If you are considering owning a Maine Coon cat you are probably asking yourself the very prudent question, do Maine Coon cats molt?
While you may assume that Maine Coons are heavy molters, in part due to their size, that isn’t entirely accurate. Read on to find out why.
While Maine Coons do absolutely molt, they do not molt any more so than any other cat. Even their increased size does not really factor into their molting and you will find they are about on par with other domestic cat breeds. They molt quite a lot less than other larger breeds like the Norwegian Forest Cat.
You may be quite surprised to find out that the Maine Coon molting pattern is not only different from other cats, but it can also vary from country to country and climate to climate.
This comprehensive blog post is going to cover everything you need to know about Maine Coon molting patterns, and what you could potentially do to reduce their shedding.
Do Maine Coon Cats Molt?
Maine Coons are huge, graceful, incredibly fluffy cats with long thick coats that charm anyone they see.
These large cats have quite a different coat from many other household cat breeds.
Their coat has three distinct layers to it:
1: Outer Guard Coat
The top outer layer is semi-water-repellent which they evolved to help protect them from the harsh winter rains and keep them nice and toasty.
2 & 3: Dense Undercoats
Maine Coons have two shorter coats underneath their outer guard coat, which are extremely dense and thick.
With so much fur, it is only natural to wonder about the Maine Coon molting pattern.
Maine Coons are seasonal molters which means they tend to have two major molts, once after summer and once after winter.
But, there is a bit more to the Maine Coon molting pattern than simply two big sheds a year.
If you are wondering how much do Maine Coon cats shed the answer is not as much as you might think, since Maine Coons shed most towards the end of summer and winter.
Other than this, they shed slightly through the year but not more so than any other cat breed.
The Maine Coon shedding season is a few weeks at the end of the summer and winter. You will KNOW when their shedding season is as they ramp up their molting game at this time!
Do Maine Coon cats shed hair?
Yes, they absolutely do shed hair and dander into your home so if you were hoping for a non-shedding allergen-free cat then you probably need to look somewhere else.
Maine Coons are not super potent allergens, but they are also not exactly hypoallergenic either.
Many animals tend to have this kind of shedding pattern, dogs especially tend to have summer and winter coats.
However, many animals also tend to keep their winter coat further into the spring than the Maine Coon typically does.
It depends on what kind of climate you live in, whether or not your Maine Coon is exclusively an indoor cat or not, how long these shedding periods are, and when they might be.
If you live in a very warm climate, and your Maine Coon exclusively lives indoors, it may not even have a massively noticeable seasonal molt.
Do Maine Coon Cats Shed A Lot?
The answer to this question really depends on how you might define the word “a lot”.
If you are asking do Maine Coon cats lose a lot of hair, relatively speaking, then not really.
They are not heavy shedders and since they have adapted their lovely thick coats to help them with a very cold environment, potentially all year round, then it makes sense that Maine Coons should not be particularly heavy shedders.
You do not want to lose your winter coat only for there to be a bitterly cold and wet spring, right?
Do Maine Coons shed heavily?
When you look at the thick and fluffy Maine Coon cat, it is easy to understand why people assume that the thick long coat on a Maine Coon means that they have a lot more hair to lose.
This is kind of true, but when compared to other cats they really do not shed any more than they do.
The Maine Coon cat breed is larger so there is naturally going to be more hair. But not by much. And, not enough for you to avoid buying a Maine Coon due to their shedding patterns!
Do Maine Coons Shed In The Summer?
If you are wondering how often do Maine Coons shed then the answer is about every 6 months.
They have heavy shedding after summer ends and after winter ends.
These shedding periods will last for anywhere from a week or so to a month.
Some Maine Coons tend to have longer shedding seasons but that is not overly common.
The Maine Coon cat’s post-summer shedding is the lesser of the two shedding periods as there is naturally more hair to lose when it is time to shed their thick winter coats!
During the actual summer months, Maine Coons tend to shed slightly, as they do all year round, so they absolutely do shed in the summer.
But, there is nothing particularly special about their summer shedding.
You may find that summer is when they perhaps shed the least as this is when their coat is typically thinner and lighter.
If you happen to live in a really warm country, like Australia, you may even find that your Maine Coon feels as if it is always essentially summer and they may not really have noticeable seasonal coats at all.
This is more likely if your Maine Coon is exclusively an indoor cat.
Do Maine Coons Need Grooming?
Maine Coons need grooming at least 2-3 times a week, and more if they are prone to Maine Coon matted fur or tangles.
Maine Coons need their coats to be brushed, especially their tufted manes, regularly or else they are at risk of becoming matted and knotted.
If your Maine Coons fur becomes matted, your cat will feel increasingly uncomfortable, and its skin might even become infected.
This is especially common with matted fur around the Maine Coon cat’s rear end and its tufted paws.
As well as brushing their fur tri-weekly, they will also need their toe tufts trimmed if they get too long.
Their toes are especially prone to matting, which can become extremely painful for your Maine Coon.
And again, infection is a real risk. Especially if some kind of foreign object gets stuck between their toes.
Grooming your Maine Coon is a tremendously important part of their day-to-day care, so if you do not feel like that is something you could keep on top of, maybe a Maine Coon is not quite the right cat breed for you.
Best Maine Coon Grooming Tools
There are a few key cat grooming tools you might need for grooming your Maine Coon.
While yes, it is true that you will need to use a simple brush most of the time, there are a few other bits and pieces that might help make the Maine Coon grooming task flow a little more smoothly.
Here are four excellent Maine Coon cat grooming tools:
1. Undercoat Rake
Maine Coons have naturally tufty tummies and it is exactly here that they tend to become matted and knotted.
Their tummy tufts are close to the ground and are therefore most likely to catch on things or to unwillingly pick up small foreign objects.
A simple undercoat rake like this will help you de-mat your Maine Coon cat’s iconic tufted chests.
2. Anti-Shedding Brush
This is one of the best grooming brushes for Maine Coon cats on the market, and to top it off it is also self-cleaning.
When you are brushing your Maine Coon every day having a self-cleaning brush will save you a lot of otherwise wasted time.
These are some of the best value grooming clippers for Maine Coons that you can find online.
Not only are they very reasonably priced but they are also strong and durable and capable of performing the delicate task of clipping your Maine Coons excess fur or mattes.
4. Lavender Detangler
Sometimes, you need a little helping hand removing those tough fur tangles on your Maine Coon.
This gently scented lavender detangler works the same as a detangling spray for human hair would work.
It is perfectly safe for cats, dogs, and people if you feel like giving it a try yourself.
This detangler is also intended to be calming and might make your Maine Coon cat grooming sessions run a little smoother.
Why Is My Maine Coon Shedding So Much?
If you feel like your Maine Coon is shedding a bit too much, or at least a lot more than they normally would, there are a few explanations that might be the cause of excessive molting.
For those of you wondering why is my Maine Coon losing hair and feeling like this is not their natural shedding pattern, this next section is important.
Here are some key reasons why your Maine Coon might be losing hair unexpectedly:
Stress can be a trigger for Maine Coons to lose their hair.
If you have recently experienced a big shakeup in your life, or in your Maine Coons life specifically, this could cause them to shed far more than usual.
A good example of this is if you have recently moved house, you may find that the change of scenery may not go down well with your Maine Coon. At least not at first.
We have already covered the seasonal shedding pattern of Maine Coons pretty extensively.
However, it is important to note that your Maine Coons sense of seasons is very different from ours.
While we may use a calendar they are more likely to use the climate.
If they are suddenly shedding quite heavily but it does not quite line up with the change of seasons, there is a chance that the weather has only just started to change strongly one way or the other.
There are a variety of health issues that can cause Maine Coons to lose their fur.
If in doubt, and you are unable to come up with an alternative explanation, a trip to the vet may be in order.
Sure, it can feel like a hassle sometimes but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Especially when it comes to your beloved pet!
There is a chance that this is just normal shedding!
While it is unlikely that normal shedding would give you this much cause for alarm, there is a chance that your Maine Coon is simply shedding its dead hairs.
And, there is seemingly a lot more than normal at this particular moment, by chance.
How To Stop A Maine Coon From Shedding?
A Maine Coon that is shedding pretty heavily can be annoying to owners with allergies, but always remember that this is not your Maine Coon cats fault!
Loose fur blowing around your home might trigger your nose, if you have a sensitive nose, despite you being fine with your Maine Coon the rest of the time.
Additionally, Maine Coon fur is a lot better looking on your Maine Coon rather than all over your furniture!
But, unfortunately, shedding is a natural part of your cat’s life. If that is an issue for you, cats probably are not right for you. At least not this breed of cat.
If you were hoping for a definitive, foolproof, method for completely preventing your Maine Coon from shedding. Then, sorry, there isn’t one.
You will never be able to stop them from shedding completely.
The closest you may be able to get is to live in a consistently warm area, in a reasonably warm home, that stays the same temperature year-round. And, your Maine Coon never leaves the house.
Alternatively, the only tool at your disposal is ever-vigilant grooming.
The best thing to do is to really keep on top of their brushing.
If you brush your Maine Coon consistently, every day, then you can remove almost all of their dead hairs and prevent them from falling naturally all over your home.
Whilst you can prevent a huge amount of their shedding this way, you will never eliminate it.
Maine Coon Shedding Tips
The best tip for dealing with a heavily shedding Maine Coon is to brush them as often as possible.
And, potentially, convince them to shed in a particular place! (see how below!)
Now, you cannot simply ask your Maine Coon cat to shed in one particular corner of one particular room. But you can encourage it.
Some people like to provide a rough scratching post that their Maine Coon is able to rub up against.
This is effective as most of their dead hair rubs off on this service, in a small-ish area.
Additionally, bathing your Maine Coon can remove a lot of dead hair or fur that would have fallen out soon anyway.
Many Maine Coons love a bath, so this should go over quite well with them. Just remember to introduce the concept of bathing whilst they are still kittens.
Do Maine Coon Cats Need Haircuts?
Maine Coons are perfectly fine without having their hair cut!
While it may seem like a nice idea to you, to have a neater and tidier cat, they are not overly fussed for the most part.
If you find that they regularly have long stray clumps of hair that hang off at odd angles, then yeah you may want to give them a little trim. If only to neaten them up slightly, not to give them a complete stylistic change.
Maine Coons are pretty enough on their own, they do not need our fashion advice!
Maine Coons use their thick coats to keep themselves warm.
They are also exceptionally good at regulating their own body temperature.
By cutting their hair too short you may reduce your cat’s ability to self-regulate and they can become stressed and confused.
If you want to trim your Maine Coons hair, fine, but take it easy.
Is It Ok To Shave A Maine Coon Cat?
It is okay to shave your Maine Coon cat under the following circumstances:
1. Matted Fur
First, if they have matted fur between their toes the best thing to do might be to shave between their toe beans and remove overly long tufts.
2. Medical Procedure
Otherwise, the only time your Maine Coon should be getting shaved is if they are having some kind of medical procedure done.
Many people like to shave their Maine Coons to look like lions because they think it is cute. Please keep in mind that this is often not pleasant for your Maine Coon.
Going back to the concept of self-regulating their body temperature, it is incredibly hard (or even impossible) for your Maine Coon to do so if they are shaved.
By now, you should have a really good idea about Maine Coon molting patterns and what you might expect.
Do Maine Coon cats molt? Yes, they do, like any other cat.
But despite their size and thick lengthy coat, they are not particularly heavy shedders and you will not find that they are any worse on your allergies than most other cat breeds.
If you are still wondering how often do Maine Coons shed, you need to consider that while they are mostly seasonal shedders they will shed lightly all year around.