If your cat has started looking bigger lately, you may be wondering, is my Maine Coon overweight?
Obesity can lead to serious health complications for your cat, so it is important to catch it early on.
If you are unable to feel your cat’s ribs, then it is likely overweight. However, because Maine Coons have such long, thick fur, it can be difficult to know for sure. You should take your Maine Coon to the vet to check that your cat is at a healthy weight, as well as to ensure it is receiving proper nutrition and exercise.
Every cat is different, which means that some cats are naturally heavier or skinnier depending on their own metabolism and genetics.
Just because your Maine Coon appears obese, does not mean you should immediately start restricting your Maine Coons food.
Read on to find out the healthiest ways to get your Maine Coon to a healthy weight!
Is My Maine Coon Overweight?
The Maine Coon is an enormous breed descended from tough cats in the cold state of Maine.
These cats were valued for their strength and impressive hunting abilities.
Today, these gentle giants are the largest domesticated cat breed in the world, which means their diets require more protein to keep their muscular build in tip-top shape.
Maine Coons typically weigh between 8 and 25 lbs, with males averaging between 15 – 25 lbs and most female Maine Coon cats weigh between 8 and 12 lbs.
Of course, this Maine Coon size information is only applicable to purebred Maine Coons.
The Maine Coon mix size is less predictable, however, they are generally smaller than the purebred Maine Coon. Ultimately, it’s their genetics that decides how big they will grow!
Figuring out if your Maine Coon is overweight can be tricky for a number of reasons:
Bigger Than Normal Cats
Firstly, because these cats are generally much bigger than the average cat, it makes it harder to compare how big your cat should be or how much it should weigh.
Long Thick Fur
Secondly, Maine Coons have long and incredibly thick fur, with a dense undercoat.
This fluffy fur can make a Maine Coon look much larger than it actually is.
Feel The Ribs
Usually, a good way to guess if your cat is overweight is to feel its ribs. If you have difficulty feeling its ribs, it is likely overweight.
Again, however, the Maine Coon’s thick fur can make this harder.
A mildly overweight cat will be even more difficult to see than an obese cat, which means it can be hard to catch weight gain early on.
It is important to observe your cat’s energy, eating habits, and grooming habits for better insight into their health.
Overweight cats generally have lower energy, eat more, and may have more difficulty grooming themselves.
If your cat’s coat looks dull or unkempt, or it does not have the energy to run or play as it once did, then you should take your Maine Coon to the vet.
How To Tell If Your Maine Coon Is Overweight
While you should ultimately rely on your vet’s opinion to determine if your cat is overweight, here are some signs to look out for that may indicate your cat needs to lose some weight (source 1,2):
If you are wondering, is my cat fat or fluffy, then you should start by feeling your cat’s ribs.
It is more difficult or even impossible to feel the ribs of an overweight cat, while underweight cats tend to have sharp, distinct ribs.
Many owners assume their cat is overweight because they can see their cat’s pouch.
For a Maine Coon, fat is stored in the primordial pouch, located by their abdomen.
This Maine Coon fat pouch can make a cat look overweight, but it is actually completely normal and healthy.
If you can see your cat’s pouch swinging from side to side as it walks, then chances are your Maine Coon is a healthy weight.
However, should your cat’s belly look round or bulging, then it is often a sign your cat is overweight.
How can you tell if your cat is overweight without the help of an expert?
Your cat’s behavior can be a great place to start!
One of the most common symptoms of obesity in cats is decreased energy.
Since fat stored in the body releases inflammatory hormones, a cat with excess fat will be more tired.
Overweight cats often cannot reach far enough to groom their entire bodies.
This can lead to a dull, unkempt coat, mats, and tangles.
Obese cats can also suffer from sores in the extra folds of their skin.
Cat whiskers are meant to be just as wide as the widest point of a cat’s body.
This way, they can stick their head into an opening and judge whether or not they can fit based on whether their whiskers brush against the sides or not.
An overweight cat, however, will become wider than its whiskers and may end up getting stuck more often, too.
Learn more about cat whiskers, here.
What Causes Obesity In Cats?
Causes of Maine Coon obesity can be either environmental or medical.
More often than not, cats become overweight due to their environment rather than an underlying medical cause.
Here are some things you may be doing that could lead your cat to become obese:
1. Improper Diet
While it may seem obvious, improper diet is one of the most common causes of Maine Coon obesity.
However, this does not just refer to the quantity of food you give your cat; food quality is also an important factor.
Low-quality cat foods often contain an excess of carbs and fat, but not enough protein.
This will cause your cat to feel hungry, even when it has eaten an expected amount of calories, and can lead to overeating.
2. Inadequate Exercise
Maine Coons are one of the most active cat breeds in the world. They are natural hunters and climbers, and they love to run and chase.
Aim to play with your Maine Coon for at least thirty minutes every day to keep them fit and healthy.
Make sure you also provide enough space and cat furniture for your cat to run and climb to its heart’s content!
These are the best extra-large cat trees that your large Maine Coon cat or kitten will LOVE!
3. Going Outdoors Unsupervised
Many well-meaning strangers like to offer treats to local cats.
But, if your cat makes the neighborhood rounds every day, there is a chance it is getting food and treats from several sources!
4. Food Aggression
If your Maine Coon is not the only cat in the house, it could be sneaking food from its housemates!
Should you witness your Maine Coon acting aggressively around its food, such as growling when you come near, it’s possible your cat may be stealing food from other cats, too.
5. Table Scraps
Not only does feeding your cat table scraps add extra calories to its diet, it often adds empty calories.
Nutrition looks very different for humans than it does for cats, and providing foods or treats with too many carbohydrates or fats can quickly lead to obesity.
6. Medical Conditions
Even if you are doing everything right, genetics and medical factors can cause your Maine Coon cat to become overweight.
Here are some medical causes of obesity in cats (source 1,2):
- Medications: Some medications, such as steroids, can cause weight gain in your cat. Talk with your vet about switching medications or finding other ways to keep your cat at a healthy weight.
- Hypothyroidism: The thyroid, which affects one’s metabolism, can sometimes produce too few hormones, leading to a slower metabolism and weight gain.
- Fluid Retention: Some medical conditions, such as certain types of tumors or diseases like feline infectious peritonitis can cause excess fluid to collect in a cat’s abdomen rather than escaping the body. This can make a cat appear bloated and overweight
Maine Coon Weight Chart By Age
Here is a Maine Coon growth chart by age.
Having a Maine Coon kitten weight chart is handy to have around so you can compare your kitten’s progress as it goes.
Keep in mind, however, the size of Maine Coon mixes is much less predictable, so this chart will likely not be applicable if your Maine Coon is not a purebred (source 1,2):
|Maine Coon |
|Chart created by:||Maine Coon Central|
|Newborn||90 – 170 g||90 – 150 g|
|1 Month||620 – 820 g||550 – 740 g|
|3 Months||1.68 – 2.4 kg||1.5 – 2.27 kg|
|6 Months||3.4 – 5.9 kg||3.08 – 4.3 kg|
|1 Year||5.8 – 9.03 kg||4.5 – 6.5 kg|
|2-5 Years||5.8 – 11.34 kg||4.5 – 6.8 kg|
|5+ Years||6.8 – 11.34 kg||4.5 – 6.8 kg|
Maine Coon Growth Stages
Some owners look at Maine Coon growth pictures so they can get a better understanding of how their own Maine Coon can be expected to grow.
However, learning more about the growth stages of Maine Coons is a more concrete way to ensure your kitten is growing at the right rate.
Read the Maine Coon growth stages below, to understand your Maine Coons expected size during their lifespan (source 1):
Newborn – 3 Months
Newborn Maine Coons are tiny, weighing just .09 to .17 kg.
They do not stay tiny for long, though!
Maine Coons generally grow at a steady rate from when they are first born until they are three months old when you can expect them to weigh between 1.5 and 2.4 kg.
3 – 7 Months
Most Maine Coon kittens get their first growth spurt when they are about 3 months old when they begin to gain about 1 kg each month until they are 7 months old.
Maine Coons usually get their second growth spurt when they are about 8 months old, or 32 weeks old.
Usually, once a Maine Coon is about 50 weeks or just a little over a year old, they get their third and last growth spurt.
So, how much does a Maine Coon grow after the first year?
After their final growth spurt, they grow very slowly and steadily until they reach their full size.
3 – 5 Years
While most cats reach their full size when they are about one or two years old, most Maine Coons are not fully grown until they are three to five years old.
Maine Coon Growth Chart
A Maine Coon growth chart is a way to keep track of your cat’s size as it grows.
This can be useful to show your vet, so they will have a better sense of your cat’s metabolism and growth rate.
Here is a quick guide to making a Maine Coon growth chart of your own:
1. Create a Schedule
To keep a Maine Coon growth chart by age, you will need to measure your cat at consistent intervals.
Set a calendar event for around the same time once a month, and stick to the schedule until your cat is at least a year old, or once it is fully grown between three and five years.
2. Weigh Your Cat
Use a scale meant for fruit or animals to measure your cat.
If your Maine Coon does not like to sit still, you can coax your cat with treats while you weigh them.
3. Measure Height
A cat’s height measurement is taken by measuring the highest point of its front shoulder down to its paws.
Measuring length and height can be a bit trickier than taking a cat’s weight, so you may need a second pair of hands to help keep your cat in place.
4. Measure Length
Measuring your Maine Coon’s length means measuring from the tip of its nose to the very base of its tail.
Many cat owners find it easier to take this measurement if their cat is laying on the ground, fully stretched out, but having a partner can help keep your cat in the right position, as well.
Finally, make sure you record all of the measurements on your phone or a piece of paper, so you have a detailed document to refer to if you are ever concerned about your cat’s weight.
You can also record your cat’s measurements on a graph if you would prefer a more visual representation of your Maine Coon’s growth.
My Cat Is Getting Fat, What Should I Do?
If you have noticed your Maine Coon’s weight has increased lately, and your vet has confirmed that your cat is overweight, here are some ways you can get your cat back to a healthy weight:
Your first instinct may be to restrict your cat’s food intake, but you should first consider the kind of food your cat is eating.
If you are feeding your cat cheap, low-quality food with lots of filler carbs, then your cat may be overeating because it is malnourished.
Switch to high-quality cat food (like this) that contains a lot of protein, a moderate amount of fat, and only a small amount of carbohydrates.
Reduce Food Intake
A common cause of obesity among cats is “free feeding,” when owners allow their cats to eat as much dry food as they’d like.
Read more about free-feeding a Maine Coon cat, in this article.
If your cat is prone to overeating, you should be feeding your cat small meals two or three times a day, rather than allowing your cat to eat its fill.
Cats tend to become very hungry after twelve hours without food, so make sure you feed your cat at least every twelve hours.
Keeping a consistent feeding schedule can prevent your cat from begging or eating too quickly once it is food time.
Play with your Maine Coon for at least thirty minutes every day.
Do not just play with a teaser toy while your cat lays on the floor; encourage your kitty to:
You may also want to consider training your cat to walk on a leash and harness. Here’s how!
That way, your Maine Coon can get some exercise and outdoor enrichment without the danger of cars, poison, or wild animals.
How To Put Your Cat On A Diet
If you have an overweight Maine Coon cat, your vet will likely recommend a combination of exercise and diet changes.
You will have to do some math to make sure your cat is losing a healthy amount of weight within a reasonable amount of time, and you will also need to keep a consistent schedule.
Here are some tips on helping a cat lose weight (source 1,2):
1. Reduce Calories
The average Maine Coon needs to eat between 25 and 35 calories per pound of body weight.
If your Maine Coon is eating more than this amount, you should reduce its intake to about 35 calories per pound of body weight.
Do not decrease your cat’s food intake too severely, or it can lead to starvation and dangerous weight loss.
2. Lose A Healthy Amount
If you are wondering how to put your Maine Coon on a diet to lose weight, you may be tempted to make your cat shed those extra pounds as quickly as possible.
While it is generally considered safe for a human to lose a pound a week, the same is not at all true for cats!
Your Maine Coon should only be losing about 1 to 2% of its body weight every week.
However, since each cat is different, you should also confer with your vet for the safest guideline.
3. Keep Track
Record your cat’s weight at regular intervals.
It is usually best to weigh them once a month since weight can fluctuate too much from week to week.
Keeping a record of your cat’s weight loss can help you see if your cat is losing too much too quickly, or if the diet is even working at all.
4. Stick To A Schedule
Cats who are used to eating however much they want may not like the sudden switch to a new diet.
Since routine is very important to cats, you should create a consistent feeding schedule.
You may want to get an automatic feeder, which you can schedule to go off at certain times.
Obese Cat Life Expectancy
Most Maine Coons live to be between twelve and 17 years old. For obese cats, however, that life expectancy is cut much shorter.
Most obese cats sadly only live to be between five and ten years old.
Overweight cats have a lot of added strain on their joints and muscles, leading to less energy and difficulty walking or playing.
It also makes them more susceptible to things like diabetes or certain heart conditions (source 1).
Cat Overweight But Not Eating
Your cat’s diet is a huge indicator of its health.
If your cat suddenly stops eating, this is usually a cause for concern.
Here are some potential reasons why your overweight cat may have stopped eating (source 1):
Sometimes, cats lose their appetite due to a major stressful change, like a big move or the addition of a new family member or pet.
However, do not be too swift to attribute stress to your cat’s appetite loss, as there are many more possible reasons.
If a cat, especially an overweight cat, suddenly stops eating, then it can result in hepatic lipidosis.
Hepatic lipidosis may cause vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing, so take your cat to the vet straight away if you notice any of these symptoms.
Tooth and gum disease, if left untreated, can become so painful that it affects your cat’s ability to eat.
Check your cat’s teeth and gums to ensure they look healthy and free of cavities and plaque, so you can prevent tooth decay early on.
Other Injury Or Illness
There are many different diseases that can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.
Furthermore, a cat may stop eating if it exacerbates an already existing injury.
If you notice that your cat has not eaten for one or two days, then it is time to go to the vet.
Why Does My Maine Coon Eat So Much?
If your Maine Coon seems to be eating too much, it may be perfectly normal, but it could also indicate an underlying health reason.
Here are some possible causes for excessive eating in Maine Coons (source 1):
Maine Coons are much larger and more active than the average cat.
If you have never had a Maine Coon before, then you might be surprised by just how much your cat is eating!
For those of you that are concerned, please consult with your vet to ensure your cat is getting the right amount of food.
Maine Coons are very intelligent and active, but if they do not get enough playtime or enrichment, they may try to find stimulation through other sources.
Overeating is a common way cats try to distract themselves from boredom.
If you are feeding your cat low-quality food, it likely will not be satisfied even if it overeats.
Cat foods with lots of carbs and little protein are not filling, so your cat might be eating extra to get more of the nutrients it needs.
If your cat is regularly eating a large amount of food but is either maintaining or losing weight, it may be suffering from hyperthyroidism.
This condition causes an increased metabolism, which can cause your cat to lose weight no matter how much it eats.
Other Underlying Conditions
There are a variety of other health conditions that can lead to overeating.
If your cat’s big appetite is accompanied by weight gain, weight loss, lethargy, vomiting, or any other concerning symptoms, then you should talk with your vet to rule out any potential medical problems.
How To Tell If Your Maine Coon Will Be Big
While there is no way to know for sure how large your Maine Coon will grow, there are some ways you may be able to guess!
Here are some signs that may suggest your Maine Coon will grow to be enormous:
Large Paws And Ears
Some believe that a kitten with extra large paws or ears will grow up to be an extra large cat.
While there are not any studies yet indicating this is true, it is a popular belief that has been passed down for generations, and there may be a grain of truth in it.
While large Maine Coons can have small kittens, and vice versa, taking a look at your Maine Coon’s parents can give you a better look at their possible adult size.
If you got your Maine Coon from a breeding pair that has had extra large kittens in the past, then you are more likely to have a large Maine Coon, as well.
A more accurate indicator of a cat’s adult size is the care they receive while they are young.
Cats that are weaned too early or fed low-quality diets with little protein are more likely to experience stunted growth.
If you provide your Maine Coon with high-quality food that is rich in protein, then it is much more likely to reach its full potential.
If you are asking yourself, is my Maine Coon overweight then it may be time to take your cat to the vet.
Maine Coons are known for being big, but their thick fur and muscular build can make it difficult to tell if your cat is too big.
While poor grooming habits, lack of energy, and a round, swollen belly can all indicate that your cat is overweight, it is best to talk to your vet so you can come up with a healthy, personalized weight loss plan.
Why Is My Maine Coon So Skinny?
Underweight cats may not be getting enough food, or they may not be getting enough high-quality nutrients in their food. If you have multiple cats, one may be stealing the other’s food, as well.
Is My Maine Coon Underweight?
One easy way to see if your cat is underweight is to feel its ribs. If they feel sharp and distinct, your cat is likely underweight. Take your cat to the vet for a proper diagnosis and plan of action.
How Can I Make My Maine Coon Grow Bigger?
You can’t make a cat grow larger than it’s meant to be, but ensuring your cat gets enough protein and exercise, especially at a young age, can help them grow stronger and prevent stunted growth.