Do Maine Coons have sensitive stomachs? Yes, they do suffer from stomach sensitivity and there is no definite answer to why the issue exists.
Maine Coons have sensitive stomachs. Owners should avoid feeding them additives like artificial colorings, flavorings, meat by-products, which irritate a Maine Coons sensitive digestive system. Eating too fast should be discouraged. Bowel inflammation and vomiting occur when groomed long hair accumulates in the small intestine.
Anything can go wrong in your cat’s stomach or intestines, or there could be other factors that can contribute to digestive disruptions in your feline.
However, their stomach disorders are not genetic and are mainly a result of their diet and environment.
Maine Coon Sensitive Stomachs
It is not uncommon for some Maine Coons to develop digestive issues such as an upset stomach, and vomiting, at some point in their lives. These digestive issues clear up within a few days.
However, some Maine Coons may have regular or permanent digestive problems. The digestive problems in cats can be acute or chronic.
Some common digestive problems in Maine Coons are –
- Inflammation of the stomach, pancreas, and intestines.
- Gastrointestinal tract problems causing acid-base and electrolyte imbalances and even malnutrition.
- Acute Gastroenteritis or upset tummy
Signs Your Maine Coon Has A Sensitive Stomach
Occasional vomiting if your cat ingests something their body identifies as harmful is normal. However, frequent vomiting could indicate a more serious problem.
Your cat can have diarrhea if the problem affects the lower part of the gastrointestinal tract.
The cat will become less active and stop interacting and will start hiding in unusual places.
4. Reluctance To Eat
Your cat will refuse to eat, although cats do not go without food for more than a day.
Due to dehydration, your cat will have dry and tacky gums.
10 Reasons Why Maine Coons Have Sensitive Stomachs
If your Maine Coon has a sensitive stomach then anything that inflames the gastrointestinal system of your Maine Coon can cause an upset stomach, and also vomiting.
Myriads of factors can cause stomach sensitivity in your cat.
1. Eating Inedible Things
Your cat can sometimes eat things they shouldn’t such as grass or leaves, or even inedible things like hairballs, toys, clothes, etc.
These things can cause more serious blockages, and vomiting.
2. Eating Too Fast
Cats are notorious gluttons and one benign cause for your cats’ frequent vomiting could be eating too fast.
You will notice that your Maine Coon will vomit undigested or barely digested food immediately after eating.
Your cat can sometimes become intolerant to foods which they could always digest. Your cat can slowly develop an intolerance for certain foods due to the changing enzyme activity in the digestive tract.
In other words, certain foods cannot be correctly utilized by the body.
4. Intestinal Parasites
These parasites are most common in young Maine Coons and kittens.
Parasites can cause diarrhea and vomiting and even lack of appetite.
5. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
IBD can often lead to an upset cat stomach.
In this condition, the cat’s gastrointestinal tract becomes chronically inflamed. This syndrome mainly affects the stomach or/and intestines.
Your cat’s gastrointestinal lining thickens making it harder for them to absorb nutrients. Your cat will experience severe vomiting if the stomach is involved.
If intestines are involved severe diarrhea will occur. If both parts of the digestive tract are involved, both diarrhea and vomiting will occur.
6. Kidney Disease And Hyperthyroidism
Maine Coons with moderate to severe kidney disease and hyperthyroidism may show signs of vomiting, decreased appetite, and weight loss. Urine and blood tests can rule out these metabolic causes of vomiting.
7. Changing Food Regularly
Switching the consistency of food between wet and dry daily or even regularly often be badly tolerated by Maine Coons, resulting in recurring diarrhea.
8. Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
In this disease, the cat’s kidneys develop small fluid-filled cysts. When these cysts are small the kidneys can function properly but when they get enlarged they impair the function of the kidneys.
Symptoms of this condition include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, lethargy, and increased water consumption.
For more information on PKD, feel free to read my article.
9. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
The main symptom of IBS is diarrhea and is mainly stress-induced. The cat will pass small amounts of feces frequently.
10. Food Allergies
Beef, milk products, and beef can cause food allergies in Maine Coons resulting in symptoms like digestive upset and skin irritation.
Caring For A Maine Coons Sensitive Stomach
1. Transition Their Food Slowly
Sometimes introducing a new food or changing the natural food intake of your feline can also cause gastrointestinal problems in your cat.
Your cat can also have natural allergies to products like gluten and dairy.
Therefore you must read the ingredients before switching to a new diet.
Also, in case you are introducing new food to your cat’s diet, start with small amounts and observe their reaction, before fully transitioning to the new diet.
2. No Table Scraps, Or Human Foods
Many human foods are not meant for cats and can cause an upset tummy.
Do not feed human foods like chocolate, alcohol, onion, raw eggs, etc to your Maine Coon. This food can make your cat sick who will resort to vomiting to get rid of the problem.
3. Check With Your Veterinarian
Ask for your vet’s recommendation if the new diet your feline is on is appropriate for them to eat. If it isn’t okay ask for their recommendations about the brands and varieties you are considering.
4. Pick The Right Diet
Choose a diet plan that works best for your feline and help them with upset stomachs. You should avoid foods that consist of high amounts of seafood, soy, grains, dairy products.
These products can also induce vomiting in cats.
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5. Include Wet Food
If you have been feeding your Maine Coon only dry food, try mixing in some wet food.
Wet foods are easier for Maine Coons with sensitive tummies to digest.
If feeding dry food, add water to it to make sure your cat is drinking enough water. If you are feeding wet food to your cat, make sure they don’t eat the food that has been left out for more than an hour.
6. Keep Your Cat Well Hydrated
Ensure that your Maine Coon drinks enough water.
If your cat has an upset stomach then make sure they are well hydrated so that they don’t lose much water, if they vomit.
7. Eliminate Dairy Products
Do not give milk to adult Maine Coons as they are often lactose intolerant and cannot digest it properly. Giving dairy products in most cats in any form can cause problems.
Feeding milk to your cat can escalate digestive issues.
Are Maine Coons Prone To Diarrhea?
Adult Maine Coons are not able to digest the lactose in milk which can cause diarrhea.
Besides, it is not necessary also to give adult cats milk. Because Maine Coons have sensitive stomachs, foods that contain dairy and gluten can cause diarrhea in them.
Giving too much-wet food to a Maine Coon with a sensitive stomach can also result in an upset stomach as their tummies will not have a lot to break down.
To learn more about the top 5 Maine Coon health issues, click here.
How To Prevent Maine Coon Digestive Issues
The causes of digestive troubles in Maine Coon could range from eating too much, eating non-edible items like hairballs, or other harmful things, etc.
You can work to avoid future stomach problems in your Maine Coon by doing a few things:
1. Deworming For Intestinal Parasites
Intestinal parasite infection can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. Before your cat is dewormed, it should be tested for parasites.
Kittens are dewormed more frequently due to their lower immunity.
Adult cats should be dewormed once every 30 days. Your vet will only decide the frequency of deworming your cat, as there is no “one-size-fits-all method.
2. Feeding A High-Quality Diet
If you are giving commercial foods to your Maine Coon with a sensitive stomach then choose a food that has only one or a maximum of two sources of protein that cause few allergies and can be easily digested.
3. Giving Probiotics
You can render additional help to your cat from probiotics.
Probiotics have good bacterias that are good for your cat’s gut health. Adding probiotics to your cat’s diet can curtail the chances of digestive issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, and decreased appetite.
4. Remove Access To Small Inedible And Harmful Items
It is important to keep small things like strings, toys, plants, and medications away from your cat who could accidentally ingest them.
5. Check Cat Stools For Color And Blood
If your Maine Coon has large intestinal diarrhea, they may have blood and mucus in their stool.
In case your Maine Coon has small intestinal diarrhea, their stool may have color variations such as green or orange and even some undigested food in their stool.
6. Include Fiber
To help your furball to digest food well, include fiber in their diet.
Highly soluble as well as insoluble fiber foods along with medium levels of fat can help your cat’s intestines to function optimally.
Best Food For Maine Coons With Stomach Issues
The Maine Coon is a large domestic cat breed and therefore has special nutritional needs.
They are wonderful pets that can thrive with adequate care and nutrition.
Feeding them something replete with fillers can be devastating for your feline friend and won’t meet their nutritional requirements also.
So, what kind of diet should you feed your Maine Coon with stomach issues? A biologically appropriate diet is positively the best! Their diet should also be:
- High in protein
- Low in carbohydrates
- Moderate in fats
The perfect diet for your cat includes real meat and not the meat by-products, devoid of fillers like corn, starches, and wheat. Their diet should also be full of vitamins and nutrients.
Your cat’s diet should be made from ingredients that are easy to digest and do not cause any allergies or sensitivities. There are different types of foods that you can give to your cat and some of them are discussed below.
1. Wet Cat Food
Maine Coons with sensitive tummies may benefit from a wet diet. Wet food is easy to digest and can help your cat stay hydrated. If your cat is throwing up a lot, then canned food is an ideal way to ensure they get enough hydration.
For older Maine Coons, canned food soft consistency may be easier than the crunchy kibble.
If your cat does not like wet food there is always the option of mixing both dry and wet foods that can help them get additional moisture along with the meal.
2. Dry Cat Food
Dry cat food can also be used to treat sensitive tummies in Maine Coons. Some cats prefer dry food more than wet food.
Dry cat food can promote your kitty’s dental health and make their teeth strong.
3. Grain-Free Cat Food
If your Maine Coon has grain sensitivity then you should switch to grain-free formulas.
Foods with rice and oatmeal fillers are appropriate for cats with sensitive stomachs.
4. High-Protein Cat Food
Those cats who have trouble keeping weight due to vomiting can do well with high-protein cat foods. These foods improve the development of lean muscle mass in cats.
All cats normally have occasional digestive problems such as vomiting and diarrhea and Maine Coons are no different. But for some cats, the tummy troubles can be more common and longer-lasting and may indicate other serious problems.
You may have to try out different foods until you figure out which one is best for your Maine Coon’s sensitive stomach. The foods should be introduced slowly over a week-long period. Feed as per your cat’s age and weight and avoid giving them treats during the trial period.
Once you get a positive response to the newly introduced diet, you can gradually add treats also.
An upset stomach can’t be fun for you or your kitty.
Learning how to feed your Maine Coon with a sensitive tummy can reduce the incidence of stomach disorders and also improve their quality of life. Choose foods with holistic ingredients that can make your cat feel healthy inside out.