From when you buy a Maine Coon kitten to the time it’s looking like an adult can seem remarkably short.
No doubt you’ve heard Maine Coons keep growing for longer than the average cat.
Typically, a Maine Coon cat can continue growing for up to 3 to 5 years.
Maine Coon kittens also need a high protein diet, so when is a Maine Coon kitten beyond kitten food?
As your Maine Coon is growing up, how long should you feed your Maine Coon kitten food?
Maine Coons should be weaned off kitten food after a 12 to 15 month period. This is later than average because the Maine Coon grows for longer and needs the minerals, nutrients, and vitamins with a high calorie count for longer than other breeds.
Kitten foods specially formulated for a growing Maine Coon are designed to contain all the nutrients that are needed.
Choosing proper kitten food for your Maine Coon starts it off in life with the best possible chance of growing up healthy.
In the early stages the kittens digestive system is still developing and needs support with easily digestible meals.
Maine Coon kitten diets should always be protein rich to accommodate their growing needs.
The diet for your Maine Coon kitten will be the cornerstone of its healthy growth.
For an average cat it is normally recommended that you wean them off kitten food when they are nearing their adult weight.
This could be anywhere between a 6 to 10 month period, sometimes even 4 months.
Normal kitten food charts often recommend adult food after around 6 months, or at least starting to switch.
Larger breeds like the Maine Coon are recommended to stay on kitten food for longer, but the Maine Coon can continue growing for 3 to 5 years.
If a cat is growing – it needs protein.
Kitten food is full of nutrients that are needed and easily digestible to aid the Maine Coons growth.
So if you keep your Maine Coon on kitten food for 12 to 15 months and then wean them off slowly to adult food designed for a Maine Coon then you’re doing right by your cat.
Maine Coons still require a high protein diet after they are taken off kitten food, unlike other breeds as they will still get larger.
A growing Maine Coon kitten has different nutrient requirements than a more adult cat, so early on it’s safer to stick to kitten food.
Once the digestive system can deal with kibble and good quality dry food then adult food isn’t dangerous but you have to be careful that the adult food contains enough protein.
Some kitten foods are labelled as suitable for all the stages of life which means kittens can eat it safely.
Adult cat food shouldn’t be given to a very young kitten but the older it is the more it’s able to cope with the differing nutrients, minerals and solid nature of adult food.
Until a Maine Coon kitten is around 9 months old, it shouldn’t be given general average adult cat food.
A lot of the time, there is not enough protein in the food.
Until the Maine Coon is getting towards a young adult, exclusively adult cat food might not be a good idea.
Wet food is much easier to digest for a Maine Coon kitten, but after 6 weeks a kitten should be able to chew and digest softened dry food.
Dry kitten food can be soaked lightly in warm water until they are slightly spongy until the kitten develops more powerful jaw muscles.
While saying kitten food is formulated for the needs of a growing kitten sounds great, what exactly does that mean?
Kittens have internal organs that are developing quickly, they grow at a much faster rate than normal, and their energy needs are particularly high.
Kitten food not only contains the nutrients needed to grow, and grow healthily, but it is also higher in calories.
For Maine Coons specifically the kitten food will need higher protein content because of their formidable size.
The purpose of kitten food is to make sure there is a plentiful supply of minerals, vitamins, and proteins needed to support the vital functions of an adult cat.
Once the organs and senses of the cat have developed there is less need for the nutrient balance that the kitten needed.
Keeping feeding your adult Maine Coon kitten food might give them too many calories, and cause obesity.
Transitioning from kitten food isn’t just a matter of swapping to a different food bowl from one day to the next.
A Maine Coon kitten who has grown up on kitten food has a digestive system that has adapted to that diet.
From the stomach to the intestines your kitten will have bacteria that break down foods and the gastrointestinal tract is home to microbes that fight off infection.
The digestive system is geared up to receiving vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in proportions.
The cat’s very health is based upon its system regulating the known food intake.
If a diet is very abruptly altered it throws the system into a small shock until it develops the required microbes and bacteria to deal with the new food.
At this point your Maine Coon may vomit or have increased ablutions in the litter box as it experiences the change.
A kitten should be carefully transitioned over a week or two to an adult diet after 12 to 15 months.
The slow transition gives the Maine Coon kitten adequate time to develop the required microbes and bacteria.
Days 1 to 4 – three quarters kitten diet and one quarter adult diet
Days 4 to 8 – half kitten diet and half adult diet
Days 9 to 13 – one quarter kitten diet and three quarters adult diet
Day 14 – The Maine Coon should now be on fully adult food
If you progress a step and there’s any abnormality, drop back previous proportions of kitten and adult food, and wait a bit longer before trying again.
The major pet manufacturers have large research and development teams in order to try and perfect as much as possible the nutritional needs of your Maine Coon kitten.
One such manufacturer of Maine Coon kitten food is Royal Canin.
Here’s the kitten feeding table for a Maine Coon.
They seem to be of the same opinion.
Somewhere between 12 to 15 months is the ideal time to wean a Maine Coon kitten off kitten food.
Additionally, here’s the Royal Canin kitten dry food guide.
The same advice seems to be given.
The 12 to 15 month period of a Maine Coon kittens growth
Interestingly, Royal Canin Maine Coon adult food is recommended for the adult stage of life that is 1 to 7 years of age.
So, after 12 months seems to be the industry standard when a Maine Coon kitten should be weaned off kitten food.
Remember, even as you wean your kitten off kitten food, it will still require a high protein diet.
They’re still growing.
Because Maine Coons are expected to be large cats, from the kitten stage they need a high protein diet.
Kitten food should be from a quality manufacturer and have a high protein content.
At 12 months of age they should be weaned off kitten food because their needs change as they grow into adults.
The best way to know if your Maine Coon is old enough for adult cat food is by weight, size and maturity.
The transition to adult food should be done over a 2 week period or thereabouts, and the transition should still be to a high protein diet.
They’re still growing for many years after you wean them off kitten food.
Be careful with grocery store brand foods – they’re usually lower quality than premium kitty products- so it’s worth investing in good quality kitty chow for your pet from an early age.
Maine Coon 101 | Read This Before Getting One