What is the Best Food for Maine Coon Cats?
One of the oldest natural cat breeds in America, the Maine Coon cat is also one of the most recognizable breeds. Known for their large size, their thick fur, and their big bushy tails, the Maine Coon makes a wonderful pet.
If you’re thinking about getting one of these fabulous felines, you should also be thinking about what you’re going to feed it.
Cats have specific nutritional needs and each breed has a few of its own unique requirements in terms of the ideal diet.
Keep reading to learn more about the Maine Coon cat breed and to receive tips for choosing the best cat food for your cat.
What is the Best Food for Maine Coon Cats?
About the Maine Coon Cat Breed
Native to Maine, this cat breed’s history can be traced back to the early 19th century. Little is known about the breed’s exact origins, but the Maine Coon is thought to be descendant from the longhaired cats owned by Marie Antoinette and sent to America ahead of her arrival. Another theory suggests that the early specimens of the breed were brought by Vikings to North America, long before it was “discovered” by Christopher Columbus. Regardless its exact origins, this breed came to be known as a talented mouser and all-around farm cat.
The modern Maine Coon is a large cat weighing between 9 and 18 pounds, though males of the breed can sometimes grow to more than 20 pounds at maturity. Because these cats get so big, they often don’t even reach their maximum size until they hit three to five years of age. These cats have very thick coats that tends to be shorter around the shoulders and longer on the stomach and legs – they also have a ruff around the neck and a long, furry tail. Maine Coon cats have large, tufted ears that taper to a point and they come in a variety of colors and patterns, though the brown tabby pattern is the most common. Many people don’t even know that this breed comes in solid colors like red, white, or black.
In terms of its personality, this breed is friendly and adaptable. These cats are by no means needy or high-maintenance, but they do have a tendency to follow their owners around and they generally like being around people. This breed has strong mousing skills and loves to play fetch with toy mice, small balls, or even wads of paper. These cats are just as skilled at climbing as any cat, but they typically prefer to keep their feet firmly planted on the ground. Because this breed takes so long to mature, they often retain more of their kitten-like tendencies into adulthood. If you’re looking for a friendly, good-natured, and adaptable cat breed, consider the Maine Coon.
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Nutritional Considerations for Maine Coon Cats
Though all cats have the same basic nutritional requirements, there are some unique dietary needs you should take into consideration for the Maine Coon. While they are still growing, kittens require a diet that consists of at least 30% protein and a minimum of 9% fat. Fat requirements don’t change as kittens grow into adult cats, though an adult cat’s needs for protein are just a little bit lower at 26%. Keep in mind, however, that both of these are minimums – your cat requires plenty of protein to maintain his lean muscle mass and fat provides a concentrated source of energy as well as essential fatty acids to support his immunity as well as the health of his skin and coat.
When choosing a cat food for your Maine Coon, you need to take into account your cat’s size, age, and activity level. This breed tends to be larger than most domestic cat breeds, so their energy needs might be a bit higher. The average altered adult cat weighing 9 to 18 pounds needs somewhere between 240 and 410 calories per day. Remember, at least 26% of those calories should come from protein and at least 9% from fat. Maine Coon cats have a moderate energy level, so you should make sure that any diet you choose meets that 9% minimum for dietary fat but don’t go too much higher because your cat may not burn off all the extra calories and it could lead to unhealthy weight gain. Perhaps more important than the actual amount of protein and fat is the type. Focus your cat’s diet around high-quality animal proteins that provide all of the essential amino acids and nutritious sources of animal fat that offer a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Another thing to keep in mind when choosing a pet food for your Maine Coon cat is that this breed has a risk for developing polycystic kidney disease, an inherited condition that can lead to kidney failure. Unfortunately, symptoms for this disease typically don’t present until the cat is 3 to 10 years old and, by that point, it may be too late to prevent it from progressing. There are, however, some dietary changes that can help with the management of this condition. Cats with kidney problems sometimes have trouble digesting protein so any protein in their diet needs to come from very high-quality sources. Reducing your cat’s sodium intake and increasing his intake of dietary fats may help with the high blood pressure that often accompanies renal problems.
The Best Foods for Maine Coon Cats
Choosing the best food for Maine Coon cats is not as difficult as you might imagine. As long as the product is considered “complete and balanced” by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) you can rest assured that it will meet your cat’s minimum nutritional needs. It is always a good idea, however, to make sure that the product you are buying contains high-quality sources for animal proteins and fats, and that it exceeds your cat’s required minimums.
When shopping for a new cat food, you always want to read the information provided on the label so you know exactly what you are getting. After looking for the AAFCO statement of nutritional adequacy, check the Guaranteed Analysis to ensure that the product meets your cat’s minimum nutritional requirements. After that you should peruse the ingredients list to ensure that all of the nutrients your cat needs most come from high-quality ingredients like real meats, digestible carbohydrates, animal-based fats, and beneficial supplements. To help you choose a cat food for your Maine Coon, we recommend the following brands:
Smalls for Smalls Fresh Turkey Pate
Smalls for Smalls makes fresh, human-grade cat food carefully formulated for your cat based on a profile you create when you sign up. Smalls for Smalls recipes are great because they have a high protein content, providing your cat with the nutrition he or she needs to live a healthy lifestyle. They also have high water content, which will help keep your cat hydrated.
Because cats are primarily carnivores, most of their nutrition should come from meat, and in Smalls for Smalls recipes, they do just that. Human-grade ingredients are fit for human consumption, so there is no guess work involved in figuring out if this food is safe for your cat or not. If you want to provide your cat with a wholesome meal with ingredients you can trust, Smalls for Smalls is a great choice.
Get back to nature with this human grade, high-protein, high-moisture fresh recipe, formulated to be the healthiest food your cat can eat. Real, fresh chicken meat and a small bit of green veg means more energy, a softer coat, and a less fragrant litter box.
Nature’s Variety Instinct Rabbit Flavored (Wet)
If you’re in the market for a brand of cat food that offers a wide variety of high-quality choices, we recommend Nature’s Variety. This company actually offers two separate brands – Instinct and Prairie. The Prairie brand consists of nutritionally balanced, holistic recipes made with animal proteins, whole grains, and fresh produce – it is the more affordable of the two brands. The Instinct brand seeks to transform the life of pets through the power of raw and premium-quality nutrition. This brand offers a selection of original recipes as well as grain-free cat foods, high-protein diets, limited ingredient diets, freeze-dried food, and frozen raw food. Every recipe is made with the finest ingredients available including premium animal proteins and healthy supplements.
Though Nature’s Variety Instinct offers a wide variety of products for cats, some of the best choices for your Maine Coon can be found in the Instinct Ultimate Protein product line. This product line consists of two high-protein dry foods and one high-protein canned food. All three recipes are made with 95% protein from real chicken or duck and they are completely free from gluten, grains, and fillers. If you really want to give your cat the best that nature has to offer, consider one of Nature’s Variety’s frozen raw foods. There are three protein choices for raw bites and two options in larger medallions. Each recipe consists of 95% meat, organs, and raw bone, supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables. In all honestly, any of Nature’s Variety’s cat food products would be a smart choice for your cat.
The Honest Kitchen Prowl (Dehydrated)
If you want to step outside the box in providing your cat with a high-quality diet, consider The Honest Kitchen. This brand offers what they call “minimally processed pet foods” which, in this case, means high-quality dehydrated pet foods. While traditional kibble is cooked at extremely high temperatures during processing, The Honest Kitchen gently dries their foods to retain more of the original nutritional integrity for the raw ingredients. This results in a product that is shelf-stable but is closer to fresh, whole foods in terms of nutrition and flavor. You should also know that The Honest Kitchen uses premium-quality whole foods, all of which are human-grade. They even manufacture their products in human food facilities so their products can carry the “human grade” claim.
When it comes to their cat food products, The Honest Kitchen offers two grain-free recipes for dehydrated food. The first is the Prowl recipe which is made with chicken and nutritionally balanced for adult cats of all sizes and breeds. This formula contains chicken and eggs as the main proteins with potatoes and sweet potatoes for carbohydrate support. There is also an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables which act as natural sources for key nutrients. The second recipe is the Grace recipe and it features cage-free turkey as the main ingredient. This formula offers carbohydrate energy in the form of pumpkin and potatoes with nutritional support from a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Both recipes are supplemented with chelated minerals for maximum nutrient absorption.
Wellness CORE Grain-Free Indoor Cat Food
Another brand of pet food that offers an extensive variety of options is Wellness. Manufactured by the WellPet company, Wellness follows a holistic approach to pet nutrition, creating each of their recipes to provide the ideal balance of fresh, natural ingredients. This company uses only the highest quality lean meats, whole grains, and fresh fruits and veggies in all of their products – they don’t use any corn, wheat or soy. Wellness cat foods can be divided into two product lines – CORE and Complete Health. The Complete Health line features whole-food recipes as well as grain-free options, each designed for cats in a specific life stage. The CORE lineup features protein-rich, grain-free options. All of the recipes that Wellness has to offer starts with a high-quality protein and is supplemented with digestible carbohydrates, healthy fats, and beneficial supplements.
If you want a product that meets your Maine Coon’s nutritional needs in a protein-rich way, consider one of the recipes in the Wellness CORE grain-free lineup. Though there are only four dry food recipes to choose from, the options for canned food are quite extensive. There are six recipes for classic pates, four shredded snack options, four recipes for Hearty Cuts in gravy, and eight Signature Selects recipes. There are also six Divine Duo recipes which feature two high-quality proteins each. For dry food, Wellness CORE offers an original recipe, a kitten formula, an adult formula, and an indoor recipe. All of the products in the CORE lineup feature premium proteins like chicken, deboned turkey, fresh salmon, duck, venison, lamb, and more. They are also made with grain-free carbohydrates like dried potatoes and tapioca starch. Any of the recipes in the Wellness CORE lineup would be a healthy choice for your Maine Coon cat or kitten.
Addiction Herbed Duck Confit Cat Food (Canned)
If you are concerned about your Maine Coon cat getting the nutrients he needs in a high-quality recipe that won’t trigger food allergies or sensitivities, we recommend the Addiction brand. This brand was only founded in 2002 but it has quickly become known as one of the top brands of hypoallergenic pet foods. Addiction pet foods are formulated by a leading holistic veterinary surgeon and designed with inspiration from the natural diet of wild cats and dogs. This brand features premium proteins and game meats in each of their recipes and they don’t use any grains or fillers. You’ll also be glad to hear that this brand uses a variety of unique animal proteins like venison, kangaroo, and brushtail. Simply put, each of their formulas is an example of high-quality nutrition and loaded with natural flavor.
When it comes to their cat food products, Addiction offers an assortment of dry foods, canned foods, and raw dehydrated foods as well as some treats. There are three recipes for holistic dry food featuring premium proteins like duck, salmon, and venison. Each of these is completely grain-free and supplemented with healthy nutrients for balance. For canned food, Addiction offers nine recipes for cats, each made with a high-quality protein like duck, venison, turkey, salmon, rabbit, or brushtail. If you want to take your cat’s nutrition up a notch, there is one recipe of raw dehydrated cat food made with wild brushtail and berries. Because this product is dehydrated and not cooked, it retains more of its original nutritional integrity as well as its natural flavor. Simply mix with warm water to rehydrate the product before feeding it to your cat.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe (Dry)
The Blue Buffalo company is one of the top manufacturers of natural pet food products. This brand follows the nutritional philosophy, “Love them like family, feed them like family.” Simply put, this brand believes that pets are more than just companions – they are members of the family so they require a diet that is just as nutritious and high in quality as your own diet. Blue Buffalo uses only the finest natural ingredients in carefully balanced formulas to ensure complete nutritious for cats in all life stages. They offer four distinct product lines, all of which feature products that are supplemented with their unique LifeSource Bits. These are crunchy bites that contain a proprietary blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.
If you’re looking for a high-quality brand of cat food for your Maine Coon, we recommend Blue Buffalo Wilderness. Though all of Blue Buffalo’s products are made with real animal proteins as the main ingredient, the Wilderness line features recipes that are particularly rich in protein, inspired by the diet of the wild lynx. Blue Buffalo Wilderness includes both dry food and wet food products that feature premium proteins like chicken, salmon, duck, rabbit, and trout. Every recipe is free from gluten and grains, plus they don’t contain any artificial additives or low-quality chicken and poultry by-product meals. These formulas are loaded with the healthy protein your cat needs to support his lean muscle mass as well as nutritious animal fats for concentrated energy.
If you aren’t sure where to look for a high-quality cat food for your Maine Coon, any of the brands reviewed above would be a good place to start. Remember, always choose a cat food that contains plenty of high-quality animal proteins and moderate fat – keep the carbohydrate content as low as possible and don’t go overboard on fiber.