How Much Do Maine Coon Cats Eat?


Maine Coons are extremely large cats, which means many owners have a difficult time gauging whether their cat is eating too much, or too little. So, how much do Maine Coon cats eat?

Maine Coons need roughly 24 to 35 calories a day per pound of body weight. Since Maine Coons can range between 8 to 25 pounds, these cats require anywhere between 190 to 875 calories per day. The average Maine Coon will eat nine ounces of wet food or three ounces of dry food every day.

It is important to make sure that your Maine Coon is eating the right amount of calories per day, and that those calories consumed include all the nutrients they need to stay happy and healthy.

Read on to find out how you can provide your Maine Coon cat with a perfectly balanced diet.

How Much Do Maine Coon Cats Eat?

The Maine Coon is a gentle, affectionate cat breed that has been skyrocketing in popularity over the last few decades, despite costing between $400 – $2,000 per cat.

These large cats first became famous for their enormous size, as the Maine Coon is the largest domesticated cat breed in the entire world. Today, however, they have become even more popular for their sociable and loving personalities.

Before committing to owning a cat from this amazing breed, it is important to keep in mind that Maine Coons are large cats that require a lot of care.

For example, you might find that due to their oftentimes lazy nature and extreme love of food, keeping these cats at a healthy weight can be a bit of a challenge. As a result, many Maine Coons are prone to being overweight due to overfeeding, and lack of exercise.

Buying an extra-large cat tower like this will help encourage your Maine Coon to exercise. From experience, I have found that these are the best Maine Coon cat trees since they are large, sturdy, and of great quality:

If you’re wondering, how much do Maine Coon cats eat a day, the answer is a lot!

All cats, whatever their breed, need to eat between:

  • 24 – 35 calories per pound of bodyweight every day

Since Maine Coons are enormous, typically weighing between 8 and 25 pounds, the number of calories these cats need to consume per day can vary between:

  • 190 – 875 calories per pound of bodyweight every day

So, do Maine Coons eat a lot?

Compared to other cat breeds, the simple answer is that a Maine Coon will usually eat more than a ‘normal’ cat breed.

The reason Maine Coon cats eat more than other cats is due to their large size, which means they physically require more calories than a ‘normal’ cat.

Many owners have a difficult time gauging whether or not their Maine Coon is at a healthy weight, or not due to its thick, fluffy fur, which can make it difficult to tell if a cat is underweight or overweight.

Since this breed is much larger than the average cat, many owners mistake their large size and muscular nature for obesity, which consequently results in the cat being underfed. Learn how to keep a Maine Coon growth chart so that you do not struggle with this issue too.

Overall, it is important to monitor your Maine Coon cat’s weight, particularly as a kitten, when they need a lot of food to keep growing at a healthy rate. Taking your cat to the vet at least once or twice a year is a great way to ensure your cat is a healthy size.

You should also calculate how many calories your Maine Coon needs to eat per day based on its weight, and establish an eating routine.

How Much Should You Feed A Maine Coon Cat?

A cat’s diet will change as it ages.

Therefore, you might be wondering, how much should a Maine Coon eat at different stages of its life?

Maine Coon Kitten Feeding Guide

Here is a simple guide that will tell you what you can expect to feed your Maine Coon throughout its life (source 1,2):

2 – 10 Months

Once kittens reach two months of age, they are fully weaned and ready to be adopted out into a loving home.

Between the ages of two and ten months, kittens grow rapidly and are at risk of becoming underweight if they are not fed enough.

At this stage, you should feed your Maine Coon two to four times a day, and make sure it gets plenty of food each time.

Many owners like to provide a constant supply of dry food, and then provide wet food two to four times a day. However, you should only do this if your kitten is good at regulating its own meals; kittens that don’t graze throughout the day are more likely to binge eat, leading to obesity and diet problems later on.

10 – 15 Months

When your kitten is between ten and fifteen months old, you should still provide plenty of dry food. However, you should gradually taper the frequency of wet food to just two times a day.

15 Months – Fully Grown

Once your cat is about 15 months old, it is time to switch to adult food.

Make sure to switch foods gradually, to avoid any stomach upset.

While ‘normal’ cats reach full-size between 1 to 2 years old, Maine Coons usually aren’t fully grown until they are between 3 to 5 years old.

Since most cats require between 24 and 35 calories per pound of body weight every day, Maine Coons will likely need around the upper end of that range until they have fully grown.

Adulthood

Once your Maine Coon is fully grown, you should feed them 3 ounces of dry food or 9 ounces of wet food each day.

You’ll likely need to lower your cat’s food intake by just a bit once it reaches adulthood, as adult Maine Coons no longer need extra calories to grow, and they usually become slightly less playful.

Senior Cats

Most cats are considered senior cats when they reach eight or nine years old.

Discuss with your vet to determine the best time to switch your cat to senior food.

Senior cats are less active and require less food, especially since they are more prone to obesity at this age.

What Is the Best Diet For A Maine Coon Cat?

Since these cats are so large, many people ask, do Maine Coons need special food?

While Maine Coons do not require a special diet per se, it is important to provide these cats with a more high-quality diet than most cat breeds. A Maine Coon will also need different foods at different stages of its life.

Therefore, if you’ve been wondering, what should I feed my Maine Coon kitten, make sure you only buy your cat Maine Coon kitten food. This is because kittens require different amounts of nutrients while they are growing, e.g a higher fat content, in order to stay healthy.

For those of you that asked me ‘when should I stop feeding my Maine Coon kitten food‘, you might be surprised to learn that Maine Coons actually require kitten food longer than most cat breeds.

This is because Maine Coons have such a slow growth rate, therefore they should not be weaned off of kitten food until they are about 15 months old.

Here are the most important parts of a Maine Coon Cats diet:

1. High In Protein

Maine Coon cats require a diet that is high in animal protein. Their diet should be about 35 to 50% protein.

When choosing a food, make sure the first ingredient is protein, e.g. fish or chicken.

2. Moderate In Fat

Fat should make up approximately 20 to 30% of your Maine Coon cat’s overall diet.

Specifically, Maine Coons require omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to stay healthy.

3. Low In Carbohydrates

Cats require very small amounts of carbohydrates, so carbohydrates should only make up about 12% of their diet.

Low-quality cat foods contain lots of carbs, which are used as filler content, e.g. corn or grains.

By comparison, high-quality cat foods will mainly contain protein and fat.

4. Plenty Of Vitamins And Minerals

Finally, cats need lots of vitamins and minerals in order to stay fit and healthy.

There are dozens of different vitamins and minerals your cat needs in its diet, so the Association of American Feed Control Officials, also known as the AAFCO, has created a comprehensive guideline for pet food manufacturers.

When searching for food for your Maine Coon cat, make sure it has the AAFCO’s seal of approval, so you know your cat is getting all the vitamins and minerals that it needs.

5. Dry Food Vs Wet Food

Many Maine Coon owners wonder whether they should feed their cats dry food or wet food.

Whilst it is possible to feed your cat only dry food, it is not considered healthy to only feed a cat wet food.

Most people opt to feed their cat mainly dry food, whilst providing wet food two to three times a week (source 1,2,3,4,5).

Best Canned Food For Maine Coons

If you have been searching for the best Maine Coon food out there, here are three excellent wet foods that are good for your cat (source 1):

1. ZIWI

ZIWI is a New Zealand pet food company that provides ethically sourced meats from free-range farms.

Like all of the products on this list, ZIWI is AAFCO approved, and their products contain high amounts of protein, as well as essential vitamins and minerals.

ZIWI products are also free of grains and other filler content; instead, they contain chickpeas, which are high in fiber and low in carbs.

However, ZIWI products are pretty pricey, which means they might not be a good option for all cat owners.

2. Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo is a great option for cat owners who want to provide high-quality food without being too expensive.

While it is certainly on the higher end price-wise, it is much more affordable than ZIWI, and still provides high-quality food that is rich in protein and essential nutrients.

Like all of the foods on this list, Blue Buffalo is also AAFCO approved.

3. Purina

Purina is the most affordable option on this list.

They offer a wide variety of canned foods that are excellent for cats, although not quite as high quality as ZIWI or Blue Buffalo.

Purina products still contain all the nutrients most cats need to live long, healthy lives, but they are not a good option for:

  • Overweight Cats
  • Senior Cats
  • Cats with Certain Health Problems

Maine Coon Raw Food Diet

The most common way that owners feed their Maine Coons is with a combination of dry food and wet food.

Whilst this combination is considered a great, healthy way to provide your cat with all the nutrients it needs, some owners opt to feed their Maine Coons a raw food diet instead.

You might be wondering, can Maine Coons eat raw meat? Read our full guide here.

Here are some factors owners should consider if they are considering giving their Maine Coon kittens and cats a raw food diet:

  • No Pathogens: Firstly, even though cats in the wild eat raw meat all the time, meat processed by humans is more likely to contain pathogens like E. coli, since even frozen or refrigerated meat can be days or even weeks old before it is purchased in the store.
  • Supplements: Secondly, you cannot just feed your Maine Coon raw meats and expect it to be perfectly healthy. Instead, you will need to supplement your cat’s diet with certain vitamins and minerals, to ensure it is getting all the nutrients it requires.
  • Dangers: There are potential dangers of providing your Maine Coon a raw food diet. Handling and preparing raw meat for your cat can expose you and others in your household to dangerous and even deadly pathogens. If you, any household members, or even your cat are immune-compromised, you should not feed your cat a raw diet.

With all that being said, here is a quick guide to providing your Maine Coon with a raw food diet.

Firstly, make sure you feed your cat meats like:

  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Rabbit

The reason for this is that these foods contain high levels of protein and not as much fat as meats like beef or pork.

The safest way to obtain raw meat is through locally-sourced farms or shops, which are not only better for the environment, but also less likely to contain many pathogens.

Secondly, a cat on a raw food diet should eat about 85% muscle meat, which should be combined with: Organs

  • Ground (Uncooked) Bones
  • Supplements such as Taurine
  • Certain Vtamins

You will need a heavy-duty blender or a meat grinder to combine all of these ingredients.

Thirdly, when it comes to quantity, adult cats will need between 2% and 2.5% of their current body weight.

By comparison, a senior or overweight cat may need as little as 1.5% of their body weight, while underweight or incredibly active cats may need as much as 3%.

Kittens

If you are wondering how many grams of raw meat should I feed my kitten, you might be surprised to learn that they actually need much more!

Below is the quantity of food that a Maine Coon kitten needs to eat, per day:

  • 2 – 4 months: Kitten will need between 10% to 13% of their body weight, per day.
  • 4 – 8 months: Tapers off to about 6% to 10% of their body weight, per day.
  • 8 – 12 months: Kittens between eight and twelve months old will only need roughly 3% to 6%.

So, for example, a two-month-old kitten that weighs 3 pounds will need anywhere from 135 to 175 grams of food per day.

Overall, the raw food diet is a great way to provide a healthy, enriching diet for your cat, but it can be quite time-consuming and expensive so think carefully before going down this route (source 1,2).

How Often Should You Feed A Maine Coon Cat?

Maine Coon cats should be fed at least twice every day. If your cat isn’t fed every twelve hours, it can lead to serious nausea.

Many owners opt to purchase a food dispenser, which is a great tool to provide their cats with dry food.

This is the pet dry food dispenser I purchased from Amazon, I would highly recommend it. I particularly love the voice setting, where my pre-recorded voice tells Pippin (our male Maine Coon cat) each time that his food has been dispensed!

Automatic pet feeders are great devices, especially if you live a busy life and want to feel reassured that a cat feeder will dispense food at the times you have set.

Food dispensers are also a perfect gadget when you go on short trips out of town. This is because you can leave your cat safe at home for a day or two without any worries! If you do this, just make sure you have someone check in on your cat each day, to ensure their water bowl is topped up and give them some love and affection.

Finally, food dispensers are perfect for providing your cat with structure. Cats are creatures of habit and really appreciate routine.

Are Maine Coon Cats Picky Eaters?

Maine Coons are not known for being any pickier than regular cats, but cats, in general, are known to be quite picky sometimes.

While this can vary from cat to cat, some cats refuse to eat certain foods, brands, and flavors.

If your cat is a picky eater, you should try a variety of food flavors and brands until you find something your cat likes.

Keep in mind that Maine Coon cats also tend to dislike changes in their diets. Therefore, if you have been feeding your cat the same thing for a while, it probably won’t appreciate a sudden switch to a new food brand.

Should you need to change your cat’s diet, make sure you switch foods gradually. This is important since it will prevent your cat from being picky, as well as also limit the likelihood of nausea or stomach upsets.

You should also keep an eye out for symptoms like:

  • Nausea
  • Lethargy
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Other Unusual, Worrying Signs

Believe it or not, cats can also suffer from allergies. Wheat and seafood allergies are among the most common in cats (source 1).

Read my article on 12 common Maine Coon allergies, to learn more:

Why Does My Maine Coon Eat So Much?

Sometimes it seems like my Maine Coon is always hungry, so I was compelled to do some research.

What I wanted to learn, was whether Maine Coon cats are greedy, or not?

My investigation showed that Maine Coons are rarely greedy; instead, you can usually find a sensible reason why your cat always wants food.

Below are some key reasons why your Maine Coon eats so much:

1. Not Enough Food

The first (and most obvious) reason your cat is hungry all the time is that you are not feeding it enough!

Keep in mind that Maine Coon cats need between 24 and 35 calories of food per pound of body weight every day!

2. Eating Too Quickly

Many cats have a bad habit of eating too quickly.

If your cat eats too fast, though, it can become nauseous and throw up right after.

Should your cat throw up often, it is likely hungry because it has not retained enough food.

3. Incorrect Bowl

Cats have very sensitive whiskers all over their faces.

If your cat’s bowl is small and deep, it might hurt your cat’s whiskers to eat out of the bowl.

The solution is to make sure you use a wide, shallow bowl made of ceramic or stainless steel, such as this one large cat bowl sold on Amazon. A tilted bowl is ideal since it will make it easier for your Maine Coon to pick up their food.

Learn more about Maine Coon cat’s whiskers in this article I wrote:

4. Low Quality Food

If you are feeding your cat plenty of food, but it is still hungry all the time, you might be feeding your Maine Coon low-quality food.

Low-quality food contains lots of filler carbohydrates and grains, but very little protein or fat. As a result, your cat will not be getting the correct nutrients and might be hungry all the time.

These 5 dry foods are the best for your hungry gentle giant.

5. Boredom

Maine Coons are active, intelligent cats that need a lot of enrichment in order to be happy.

If your Maine Coon does not have enough space to run or toys to play with, it might want to eat lots out of boredom. Food might be one of the only enjoyable parts of its life.

These are my Maine Coon cat’s favorite toys, which he loves to play with every day because they are both fun, sturdy, and mentally stimulate him.

6. Underlying Illness

Unfortunately, underlying illnesses like the ones listed below can have a negative impact on your cat’s appetite:

  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Cancer

If you notice any of these accompanying symptoms, then you should take your cat to the vet right away:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Lethargy
  • Other Big Changes

These are the top 7 Maine Coon health issues to be aware of.

How Much Should A Maine Coon Cat Weigh?

Maine Coons are quite rugged and athletic felines, so do Maine Coons get fat?

The truth is that even these powerful cats can struggle with obesity, which is why it is incredibly important to monitor your cat’s weight. You can do this by using our Maine Coon growth chart to gauge the weight range your Maine Coon cat should be, according to their age.

Keep in mind that a Maine Coon’s weight can range anywhere between 8 and 25 pounds, which is a huge range.

It is difficult to see if your cat is a healthy weight since a Maine Coons thick fur can make it very difficult to tell. As a result, the best way to tell if your cat is underweight or overweight is to feel its ribs.

Therefore, for those of you wondering, is my Maine Coon overweight, you should focus on how your cat’s body feels instead of the number you see on the scale.

A healthy cat’s ribs will feel as though there is a thick layer of cloth over them.

Underweight cats, however, have sharp ribs that are easily felt.

By comparison, it may be difficult or even impossible to feel the ribs of an overweight cat.

If you think your cat is underweight or overweight, you should discuss the next steps with your vet before making any changes to your cat’s diet.

The reason I say this is because some owners put their cats on a strict diet if they think their cat is overweight. They assume it is best to make their cats lose weight as fast as possible. This is actually incredibly dangerous, though, as cats need to lose weight at a very gradual pace.

What To Do When Your Cat Won’t Eat

Cats eat instinctively, so if my Maine Coon won’t eat, I know something’s wrong.

If you’re wondering, why is my Maine Coon not eating, then here is what you can do to get your cat’s diet back on track:

  • Find Food Your Cat Likes: Your cat might be refusing to eat because it is picky. Try a variety of food brands and flavors to see if you can find something your cat enjoys. If your Maine Coon won’t eat wet food, it might be offended by the way it smells; since wet food smells stronger, and cats have delicate noses.
  • Watch Out For Allergies: Your cat might be refusing to eat because it is allergic to its food. Try to find a food without seafood, wheat, or other common allergens. You can also take your cat to the vet to get it tested for allergies.
  • Change Your Cat’s Food Bowl: If you use a deep, small food bowl, it could be causing your cat to experience discomfort as its whiskers are pushed against the bowl. Switch to a wide, shallow dish instead.
  • Make Sure Your Cat Feels Safe: Another reason your Maine Coon might not be eating is because it does not feel secure in its environment. Cats that are eating are vulnerable to attack. Therefore, if you have other pets in the house, your cat might feel insecure. Try putting your cat in a room away from other animals, or up high on a counter or somewhere dogs or other pets cannot reach it.
  • Talk With Your Vet: If all else fails, you should take your cat to the vet. Cats that are refusing to eat are often suffering from some underlying problem, such as dental problems or illness.

Have you heard of the Maine Coon raw food diet before? If not, take a look right away. It might just be the diet your Maine Coon cat has been dreaming of!

How To Fatten Up My Maine Coon

If your Maine Coon is underweight, you will need to find ways to get your cat back to a healthy weight.

Here are some ways you can fatten up your Maine Coon:

  • Feed Your Cat More: If your Maine Coon is underweight, the best first step is to increase your cat’s food intake by a little bit. In many cases this should help, but it might not always do the trick.
  • Provide More Treats: Treats are a great way to fatten up your Maine Coon, as well as increasing your bond with your cat. However, keep in mind that treats should not make up more than 10% of your cat’s diet.
  • Give More Wet Food: If you feed your cat primarily dry food, introducing wet food or increasing the amount of wet food you give your cat can really help your cat to gain weight. Many cats find wet food more flavorful, and are more likely to eat wet food than dry food.
  • Talk With Your Vet: If your cat is still underweight, or doesn’t seem to be eating much, then you should talk with your vet right away to make sure you are feeding your cat correctly. You also need to make sure your cat is not suffering from any underlying illness.

How Much Does It Cost To Feed A Maine Coon?

If you are planning on getting a Maine Coon, but are worried about the ongoing expenses, you are probably wondering, how much does it cost to feed a Maine Coon per month?

A rough guide is that if you are providing your Maine Coon with a combination of high-quality dry food and wet food, you can expect to pay between $50 – $75 dollars per month, and potentially even more for a Maine Coon kitten.

What Human Food Can Maine Coon Cats Eat?

For a Maine Coon, human food is exciting and enriching.

However, it is important to be aware that some human foods are incredibly dangerous to feed your Maine Coon.

For a complete guide of the top 20 harmful foods to a Maine Coon, make sure you read my article.

As a quick insight, here are some of the key foods that owners should not feed their Maine Coon cats:

1. Fruit

Many fruits, including strawberries, apples, watermelon, and blueberries, are a great source of fiber, water, and other nutrients.

However, always be sure to research which fruits are safe for your cat, as some fruits, like grapes, are actually very dangerous.

2. Cheese

Cheese is a favorite of many cats, but it should be given very rarely, as it contains lots of salt and dairy.

Furthermore, it is important to keep in mind that some cats are allergic to dairy.

3. Bread

Small amounts of bread are okay to feed cats, but since they are high in carbohydrates, you’re really only giving your cat sugar and empty calories. This is not advisable.

4. Meat

Unseasoned, well-cooked meats like chicken, beef, and fish are all great options to give your cat.

However, you should never feed your cat a diet of only meat, as this will not contain many of the nutrients they need to stay fit and healthy.

5. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a popular treat for cats, but before you give some to your cat, make sure it does not contain xylitol, a common peanut butter ingredient that is actually toxic to cats.

Maine Coon Treats

Treats are a great way you can increase your bond with your cat, and they can also be used as incentives for learning tricks, or as a way to reward your cat for good behavior.

Furthermore, treats are a great way to supplement your cat’s diet if it is underweight.

When choosing treats to give your cat, search for treats that are made with natural ingredients. The first ingredient should always be some type of protein, such as fish or chicken.

You can give your cat treats every day if you’d like, but treats should not make up more than 10% of your cat’s daily caloric intake.

Conclusion

If you are struggling to find a diet that is healthy for your cat, you are probably wondering, how much do Maine Coon cats eat?

Maine Coons require between 24 and 35 calories per pound of bodyweight every day, and this large, active cat breed often requires more food than most cat breeds.

Maine Coons are often prone to weight problems because their unusual size and thick, dense fur can make it difficult for owners to know how much to feed their cats.

If you’ve been struggling to find a good food schedule for your cat, then you should discuss potential options with your vet.

Related Questions

How Much Do Maine Coon Cats Cost?

Maine Coons typically cost between $400 and $2,500 from a reputable breeder.

Can Maine Coons Eat Eggs?

Maine Coons can occasionally eat eggs, provided they are fully cooked and do not contain any additives such as salt, oil, or milk (source 1).

Can Maine Coons Eat Cooked Chicken?

Maine Coons can occasionally eat cooked chicken, so long as there are not any additives like seasoning. They should never be allowed to eat the bones.

Do Maine Coons Throw Up A Lot?

Maine Coons are not known to throw up more often than any other kind of cat. However, it is not uncommon for them to throw up due to eating too quickly or other food-related problems.

Maine Coon Central

Hello! My name is Katrina Stewardson, and I’m a self-confessed CRAZY CAT LADY! I've been in love with the Maine Coon cat breed ever since we welcomed an adorable male Maine Coon kitten into our home 9 years ago. We called him 'Pippin', but he also goes by the name ‘Pipsteroo’! Our enormous, kind-hearted cat genuinely thinks he's a dog and has convinced me that cats are Man's True Best Friend!

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