You might be tempted to give your gentle giant treats from time to time. But, do you know the seemingly innocent foods that harm a Maine Coon cat, and can make them seriously ill?
Maine Coon cat owners should ensure they thoroughly read the list of dangerous foods below.
Many foods and ingredients are only suitable for human consumption, and should not be fed to these large cats as they can lead to health problems. Maine Coon owners should never feed their feline dairy, onions, raw eggs, raw meats, chocolate, gluten, grapes and raisins, coffee and tee, and alcohol, as these can be extremely toxic to your cat.
The list below will help you avoid giving your cat unnecessary food allergies.
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
Foods That Harm A Maine Coon Cat
According to the National Library Of Medicine website, many human foods can be dangerous to your Maine Coon’s health.
Whilst a sliver of chicken or turkey will not kill your cat, it does encourage felines to develop bad eating habits.
Essential feline nutrients can only be found in high-quality ingredients located in commercial cat food. Thus, feeding cats human food deprives them of necessary nutrients needed for a well-balanced diet.
Whilst some human foods fed in small quantities may not cause an immediate problem, large quantities can often be harmful.
Chocolate can be poisonous for your Maine Coon.
This is because chocolate consists of substances called methylxanthines that can cause the following symptoms:
Darker chocolates are more fatal to a Maine Coon cat than milk and white chocolates.
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.
Alcoholic beverages are very dangerous for a Maine Coon cat.
Ingestion can cause:
Any beverage containing alcohol, such as beer, wine, liquor, or even foods containing alcohol are not good for your cat.
A few licks of alcohol can cause health issues in a cat.
3. Milk And Dairy Products
Although your Maine Coon may enjoy having milk and other dairy products like cheese, it is not advisable that you feed your Maine Coon these as Maine Coon cats are lactose-intolerant.
Cats cannot digest the lactose in the milk which can lead to an upset stomach and other digestive issues.
All the kittens have lactose from their mother’s milk for a few weeks after birth and their digestive system is most often not capable of handling lactose again and finds it difficult to process dairy products also.
4. Raw Meats
Just because cats in the wild eat raw meat does not mean your domesticated Maine Coon can also be given raw meat.
Uncooked meat is not safe for your cat and can make your cat ill, if included within a cat’s diet.
Raw meat is more likely to contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E.coli and even tapeworms which can cause many life-threatening diseases in your cat.
Read our full guide ‘Can Maine Coons Eat Raw Meats‘.
If you are keen to feed your cat a raw diet, follow these IMPORTANT GUIDELINES.
5. Sugary Products
Sugary products do not give any nutritional benefit to your Maine Coon.
Certain sweeteners like xylitol are found in candies and other sweetened foods and can cause your cat’s blood sugar to drop and also lead to liver failure.
Maine Coons can get hooked on eating fish, especially tuna.
Whilst a little bit of tuna should not cause any health concerns, too much tuna prepared for humans may cause malnutrition in your cat. It can also lead to mercury poisoning.
Cats develop intolerances and allergies to gluten in many cat foods. Intolerance to gluten can cause diarrhea and vomiting.
8. Onions And Garlic
Onions and garlic can cause anemia in your Maine Coon by damaging their red blood cells.
These foods whether they are consumed in large quantities or in concentrated forms like garlic powder or onion soup mix, are toxic.
9. Grapes And Raisins
A small amount of grapes and raisins is enough for your Maine Coon to develop kidney failure and make your cat ill.
Some early symptoms of kidney problems are incessant vomiting and hyperactivity.
Other symptoms that can show up within 24 hours of ingestion include:
- Abdominal Pain
- Decreased Urination
- Reduced Appetite
10. Raw Eggs
Raw eggs can cause food poisoning in cats as they contain harmful bacteria such as:
The other reason is that raw egg whites contain a protein called avidin which could interfere with the absorption of vitamin B. This can lead to skin problems in your Maine Coon.
Read our full guide: Can Maine Coons Eat Cooked Eggs?
11. Coffee Or Tea
Caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea can cause:
Mushrooms contain a number of toxins and can cause symptoms like:
- Liver damage
A small number of mushrooms will not harm your cat but certain varieties of mushrooms are extremely toxic and therefore it is better to be safe than sorry.
13. Human Medicines
Consumption of human medicines is the most common cause of poisoning in cats.
Any over-the-counter medicines should not be given to your Maine Coon unless recommended by your vet. Common pain relievers and cold medicines can be fatal for your cat.
Avocados are extremely rich in:
- Monounsaturated Fats
But, because of their high fat content, you should be careful about how much you feed them to your Maine Coon.
Avoid feeding the peels as they may contain toxins.
Nuts are an incredible source of healthy fats, fiber, and protein but you should be careful when feeding them to your Maine Coon.
Macadamia nuts are dangerous for cats but other nuts like almonds, and walnuts are not inherently poisonous.
16. Dog Food
Dog food is not dangerous for your cat. But your cat’s nutritional requirements are different than a dog.
For instance, cats need higher levels of vitamin A and protein, whereas dogs can survive without these.
Cat food should consist of:
- Arachidonic Acid
- Vitamin A
- Lots Of Protein
Without enough taurine in their bodies, cats can develop vision and dental issues and even heart diseases.
Learn more about Maine Coon cat teeth and the health issues this large cat breed is prone to, in this article.
17. Baby Food
Baby food may contain meat seasoned with onion and garlic, so should not be fed to your cat.
18. Bones And Fat Trimmings
Fat trimmings and bones can both be bad for your Maine Coon.
Tidbits from your food whether cooked or uncooked contain fat trimmed from bones and meat and can cause an upset stomach, along with vomiting.
Your Maine Coon could also choke on a bone and the splinters on them can injure your cat’s digestive system.
Liver is a great source of iron, protein, and other nutrients your cat needs for its overall health and well-being. However, excess of vitamin A can be too much of a good thing.
Feeding your cat too much liver for a long can cause a condition called hypervitaminosis A, in which there is an excessive buildup of vitamin A causing toxicity.
20. Yeast Dough
The yeast present in loaves of bread and pizza dough can very quickly produce a sufficient amount of alcohol and carbon dioxide that cause problems for your cat.
Moreover, the dough can also rise inside your cat’s tummy to a size that may sometimes need surgery to remove the digestive obstruction.
If this subject interests you, why not read our complete guide: Can Maine Coon Cats Eat Pizza?
The Best Diet For Maine Coon
A Maine Coon is a big cat and therefore needs a lot of energy to fuel their bodies. They are obligate carnivores so need a meat-based diet that is high in protein.
High-Quality Cat Food
The best diet for a Maine Coon includes high-quality dry food with occasional wet food which contains a higher moisture content maybe 2 to 3 times a week.
Dry And Wet Food
It is a matter of preference whether you feed your Maine Coon dry or wet food. A mix of both wet and dry can give the right balance to your cat.
Dry food should be devoid of grains as they can cause obesity in your cat. Here are 5 Signs Of Maine Coon Obesity.
Dry food is beneficial as it can help your cat use their teeth, whereas wet food is high in moisture and helps to keep your cat hydrated.
Remember to feed your Maine Coon the diet that meets their nutritional requirements as per their age.
Foods high in moisture-containing animal-based protein and low in carbohydrates can be great for your Maine Coon.
Feed your cat real meat and no by-products.
Maine Coons naturally drink a lot of water and therefore should have access to fresh water all the time.
Maine Coon Dietary Needs
Your Maine Coon’s diet should be nutritionally balanced and should consist of the following elements:
Proteins provide your cat with the amino acids required to build tissues. Animal protein gives a lot of essential amino acids to your cat.
Fats can also provide your Maine Coon cat with essential fatty acids to help keep their fur and skin shiny and healthy.
Carbohydrates give your cat energy however a cat’s body is designed for a low-carbohydrate diet.
Your cat’s body cannot produce the enzymes required to process a lot of carbohydrates.
4. Vitamins And Minerals
Your cat needs vitamin A and vitamin B because their bodies cannot produce these vitamins on their own.
Both vitamins and minerals are required to support many of the body’s normal chemical reactions.
These cat supplements contain essential nutrients and are beneficial for your Maine Coon cat.
Water is essential for your Maine Coon’s normal body functions and helps their bodies absorb important nutrients
Why Is My Maine Coon Always Hungry?
A hungry cat begging for food by meowing incessantly and climbing onto the kitchen counters to find food can be frustrating.
Maine Coons are high-energy cats and that is the primary reason behind their fast metabolism.
If your Maine Coon demands food all the time there may be other reasons such as intestinal worms, digestive problems, or insufficient diet.
Your cat may have worms because the worms take away all the nutrition from their food leaving your Maine Coon hungry most of the time.
If you suspect your cat has worms take a fecal sample to your vet to have it tested.
2. Diabetes Or Hyperthyroidism
Both diseases can increase your cat’s appetite exponentially.
Hyperthyroidism spikes the appetite as your cat’s metabolism burns too many calories.
If your cat has Maine Coon Diabetes then their body cannot convert sugar to energy and the nutrition in their food is not able to get to their bodies.
Other symptoms related to these conditions could be excessive thirst and loss of weight. A vet should be consulted as soon as possible.
3. Food Not Meeting Their Nutritional Needs
Feeding a Maine Coon poor-quality cat food will not satisfy their hunger for nutrients.
Felines bodies are made mainly for meat and not grains. You must ensure there is enough meat in your feline’s diet.
Sometimes after having eaten their food, cats vomit out the whole food without adequately chewing it. This is called regurgitation.
Many medical problems can cause regurgitation in your Maine Coon including problems with the esophageal tract or the throat. A thorough diagnosis can determine the problem.
If your Maine Coon is pregnant their demand for food will surge to make room for the kittens’ nutrition inside their wombs.
Learn more about Maine Coon Cat Pregnancy, in this article written by Katrina Stewardson.
As you will have seen there are many foods that harm a Maine Coon cat.
Make sure you read, then re-read this Maine Coon cat facts and information guide to ensure you know what to feed a Maine Coon kitten or cat.
There are a number of “people foods” that your Maine Coon should not eat at all. Sometimes only a nibble can be fatal to their health.
It is advisable to only feed your Maine Coon high-quality cat food.