The Maine Coon is an incredibly popular cat breed that is famous for being the largest domesticated cat breed in the world.
As a result, many owners want to learn how to make a Maine Coon grow big.
The size of a Maine Coon is determined by its genetics, and there is no way to make a Maine Coon grow bigger than is natural. However, providing an adequate amount of food with lots of protein can ensure your cat will grow to its full size.
It is common for Maine Coon owners to become anxious or even disappointed during the first year of owning a Maine Coon, because their cats are much smaller than they initially hoped.
Read on to find out why your Maine Coon kitten is smaller than you expected, and what you can do about it!
How To Make A Maine Coon Grow Big
The Maine Coon is the largest domesticated cat breed in the entire world.
These large cats weigh, on average, between 8 and 25 pounds, but some have even reached up to 35 pounds!
Check out these record-breaking Maine Coon cats.
These cats have muscular, rectangular bodies with rather square facial features.
Many people remark that the Maine Coon looks quite wild in comparison to other cat breeds.
The Maine Coon developed naturally in the frigid state of Maine, where they hunted animals in order to survive.
Their prey included:
- Other Prey
Maine Coon cats became favored amongst farmers and sailors for their:
- Hunting Abilities
Today, these cats are one of the most popular cat breeds to own in the world!
In fact, there are now countless images all over the Internet of proud owners holding their enormous Maine Coons.
Therefore, if you have seen these pictures and own a Maine Coon cat yourself, you might be wondering how to get your Maine Coon big too! Keep reading to find out …
Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that a cat’s size is determined by its genetics. Thus, there is no way to make your Maine Coon magically grow big.
Learn more about a Maine Coon cat’s genetics in my article.
Still, there are some steps you can take to ensure your cat reaches its full Maine Coon size.
Here are a few examples:
1. Provide Enough Calories
The average cat needs between 25 – 35 calories per pound of body weight, every day.
The first thing you need to do therefore is check that your Maine Coon cat is consuming enough calories.
Since Maine Coons are incredibly active, they often end up needing even more calories than the average cat does.
You should also make sure that your cat is actually eating all of the food you provide; if your Maine Coon isn’t eating enough, it could be the result of an underlying health problem like this.
For owners suspecting that their cat is losing weight, make sure you read my article why is my Maine Coon cat so skinny?
2. Provide Lots Of Protein
Even if you give your cat enough calories every day, it might not make a difference in your cat’s size.
This is because some brands of cat food do not actually provide the correct nutritional profile for these large cats.
Maine Coon cats need a lot of protein and a moderate amount of fat in order to grow correctly, particularly during kittenhood.
Make sure you read this guide to feeding a Maine Coon cat to ensure you are feeding them the best food.
3. Avoid Carbs And Filler Foods
Similarly to the above point, cheap brands of cat food substitute more expensive proteins with lots of:
- Filler Carbohydrates
Cats only need a small number of carbs, so lots of filler carbs can result in malnutrition and stunted growth.
Click here to discover the best food to feed your Maine Coon cat.
Here is a list of foods that will harm a Maine Coon cat, so make sure you cross reference this first to ensure you keep your Maine Coon fit and healthy.
Some owners assume that the best way to make their Maine Coon grow big is by feeding it extra food.
The reality of overfeeding, however, is that it will only ever lead to obesity and many other health problems in your cat. This is not a very advisable approach and should be avoided.
Instead, it is important to ensure that your Maine Coon gets a lot of exercise, ideally 30 minutes each day.
Not only is this important for mental stimulation, but it will also help your cat build muscle.
5. Spay And Neuter
Believe it or not, getting your cat spayed or neutered at a young age has been shown to actually help a cat’s growth!
On the ends of our bones are sections of cartilage that allow our bones to continue lengthening. Once we reach a certain age, the cartilage fuses, and growth stops.
Spaying and neutering at a young age, however, delays the fusion of that cartilage, resulting in longer, taller cats!
6. Monitor Your Cat’s Weight
It is important to keep track of your Maine Coon’s weight, especially during its first year of life.
The long, thick fur of a Maine Coon can cause many owners to assume their cat is overweight, and they actually underfeed their cats as a result.
Track your cat’s weight every month, and discuss with your vet whether your Maine Coon seems healthy, or not.
Here’s how to make a Maine Coon growth chart.
7. Be Patient
A lot of Maine Coon owners can feel disappointed during the first couple of years of their cat’s life.
This is because Maine Coons have a much slower growth rate than other cat breeds.
The average cat reaches full size in a year or two, while Maine Coons usually do not reach full size until between three and five years old!
Learn more about the differences between the Maine Coon Cat Vs Normal Cat, in this comparison guide I wrote.
Best Food For Maine Coon Growth
Providing a nutritionally balanced diet is one of the key factors contributing to a Maine Coon’s health and growth.
Here are the dietary requirements for Maine Coon cats:
a. High Protein
Maine Coons require a high amount of animal protein, and this should make up about 35% – 50% of their total diet.
High levels of protein are vital to building muscle mass and strengthening your cat’s immune system.
b. Moderate Fat
Your Maine Coon’s diet should contain about 20% – 30% fat.
More specifically, cats require omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are a vital source of energy, and are required for many essential bodily functions such as the:
- Absorption of vitamins
- Reduction of inflammation
c. Low Carbs
Carbohydrates should only make up roughly 12% of your Maine Coon cat’s diet.
Carbs are still an important energy source, but if your cat is eating lots of carbs and not enough protein or fat, it will quickly become malnourished.
d. Vitamins And Minerals
Cats require dozens of different vitamins and minerals, which all work together to make your cat healthy.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials, also known as the AAFCO, has worked hard to create a strict guideline for all the vitamins and minerals that cats require.
When searching for pet foods, make sure the brand you purchase from has the AAFCO’s seal of approval, to ensure your cat is getting all of the vitamins and minerals it requires.
Maine Coon Growth Chart
Maine Coons do not grow up the same way that most cat breeds do.
These extra-large cats take much longer to grow, and they do not reach their full size until they are between three and five years old.
A great way to keep tabs on your cat’s health and size is through a Maine Coon growth chart.
A growth chart is a way to track Maine Coon growth month by month.
You can compare your cat’s weight and size every month, and it also provides helpful data that you can show to your vet if you are ever concerned about your cat’s growth rate.
It can also be a good idea to look up Maine Coon growth pictures, or pictures of other growth charts, so you can have a better idea of what to expect as your cat grows up.
Keep in mind, however, that every individual cat will have a different journey until it reaches full size!
All Maine Coons grow at slightly different growth rates, but most cats of this breed will follow a certain pattern of weight gain and growth spurts.
Here’s a guide to Maine Coon growth from kittenhood to adulthood:
Newborn to 3 Months
Newborn Maine Coons are incredibly tiny, but they grow rapidly and steadily for the first three months after they are born.
Most three-month-old Maine Coons weigh between 3 and 5 pounds on average.
3 to 7 Months
Once a kitten reaches three months old, you can expect it to gain an average of two pounds every month until it is about seven months old.
The first Maine Coon growth spurt usually occurs at about 32 weeks old, or around 8 months old.
After this first growth spurt, your Maine Coon will grow more slowly for a while, until its second growth spurt.
1 Year Old
A 1-year-old Maine Coon is likely to experience its second and final growth spurt when it is just over a year old, or around fifty weeks old.
After this final growth spurt, your Maine Coon will grow significantly more slowly.
Now, you can expect your Maine Coon to grow very slowly and gradually until it reaches its full size.
3 to 5 Years Old
Maine Coons reach their full size when they are between three and five years old, much later than the average cat.
However, they reach this final size very slowly and gradually.
If you are not certain how a Maine Coon size compared to ‘normal’ cat breeds, take a look at the infographic I created below:
Maine Coon Runt Of The Litter
Sometimes, a cat that gives birth to a litter of kittens will give birth to a smaller and weaker kitten, known as a runt.
These kittens are less likely to survive when they are young, but they can still grow up to be perfectly healthy cats.
Maine Coon runts are often the result of a y-shaped uterus.
Sometimes, one of the kittens is pushed into one corner of the uterus, away from the main blood supply. These kittens receive fewer nutrients during development and are born smaller.
Another cause of litter runts is a cat who has mated more than once.
Cats are capable of conceiving kittens from more than one father, therefore, sometimes a kitten may be conceived later than its siblings, and is, therefore, less developed when it is born.
Runts are less likely to survive while they are younger, as their mother may kill them or abandon them, or they may suffer from:
However, if a runt survives to about two months old, it will likely grow up to be just as big and healthy as its siblings.
Runt Growth Spurts
A runt Maine Coon may not experience growth spurts at the same times as its siblings and will have to “catch up” on weight gain at a young age.
If you suspect you have a kitten that was a runt, you should take extra care to talk about your cat’s growth rate with your vet, to ensure it is healthy (sources 1,2).
How To Tell How Big Your Maine Coon Will Get
Owners are often very excited when they get a Maine Coon kitten, and cannot wait to ask the question, how big will my Maine Coon grow?
Unfortunately, there is no way to know for certain how large your cat will be when it grows up.
Still, here are a few tell-tale signs to look for that might indicate your Maine Coon’s eventual full size:
1. Paw Size
A Maine Coon cat’s paw size can give you a vague indication of your cat’s ultimate size.
“Teenage” Maine Coons, between three months to a year old, are often quite lanky before they eventually reach their full size.
During this awkward growth period, most Maine Coon kittens have large paws in comparison to the rest of their body, and they usually end up growing into these paws.
As a result, you can usually expect Maine Coons with very large paws to grow up bigger, but there is no way to know for sure.
2. Parent Size
The size of a Maine Coon’s parents is often one of the best indicators when it comes to guessing how big your Maine Coon will get.
When purchasing a Maine Coon from a reputable breeder, like these, you can ask how large kittens from previous litters have grown, as well.
Still, keep in mind that the genetics which determine a cat’s full size are very complex, and the size of a Maine Coon’s parents is not a completely reliable indicator.
Click here to learn more about Maine Coon genetics.
Male Maine Coons are larger on average than females.
Most female Maine Coons weigh between 8 and 12 pounds, while most male Maine Coons reach between 15 and 25 pounds.
Here are a few other key differences and similarities between the male and female Maine Coon cats.
Healthy cats are more likely to grow up big.
Kittens suffering from various health problems, however, may not get all the nutrients they need while growing and may end up smaller as a result.
Do Maine Coons Come In Different Sizes?
Maine Coons are famous for being huge, but if your Maine Coon does not end up as big as you were expecting, you might be wondering, why is my Maine Coon small?
Unfortunately, we are more likely to find pictures of the biggest Maine Coons online, but are Maine Coon cats really that big on average?
Maine Coon size can actually vary quite a bit, and male vs female Maine Coon size is actually very different.
Male Maine Coons typically reach between 15 and 25 pounds, while female Maine Coons only end up weighing between 8 and 12 pounds on average.
If your Maine Coon still seems unnaturally small, then you might be wondering, are there small Maine Coon cats?
Some Maine Coons are smaller than the average Maine Coon, and some may even be smaller than cats from other breeds.
Here are some of the reasons why some Maine Coons are small:
Some Maine Coons are simply small due to genetics.
Even a Maine Coon with two large parents can end up being small because there is no way for breeders to control which genes a cat inherits from its parents.
Diet is essential when it comes to a cat’s size.
Maine Coons need at least 25 to 35 calories a day per pound of body weight.
Their diet should consist of large amounts of protein, a moderate amount of fat, and a small number of carbohydrates.
3. Poor Health
The early stages of your cat’s life are very important for determining size.
A kitten battling illness will not be able to focus as much on eating, or may even lose some of the food they take in either by vomiting or excessive bowel movements.
Other health problems such as cancer, hyperthyroidism, and diabetes can all lead to weight loss, as well.
4. Circumstances Of Birth
The runt of the litter may grow up to be much smaller.
Cats that are separated from their mother too early can also suffer nutritionally, and will not grow to be as big.
5. Maine Coon Mix
In some cases, your Maine Coon might not be a purebred Maine Coon at all!
Maine Coon mixes often grow up to be smaller than the average Maine Coon, so it is important to purchase a cat from a reputable, registered breeder.
Biggest Maine Coon Weight
Most Maine Coons weigh between 8 and 25 pounds when they are fully grown, but there are some massive Maine Coons that have grown up to exceed these expectations.
However, official record-keepers prefer to track cat length rather than weight, to prevent owners from intentionally overfeeding their cats.
- Barivel: Barivel is currently the record holder for the world’s longest cat that is currently living, and he measures an incredible 47.2 inches long. Read more about him in this article.
- Stewie: Stewie was a beautiful Maine Coon that once held the record for the world’s longest cat. He measured 48.5 inches long, but unfortunately passed away in 2013.
- Ludo Ludo once held the record for longest cat alive, measuring a length of 46.6 inches. However, he is also one of the heaviest Maine Coons at 34 pounds – nearly ten pounds above the average maximum weight for a Maine Coon cat!
Where Can I Get A Big Maine Coon Cat?
If you want an extra-large Maine Coon, you should seek out a reputable, registered breeder who specializes in large Maine Coons.
Three different catteries to check out are:
- King Klaudr Coons
All of these breeders have been registered with either TICA, CFA, or both! (sources 1,2,3).
Do Maine Coon Mixes Get Big?
Maine Coon mixes are often much cheaper than purebred Maine Coons, and they often still retain many physical traits and personality traits as their Maine Coon ancestors.
It is possible for Maine Coon mixes to grow up quite large, but ultimately there is no way to know for sure, as the genes that a kitten inherits from its parents are completely random.
Why Is My Maine Coon Losing Weight?
It is important for your cat to maintain a healthy weight, so if you notice your cat has been losing weight, you will need to find out why right away.
Here are some of the possible reasons why your cat might be losing weight:
1. Picky Cat
Your cat could be losing weight out of pickiness.
Some cats are very sensitive to changes in their diet and may refuse to eat enough if they do not like a certain:
Your cat’s food bowl might also have an impact; since cats’ whiskers are very sensitive, and deep or small bowls can cause whisker irritation.
It is best to feed your cat from a wide, shallow bowl made of ceramic or stainless steel.
Discover more about the fascinating Maine Coon Whiskers in this article.
2. Improper Diet
Weight loss can result from too few calories or poor nutrition.
You may need to increase how much food you give your cat, or find a higher quality brand of cat food that contains:
- High amounts of protein
- A moderate amount of fat
- A small number of carbohydrates
These are the best dry foods to feed a Maine Coon cat.
Should you wish to give your Maine Coon a raw food diet, here’s how to do it.
3. Eating Too Quickly
Cats have a habit of eating very quickly, but this can become problematic if left unchecked.
When cats eat too fast, their digestive tract becomes irritated, and they throw up as a result.
If your cat is constantly throwing up the food it just ate, it can easily lead to dehydration and weight loss, as well as dental problems.
4. Underlying Health Problems
Finally, your cat may be losing weight due to an underlying health problem.
The following health problems can cause weight loss in a cat:
If you notice sudden weight loss or other worrying symptoms in your cat, take your Maine Coon to the vet straight away!
Not all health conditions are immediately obvious, so make sure you review these top 7 Maine Coon health problems to help you spot signs of illness in your cat sooner rather than later.
If you recently got a Maine Coon kitten, you might want to learn how to make a Maine Coon grow big.
Unfortunately, while many Maine Coons grow up to be enormous, this is not the case for all of them.
There is no way to make your Maine Coon magically grow bigger.
But, providing enough calories and nutrients, as well as giving your cat plenty of exercise can all help your Maine Coon reach its full size.
Hybrid Maine Coon
Maine Coon mixes are not guaranteed to have the same physical traits or personality as a purebred Maine Coon, but they are often still large and loving, and they are cheaper than purebreds.