If your cat is constantly begging you for food you are probably wondering why is my Maine Coon always hungry? Many owners become worried that their hungry cat is suffering from an underlying illness because their cat is often asking for more food than usual.
Thankfully, there are many other possible reasons why a Maine Coon might be hungry all the time.
A Maine Coon that is always hungry is likely not getting enough food. This large cat breed requires a lot more calories than the average housecat, and it’s common for owners to underfeed them. There are many other underlying reasons that could also be the cause, such as an undiagnosed health problem or you are providing poor quality food.
While the most common reason for a Maine Coon to be constantly hungry is a lack of adequate food, there are still plenty of other reasons why your cat might be hungry all the time.
Make sure you read on to find out exactly why your cat is always begging for more food!
Why Is My Maine Coon Always Hungry?
Maine Coon cats are famous for being the largest domesticated cat breed in the world. This means that the food they eat is incredibly important to maintaining their size and health. The proper Maine Coon diet should consist of lots of protein, with a moderate amount of carbohydrates and a very low amount of grains.
Most owners prefer to feed their Maine Coons a mix of wet food and dry food every day. However, some owners actually like to feed their cats raw meat, like they would eat in the wild. Owners who feed their cat a raw food diet will include raw meats such as beef, fish, and chicken, combined with essential vitamins and supplemental oils to ensure their cat’s health.
Even if you’re doing your best to provide your Maine Coon with all the food it needs, you may notice that your Maine Coon seems to be hungrier than it should. If you’ve noticed that your Maine Coon always seems to be hungry, here is a comprehensive list of possible reasons why! (sources 1,2,3,)
1. Your Maine Coon Isn’t Getting Enough Food
The first (and most obvious) reason your Maine Coon always seems to be hungry is that it simply isn’t getting enough food. Maine Coons are larger than the average house cat, and as a result, require more calories.
You should be feeding your Maine Coon around three ounces of dry food every day, or about nine ounces of wet food. Most owners find that a combination of wet and dry food works best. Try increasing your cat’s portions, and hopefully your Maine Coon will be fully satisfied after every meal!
These are my favorite foods to feed our Maine Coon cat.
2. Low Quality Cat Food
Are you providing your Maine Coon low or high-quality food?
Even if you’re providing enough caloric intake for your Maine Coon, the kind of food you’re offering might not be enough to satiate your cat’s hunger. Maine Coons require high-quality food that meets all of their nutritional requirements.
Chances are if you’re buying the cheapest food available for your cat, it’s going to have a negative impact. Cheaper cat foods use more “filler” ingredients, like grains, that offer little substance to your cat’s diet. Instead, you should buy more expensive cat food that contains high amounts of proteins, as well as a moderate amount of carbohydrates.
Make sure you never feed your precious Maine Coon cat any of these foods.
3. Your Cat Is Bored
Maine Coons are known for being intelligent and playful cats, and they require plenty of mental and physical stimulation to stay entertained. If your cat doesn’t have enough space to play or enough toys to keep it occupied, it may instead spend most of its time eating.
Make sure your Maine Coon has lots of toys, which you should rotate every few weeks to prevent your cat from becoming bored of them. Also, implement a daily playtime with your cat for some added enrichment!
Treat your extra-large feline to a cat tower, to help encourage them to play and exercise throughout the day. These are my favorite extra-large cat towers on the market right now. They have been designed with large cat breeds in mind, and offer your cat a place they can consider ‘theirs’.
3. Your Cat Is Lonely
Believe it or not, a cat that is constantly hungry can sometimes simply be suffering from loneliness. Maine Coons are highly sociable creatures who don’t do well if they aren’t given a decent amount of love and attention. If you or your family is constantly away, and you don’t have any other cats for company, your Maine Coon might eat more often as a result.
If you suspect your Maine Coon is lonely, you should be sure to provide more one-on-one time with your cat, and you might even consider adopting a new furry friend to give it some company!
4. Wrong Bowl Shape
Cats are very sensitive creatures, and even seemingly small factors in their environment can have a huge impact on how they live. Many cats end up eating less because of the bowl they eat out of. One of the most common culprits is bowl shape.
Cats have very sensitive whiskers, and deep bowls often end up straining or bending their whiskers. You should give your cat a shallow bowl that is easy to access, so your cat can eat as much as it wants to.
5. Your Cat Is Having a Difficult Time Adjusting to a New Schedule
Cats are creatures of habit. Even small changes in their environment or schedule can deeply affect them a lot more than they would a human.
If you recently brought your Maine Coon home, it was probably used to a different feeding schedule. If your cat is used to eating at certain times, chances are it will begin complaining that it is hungry. Try and implement a more gradual shift to a new feeding time, so your cat isn’t upset by an abrupt change.
6. Your Maine Coon’s Metabolism Is Unusually High
Due to their large size, Maine Coons already eat a lot more than most normal house cats. Of course, every cat is different, and your Maine Coon may have an even higher metabolism than most other cats of the same breed. Your cat might also burn more calories if it spends time running around outside, or is more active than other cats.
Make sure to consult your vet before making any drastic dietary changes, but if you suspect your Maine Coon has a high metabolism, then you might want to increase its caloric intake a bit to make up for all the energy it burns.
7. The Recipe of Your Cat’s Food Was Changed
As previously mentioned, cats are extremely sensitive, particularly to change. Without even knowing it, the brand of cat food you buy may have changed its recipe. Food that your cat previously loved may have been changed just enough that your cat no longer enjoys it.
If you think this may be the case, you can root around online to find out if the brand you’ve bought from for years recently changed its recipe. If this is the case, you may need to (gradually) switch to a new kind of cat food that your cat enjoys.
8. Your Maine Coon Is Suffering From Stress
Just as loneliness and boredom can cause a change in your cat’s eating habits, so can stress and depression. It’s important to keep an eye on your cat’s emotional state, especially since it can often cause an impact on their physical health.
A cat that is stressed from moving, a change in routine, or the arrival of a new cat or baby, may start eating more or less as a coping mechanism. If your cat’s change in diet is accompanied by aggressive or fearful behaviors, such as lashing out, hiding, or showing little interest in play, it’s likely your cat is suffering from stress.
9. Your Cat Is Pregnant
An unspayed female Maine Coon who begins eating a lot more than usual may be pregnant, or may have just given birth! With a bunch of tiny kittens to care for, a cat ends up needing to eat a lot more. It’s perfectly natural for a pregnant or nursing cat to display a significant spike in hunger.
A pregnant or nursing cat is in a far more vulnerable state than normal, so it’s imperative that you provide her with plenty of food so she can keep up her strength!
10. Your Cat Throws Up After Eating
Many cats are notorious for eating too quickly. Since cats have rather sensitive digestive systems, however, eating too quickly can cause them to throw up. Naturally, this means your cat is losing a large amount of the calories and fluids it just took in.
To prevent your cat from eating too quickly, you can get timed feeders, or add obstructions to your cat’s food bowl to slow down its eating process. This will give their digestive systems more time to process the food they just ate, and minimize vomiting.
11. Your Maine Coon Is Suffering From Hairballs
Since cats groom themselves with their tongues, they end up swallowing a lot of fur. Hairballs are caused by a buildup of hair in your cat’s digestive system, which can prevent them from eating as much food as they should.
Maine Coons, with their medium to long fur, are especially prone to hairballs. To minimize hairballs, make sure to brush them once or twice a week, and more during the shedding season. This will lower the amount of hair they ingest, making them less likely to suffer from hairballs.
If your Maine Coon cat is prone to suffering from hairballs, it is extremely important that you groom them on a regular basis.
Make sure you are using one or more of these Maine Coon cat brushes since they are great for removing the dead hair that can easily become tangled within your cat’s long dense fur.
12. Your Cat Is Responding To Another Stimulus
As I mentioned earlier, cats are creatures of habit, and they will often pick up on certain schedules. You may be inadvertently teaching your cat to expect something else every time you feed it. For example, if feeding time is immediately followed by its favorite treats or a trip outside, your cat will naturally want feeding time to happen as quickly as possible.
If your Maine Coon is constantly begging for food, it could be that it is actually asking for the external stimulus that often accompanies feeding time. Be sure to curb this behavior by removing the other stimuli, so that your cat doesn’t associate any other behavior or action with feeding time.
13. Your Cat Is Suffering From Food Aggression
Do you notice that your Maine Coon is scarfing down its food as quickly as possible, and growls or exhibits signs of aggression if you approach it while eating? This is a clear sign that your cat has food aggression.
This behavior is especially common if your Maine Coon was once a stray, or had to fight for survival at any point in its life. Stray and feral cats, who have irregular access to food, learn to eat very quickly.
Unfortunately, it will take some time for your cat to learn that it doesn’t have to eat all of its food as quickly as possible!
If you have more than one cat, be sure to provide your Maine Coon a safe, distant location to eat its food without worrying about other cats getting to it.
14. Your Cat Doesn’t Like Its Food
Sadly, some cats are picky eaters. If your Maine Coon seems constantly hungry but isn’t eating a lot of the food you provide, you may have a picky eater on your hands. I know my cat absolutely hates any food that is chicken-flavored but ravenously eats anything fish-flavored!
If you think your Maine Coon might be a picky eater, then it’s probably time to start trying out different brands and flavors of food before you find something your cat enjoys.
15. They’ve Developed A Taste For “People Food”
If your Maine Coon is constantly begging for table scraps, you may think it’s because your cat isn’t getting enough to eat. However, more often than not, your cat is simply curious. In extreme cases, a cat might get so used to eating people’s food that it turns its nose up at its own cat food!
Human food, however, particularly grains, fruits, and other foods that aren’t meat, shouldn’t make up any part of your cat’s diet. It may be tempting to give your cat treats to try from the table, but you definitely shouldn’t make a habit of it.
16. Your Cat Is Growing Older
If your Maine Coon is a senior cat, you may notice a change in its eating habits. As cats get older, they often display an increase or decrease in their diet. It’s especially common for older cats to eat more and exercise less, often leading to obesity.
As your cat slows down in the later stages of its life, it’s okay to start giving it a few more treats or a bit more food than usual, but not in excess. A senior cat’s health problems will only be exacerbated by obesity, so it’s important to still regulate their food intake to a healthy amount (source 1).
17. Your Maine Coon Has Parasites
If you’ve noticed that your Maine Coon is constantly asking for more food than usual, but is either maintaining or losing weight, it may be infected with parasites. Intestinal worms and other parasites can be contracted from outside, often from interactions with other cats.
These nasty parasites can leech off of your Maine Coon’s food, leaving them hungrier than normal.
If you suspect your cat is suffering from worms or other internal parasites, be sure to make a visit to the vet straight away! These parasites are rarely fatal but should be treated as soon as possible (source 1).
18. Your Maine Coon Has An Underlying Health Condition
In most cases, a Maine Coon that seems constantly hungry is probably dealing with an issue that can be solved quite easily. Sadly, however, it’s still possible for your cat’s hunger to be caused by an underlying health condition.
If your Maine Coon’s hunger is accompanied by lethargy, a change in bowel movements, or any other alarming symptoms, then you should take it to the vet right away. Diabetes, cancer, and hyperthyroidism are just a few of the possible health conditions that can cause increased hunger in a cat.
These are the ‘Top 7 Maine Coon Health Problems‘, which this particular cat breed is prone to suffering from.
If your cat has been begging for food more often or seems ravenous every time it gets to the food bowl, you’ve probably been asking yourself why is my Maine Coon always hungry? In many cases, Maine Coons aren’t being fed enough calories, or their food isn’t of high nutritional quality.
In other cases, a Maine Coon that is constantly hungry can be suffering from boredom, loneliness, or even underlying health problems. It’s important to identify the reason behind your Maine Coon’s constant hunger and treat it before serious health problems can occur.
How Much Should I Feed My Maine Coon Kitten?
Maine Coon kittens need lots of food to grow to their proper size. You should feed a kitten 3-4 portions of food every day, then gradually decrease to two portions a day once they reach 10 months old (source 1).
Maine Coon Raw Food Diet
Some Maine Coon owners like to feed their cats raw food, such as beef, chicken, and fish, along with supplemental vitamins. This diet more closely mimics what a cat would naturally eat in the wild.
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