Since cats hunt for themselves in the wild you might wonder, can Maine Coons eat raw meat?
Unfortunately, finding a nutritional and safe diet for our cats might be more complicated than you would first think. Keep reading to find out why!
Cats can eat raw meat from the grocery store, but it comes with an increased risk of diseases like Salmonella or Toxoplasmosis, which can make either you or your cat ill and can sometimes result in death. Furthermore, many raw food recipes for cats do not contain the right amount of nutrients, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies.
Many owners choose to feed their cats a raw diet because they want to know exactly what they are putting in their cat’s food.
Commercial cat foods are often lacking in certain nutrients or contain filler carbohydrates. However, there are many drawbacks to a Maine Coon raw diet, as well.
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?
Can Maine Coons Eat Raw Meat?
The Maine Coon cat breed may be a gentle and domesticated creature these days, but long ago they hunted like wildcats in the snowy state of Maine.
They became prized by farmers and sailors for their incredible hunting abilities, which they retain to this day.
Maine Coons are also obligate carnivores, which means they must eat protein from other animals. Eating only vegetable protein would result in premature death.
In the wild, Maine Coons hunted all sorts of creatures.
Here is a general list of some of the animals Maine Coons have been known to hunt:
Since Maine Coons do not exactly cook their food before eating it in the wild, you may want to know can Maine Coon cats eat raw meat?
All cats are capable of eating freshly caught raw meat. However, killing and eating a squirrel in the wild is very different from eating raw meat from the supermarket.
Did you know that Maine Coon cats have much stronger stomach acid than humans so are less likely to get sick from eating raw meat?
However, raw meat that has been butchered, preserved, stored, and shipped across the country is much more likely to contain dangerous or even deadly pathogens than freshly caught prey.
Furthermore, if you or any other humans come into contact with your cat’s mouth or feces after it has eaten raw food, you might also be exposed to these pathogens (source 1).
Is Raw Food Good For Cats?
If you are wondering, can you give your cats raw meat, the answer is a bit complicated.
So, let’s start with what happens if a cat eats raw meat.
Usually, cats do not get sick from eating raw meat.
If you want to know why can cats eat raw meat but humans cannot, the fact is that cats have stronger stomach acid that is more likely to destroy any pathogens.
While there are some benefits of feeding cat raw food, there are also many drawbacks.
Below are three benefits of feeding a Maine Coon raw food:
1. Known Ingredients
There have been several nightmarish incidents where commercial cat foods were recalled for containing dangerous or even deadly ingredients.
Some owners prefer to know exactly what they are putting in their cat’s food so they do not have to rely on brands to provide safe, healthy food.
2. Fewer Allergens
If your cat suffers from allergies or food sensitivities, homemade raw food is a great way to provide food that will not give your cat a reaction!
It is also helpful as a way of narrowing down which ingredients are causing allergic reactions.
3. Balanced Nutrition
If you are wondering why is raw food better for cats, it has more to do with the preparation than any differences between raw and commercial cat food.
While raw food is actually more likely to make cats sick than cooked food, some owners are more likely to provide their cats with a balanced meal than if they fed commercial cat food.
This is because many cat food brands contain filler content like:
- Other Carbohydrates
As a result, one of the health benefits of raw cat food is that owners can keep unhealthy or filler foods out of their cat’s diet.
Below are five downsides (cons) to feeding your Maine Coon a raw food diet:
1. Cat Health
The biggest drawback to feeding homemade raw food is the chance of illness or even death.
In the wild, cats eat their food quickly after they kill it.
Humans, however, butcher animals states, or even countries away, then process and package them before freezing, storing, and shipping them to the supermarket.
Even with preservatives and proper temperature storage, this allows a lot more time for bacteria to multiply, greatly increasing the chance of foodborne illness.
2. Human Health
Cats are more hardy when it comes to eating contaminated food.
However, even simply cleaning out your cat’s litterbox or touching your cat after it has eaten raw food can pass on all sorts of illnesses such as:
Even if your cat is lucky enough to eat raw food without getting sick, these diseases can result in serious illness or even death in humans.
If you make raw cat food at home, you will have a lot more cleaning to do.
Every single utensil, kitchen appliance, and surface used in the process has to be carefully sanitized, which takes up a lot more time and increases the risk of illness if not done properly.
Gathering all of the ingredients, measuring exactly how much your cat needs to eat each day, and putting together your cat’s meal all take a lot of time.
Most people who make homemade cat food process it in bulk, and then freeze it for about a month.
Still, it takes a lot of research and patience to finally reach the point where making your cat’s food is quick and easy.
5. Nutrient Deficiencies
Even though lots of people choose to provide homemade raw food so that it is more nutritious than commercial food, making your food can end up being worse for your cat in the long term.
Unless you do lots of careful research and talk with veterinarians to come up with the perfect recipes and meal plans, there is always the chance for human error.
Simply looking up raw food diet for cats online will not guarantee you accurate or healthy recipes.
Raw Feeding Guide For Cats
While most vets and experts do not recommend feeding your cat homemade raw food, it can be possible to provide healthy homemade food for your pet.
Whilst normal cats require a diet that is made up of 26% protein, many cat nutritionists recommend that Maine Coons need a diet of over 50% protein (source 1).
However, the kinds of amino acids in these proteins are very important.
Since cats are obligate carnivores, they require animal proteins and will die without them.
Protein is beneficial for the Maine Coon cat because it:
- Provides Energy
- Supports The Immune System
- Helps Fur
- Aids The Nervous System
The proteins that adult cats require are:
Taurine is a kind of amino acid found in animal proteins.
Taurine is an essential ingredient for cats, as it helps with:
- Immune System
- Heart Function
If a cat is fed a diet without taurine, it will eventually lead to blindness and death.
Here are some other causes of Maine Coon cat death.
Fat should make up about 9% of a cat’s diet.
Fat provides energy and keeps a cat’s fur and skin:
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are especially important for cats.
When it comes to crude fat, cats also need:
- Eicosapentaenoic Acid
- Docosahexaenoic Acid
- Linoleic Acid
- Alpha-Linolenic Acid
- Arachidonic Acid
Many commercial cat foods add filler content like:
While cats do require some amount of carbohydrates, they should not be given much.
Grains contain lots of sugar, but very few nutrients that cats need.
A normal cat’s diet should only include about 10 to 15% carbohydrates, or even less. Whereas this cat food specialist states that Maine Coons need under 3% carbohydrates.
The minerals that cats require are:
Cats require the following vitamins within their diet:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Pantothenic Acid
- Folic Acid
If you are looking for a Maine Coon raw food calculator to find out how much raw food to give your cat, you will have to do a little bit of math!
Maine Coons need between 25 and 35 calories per pound of body weight each day.
Sedentary or overweight cats may need closer to 25 calories a day per pound of body weight, while more active cats might need about 35 calories per pound each day.
If you want to know how much to feed on your raw diet for Maine Coon kittens, simply multiply the kitten’s weight by how many calories it should be eating per pound of body weight.
For those of you that are unsure if your Maine Coon is overweight, this is how you can tell you cat is obese.
How To Switch Your Cat To A Raw Diet
If you are switching to raw food cats are not likely to react well to a sudden change. Instead, it is best to shift to raw food gradually.
This will give your cat time to adjust mentally as well as physically.
It is also important to monitor your cats’ stools as you introduce the new diet.
Rest assured that it is normal for a cat’s bowel movements to become a bit irregular after transitioning to raw food.
However, if you notice any of the following you may need to revert to normal cat food:
- Extreme Constipation
Here are the two different methods you can use when switching your cat to raw food:
1. Dry Food
When giving your cat dry food, you can add a small plate to the side with just a bit of raw food available.
Over time, you can gradually decrease the amount of dry food you give your cat while increasing the raw food.
Since dry food is important for a cat’s dental health, however, you should never remove dry food from its diet completely.
2. Wet Food
If you primarily feed your cat wet food, you can start to transition them to raw food by mixing in just a bit of raw food with their wet food.
Then, you can slowly decrease the amount of wet food you give them while increasing the amount of raw food you mix in (source 1).
Do Cats Live Longer On Raw Diet?
There is no evidence to suggest that a raw diet will make your cat healthier or longer-lived.
Instead, many studies show that cats are more likely to get ill or suffer from nutrient deficiencies when fed a homemade raw diet.
In the wild, cats get everything they need from their prey.
Unfortunately, individual humans often do not have the knowledge or resources to provide a perfect alternative.
The average cat owner does not have the qualifications of a vet or nutritionist, so it is better to rely on commercial cat food that has been approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials.
Homemade Maine Coon Cat Food
If you want to provide a Maine Coon raw food diet, then here is a simple recipe to get you started!
Of course, you might want to use a raw cat food diet calculator or talk with your vet before committing to this recipe:
|Raw Chicken Hearts
|Raw Chicken Liver
|Dark Chicken meat with
all of the bones removed
and half of the skin removed
|Raw Egg Yolks
|Vitamin B Complex
This is how to create the best homemade Maine Coon cat food recipe (source 1):
Put three-quarters of the chicken meat into a blender or meat grinder and combine it with the chicken liver and hearts.
Cut up the remaining chicken into small, bite-sized pieces.
Combine the following ingredients in a bowl:
- Egg Yolks
- Powdered Eggshells
Then whisk the ingredients until they are well combined.
Combine all of the ingredients and mix into a slurry.
Make sure to mix well so that all of the ingredients are evenly distributed, or else your cat may receive too much or too little of one ingredient.
Feed your cat one serving, then freeze the rest.
One ounce of the recipe is equal to about 35 calories. Most cats need between 25 and 35 calories a day per pound of body weight.
The frozen food will last for about a month before it should be replaced.
Clean and sanitize all of the counters and utensils you used.
The pathogens of raw meat can be deadly, especially to people who are:
Best Raw Food For Maine Coon
If you are working on a raw diet for Maine Coon cats you might want to know, what raw meat can cats have?
Generally, owners who offer a raw diet for Maine Coon cats include a mix of:
- Poultry like chicken or duck
In one case, an owner even fed his Maine Coon kangaroo!
All raw meat carries the risk of foodborne illness. However, raw beef and fish are less likely to contain pathogens than chicken.
It is common for people to eat sushi or even raw beef on occasion, but raw foods are typically not eaten every day.
Overall, the raw foods that cats seem to prefer and react best to include (source 1):
Do Maine Coons Need Special Food?
If you have just gotten a Maine Coon you might want to know, can Maine Coons eat normal cat food?
While you can give your Maine Coon commercial cat food, you should be mindful of the quality you are providing.
Daily Calories Needs
Maine Coons require 25 to 35 calories per pound of body weight each day.
Since Maine Coons are so active, they usually need between 30 and 35 calories per pound of body weight a day. However, there is a lot more to your cat’s food than calories.
Low Quality Diet
If you feed your Maine Coon a low-quality diet, chances are it will be eating too many carbohydrates.
A lot of commercial cat foods include lots of filler content like:
If your cat is eating too many carbohydrates, it may not be getting enough protein.
Here are the amount of macronutrients your Maine Coon should be getting each day.
Normal adult cats need 26% protein in their diet, however, to keep a Maine Coon healthy owners should ensure they feed their cat a high-protein diet which includes over 50% protein.
Since cats are obligate carnivores, this protein must come from an animal.
Fat should make up about 9% of your cat’s diet.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are especially important for your cat’s organ functions, skin, and coat.
A normal cat breed’s diet should include about 10% to 15% carbohydrates, but some vets recommend 10% or less.
According to this Maine Coon cat food specialist, though, Maine Coons should not have more than 3% carbohydrates.
Too many carbohydrates might fill your cat up for a little bit, but it will lead to malnutrition and poor growth if they aren’t getting enough protein.
What Do Maine Coons Like To Eat?
Maine Coons like to eat a wide variety of animal meats.
However, many cats develop certain preferences, so you may find that your Maine Coon loves tuna but detests chicken!
Here is a more complete list of the different kinds of meat Maine Coons tend to enjoy:
- Tuna, Salmon, and other fish
In the wild, Maine Coons eat:
- Small Rodents like mice and moles
To learn more about what Maine Coons eat in the wild, take a look at THIS!
The most prolific hunters can even catch rabbits or hares!
While Maine Coons do love to hunt in the wild, you should consider these factors before letting your cat roam free outside.
Keeping a Maine Coon indoors or outside comes down to the owner’s personal opinions and preferences, and will depend on the many different factors listed in this article.
Cat owners that advocate keeping a Maine Coon inside believe that allowing your cat outdoors is a risk to your Maine Coon, but can also cause devastation to local wildlife.
This is because cats are responsible for dozens of bird extinctions over the last century.
Maine Coons are especially strong hunters, and they can catch many more animals a day than you might guess.
The domestic cat we know and love today evolved from desert-dwelling wildcats.
These wildcats were opportunistic hunters; since the desert is much less rich in prey than most places, these cats learned to hunt whenever they saw movement.
Of course, today, this means that feral and domestic cats will catch food even if they are not hungry.
To protect local wildlife, these campaigners believe that you should take your cat out on a leash and harness instead of allowing it to roam free.
These are the best cat harness for Maine Coon cats!
If you want your cat to experience the thrill of the hunt, you might want to consider getting feed fish from a local pet store.
It is best to avoid chain pet stores from big companies, as they are notorious for overcrowding their fish and leaving dead or ill fish in tanks with live fish for dangerous amounts of time.
Instead, talk with a locally-owned pet store about what kinds of feed fish might be best for your cat.
If you are wondering can Maine Coons eat raw meat, the answer is technically yes, although most vets discourage giving cats an entirely raw diet.
While cats can and do eat raw meat, it is typically safer to provide high-quality commercial cat food.
This is because commercial cat food is less likely to contain pathogens and more likely to contain all of the macronutrients and micronutrients your cat needs to stay healthy.
If you do choose to feed your cat a raw diet, talk with your vet beforehand to come up with a comprehensive meal plan to ensure your raw food recipes contain everything your cat needs.
Can A House Cat Eat Raw Meat?
If you want to know can a domestic cat eat raw meat, the answer is yes but most vets recommend you give your cat cooked meat, as it contains the same amount of nutrients without the risk of illness.
Can Maine Coons Eat Raw Chicken?
You can feed a Maine Coon raw chicken, but your cat will be more likely to suffer from food-borne illness than if it was fed cooked meat.
Will Raw Hamburger Meat Hurt A Cat?
Beef is less likely to contain pathogens than chicken or pork, but it should be fed in moderation (source 1).
Is Grudge A Maine Coon?
The cat named Grudge who appears in Star Trek: Discovery was played by a Maine Coon cat (source 1).
Research Study: Can Maine Coon Cats Eat Chocolate?
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.