Whilst dogs don’t particularly clean themselves, cats always seem to take an almost fastidious approach to it.
There’s an argument for saying you don’t really need to bathe a cat at all.
In fact, I’d hazard a guess that most people don’t, certainly on a regular basis.
But for those who do like their Maine Coon as ‘show condition’ as possible, bathing isn’t something a Maine Coon is fearful of.
But what about the indoor variety of Maine Coons? In theory, they don’t really go out to get all the dust and muck associated with a cat needing a bath.
Do you need to bathe an indoor Maine Coon?
Indoor Maine Coons do not need to be bathed. Maine Coons like water but regular brushing will keep them clean and healthy. Bathing your cat makes their coat cleaner and skin healthier but it isn’t necessary if you own an indoor cat. Exceptions might be paint, filth, and chemicals on their fur.
Maine Coons as a breed are meant to follow you around and are supposed to like water.
Should you go to the shower they can quite helpfully get into the cubicle before you.
Case in point – see the pic below.
My Maine Coon will jump up around the sink, dip into the basin, or take sips of water out of a glass.
This fascination with water could come from their trips across the sea where they were supposed to have been kept as mousers on seafaring vessels.
Their coat is perfect for it, being long, sleek, double layered, and thick.
Whether a Maine Coon needs extra help with cleanliness aside, they are certainly built for a water based environment.
Maine Coon cats have medium to long hair which means more places for dirt and grit to hide in.
That’s why they regularly need brushing, so as to reduce the chances of tangles and mats.
Bathing a Maine Coon will help rid them of excess fur and reduce the number of hairballs brought up around the house.
You may even want to enter your Maine Coon into cat shows and tournaments.
When I did, I certainly made sure Alita was thoroughly clean and brushed before entry.
It’s easy to see why you might want to bathe an outdoor farm cat, but what of urban indoor Maine Coons?
The truth is they don’t get dirty nearly so quickly, as you might expect.
There’s just no opportunity unless you have a clumsy cat or an indoor greenhouse.
Still, over time, your indoor Maine Coon will build a slow steady accumulation of loose fur, dirt, and grime.
Maybe even matted fur.
This can all be rectified with regular brushing and your Maine Coons own ability to keep themselves clean.
All breeds of cats managed to survive without humans washing them, but you will probably notice a slight improvement in the long haired Maine Coons cleanliness with a bath every now and again.
Alita is typical of the breed and not overly worried about water.
She doesn’t revel in it, but she is not afraid of it.
Maine Coons are nothing if not individual cats, so your cat may have an aggressive attitude if they are forced into water.
Taking your own cat’s personality into account should be ‘front and center’.
Your Maine Coon may benefit from having the experience as young as possible.
Kittens are sponges for experiences and acclimatization.
A few baths when they are young makes the adult Maine Coon much more likely to continue with the practice.
So bathing a Maine Coon is a good idea if the cat likes the practice and displays enthusiasm for the experience.
Actions like scratching, spitting, and outwardly hostile behavior means you probably shouldn’t be bathing your cat, as the rewards don’t justify the means.
In the strictest sense of the word, your Maine Coon does not need a bath.
If your Maine Coon is anything like mine, then they will spend quite a bit of the day grooming themselves.
The rather tough spiked tongue acts as a rudimentary comb and the saliva does quite a good reproduction of shampoo.
Many owners like their cat to look their best and that’s fine if the cat has no problem with the experience.
In fact, if they like a bath, then why not bathe them often. It certainly doesn’t do much harm and if the cat enjoys it, then why not.
The thing about long hair on a cat is that it is harder to keep clean than the short hair varieties.
If your Maine Coon doesn’t mind, then again, why not.
Some people are allergic to cat hair as well, so a weekly bath may keep the symptoms of the allergy down.
So, Maine Coons don’t strictly need to be bathed but there are lots of circumstances when it’s a good idea.
A cat that doesn’t like a full bath can sometimes be made to sit still you wipe them with cat wipes.
These are disposable wipes that you can clean an area rather than having to get the whole of the cat wet.
The next best thing is regular brushing.
This keeps the coat clean and free from dirt and gives your cat an easier time when grooming themselves.
Again, if you can start this when they are young kittens then all the better.
Kittens are much more forgiving of the interaction and an adult cat will be more helpful if they were trained when they were younger.
If your Maine doesn’t really like to have a bath then it’s fine not to ever take them into the water for a clean.
Your Maine Coon won’t suffer for never having had a bath.
A good regular brush to keep the fur clean and free of matting along with the cat’s own efforts will produce a healthy coat if their diet is nutritious and balanced.
There might be some exceptions though – sometimes your cat might need to bathe despite its objections.
Done properly, a bath for your Maine Coon will make their coat shine and clean their skin for optimal health.
They may not enjoy the experience so any Maine Coon, let alone an indoor one, can survive without ever having a bath.
In summary, you never NEED to bathe your Maine Coon unless it picks up filth, oil, paint, or other chemicals that you would need to remove immediately.
Whether you ultimately want to bathe your Maine Coon will be your willingness to do so and your judgment as to whether the cat enjoys it.
If it doesn’t and fights you, then you should only really bathe them for safety reasons.
Your Maine Coon may feel some disquiet if you start to bathe them later in life.
Kittens are usually easily convinced of the benefits after a few baths and don’t seem to mind much once it’s over.
Maine Coon 101 | Read This Before Getting One