maine coon close up eating

Why Your Maine Coon Kitten Needs a High Protein Diet

If you look around the internet around the subject of Maine Coon’s you will often find talk of the Maine Coon’s need for a high protein diet. Not being a nutritional scientist, I decided to do some research and find out what the issues were.

In short, Maine Coon’s require a high protein diet, as it helps them to develop a robust bone structure. If you come across most Maine Coon cats you will know that it is a large cat that takes around three to five years to reach maturity compared to ordinary cats. The need for high proteins in their diet caters for proper development of body tissues and bones as the cats develop. Additionally Maine Coons require a vitamin rich and low carbohydrate food preferably to help protect and minimalize risk from known specific conditions.

What Diet Does my Maine Coon Kitten Need?

Maine Coon owners tend to think that since their kittens are bigger than the ordinary cats, they will require to eat more food to fill their appetites. However, I found out that they need a balanced diet that will boost their growth and keep them healthy. Nutritionist and vets advice that you feed your kitten is a food which is:

  • Absent of fillers like corn, wheat, and other starches
  • Full of vitamins and nutrients
  • Real meat with associated nutrients (imitates natural food)
  • A diet is rich in proteins
  • low carbohydrates
  • Moderate fats

 

I learned that diet rich in proteins, and low in carbohydrates is necessary for your Maine Coon kitten as compared to other cats, since they are larger and tend to add weight easily. For this reason they are likely to develop complications such as diabetes, and this can be prevented by low carbohydrates and more proteins in their diets.

maine coon close up eating

Additionally, your cat will take longer to mature. Proteins will therefore be essential for proper development of your furred feline friend. You should, however, look out for food allergies such as gluten intolerance and allergies to dairy products when choosing a diet for your Maine Coon Cat.

In one study cats were known to pick a diet preferentially when given options that were nearly identical to the food they would naturally find in the wild.

That certainly throws up some interesting questions if you can replicate it,

Why Are There Maine Coon Specific Foods?

All cats, Maine Coon or otherwise require a mix of protein, carbohydrates, fats and fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. I usually tell most cat owners that when considering a diet plan for any cat breed they should consider their unique characteristics. For a Maine Coon as you already know your cat is one of the largest cat breeds and takes longer to mature than any normal sized cat.

For this reason, your cat will require more calories with at least 26% of proteins and 9% from fat. Your cat will tend to gain more much fat which could result in diabetes hence the need to avoid too many carbohydrates in their diets.

Interestingly, regarding portion size, a small mouse hunted and eaten in the wild will be about 30 calories.

One of the complications a lot of people are talking about is the hereditary kidney complications which makes it necessary for Maine Coon Cat owners to focus on high-quality animal proteins which are also rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. These acids are also good for bone structure.

Companies, therefore, are producing Maine Coon specific diets which promote the development of bones as the cat is one of the largest felines. Another reason for a specific diet is the fact that cat is prone to hip dysplasia which is caused by the body size of the cat which tends to be heavy, tall and long.

A calculated amount of proteins in the diet will be likely to reduce the occurrence of the hip dysplasia condition as proteins promote bone development. Maine Coon Cat owners are concerned as the cat is likely to suffer from kidney failure which could be hereditary and may not get detected till the cat is fully grown. This is one more reason for the owners to be specific with their diets.

Additionally, lower sodium levels in food are good for the Maine Coon which is more susceptible to Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD).

Vets seem to agree that protein from sources such as chicken, fish and turkey are better than vegetable based proteins.

Do I Need to Change the Diet as it Gets Older?

maine coon kitten close up eatingYou could be wondering if the portion food sizes for your Maine Coon Cat should depend either on the level of activity or the age of your cat. You are not alone as research indicate that one should be adjusting the food portions on several factors, the only way you can achieve this is by following veterinary advice.

Most of the people say that they allow their cats to free-feed as kittens and young adults but if this behavior is extended to adulthood the cat can gain much weight. Breeders, however, recommend that one switches to lower calorie food once the cat hits median age that is around two years.

The new dietary plan according to breeders should offer your kittens with at least 30 to 45 percent of protein content which is good for their growing bodies. Adult cats, however, should have around 26 to 40% of protein content in their diet. However, you should adjust the nutrient needs of your cat according to life stages, activity levels, and pregnancy.

As is the case with almost all species, including humans, a Maine Coon kitten will require a slightly different diet to cope with its growing needs. General kitten food can be recommended all the way up to 20 weeks for a normal cat, but plenty of people, including vets seem to suggest keeping a Maine Coon on kitten food for longer, say up to 36 weeks.

This is a reason why food manufacturers have kitten specific and adult specific foods available. Royal Canin recommends kitten food for a Maine Coon up to 15 months.

Cats will need additional nutrients such as vitamin A & D throughout their lives. Remember to always check with your vet when you are not sure about the diet portions your cat requires to maintain a good weight.

What Are the Good Foods for my Maine Coon?

When you consider choosing food for your cat, it will be prudent if you read the labels of the products before purchasing. You might be surprised that choosing Maine Coon Cat food is not as complicated as you might think.

If the product is considered complete and balanced and is FDA approved then it will be good for your cat. I usually check the ingredients, to ensure that the food contains all the nutrients my cat will require this is a good thing especially for Maine Coon Cat owners as they need a special diet.

I found this list of recommended Food brands for Maine Coon Cats that will provide sufficient nutrients filled diet for your cat.

Natures Variety brand, the company offers two separate brands- instinct and prairie which are made of naturally balanced recipes of animal products and whole grains. I prefer this brand more than any other, and I think you will too, as it caters for all the needs of your cat.

Honest Kitchen Prowl (Dehydrated), I found out that the brand offers minimally processed food that is good for your pet. The Honest kitchen dries their food to retain the original nutrients in their food which is a good thing as proteins are lost when dried over high temperatures.

Wellness CORE brand follows a holistic approach to pet nutrition filled with fresh and ideal nutrients which are good for your cat.

Addiction Herbed Duck Confit Cat Food (Canned), this brand won’t trigger food allergies and sensitivity for your cat. Designed from the natural diet of wild cats it is gluten-free and free of dairy products that would cause allergies.

Best Dry Foods for Maine Coon Cats

ROYAL CANIN Maine Coon dry cat food. This food features a larger kibble that encourages your cat to chew more. It contains antioxidants vitamins and essential minerals for your cat.

Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Dry Cat Food. This food comes in different blends for kittens and adults; the food is, therefore, convenient for you as it is tailored to fit the needs of your cat at different life stages

Purina ONE Indoor Adult Premium Cat Food. This is a vet recommended food full of antioxidants and minerals for the overall health of your cat. The kibble is designed to clean the teeth and gums of your cat.

maine coon eating

Best Wet Cat Food for Maine Coon Cats

Purina Pro Plan Wet Adult Weight Management. The food is rich in proteins and well-balanced diet that supports the growth and development of your cat. The food according to Maine lovers also boosts the immunity of the cats.

IAMS Purrfect Delights Adult Wet Cat Food. The pate-style wet canned food comes in four different flavors, turkey, chicken salmon, and tuna.it is gluten-free, with no dairy products and it is free of soy for thus catering for cats that could allergic to gluten and dairy.

“I and love and you” All-Natural Canned Cat Food. The food according to owners of Maine Coon Cats is all natural and offers a choice of different natural meat ingredients.

Best Dry Maine Coon Kitten Food

ROYAL CANIN Kitten dry cat food.This food is designed to support the kittens developing digestive, immune and dental systems.

Purina Beyond Natural Dry Cat Food. This food is free of allergens such as soy gluten and preservatives that could cause havoc to your kitten.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food. This food gives cat owners the choice of pea, chicken and green pea and salmon.

Are the Maine Coon Specific Foods Much More Expensive?

maine coon eatingThe cost of buying the food that meets the requirements of Maine Coon Cats are a bit higher than those of other cats, prepare to dig deeper into your pockets. The high-quality animal proteins that are used to manufacture this food partly explains the higher prices.

Another factor is the components of the food that is high protein content with low carbohydrates, and when all the filler content is reduced in the cat food, the prices tend to go higher. But you don’t have to worry since a well-balanced nutritional plan will keep your cat healthy, and I am sure you want to see you little-furred friend happy all the time too.

Conclusion

With their huge bodies which make them the largest feline, Maine Coon Cats require a diet which is filled with proteins for growth. Maine Coon Cats are prone to weight issues which arise and thus are likely to develop complications such as diabetes. Feeding them with a low carbohydrates high proteins helps to keep their weight checked.

When choosing the kind of food to feed your cat, it will be of great importance to consider allergy causing ingredients that could cause havoc to your cat. Knowing the right portions to feed your cat at different life stages is essential for proper health.

Here’s a helpful video;

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