If your cat is itching, over-grooming, or has dull, unkempt fur, then you may wonder, do Maine Coons have skin problems?
For those of you that suspect your Maine Coon is suffering from a skin condition, it is important to take a quick visit to the vet, to rule out any serious problems.
Maine Coons can suffer from a variety of skin conditions, which can lead to dry, irritated, oily, or inflamed skin. Parasites, infections, untreated wounds, or even allergies can lead to skin problems. Malnutrition and dehydration can also cause your cat’s skin and fur to become too dry or too oily.
In most cases, a Maine Coon’s skin problems can be cleared up through proper hygiene, nutrition, and medication. However, in some cases, your cat’s skin problems may indicate a more serious underlying condition.
Read on to learn all about identifying and treating skin problems in your cat.
Do Maine Coons Have Skin Problems?
The Maine Coon is a majestic cat breed, famous for its enormous size and gentle temperament.
These cats also have long, thick, semi-water repellent fur.
Their gorgeous coats are a marvel to look at, but if your Maine Coon’s fur appears unkempt, matted, or dull, then it could be a sign of an underlying condition.
Unfortunately, just like any other cat, Maine Coons can develop a variety of skin problems.
If you are wondering about Maine Coon scabs, inflamed skin, or other problems, then here is a guide to the various skin conditions these cats can suffer from:
In a Maine Coon, scabs on neck, back, or other areas can indicate problems with parasites.
Fleas, ticks, mites, and other pests can wreak havoc on your cat’s skin and fur.
This is the correct method for applying flea treatment to your Maine Coon cat.
Fungal and bacterial infections such as ringworm or staph can be irritating at best, and deadly at worst.
An untreated wound can lead to a serious bacterial infection, so it is important to keep an eye out for any scabs or scratches, especially if you allow your cat outdoors.
This brings us to the emotive question are Maine Coon cats allowed outside?
Normally, a cat sheds dead skin cells as it grooms itself, but in a Maine coon, dry skin, oily skin, or other problems can cause a buildup of dead skin cells, which are shed in flakes of dandruff.
Be cautious, because dandruff can be a sign of an underlying problem like malnutrition or hyperthyroidism.
Cats can develop acne on their face, particularly around the chin and cheeks.
If left untreated, acne can lead to dangerous infections, so it is important to discuss this condition with your vet.
Here are the common causes of Maine Coon acne, and what you can do to treat it.
If you are wondering, why does my old cat have scabs, then there is a chance your cat’s old age has something to do with it.
As cats get older, they have a harder time grooming their coat.
Sick cats, cats in pain, or cats suffering from obesity can all have difficulties with grooming, as well. This can cause the coat to become matted and dirty, leading to irritated skin.
Make sure you are using these top 5 Maine Coon cat brushes, to keep your feline’s fur in tip-top condition.
Underlying Health Problems
In some cases, your cat’s skin problems could be a sign of a more serious health condition.
Hyperthyroidism, for example, can lead to dry skin and dandruff, while cancers can lead to sores or lumps on the skin.
Causes Of Maine Coon Dry Skin
Dry skin may not seem like a huge problem at first, but it can lead to a lot of itching, irritation, and pain if left untreated.
Dry skin can also indicate a more serious underlying problem, so it is important to find out the cause of your cat’s dry skin as soon as possible.
Here are the main causes of Maine Coon dry skin:
Cats evolved from wild, desert-dwelling ancestors, who relied mostly on prey for their source of water.
As a result, cats today are not as good at drinking readily available water, especially if the water is stale or old.
2. Low Humidity
Like humans, cats can suffer from dry skin if they live in arid conditions.
Dry air is most common during the winter months, and it can cause skin problems and even exacerbate asthma in some cats.
Humidifiers are a great way to alleviate dry air.
Since heat can be an issue for some Maine Coons, you might be interested to discover if Maine Coon cats can live in India. Click here to find out the surprising facts.
3. Poor Nutrition
Cat’s skin remains moisturized through natural oils, but their skin cannot secrete as many of these oils if they are not provided proper nutrition.
Protein, fats, and omega fatty acids are essential to healthy, hydrated skin.
4. Frequent Bathing
While Maine Coons tend to love water, that does not mean you should bathe your cat too frequently!
Most cats never need baths at all, and if you do bathe your cat, you should only do so every month or so.
Bathing too often can dry out your cat’s skin, and you should also be mindful of any soaps or shampoos you use.
You should only ever use shampoos or soaps that are specifically made for cats, or else this can lead to skin and fur damage.
These are the best cat shampoos on the market and are safe for your treasured Maine Coon cat.
5. Improper Grooming
If your cat is unable to groom itself due to old age, obesity, arthritis, or any other problem, then it can lead to some serious problems.
As cats groom themselves, they naturally distribute oils across their skin and fur, which keeps their fur moisturized and healthy.
Lack of grooming can also cause mats, dandruff, and many other problems.
In cases such as this, make sure you help your Maine Coon cat by grooming them with these well-reviewed brushes.
6. Underlying Health Conditions
Unfortunately, some serious health conditions like diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and even cancer can lead to skin problems, although these are typically rare.
There are also some skin conditions, like eczema, which can cause dry skin.
Atopic dermatitis in cats is one kind of eczema that causes dry, scaly, and itchy skin.
Consult your vet if your cat’s skin appears inflamed or irritated, especially if you notice any other worrying symptoms like lethargy or diarrhea.
How To Treat Dry Skin On A Cat
Dry skin in Maine Coons can have many potential underlying causes, so you should consult your vet before making any drastic changes to your cat’s environment.
However, there are still small changes you can make that can have a great impact on your cat’s overall health, including dry skin.
These changes include the following:
1. Nutrition Changes
All cats should be kept on a high quality diet, but this is especially true for Maine Coons, who are large and highly active.
Make sure you are giving your cat food that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
It should also contain a moderate amount of fat, as well as all of the essential vitamins and minerals that cats need to stay healthy.
You can also consider adding fatty acid supplements, but you should confer with your vet first.
You can help keep your cat more hydrated by providing constant access to fresh, clean water.
It is also a good idea to provide wet food about two or three times a week, as cats in the wild get most of their water from prey.
Finally, consider adding a humidifier or two to your home, particularly in the winter, when it is driest.
3. Regular Brushing
Most Maine Coons should be brushed two to three times a week, or more during shedding season.
Brushing your cat will distribute their natural oils across their skin and fur, keeping their coat moisturized and healthy.
If your cat struggles to groom itself properly, though, you should brush them more frequently.
For those of you wondering how to get rid of cat dandruff, regular brushing is also a great way to remove any buildup of dead skin cells.
These are the reasons your cat suffers from dandruff.
You should only bathe your Maine Coon once every month or so, maximum. This is why.
Most cats should not need to be bathed at all unless they require special shampoo treatment, or if they spend a lot of time outside.
Since bathing your cat can dry out their skin, even more, you might be wondering, should I wash my cat if it has dandruff?
Fear not, there are lots of home remedies for dry skin on cats that are best applied during bathing, such as olive oil.
Special dandruff shampoos can also help, but you should make sure to find a shampoo that is gentle and specifically made for cats.
Maine Coon Cat Food Allergies
Humans are not the only creatures that can suffer from allergies!
Even cats can develop allergies to certain foods or things in their environment, which can leave some owners asking themselves, what are Maine Coons allergic to?
Here are some common things that can cause allergies in Maine Coons.
- Meat Proteins: Cats can develop allergies to a variety of meats, including seafood, turkey, chicken, and beef. If you suspect your Maine Coon is suffering from a food allergy, talk with your vet so you can test which foods cause an allergic reaction in your cat.
- Vegetable Proteins: Certain proteins found in things like wheat, corn, and certain preservatives and additives can all cause an allergic reaction in some cats. You should avoid foods that contain lots of filler grains, as this is healthier even for cats without allergies.
- Environmental Allergens: Your cat could also be allergic to certain things in its environment like mold, dust, or pollen. Certain cleaning problems can also cause allergic reactions, as well as some houseplants. For airborne allergens, consider purchasing an air purifier, and don’t allow your cat outside if it causes any allergic reactions.
- Fleas: Cats can also suffer from flea allergies, which can make a flea infestation much, much worse. A cat that is allergic to fleas will have a reaction to its saliva, causing itching, scabs, and infections (sources 1,2).
For more details on Maine Coon allergies, click here.
If you are worried you might accidentally harm your Maine Coon cat, by feeding them the wrong food, it is imperative that you read my article ‘20 Foods That Harm Maine Coon Cats‘.
Best Food For Maine Coon Cats
Nutrition is an essential factor in keeping your cat’s skin and coat healthy.
Cats that are prone to allergies or skin problems should be fed even more carefully.
Here are some great food options for Maine Coons who could use a better nutrition plan:
If you are providing your cat with a raw food diet, you will need to provide a variety of supplements, to ensure your cat is getting all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
One important supplement is taurine, a kind of amino acid that is incredibly important for cats.
If you plan on providing your cat with a raw food diet, then you can find taurine in powder form via this link. This product is sold by Chewy, a trusted pet food, and product supplier.
For more information about the Maine Coon raw food diet, read my article.
If your cat suffers from allergies, then consider purchasing Royal Canin Maine Coon food, which is specially made for cats with food sensitivities.
This Royal Canin dry food sold by Chewy contains ingredients that cats are less likely to be sensitive to or allergic to, and it also includes lots of protein and omega fatty acids.
Wet food is essential for a cat with skin problems, which are often exacerbated by dehydration.
If your cat has skin conditions or food sensitivities, then consider purchasing this prescription diet wet food from Chewy.
This particular wet cat food contains broken-down animal proteins to minimize allergic reactions.
If your cat has dry skin troubles, then you can give your Maine Coon biscuits that contain supplements to help regulate their health.
These chewy tablets contain omega-fatty acids that will keep your cat’s skin and coat soft and moisturized and can be purchased from Chewy.
Best Food Bowls For Maine Coons
Poor nutrition can lead to a wide range of health problems, and one surprising cause of malnutrition in cats is improper food bowls.
Cats have very sensitive whiskers, and if their food bowl is too deep, then their whiskers can bend uncomfortably against the bowl.
Consider purchasing a wide, shallow food bowl made from stainless steel or ceramic, such as this stainless steel bowl from Chewy.
Do Maine Coons Need A Special Diet?
If your cat seems to be losing weight or has trouble eating the food you provide, then you may be wondering, are Maine Coon cats picky eaters?
Maine Coons love to eat, but they may end up losing weight even if they eat lots of food because many cat foods do not contain sufficient protein or fat.
Maine Coons need a high amount of protein and a moderate amount of fat in their diet.
They require very little carbohydrates or filler grains; in fact, too many carbohydrates can lead to serious malnutrition.
These cats also need a wide range of vitamins and minerals, so you should purchase foods with the AAFCO seal of approval.
This organization has documented all of the vitamins and minerals required for a healthy cat diet and provides its seal of approval to pet food that meets these standards (source 1).
Maine Coon Supplements
If your cat is suffering from nutrition problems, then you may want to talk to your vet about supplements.
Here are some food supplements that can have a great impact on your cat’s health, particularly if it suffers from skin problems:
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fatty acids are important for keeping your cat’s skin and coat moisturized, but too much can also lead to adverse health problems. Most cat foods today contain sufficient omega-6 fatty acids, so you should consider providing omega-3 fatty acids if your cat struggles with dry skin.
- Vitamins C and E: Vitamins C and E are antioxidants, which are great for alleviating inflammation. While Vitamin C works well on its own, Vitamin E can actually increase inflammation if it does not have enough Vitamin C to work alongside.
- Zinc: Zinc is a helpful supplement for various bacterial and yeast infections, and it can also help with skin problems like dermatitis (source 1).
Can Maine Coons Get Fleas?
Maine Coons can contract fleas just like any other cat, but they are especially prone to fleas if they are allowed outside.
Use a monthly flea treatment to prevent and eliminate flea infestations in your cat.
Do Maine Coons Have Health Problems?
Maine Coons are typically considered healthy cats, but there are still some genetic conditions that they can suffer from.
So, what diseases are Maine Coon cats prone to?
Here are some of the most common conditions found in this cat breed:
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA): SMA causes the muscles around the base of a cat’s spine to atrophy, leading to an uneven gait that progresses to limited use of the back legs. Many cats with SMA can still learn to get around just fine, but they still need help jumping up onto higher surfaces or climbing stairs.
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM): This deadly genetic disease causes the walls of a cat’s heart to gradually thicken over time, eventually leading to death.
- Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD): PKD is an inherited condition that causes cysts to form within the kidneys. Some cats never experience problems from this condition, but it can lead to death in severe cases. Watch out for these signs.
If you have noticed your cat frequently itching or grooming, you might be wondering, do Maine Coons have skin problems?
While Maine Coons are no more likely to develop skin conditions than any other cat breed, they can still suffer from a variety of skin problems like dandruff, atopic dermatitis, and infection.
Most skin problems can be treated with medication or changes to your cat’s diet, but some skin problems can be a sign of an underlying health condition.
Are Black Maine Coons Rare?
While Maine Coon cats are rare and expensive, black Maine Coons are relatively common among this breed.
How Do Maine Coons Show Affection?
Maine Coons are loyal and loving, and they enjoy spending time around their owners. They tend to show affection by following people from room to room, or by hanging out near them.
Do Maine Coons Have Eye Problems?
Maine Coons are not generally susceptible to eye problems, but they can still suffer from glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye conditions.
Do Maine Coons Cause Allergies?
Repeated exposure to any kind of cat can cause a person to develop allergies over time if they are already prone to it. If you are already allergic to cats, Maine Coons are, sadly, not hypoallergenic.