If you’re new to the Maine Coon world, you may be curious as to what types of food your Maine Coon can eat safely.
Some foods are perfectly edible, some a Maine Coon might be allergic to on an individual basis, and others aren’t toxic in low quantities, but are distinctly unhealthy in large doses.
Chicken liver and chicken liver pates are common in a refrigerator, so can a Maine Coon eat chicken liver?
It is safe for your Maine Coon to consume chicken liver in small doses up to 5% of the diet and not more than twice a week. Chicken liver in small quantities is considered good but excess chicken liver produces Vitamin A toxicity. Chicken liver should only be served twice a week as 5% of a diet.
Chicken liver seems like a great treat for your furry friend at first glance being high in protein and a soft paste for easy digestibility.
Maine Coons are known for their curious nature which is why they can be found sneaking into food cupboards.
A wild Maine Coon would be expected to eat the liver of some sort from their prey.
It’s more likely to come from rodents and birds than a chicken as Maine Coons will rarely attack an adult chicken.
A Maine Coon, like all other forms of cats, does not have the ability to naturally produce Vitamin A so a liver from their prey would have been a good source of this vital vitamin.
It is rare for cats to have to hunt as food any more, but liver can be found naturally in wet foods and added to dry foods.
The short answer to this question is yes, .. but in moderation.
Chicken liver is a rich source of protein and essential fatty acids.
The chicken liver also contains Vitamin B12, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Iron, Zinc, Niacin, and Riboflavin.
Your Maine Coon can quite safely eat a little bit of chicken liver without complaint. The key here is a small amount and not on a regular basis.
Although I can’t find any firm convictions a rule of thumb might be a quantity not exceeding 5% of the total of the cat’s diet and for only 2 meals a week.
The chicken liver also contains taurine which is an essential amino acid for all cats in their food.
While there are health benefits for your Maine Coon it can’t be stressed enough that too much isn’t good for a Maine Coon.
Also, chicken liver is considered better than lamb liver or beef liver.
The Maine Coon has a digestive system that is perfectly designed to consume raw liver as it’s primarily designed for a wild animal meal.
So why is a chicken liver good for your Maine Coon? What’s in it that makes it so good?
Vitamin A – This vitamin is essential and liver has a high level of this vitamin because the liver actually stores Vitamin A. A cat does not produce Vitamin A on its own but Vitamin A will help with skin health and eyesight.
Vitamin B – A Maine Coon has high Vitamin B demands. These water-soluble nutrients are needed for cell metabolism and energy production.
Copper – A lack of this mineral could cause weak bones, dry hair, and brittle joints. Copper helps in the production of healthy red blood cells.
Protein – One reason to feed a cat liver is as a source of protein. Maine Coons require large amounts of protein. In fact, that may be why some people add it to dry food, as you don’t want the dry food your pet consumes being just carbohydrates.
So with chicken liver being rich in essential vitamins and proteins that keep your Maine Coon strong and healthy, are there any downsides?
Well, yes, a few.
But in moderation, everything will be OK.
For starters, chicken liver is also quite fatty. So if you have an already overweight Maine Coon then feed chicken liver sparingly.
As already mentioned, the liver of a chicken has high concentrations of Vitamin A. While small doses of Vitamin A are needed to promote health, too much of the Vitamin can be toxic.
Vitamin A toxicity is a condition cats develop from eating too much organic meat, especially liver.
You can also create the same effect by feeding your pet too much cod liver oil.
The signs are not immediately apparent of Vitamin A toxicity, and often only present themselves in middle aged cats.
Maine Coons fed too much Vitamin A from chicken liver will develop bone problems and even arthritis. Your cat will appear stiff and start becoming inactive.
A Maine Coon could even develop pain when picked up and become anti-social with Vitamin A toxicity.
Something you definitely want to avoid.
As well as the overweight issue with highly fatty foods there is also fatty liver disease which limits the function of your Maine Coon’s liver to do its own job.
Again, I will stress here, several veterinarian sites suggested chicken liver should not be more than 5% of the Maine Coon’s diet, and it should not eat it more than twice a week.
So Maine Coon owners are presented with a bit of a dichotomy.
Your Maine Coon will need the vitamins from chicken liver but too much of Vitamin A and fatty tissues present their own problems.
Chicken liver is considered a ‘rich’ food source, so small amounts are needed to get the essential vitamins and minerals.
Not to put too fine a point on this there appear to be two schools of thought on this.
The first states that raw food is fine as part of a balanced diet. It’s difficult to argue with this.
Especially as the advocates point out that a wild Maine Coon survives exactly with this situation in mind.
Others say it’s too much of an unnecessary risk, potentially exposing your Maine Coon to bacterial diseases.
Cooked liver advocates point out the simple act of cooking the liver removes parasites and potentially harmful food borne illnesses so why not do that.
Again, difficult to argue with that as well.
I think everyone has to go with their own level of risk.
You can give your Maine Coon a small amount of raw chicken liver to prevent diarrhea.
Chicken livers are a food that can last up to 3-4 days in your fridge.
Yes, the same precautions you would use for chicken liver apply to both lam liver and beef liver.
The vet recommended quantity of liver for a Maine Coon would be no more than 5% of the diet, and no more than twice a week.
This gives your Maine Coon all the essential vitamins and minerals it needs without building up Vitamin A in the cat’s body for problems as it moves into middle age.
Chicken livers only really come in two forms.
Raw chicken livers and chicken liver pate.
Chicken livers tend to be the defining part of the meal. Fried chicken livers and mash, sauteed chicken livers, or chicken livers with onions.
If you know of something that contains chicken livers inadvertently, then please comment down below.
In summary, for a Maine Coon, eating a small amount of chicken liver is OK.
Chicken liver contains many minerals, vitamins, nutrients, and proteins needed for a healthy Maine Coon.
However, many vets seem to recommend a strict limit of never more than 5% of a diet and specify only twice a week.
This prevents the toxic build-up of Vitamin A producing problems for your Maine Coons bone structure later in life.
Severe Vitamin A toxicity is fatal.
Chicken liver is cat food for moderation, not a complete diet.
So, by all means, feed a little chicken liver to your Maine Coon.
Wash off the fats, place in boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes, drain, cool, and serve.
Your Maine Coon will likely thank you profusely, as they do seem to like them.
As a small side note, Alita, my Maine Coon has recently been diagnosed with a chicken protein allergy.
Thus I don’t feed chicken livers to her anymore.
I’m sure most Maine Coons are fine, but that point is worthy of note.
Maine Coon 101 | Read This Before Getting One