If your cat seems tired, itchy, irritable, or nauseous, then Maine Coon food allergies might be the culprit behind your cat’s illness.
Any cat can develop food allergies which, if left untreated, can lead to serious health problems.
Maine Coon food allergies can lead to gastrointestinal problems, irritated skin, wheezing, coughing, and sneezing, among other symptoms. While Maine Coons are not as prone to allergies as many other cat breeds, they can still have an allergic reaction to beef, corn, wheat, dairy, chicken, and other meat and vegetable proteins.
If your Maine Coon appears to be suffering from an allergy, it can be difficult to pin down exactly which food is behind your cat’s reaction.
Read on to find out how you can narrow down your cat’s food allergies, and find a specialized diet that is safe for your cat.
Maine Coon Food Allergies
The Maine Coon is a massive, elegant breed that originally roamed wild throughout the state of Maine.
These fearless cats soon became the prized companions of farmers and sailors, who delighted in their incredible hunting skills.
In the wild, Maine Coons would eat anything from mice to bugs to birds!
Even though this breed managed to survive just fine in the wild, some owners today are realizing that Maine Coon cat food allergies can pose a serious problem.
So, what are Maine Coon cats allergic to?
While this breed is not as prone to food allergies as some other breeds, they can still develop serious allergic reactions to certain proteins or other foods.
|Beef and |
|Less likely, |
|Dairy||Do not give|
your cat dairy
|Corn||Avoid cat foods |
with high levels
of dry food
allergies in cats
amounts are fine.
Best to avoid
|Preservatives||Tricky allergy to|
|Artificial Dyes||Can lead to allergic|
reactions and food
allergies in cats
We will now look at these 10 food allergies more closely, to understand why Maine Coon cats are allergic to these items:
1. Beef And Fish
Beef and fish are the two most common allergies in Maine Coons, but they are also some of the most popular proteins found in cat foods.
2. Other Meat
Maine Coons are less likely to have allergies to meats other than beef and fish, but they can still be allergic to any meat.
Chicken, turkey, and other seafood are just a few types of meat your cat could be allergic to.
However, meats like venison, rabbit, or bison are less likely to cause allergies in Maine Coons.
3. Meat Byproducts
Many cheaper cat foods contain lots of meat byproducts.
These include leftovers from meats that humans do not want, such as fats and organs.
These ingredients are poorly regulated, which means your cat could react to any number of proteins in the mish-mash of meat byproducts in its food.
Make sure you only feed your Maine Coon cat the best cat food.
You should not provide your cats with any dairy, including:
While not all cats are specifically allergic to dairy, their bodies do not contain the enzyme needed to break down lactose, which will cause gastrointestinal problems when consumed.
Some cats, however, can have a more serious reaction to dairy, than others.
Corn is, surprisingly, a very common ingredient in cat foods.
This is a cheap ingredient that provides lots of carbohydrates, which essentially function as empty calories for your cat.
You should avoid cat foods with high amounts of corn and other carbs, but you should keep an eye out for a potential allergic reaction, as well.
Wheat is a cheap filler product found in many cat foods, and it can also cause allergies in some cats.
Wheat is a very common culprit behind a dry food allergy in cats.
Like wheat, barley is another cheap grain found in many cat foods.
Usually, a little bit is okay, but it can be dangerous if your cat is allergic to it.
While properly cooked eggs can actually be a great source of protein and other nutrients, it is also a common allergy found in Maine Coons and other cats.
Cats can, unfortunately, also be allergic to certain preservatives found in commercial cat foods.
This is a tricky allergy, as it can be nearly impossible to pin down exactly which preservative is causing your cat’s allergies.
10. Artificial Dyes
Some cat food companies also include artificial dyes to make their food look more appealing, although it can lead to allergic reactions and dry food intolerance in cats.
Symptoms Of Food Allergies In Cats
Finding the cause of your cat’s sickness can be tricky to pin down, as many cat food allergy symptoms can appear like a variety of other illnesses.
However, here are some of the most common symptoms that can result from food allergies (source 1):
- Sensitive Stomach: One of the most common symptoms of food allergies in cats is stomach sensitivity. Your cat may vomit, become constipated, or have diarrhea. Your cat may also use the litter box more frequently than usual, or become pickier about its food.
- Lethargy: Food allergies will make your cat feel unwell until they are finally fed something that is allergen-free. This illness will take a toll on your cat, leading to fatigue, and your cat may also become more irritable or less social.
- Itchy Skin: Many food allergies lead to inflamed, itchy skin. Your cat might overgroom itself, or scratch frequently. Its skin might look red, swollen, or dry, and your cat may also develop dandruff.
- Itchy Eyes: A cat having an allergic reaction may have red, watery, or itchy eyes.
- Wheezing and Sneezing: Finally, food allergies can cause coughing and sneezing in cats. Your cat might wheeze, have a runny nose, or snore more often than usual.
Best Food For Maine Coon Cats With Allergies
There are thousands of different pet food brands out there, but not all of them are healthy, especially for cats with food allergies.
So, what is the best food for cats with allergies?
Here are some different options, depending on the kind of diet you feed your Maine Coon:
If you feed your Maine Coon a raw food diet, then you will have to provide a lot of different supplements, such as:
- Other Vitamins and Minerals
Another supplement you can provide is Viralys (view prices on Chewy), which is a powdered form of lysine.
Lysine is a great supplement for boosting your cat’s immune system and alleviating symptoms like watery eyes or itchy skin.
If you feed your cat dry food, one great option is to provide a diet with hydrolyzed proteins, such as the Hills Prescription Diet Dry Food (view pricing on Chewy).
Cats with allergies are unable to break down certain proteins.
Hydrolyzed proteins are already broken down, so your cat can eat them without any digestive problems!
If you want to know what kind of food is best for Maine Coon cats, then look no further than Royal Canin Maine Coon food!
This Royal Canin wet food can be bought at Chewy and is made from duck and peas, which are uncommon in most cat foods, and typically work well for cats with allergies.
Treating Cat Food Allergies
If your cat has a food allergy, you and your vet will need to come up with a plan as soon as possible.
While you should talk with your vet before making any drastic changes to your cat’s diet or environment, here are some potential ways you can treat your Maine Coon’s food allergies:
Try New Foods
You may not have to jump to a specialized diet straight away.
Try giving your cat foods with different kinds of meat or grains until you find one that does not cause an allergic reaction.
Buy Special Cat Food
There are lots of cat foods manufactured specifically for cats with sensitive stomachs or allergies.
Many of these foods contain rarer kinds of meats, such as rabbit or venison.
Allergies develop after exposure to a certain food, so your cat is less likely to be allergic to rare meat it has never tried before.
Try A Raw Diet
If your cat is allergic to certain preservatives, or several different kinds of food, then it might be hard to find a commercial cat food that works.
You might consider feeding your cat a diet of raw meats, as well as Maine Coon supplements to ensure your cat is getting all of the nutrients it needs.
How Long Does It Take For A Cat To Recover From A Food Allergy?
If you finally find the cause of your cat’s allergic reaction, then allergy symptoms should clear up soon after switching over to a new food.
However, gastrointestinal symptoms can take between 2 and 4 weeks to dissipate, and itchy or irritated skin can take even longer (source 1).
Are Maine Coon Cats Picky Eaters?
Maine Coons are not considered picky eaters compared to other cat breeds, but any cat can be picky.
Some cats simply refuse to eat certain kinds of meat, such as chicken or seafood.
Furthermore, a lot of cats do not like to eat food unless it smells good, which means many picky eaters strongly prefer wet food over dry food.
How Long Should Maine Coons Eat Kitten Food?
Most cats should be weaned off kitten food before they are a year old, but this is not the case for Maine Coons.
This cat breed has a much slower growth rate, and they typically do not reach their full size until they are between 3 and 5 years old.
As a result, most Maine Coons should be weaned off kitten food when they are between 12 and 15 months old.
Best Food Bowl For Maine Coon Cats
Surprisingly, the size and shape of a cat’s food bowl can actually have serious consequences.
Cats have very sensitive whiskers, and bowls that are too small or too deep can press their whiskers against the sides of the bowl, leading to discomfort.
It is important to find a food bowl that is wide and shallow, made from either ceramic or stainless steel.
This stainless bowl sold on Chewy is one great, cost-effective option.
Another great bowl for your Maine Coon cat is this ceramic bowl by Necochi (click the link to see more details on Chewy).
This bowl can make it easier for your cat to eat.
Maine Coon food allergies can cause gastrointestinal problems, itchy, watery eyes, itchy skin, and a great deal of other worrying symptoms.
If your cat has food sensitivities, then you should talk with your vet to find a diet that is safe for your cat.
Many uncommon types of meat like bison, duck, or rabbit are less likely to cause allergies, but you can also purchase specially hydrolyzed cat food, or even feed your Maine Coon a raw diet to combat allergies.
Concept For Life Maine Coon Kitten
Concept For Life is a brand that specializes in pet food. They even have dry food that is specifically formulated for Maine Coon kittens, which contains high amounts of protein and few carbohydrates.