The Maine Coon raw food diet has become increasingly popular in recent years, but is it right for your Maine Coon cat?
Maine Coon cats should be fed a diet high in protein. Raw food diets are beneficial for these large cats’ digestive tracts, which cannot properly handle all the preservatives found in traditional cat food. Raw food diets are especially important for Maine Coon Cats because of their larger size, and specific nutritional requirements.
Selecting the best diet for a Maine Coon Cat can be confusing since there are so many conflicting viewpoints. You want to ensure your treasured gentle giant is getting the nutrients it needs to feel and look its absolute best, but who should you trust?
In this article, we explain both the advantages and disadvantages of the raw food Maine Coon diet, so owners feel confident selecting the most appropriate diet for their cat.
Maine Coon’s are incredibly unique cats due to their size, appearance, energy levels, intelligence, and more.
These incredibly popular felines capture their owner’s hearts, so it’s not surprising you want to feed them the best food you can.
The Maine Coon Raw Food Diet is the very best option for you and your cat, but why is that is true, why do some people disagree, and how you can implement a raw food diet for your Maine Coon.
All of these questions will be answered in the article below.
Brief History Of Maine Coon Cats
Maine Coon Cats originally came from Maine and the general New England area.
There are a lot of different theories about how this majestic cat came to be.
Some believe the Maine Coon Cat was originally a crossbreed between a domesticated cat and a raccoon or a bobcat, though most people today view this to be an old wives tale.
If you are interested in learning more about this theory, take a look at my article: ‘Is A Maine Coon Part Raccoon?‘.
Other theories on this pedigree cat breed claim the Maine Coon is a descendant of European ship cats, who bred with North American feral or wild cats. Click here for my full article on this cat’s origins.
Whilst there are no definite dates relating to when the Maine Coon cat became domesticated, the earliest records of these cats as pets have been identified in the mid to late 1800s, and early 1900s.
No matter how they came about, Maine Coon Cats have always been excellent hunters.
Their superb hunting skills allowed these previously wildcats to survive in the wild before eventually becoming domesticated.
It is this fact that leads many owners to conclude that the Maine Coon raw food diet is, therefore, the best, and most natural diet choice for these impressive cats.
What Do Maine Coon Cats Eat In The Wild?
The Maine Coon cat breed survived for many years in the wilderness.
They didn’t need human beings to survive, since they were wild cats that used their instinctive and impressive hunting skills to capture and eat live prey.
Their primary diet was obviously a Maine Coon raw food diet, which included:
- Small rodents
- Small birds
- Small reptiles
- Small mammals
Maine Coon Cats are well known for being naturally good hunters. The following three factors combine to make the Maine Coon cat an excellent hunter:
- Large Cat: They are one of the largest cat breeds, so are big enough to catch and hold onto their prey.
- Energetic: Maine Coons are a highly energetic.
- Intelligence: These cats have an extremely high level of intelligence.
In the wild, the Maine Coon would eat lots of small game, raw, of course, because they do not have the ability to cook!
If you allow your Maine Coon to freely outside, it is likely that your cat is still enjoying hunting, and eating the odd rodent from time to time.
This will be in addition to the food you provide them. While you do not need to get your cat raw rodents to hunt or eat, mimicking their diet in the wild (what they naturally eat) is best for them.
Before letting your Maine Coon roam freely though, it is important you know the full facts, and risks associated with this personal decision.
For more information read my article ‘Can Maine Coon Cats Go Outside?‘.
Allowing a Maine Coon cat to roam freely is a highly emotive subject, with many strong opinions existing both for, and against the decision.
Owners should therefore thoroughly research the subject matter, and make a decision based upon their own personal preferences, their unique situation, their breeder’s contractual rules, and the local state rules.
Many states (and countries) now forbid Maine Coon cats to roam freely.
A large number of registered breeders now also require potential owners to sign a contract, stating that they will keep the Maine Coon cat as an indoor cat.
Whatever side of the fence you sit on, always make your decision in the best interest of your Maine Coon cat.
Dietary Requirements For Maine Coon Cats
To ensure that your Maine Coon cat is consuming the best possible diet, make sure that the following are included within their meals:
- Healthy Fats and Acids
- Arachidonic Acid
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin K
Protein is one of the most important parts of the Maine Coon Cat’s diet, and should therefore make up the most substantial part of their dietary plan.
The Maine Coon raw food diet is the best way to achieve this since raw meat is packed full of protein.
While Maine Coons will absolutely love eating protein, they do still require a small level of carbohydrates and fats in their diet, to grow correctly, and maintain their energy levels.
Ensuring your cat gets all the nutrients they need is key to making sure they remain at optimal health. Maine Coon cats require the following vitamins in their diet:
- Vitamin A: Helps their skin and vision.
- Vitamin B: Great for their immune, digestive, and nervous system.
- Vitamin K: Helps to prevent health problems, like blood clots.
- Niacin: Will support the Maine Coon’s energy levels, and metabolism.
If you opt for the Maine Coon raw food diet, you will need to consider which foods need to be added to your cat’s daily diet, to ensure they are receiving the necessary dietary requirements.
Consider whether food supplements would be worthwhile i.e. a small amount of this salmon oil from Amazon, can be put on top of the raw food if your Maine Coon requires some healthy fats and oils.
Pros And Cons Of Maine Coon Raw Food Diet
Before introducing a raw food diet to your Maine Coon cat’s diet, it is important take all the necessary factors into consideration.
Below are the key benefits for following the raw food Maine Coon diet:
- Improved digestion
- Natural diet
- Healthier skin
- Healthier coat
- Increased energy
- Less poop (and better smelling)
Below are the key arguments explaining why some owners do not feed their cat a Maine Coon raw food diet:
- Fear of bacteria
- Possible high prices
- Can be challenging to introduce
- Requires more work (in the beginning)
Benefits Of The Maine Coon Raw Food Diet
There are varying opinions when it comes to raw feeding a Maine Coon cat.
Many of the cons listed above, however, seem to be based around an owner’s fears, lack of time, and assumption that a raw food diet will be too pricey.
If you share these concerns, be aware that whilst it might initially take you longer to introduce a more natural diet to your cat, the benefits, in the long run, will inevitably outweigh the initial introductory issues.
1. Natural Raw Food Diet
The key benefit to feeding your Maine Coon a raw food diet is that it is the breeds natural diet.
Animals in the wild know what they need to survive, and so they eat it. Isn’t it therefore best for us to follow their lead whenever we can since the benefits of doing this are so are plentiful?
2. Improve Your Maine Coons Digestion
When you feed your cat a raw food diet, it is better for their digestion.
Often cats, especially Maine Coon cats, struggle to digest all the preservatives and chemicals in processed food because their system is designed to process raw, not processed.
3. No More Skin Or Fur Issues
Raw food will also help them look and feel better as it makes their skin and fur healthier.
With a proper raw diet, they are getting all the nutrients they need to be at optimal health, so they naturally will look their best.
4. Added Energy Burst
Maine Coons cats remain kitten-like until late in their adult lives.
The Maine Coon raw food diet, therefore, offers these large cats the nutrients needed to support their high energy levels.
5. Less Poop!
Some cat specialists claim that a raw food diet is beneficial for the cat since it helps them poop less!
The smell of their poop is also considered to be less offensive, so a plus all around then!
Disadvantages Of Maine Coon Raw Food Diet
There are a few reasons why some owners avoid switching to a raw food diet, for their Maine Coon cat.
1. Is Bacteria An Issue?
Many owners express their concerns over a raw feed Maine Coon diet, saying that they are afraid of exposing their cats to bacteria, like salmonella.
Whilst this is possible, it is unlikely as cats have highly acidic digestive systems that are much more effective than humans’. Consequently, bacteria do not have time to infect them.
Owners can decrease this risk even further, by only buying food from trustworthy sources.
2. Raw Food Is Too Pricey
Some owners avoid a raw food diet because the prices can be high, and it requires more work, and effort than pouring traditional cat food into a bowl.
As far as prices are concerned, yes this diet can prove expensive, however, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it can actually be cheaper than certain processed food brands.
3. More Time Consuming
It can be more work in the beginning, whilst you try to figure out which raw foods provide your Maine Coon with the nutrients they need. Once you have figured out the best diet though, it takes considerably less time.
Ultimately though, raw feeding a Maine Coon cat will never be as quick as pouring dry cat biscuits in a bowl.
Owners must be realistic to this, and make a decision regarding the Maine Coon raw food diet on their time restrictions.
4. Do You Own A Picky Eater?
Some Maine Coon cats can have sensitive stomachs, and can be picky about what foods they will eat. For these reasons, some owners might find it challenging to switch their cat over to a raw food diet.
Persistence is key in this matter, as a Maine Coon raw food diet is very worth the initial hassle.
If your cat does not immediately adapt to a raw food diet, it is best to transition them from dry and wet food, to raw Maine Coon food very slowly.
Foods Not To Give Your Maine Coon Cat
Many owners do not realise just how dangerous certain food types are, for their Maine Coon cats. Whilst some foods might have small to moderate reactions, high levels could potentially be poisonous.
Owners should never feed their Maine Coon Cat the following food, as these food types could cause serious harm:
- Macadamia nuts
Maine Coon Raw Food Diet Recipe
Every cat is different since they all have individual food preferences.
Maine Coons can also vary in size, so, whereas one cat may require high levels of food, another will not need such large portions.
The diet you feed your cat will therefore vary, depending on your specific cat’s need, and realistically what you can afford.
Where To Start …
The best way to start raw feeding is by combining raw meat (you can include skins and organs), with various vitamin supplements and oils.
You can cater to your cat’s vitamin requirements, by selecting meats containing nutrients that you think your cat is deficient in.
Owners interested in raw feeding their Maine Coon can help to keep costs down by making their cats raw food at home.
Ask Your Vet
Talk with your vet could, to help you figure out the best dietary options for your Maine Coon cat.
Alternatively, you can figure it out through a process of trial and error.
Keep in mind though, that if you are able to find options that your cat really likes, they may transition over to eating a raw food diet more easily.
Raw Feed Maine Coon Breeders
Every breeder is different. Some breeders will advocate the Maine Coon raw food diet, and others will not. Finding a raw feed Maine Coon breeder is therefore all about trial and error. If it is a subject close to your heart, start calling your local registered breeders.
Here’s my useful list of ‘Registered Maine Coon Breeders In The United States, By State“.
The majority of Maine Coon breeders will not immediately advertise what they feed their cats, so reach out to them directly.
While you can transition your cat after you get him or her, having them already on a raw food diet from the start makes your life significantly easier!
If you have found a breeder feeding their kittens a Maine Coon raw food diet, they should be able to give you a recipe, or recommendations, for how to feed your Maine Coon cat moving forwards.
Maine Coon would naturally eat a raw diet in the wild, and therefore, it makes complete sense that the best thing for your cat is a Maine Coon raw food diet.
If you are worried about vitamin deficiencies, swot up on this breed’s dietary needs, and supplement their food with the necessary nutrients that you feel they might be deficient in.
Keep a close eye on your cat’s fur, as this is a great indicator for issues in their diet. The benefits far outweigh any of the perceived cons, so get started transitioning your cat to a raw food diet today!
Ultimately, the Maine Coon Raw Food Diet will ensure that your cat remains as healthy as possible. Whilst there is no research to prove or deny that it will lengthen their lifespan, it is nice to think that it could help you spend long with your treasured feline friend.