a maine coon with a salmon steak

Can Maine Coon Cats Eat Salmon? (Raw Or Cooked)

My Maine Coon has been feeling ill of late and I’d decided to try a little diet change to see if that might prompt her to eat something.

All cats are meant to love fish, so I thought about feeding her some salmon.

Only a little bit, but I did wonder if it was OK or acceptable to feed a Maine Coon some raw salmon.

The illness was entirely my fault, as I had accidentally got the kitten variant of her usual meal and it had goat’s milk in it.

As she had developed lactose intolerance this was making her ill.

I had to do some reading and understanding of whether a Maine Coon can be given salmon and sought to find some answers from more qualified people.

So, can Maine Coon cats eat salmon?

A Maine Coon can be fed raw salmon or other fish in small doses as many cats will love it as a treat. However, it’s not a substitute for a daily feeding regimen as an enzyme in raw fish destroys thiamine, an essential B vitamin. Cooked or poached salmon is preferable to raw fish meat.

Manufactured wet and dry food contains all the vitamins, nutrients, calories, and minerals that your cat needs.

There’s also the possibility that uncooked fish, as well as raw meats and uncooked eggs, will develop bacteria that may cause upset stomachs.

Fish seems like an occasional treat for a Maine Coon rather than something that should be part of their regular diet.

The reduction of thiamine caused by eating too much fish has serious repercussions, possibly even leading to a coma.

a Maine Coon being offered some cooked salmon

Can A Maine Coon Eat Raw Salmon Steak?

Alita, my Maine Coon, seems to love salmon when I give her a piece, so they certainly like it.

As a source of food, salmon contains protein, omega 3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins and minerals, so there is plenty of good stuff in a piece of salmon.

There is 20 to 25% protein in a piece of salmon so it’s lower than necessary for protein that should normally be fed to a Maine Coon.

The risk is that like other fish, salmon becomes an addictive food for your cat.

They may even forgo their normal food, waiting for you to produce more salmon.

You shouldn’t be tempted to give in to those pleading meows from your Maine Coon, as regular salmon feeding can lower vitamin B.

Is Salmon Good For A Maine Coon

Salmon seems healthy in small and infrequent doses, but not a regular part of a Maine Coons feeding schedule.

That’s just raw, or lightly cooked salmon as well.

Owners should never season their cat’s salmon or add other flavorings because these can be toxic.

Canned, smoked, or cured salmon should never be given to cats because they contain high levels of sodium used for preserving.

This effect can be fatal to cats if fed regularly.

Salmon treats for your Maine Coon should be raw or ever so slightly cooked to kill off bacteria.

If you really must give your Maine Coon some salmon, the best advice seems to be light roasting, grilling, or poaching to kill off the potential parasites and NEVER season the food.

a Maine Coon with some cooked salmon

Can Maine Coons Eat Any Raw Fish?

By its nature, raw fish can be a potential source for food poisoning in cats.

Cooking food removes harmful bacteria.

Although fish may seem like a delicious meal for your Maine Coon, to be on the safe side it’s best not to feed them raw fish.

Certainly on a regular basis.

If you’re going to give your Maine Coon fish, it’s best to make sure it’s properly cooked and doesn’t contain any dangerous additives or seasonings like chilies, onions, or garlic.

Lightly cooking a fish means your cat will more readily absorb the vitamins contained within.

What About Tuna Or Sardines?

Tuna is THE fish everyone thinks about when feeding a cat fish.

The proverbial fork tapped on a tin causes a flurry of fur at your feet.

Tuna probably shouldn’t be given to kittens but it does contain plenty of protein fatty acids and vitamins.

Tuna is good for a cat in small quantities.

As is similar for most fish fed to cats, it’s much better grilled or poached so as to heat it up without seasoning or destroying the nutrients.

Brine or water as the preservative is better than oil as well from tin, as oil based tuna can be fattening and unhealthy.

Tuna shouldn’t be fed exclusively to a Maine Coon as it doesn’t contain some essential vitamins but for a treat or occasionally it’s fine.

Sardines, a small fish that’s also tasty for cats to eat, are an option.

Sardines are known for their high amounts of protein and B12, as well as essential fatty acids which help keep cats in good health.

Much the same as with salmon and tuna though, it should be a treat and fed occasionally rather than as a meal replacement.

There are different sorts of sardines available in stores, and cats have specific preferences.

Sardines sold in sauces might contain sodium, unhealthy fats, or toxic ingredients such as onions or garlic that can poison your Maine Coon.

If your Maine Coon cannot eat raw salmon, make sure to give them store bought sardines preserved in water instead.

Sardines are small fish, and vets recommend that you only give one sardine to your cat per week.

a Maine Coon eating some cooked salmon

Best Way To Give Salmon To Your Maine Coon

If you must give salmon to your Maine Coon, here’s the best way to serve it:

Make sure it’s fresh first, fish can go off quickly.

Lightly cook the fish (grill, boil or poach in water) until it is fully heated without any of its fats or oils.

Don’t add any preservatives, food flavorings, or seasonings, and serve after cooking.

Let it cool down a bit first though.


Maine Coon cats can be heavy, weighing up to 20 pounds or more!

Maine Coons also need plenty of food and attention from their owners because they’re so big.

For this reason, it’s important that Maine Coons eat the right foods in order to maintain good health and weight control.

It is possible for Maine Coons to eat raw salmon as long as it has been cooked properly – grilled, boiled, poached in water with no seasonings added,

Beware of tinned salmon as it contains very high levels of sodium for cats.

Alita, my Maine Coon loves salmon – she loves the taste – but now I know I need to give it to her as a treat, not as a meal replacement, and certainly not too regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Maine Coons need special food?

Maine Coons don’t need a special diet but they do require a high protein diet. They mature for years longer than other breeds and need a higher protein count. Their diet needs to be well balanced with a mix of wet and dry food for variety and hydration.

Can Maine Coon eat rice?

Maine Coons can eat rice. Rice is not toxic to your Maine Coon but it shouldn’t be a staple part of their diet as it doesn’t contain essential minerals and vitamins. Often dry food can be grain based like ‘brown rice and tuna’. Brown or white rice is fine but should be fully cooked.

Can Maine Coons drink milk?

A Maine Coon can drink milk when they are a kitten but adult cats can be lactose intolerant and not able to break down the lactose. Too much milk can cause vomiting and diarrhea. A little bit is fine but monitor your Maine Coon for adverse effects.

About the Author


My name is Ann and I have been looking after and breeding cats since 2013. I am currently the proud ownder of Alita, a female Maine Coon to whom I've dedicated this site. She has had 2 litters and is around 3 years old. We share adventures and stories together.

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Maine Coon 101 | Read This Before Getting One