Lush flowing coats that come in a variety of colors and patterns and bushy tails are some of the hallmarks of Maine Coon cats that make them so appealing. They are beautiful and majestic creatures, making them one of the most beloved pets all over the world. Having hailed from Maine, their fur helps them survive and keep warm during harsh winter conditions or cool climates.
If you have concerns about caring for your Maine Coon’s coat, shedding, cleaning up, grooming, and how to tend to these, then read on. Maine Coons, like dogs, require more care than most cat breeds to keep their coat healthy and your home hair-free. All that fur can be a lot for your Maine Coon to manage on their own. So, they need your help even if they seem content grooming themselves.
Of course, you might be wondering with all that fur, will there be a lot of shedding? Shedding and having to clean up after them all over the house is one of the banes of many pet owners. Unfortunately, Maine Coon cats do shed. However, shedding is a very natural part of an animals life. There is no getting around it. Shedding is the natural process of getting rid of dead and loose hair from the body. Shedding cycles can vary from cat to cat and even from time to time with the same cat, based on its diet and other factors. Some Maine Coons will only shed seasonally while some shed almost on a daily basis.
You can expect to see the tumble-weed of hairballs around your home when you have a Maine Coon. Their fur gets longer around their neck and tail. The hair around their neck can get very long giving them a mane.
Maine Coon cats with a fluffier coat tend to shed more than those that have a tidier coat. Usually, you can tell from the silky texture of the coat if its coat is healthy or not. You are likely to find your cat coughing up or vomiting hairballs that end up in their tummies from self-grooming. It can be an uncomfortable and even painful experience for your cat. It’s harder for the hairballs to pass through your cat’s digestive system if it’s clumped up too much and gets accumulated into big hairballs.
As a responsible human parent to your Maine Coons, you have to be watchful for your cat’s health and well-being with regular care and visits to the vet.
Shedding is normal, but cats with long-hair like Maine Coon are susceptible to shedding more so than other breeds. They have two undercoats and a guard coat giving layers to their fur. There are tools that are designed specifically to remove loose undercoat hair such as a grooming comb or a rake.
Cats keep themselves well-groomed every day, it’s part of their nature. This can cause some shedding of loose dead hair and even some healthy hair. However, sometimes they take it too far. They can over-groom themselves to the point they pull out patches of hair from their coat. It can be a physical response to parasites as well as poor hygiene, or physical discomfort. It can also be an emotional response. Cat’s like consistency and predictability and they can get disturbed if something is bothering them.
Shedding can cause the loose hair to tangle up with the rest of the hair and cause matting. This can be a painful experience for your cat and can cause it distress and irritability. It can try to scratch to relieve the discomfort doing even more damage. Matted hair can cause the skin to pull, causing pain. Their skin is delicate.
If your Maine Coon sheds hair at an alarming rate and is leaving bald spots, then it’s a cause for concern. They can start shedding when they are sick. So, it’s time for a visit to the vet. Some of the causes can be allergies, diet, parasites, hormonal imbalances, or stress.
If your Maine Coon is shedding, there can be some factors at play and these are not exclusive to Maine Coon cats.
• Genetics: Sometimes we just can’t win against genetics. If your Maine Coon is susceptible to hair loss owing to genetics, then it will shed just as some of us go bald because of our genetics.
• Stress: The emotional health of your cat is very important for its well-being. The idea of cats suffering from stress may seem alien to you, but cats do suffer from anxiety and stress too. Stress can cause a sympathetic response in the body, slowing down of bodily functions like hair growth. Changes to the environment and new people or pets can cause anxiety.
• Nutrition: Just like emotional health, nutrition can have a huge impact on your cat shedding. Cats can benefit from a well-balanced diet that promotes a healthier coat. Your cat’s body needs proper vitamins and minerals to keep its coat healthy and minimize shedding.
• Grooming: Cats groom themselves all the time, but as pet owners, we have to groom our cats ourselves by brushing its fur, washing and even conditioning it. Otherwise, not only will it affect its coat, its fur can get all over your house and you’ll be spending a lot of time cleaning up after it.
While we can’t go against nature and stop shedding altogether, there are some things we can do to control its shedding and keep it to a minimum.
• Keeping its coat smooth and silky can be a project all on its own. Maine Coons have long fur that requires regular grooming. Unfortunately, they are not as low-maintenance as some other cat breeds such as, for example, American Shorthair. Daily brushing can prevent matting and loosen up dead hair that will otherwise shed all over the house. If daily grooming is not possible, do it as frequently as possible. With the right tools, you can effectively reduce shedding and prevent hairballs.
• Grooming your cat is a patient affair. You have to ensure you bathe your cat gently and properly. It’ll not only keep the cat clean; it will help maintain its fur coat. Of course, most cats don’t like bathing, but Maine Coon cats are one of the few breeds that are very tolerant of water, some even enjoy it! It’s easier for them to warm up to bathing when you start bathing them while they are young.
• Treat your cat for fleas and ticks. Your Maine Coon will be much happier parasite-free. It can cause your cat lot of discomfort and it’s more prone to scratching itself causing injury and shedding of even healthy hair.
• Your cat’s nutritional intake can have an impact on its fur. Just like us, it can benefit from Omega-3 fatty acids for healthier hair. Get cat food that is very nutritious for your Maine Coon and ensures all its nutritional needs are met. Some cats can be picky eaters, but Maine Coons tend to be less temperamental.
With so much hair, the Maine Coon cat is at high risk of hairballs and matting which can cause quite a bit of discomfort and pain. Thankfully, daily brushing can help keep shedding of fur to a minimum and lessen hairballs. However, a cute cat brush won’t do. Maine Coons are large animals, much larger than small dogs possibly. The best way to groom your cat is to make it a fun bonding time for the both of you. If you are just going through the motions and feel time can be better spent elsewhere, your cat will notice and it can affect its temperament towards you.
To brush your cat, make sure you place it gently on a surface. Make sure it’s content before you start. Stroke it very lightly press it against the surface, and make it comfortable. Take your fur brush and let it examine and sniff it. Rubber brushes can be soft and good to start with. Maine Coons are usually very calm and they’ll just stay put most of the time, letting you brush them. You can brush one side and reposition it gently to brush the rest of its fur. The brush will get a lot of loose hairs. They’ll sometimes enjoy it so much they’ll lie of their back giving you the opportunity to brush its belly and underside. You can then switch over to a firmer brush. If its metal, make sure it’s not sharp. Be careful though, it’ll hurt if your cat is heavily matted.
If your cat hasn’t received proper grooming and is heavily matted, it’s time to take your Maine Coon to a professional groomer. They have the experience and the tools to handle this kind of situation with the least discomfort to your cat. Hair can clump together from static electricity as it walks about the house and it can get knotted. It’s very risky to get a scissor and cut out the matted hair as it’s very easy to accidentally injure your cat. Let a professional groomer handle it for you. It’s better to get it taken care of early before it gets too worse. They’ll shave as necessary and give it a trim of its mane.
Some people vacuum their cat’s fur with low power with a brush attachment, but it’s not recommended. Most Maine Coon cats are easily startled by loud noises. Some will let you do it and stay put if they are used to you vacuum all the time, but it’s not advised to do so.
While regular shampoos and soap for cats work just fine for cats who can handle bathing, it not for every cat. Some just can’t handle the water. You can try different temperature to see if it helps. If bathing is hard on your Maine Coon, you can try some gentle cleaning products. Some are very gentle and mean it has a more comfortable bath. Alternatively, you can try wipes that are designed specifically for cats or spritz cleaners. Some bath wipes come with catnips, making it more tempting for cats and they don’t need water. In fact, using these wipes can be a good way to prepare your cat for a grooming session if you can’t get it to stay still and be cooperative.
You can also condition your cat’s fur. There are dry waterless options that let you get the job done without needing to rinse it off. A good hygiene for your Maine Coon can prevent skin problems in addition to tending to its coat and help keep a balance of natural oils in its fur. Without bathing, their fur can get too greasy or oily. It can also prevent dandruff from developing. However, skin conditions can result from underlying medical issues that have to be treated by a vet. But with proper care, you can ensure your Maine Coon stays healthy and minimize shedding. Do your research to ensure the shampoo, conditioners, and wipes you use are non-toxic as cats like to clean themselves.
If possible, give you’re your cat a space of its own in your house with a comfy bed with all its necessities close by. Ensure it has its litter box, toys, scratching post, water and food bowls, and cat trees. You can have more stuff for your cat to explore around the house, but create a favorite spot for your cat where it will hang out most of the time. This will greatly minimize shedding to that area, making it easier for you to clean up. Vacuum cleaners and lint rollers can be a huge asset when you want to get all the fur out of your fabrics, floor, and furniture.
Cats have a natural tendency to climb, play, perch, and rest all over the house. If you have fit structures high up for your cats to climb, then you’ll probably need a step ladder to get to some places to clean up. They are also very squishy, they like the sensation of being squished gently. It’s common for them to get into tight spaces like under the bed and couch.
Shedding can be a huge concern for cat owners, but a healthy Maine Coon that has proper hygiene and grooming sessions will save you a lot of time and energy you would otherwise spend cleaning up after it. They shed, it’s part of life. However, you can minimize it. Maine Coons are generally healthier than most cats, but they need proper care to maintain their lush coat.
Grooming it doesn’t have to take up most all of your day, some quick gentle brushes daily can go a long way towards keeping your home free of hair and make Maine Coon comfortable. You can take advantage of grooming tools to make your job easier.
If your cat doesn’t shed much or when you have it under control, all it requires is regular vacuuming to keep your house hair-free.