Maine Coon |
|Minimum Calorie |
When it comes to feeding Maine Coon kittens raw food, it is important to ensure the diet is balanced and nutritionally complete.
Raw diets can be beneficial for kittens as they are more natural and can help promote:
- Healthier Skin
- Shinier Coats
- Higher Energy Levels
However, they should be implemented with care, as raw diets also have risks, such as bacterial contamination.
Therefore, it is always best to consult with a vet before introducing a raw diet to your kitten.
4 Homemade Cat Food Mistakes
Homemade cat food can be a healthy alternative to commercial cat food, but is homemade cat food safe?
Avoiding certain mistakes will ensure your cat gets all the nutrients it needs.
Here are some common homemade cat food mistakes:
1. Imbalanced Diets
Cats require a diet that is rich in proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. However, it is crucial to strike the right balance between these nutrients. An imbalanced diet can lead to various health issues.
For instance, a diet high in protein but low in carbohydrates can lead to energy deficiency. Likewise, a diet high in fats but low in protein can result in muscle loss.
Therefore, ensuring your cat’s diet contains the right proportions of all these nutrients for optimal health is essential.
2. Ignoring Taurine Needs
Taurine is an amino acid that plays a vital role in several of a cat’s bodily functions, including:
- Heart Function
- Immune Response
Unlike other animals, cats do not produce taurine. Instead, they get it through their diet.
A diet lacking in taurine can lead to serious health problems like dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle.
Hence, it is crucial to include taurine-rich foods like meat and fish in your cat’s diet or use supplements if needed.
3. Feeding Raw Bones
Some cat owners who advocate for a raw diet believe that feeding bones to cats can be beneficial. However, please keep in mind that this practice can also pose serious risks.
Raw bones can splinter and cause choking hazards or internal injuries if swallowed. Moreover, larger bones can fracture a cat’s teeth.
Therefore, it is safer to avoid feeding raw bones to your cat.
4. Using Unsafe Ingredients
Certain foods that are safe and healthy for humans can be harmful to cats.
Here is a list of 20 human foods that you must not feed your Maine Coon cat.
For instance, onions and garlic contain compounds that can damage a cat’s red blood cells, leading to anemia.
Similarly, chocolate contains theobromine which is toxic to cats and can cause heart problems, seizures, and even death.
Therefore, it is important to be aware of these unsafe ingredients and keep them out of your cat’s diet.
Foods That Harm Maine Coons
In addition to problems with ensuring food is correctly balanced and healthy, there are foods that harm a Maine Coon cat.
The benefits of homemade Maine Coon cat food are therefore clear to see since the list below makes owners aware of what food they shouldn’t include in their cat’s diet.
While giving cats foods that humans enjoy might seem lovely at first glance, encouraging your cat to eat the wrong type of food could kill your beloved pet.
Here is a list of foods that harm Maine Coon kittens and cats:
Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, which is highly toxic to cats. Even in small amounts, it may cause the following symptoms:
- Rapid Breathing
- Increased Heart Rate
In severe cases, it can lead to:
- Muscle Tremors
- Heart Failure
Hence, it is crucial to keep all forms of chocolate out of your cat’s reach.
YouTube Research: Is Chocolate Harmful For Maine Coon Cats?
In a unique research study conducted by Katrina Stewardson on the Maine Coon Central YouTube channel, in October 2023, viewers were asked if they thought chocolate was harmful to Maine Coon cats.
Of the 189 viewers that entered the poll, 95% of Maine Coon cat lovers were aware that chocolate is harmful to a Maine Coon.
However, 5% of the respondents did not realize the danger chocolate posed to this large cat breed, which was very worrying.
Alcohol is extremely dangerous for cats, even in small quantities. It can cause symptoms, like:
- Lack Of Coordination
In severe cases, it can lead to:
Therefore, it is essential to keep alcoholic beverages away from your cat at all times.
Caffeinated products like coffee or tea can be harmful to cats.
Caffeine can cause many difficulties in cats, including the following:
- Rapid Breathing
- Heart Palpitations
- Muscle Tremors
In severe cases, consuming caffeine may lead to:
- Abnormal Heart Rhythms
Keep your cat away from any food or drink containing caffeine.
4. Onions And Garlic
Onions and garlic are particularly harmful to cats because they contain compounds that damage a cat’s red blood cells, leading to a condition known as hemolytic anemia.
This condition can cause:
- Decreased Appetite
- Pale Gums
Severe cases can be life-threatening (source 1).
5. Grapes And Raisins
Grapes and raisins are toxic to cats and can cause acute kidney failure.
Symptoms of grape or raisin toxicity in cats, includes:
- Abdominal Pain
- Decreased Urination
If you suspect your cat has eaten grapes or raisins, seek immediate veterinary assistance.
6. Dairy Products
Even though cats are often associated with drinking milk, most cats, including Maine Coons, are lactose intolerant.
This means that dairy products like milk and cheese can upset their digestive system, leading to symptoms such as:
- Stomach Discomfort
If you want to give your kitten a treat, there are lactose-free cat milk products available on the market.
While not all fish is bad for Maine Coon cats, feeding them a diet primarily based on fish can lead to a vitamin E deficiency.
This can potentially cause a painful condition called steatitis, also known as yellow fat disease.
Additionally, some fish like tuna contains high levels of mercury which can be harmful in large amounts.
Some cats, including Maine Coons, may have a sensitivity or intolerance to gluten, a protein found in grains such as:
Consumption of gluten can cause the following digestive issues in sensitive cats, including:
- Weight Loss
9. Raw Eggs
Raw eggs carry the risk of salmonella or E.coli, which can cause serious illness in cats.
Additionally, a protein in raw eggs, avidin, can interfere with the absorption of biotin, a B vitamin, leading to skin and coat problems.
Certain types of mushrooms can be toxic to cats.
While some are harmless, others can cause a range of symptoms from gastrointestinal upset to severe organ damage or even death.
Avocados contain a toxin called persin that is harmful to cats.
Ingesting avocados can cause cats the following issues:
- Potential Heart Congestion
Nuts, particularly macadamia nuts, can be toxic to cats.
They can cause the following symptoms due to their high fat content:
13. Baby Food
Some baby foods may contain onion powder, which is toxic to cats.
Additionally, if a cat’s diet was solely based on baby food this would not provide all the necessary nutrients for a cat.
14. Dog Food
Dog food is formulated for dogs, not cats. It lacks certain nutrients that cats need, like:
- Arachidonic Acid
- Certain Vitamins
Feeding your Maine Coon cat dog food can lead to nutritional deficiencies.
15. Yeast Dough
Raw yeast dough can expand in a cat’s stomach, causing bloating and digestive discomfort. Additionally, as the yeast ferments, it can produce alcohol which can lead to alcohol poisoning.
16. Too Much Liver
While liver is nutritious for cats, feeding too much can cause vitamin A toxicity.
This can lead to:
- Bone Deformities
- Growth Problems
- Other Serious Health Issues
17. Human Medicine
Human medicine is not formulated for cats and can be extremely toxic to cats.
Never give your Maine Coon any medication without consulting your vet first. Even common over-the-counter drugs like acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be deadly to cats.
With so many risk factors, is homemade cat food safe?
It is easy to see that careless food preparation could be a problem for your cat.
However, by following appropriate recipes and avoiding foods that harm a Maine Coon cat, it’s easy to make homemade food for your Maine Coon.
Do Maine Coons Need Raw Meat?
Do Maine Coons need raw meat to be healthy? The answer is no.
While cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need a diet high in animal protein to survive, there is no evidence that raw meat is necessary for their health.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of raw meat:
Benefits of Raw Meat
Many proponents of raw meat diets for cats claim numerous benefits, such as improved digestion and overall health.
However, these claims are not supported by scientific evidence, and the risks of feeding a raw meat diet outweigh any potential benefits.
Instead, it is the idea that a raw diet is more natural to the Maine Coon that has fuelled interest in this feeding style.
Risks Of Raw Meat
In our experience, feeding your Maine Coon raw meat is something you can do, and it certainly is closer to their instinctual hunting and eating habits.
However, raw meat can also contain harmful bacteria, parasites, or toxins that can cause serious illness in cats.
Additionally, homemade raw meat diets may lack essential nutrients for a cat’s health unless efforts are made to ensure it is properly balanced.
In comparison, homemade recipes for cat food made from cooked meat eliminate most, if not all, of this risk while still allowing you to enjoy preparing food for your pet.
It is clear that the decision to prepare homemade Maine Coon cat food requires careful thought and consideration.
Whilst there are benefits of homemade Maine Coon cat food, there are also many risks to be aware of too.
It is crucial that your homemade cat food avoids toxic foods, and is a well-balanced diet that meets the nutritional needs of your feline friend.
While raw meat may replicate the Maine Coons natural diet, it also carries potential risks, and there is no conclusive evidence to suggest it is superior to cooked meat.
So, if you choose the homemade feline food route for your Maine Coon, make sure to consult with your vet first, only use safe ingredients, and always follow trusted recipes.
In this way, you can provide a healthy, tailor-made diet that caters to your Maine Coon’s specific needs while adding a personal touch to their feeding routine.
What Are Some Common Foods That Are Harmful To Maine Coon Cats?
Common harmful foods include chocolate, alcohol, dairy products, fish, gluten, raw eggs, mushrooms, avocados, nuts, baby food, dog food, yeast dough, liver in excess, and human medicine.
Is Feeding Raw Meat To Maine Coons Necessary For Their Health?
No, while cats are obligate carnivores, raw meat is not necessary for a cat’s health, and actually carries potential risks.
Can I Prepare Homemade Food For My Maine Coon?
Yes, with careful consideration to avoid toxic foods and ensure a balanced diet. Always consult your vet and follow trusted recipes.