How to Take Care of a Maine Coon – Your Guide 2020

Maine coons are cats with excellent long hair and bushy tails. Aside from their friendly attitude, they are generally great in catching mouse which makes them a good pet. Yet, they also demand proper care to maintain their health and happiness. That’s why it is very important to know the proper ways on how to take care of a Maine coon.

As we go along, we will share to you a basic guideline on the proper way of taking care of a Maine coon. So, if you want to give this fabulous cat breed a comfortable life, let’s check the guideline below.  

Basic Ways on How to Take Care of a Maine Coon

Generally, taking care of a Maine coon involves different aspects affecting their overall wellness. As a pet owner, you need to give attention to their feeding habits, grooming, comfort, and health. Below are the ways on how to take care of a Maine coon based on these four major aspects:

How to take care of a Maine coon based on their feeding habit

Like humans, all pets, including the Maine coon, must be fed and provided with proper diet and appropriate nutrition that they need. Basically, one primary way on how to take care of a Maine coon is to feed them properly. Take a look below on the simple guideline in giving the appropriate nutrition to your Maine coon.

1. Offer a cat food made of premium quality ingredients

In order for them to maintain their health, the Maine coon demands high-quality cat food. Basically, when looking for cat food, choose something that is generally intended and formulated for cats. In case, the Maine coon require any special diet based on the vet’s recommendation, it is actually better to ensure that the cat food you choose complies with those requirements.

how to take care of a maine coon
Image courtesy of The Happy Cat Site

Moreover, try to check the label of the cat food and look for the ingredients. See if taurine is included in the list of the ingredients. Keep in mind that cats need taurine, an essential amino acid, in their diet. Also take note that if taurine or any required nutrients are insufficient in the cat’s diet, they can basically acquire heart and eye problems.

2. Establish a feeding schedule

Another way on how to take care of a Maine coon based on their feeding is to feed them regularly. Yet, you just need to have a concrete feeding plan for your Maine coon. Generally, packages of cat food provide how much food you should feed to your cat every day. You can basically use this amount as a reference in establishing Maine coon’s feeding schedule.

Actually, cats want to feed on smaller meals which mean that they will definitely eat the provided cat food if it is given in separate meals. Knowing this, it is highly ideal to divide the total daily meal of your Maine coon into two portions. Eventually, let your Maine coon eat these portions on 8 to 12-hour basis.

3. Give them lots of clean water

Among the other cat breeds, Maine coons are the ones who generally love water. They are really fond to do everything with the water. That’s why it is not actually surprising if you see them splashing on the lake. Aside from that, Maine coons are normally seen to have a quick bath and pat water from their water bowls.

Basically, if you allow them, the Maine coon will actually take the opportunity to cover the floors with water. Some pet owners having Maine coon are buying a cat fountain to provide water for this pet cat. Actually, the unstoppable flow of water from the fountain guarantees that your Maine coon is drinking fresh water.

Bear in mind that Maine coons require an accessible source of freshwater most of the time. In case you are using a water bowl, just ensure that it is always clean. As much as possible, clean it daily and replace the water in it with a fresh and clean one. Additionally, do not ever put the water bowl and food bowl close to the litter box as they do not want to eat and drink near that box.

4. Provide them with some treats

Just like dogs, giving treats to a Maine coon also means providing them with rewards. It is actually ideal to always keep cat treats available at all times. But, always remember that you do not give too many treats to your Maine coon as it may result in obesity.

As much as possible, limit the treats to at least 5% of the Maine coon’s daily food consumption. Basically, consider going after cat treats that can support cleaning the cat’s teeth while chewing. In conjunction with the regular tooth brushing, this kind of cat treats may aid in maintaining their dental health.

How to take care of a Maine coon depending on their grooming needs

Generally, Maine coons are very popular for having a long and excellent fur. Although their luscious hair is very attracting to the eyes of many, it is still good for the pet owners to know the proper way on how to take care of a Maine coon’s hair regularly. It is also advisable to groom the Maine coon on a once a week basis.

WINTER GROOMING SESSION

It is normal to have a wet and damp environment during the winter. Because of this, it is really essential to groom this kind of cat frequently based on the proper way on how to take care of a Maine coon. This is due to the fact that the damp weather may damage their hair.

1. Brush the fur of the Maine coon every day

Because of the thick coat and long hair of the Maine coon, they basically require maintenance. Compared to other cat breeds, the coats of the Maine coon are generally oilier which makes their grooming be scheduled on an occasional basis. Moreover, for a tangle-free Maine coon’s coat, consider brushing it once per week.

Brushing this cat as part of the way on how to take care of a Maine coon only involves the use of a stainless steel comb. Focus on running the comb-over their tail and tummy because these are the parts where the hair easily gets matted. Moreover, different cat brushes are widely available over the market which suits for various purposes including brushing of the Maine coon’s hair. However, among the others, the types of brushes below are the ones good for use for Maine coon and at the same time provide great value for money.

DESHEDDING BRUSH – This type of cat brush is highly excellent to remove any excess and loose hair from the thick fur of the Maine coon. It acts by hooking the shed hair from the Maine coon’s coat and remove it gently.

GENTLE CAT BRUSH – The ultra-soft silicone pins are the primary part of this brush for cats that do not cause harm or damage to the cat’s skin. Using this cat brush also allows your Maine coon to have a full body massage along the way.

SALON GROOMING BRUSH – Maine coon really love the feeling of using this brush even though its appearance is not impressive at all. It is very basic but it works effectively for taking care of the Maine coon’s hair.

2. Trim the claws of the Maine coon

The Maine coon can actually cut down their claws naturally by scratching on something. However, as a pet owner, it is still your responsibility to trim their claws every now and then. Besides, this is also one of the crucial parts on how to take care of a Maine coon.

The recommended trimming schedule for the Maine coon’s claws is once every three weeks. This is actually ideal to prevent their claws to grow longer. Moreover, in trimming, always remember not to trim the pink part of the Maine coon’s claws.

It is important to take note not to use scissors in trimming the claws but consider using a guillotine-style pet nail trimmer instead. You could also take your Maine coon to the vet or pet groomer to have a nail trim if you decide not to do it yourself.

CAT SCRATCHING POST

Another beneficial way on how to take care of a Maine coon depending on their grooming is to buy a big cat scratching post or a tree may do. This is actually of great help to your cat because it allows them to maintain the good condition of their claws. Aside from that, the scratching post may also be advantageous in reducing the probability of cat’s scratching on your furniture.

how to take care of a maine coon

However, when you are already decided to buy a cat scratching post, make sure that it is strong enough and sturdy. Remember that your Maine coon will grow significantly while becoming too strong and highly powerful. Do not buy a small cat scratching posts as they are generally unsuitable for the needs of your cat.

If ever you do not have enough budget on buying a cat scratching post or you have a creative mind in doing some DIY, then you could try making one. By making use of corrugated cardboard or any wooden posts wrapped with some ropes, you already have a great scratching post for your Maine coon.

Consider placing some of these within the house and if you caught him scratching on something, simply pick him up and take him on these scratching post. Moreover, it is also helpful to rub some catnip around the scratching post as it may generally attract the Maine coon.

3. Clean the teeth of your Maine coon

Basically, the dental problem is one of the most common health-related issues a Maine coon may experience. That’s why it is also better if you will regularly brush his teeth. Once a day brushing of the Maine coon’s teeth may help to maintain its health.

Just ensure to use a toothbrush and toothpaste generally intended for Maine coons. Remember that the toothpaste for humans has fluoride which is a toxic substance to cats so avoid using it to them.

4. Provide the Maine coon a bath

Since Maine coon really loves to play on the water, definitely, they also love to take a bath. Knowing this, bathing, as a way on how to take care of a Maine coon, could never be a difficult task. Actually, regular bathing is not a requirement for the Maine coon, but if he becomes dirty and needs to have a bath, and then give him one.

Moreover, bathing may generally aid in maintaining the cleanliness of the cat’s long thick hair. In addition to that, this way on how to take care of a Maine coon may also remove extra dander as well as the dead hair. Also take note that when it comes to bathing a Maine coon, ensure that doing this should not be more than once a month.

Another important thing to remember is to use shampoos that are only applicable to the cat’s use. Be very precise with this as human shampoos have chemicals that might be too harsh for the Maine coon. However, choosing the best shampoo for the Maine coon can be generally challenging due to the wide range of commercially available at shampoos out there. So, better make a thorough search and make sure that the cat shampoo you choose will help in maintaining the good condition of your Maine coon’s coat.

CAT ALLERGIES

One of the most common misleading health-related cat issues is cat allergies. Generally, there are lots of people thinking that the cause of their allergy is the cat hair. But, in fact, the cat dander or the dead skin cells of the cat is the main cause of their allergy.

On a regular basis, the dander sheds off and may be caught on the Maine coon’s fur most of the time. This may generally be the reason why people say that their allergy is due to the cat’s hair. So, giving a Maine coon a bath will help in the reduction of symptoms of allergy sufferers. The washing will generally take away the cat’s dander and eliminates the extra hair of the cats that are within the dander.

How to take care of a Maine coon by providing them comfort

Actually, to have a well-balanced life, a Maine coon also needs some time of relaxation and entertainment. By providing them with this kind of comfort as part of the way on how to take care of a Maine coon will basically let them enjoy their cat’s life to the fullest.

1. Invest some of your time with your Maine coon

The Maine coons are really fond of being around with humans. Because of this, you must ensure that will have to provide the social needs of your Maine coon. Actually, the Maine coon will also try to follow you inside the house and even try to be a part of your daily activities. That’s why it is very important to put some of your time in sitting and petting your Maine coon.

It is also important to play games with this cat breed on an everyday basis. Keep in mind that Maine coons love to be with their human buddies. So, setting time to play with them will make the bond between you and the Maine coon stronger.

BUYING A CAT TOWER

A cat tower is basically a good toy for your Maine coon. Having this around will help your cat to have some fun at different levels. However, buying for this cat toy must need you to consider the size requirement of your cat in the future.

Aside from that, be very keen in looking for this kind of cat product in the market as most of the available cat towers in the market are generally small for the full size of the Maine coon. Moreover, look for cat towers that will not necessitate you for its upgrading on a larger size once your cat grows bigger.

WALKING ON A LEASH

Most pet owners take out their Maine coon to have a walk on a leash. Basically, walking out with your Maine coon on a leash is one good way of giving your cat an exercise. This is very much suitable for Maine coons that tend to be lazy. However, this idea of providing comfort and entertainment to your cat must be introduced to them during their kittenhood so that the probability of success is highly achievable.

CAT PROOFING

Some pet owners petting the Maine coon inside their house premises usually cat-proof their gardens. This is generally for the reason of providing safety for your cat as he roams around freely within the garden. Additionally, cat proofing is another great way on how to take care of a Maine coon because it encourages them to engage in an outdoor exercise. However, to avoid your Maine coon from escaping, try to have some cat proofing accessories such as the outdoor cat house, mesh balcony, and anti-climb security.

2. Provide mouse-like toys to your Maine coon

One of the most renounced abilities of the Maine coon is there great mouse catching skills. Because of this, it would be better to give them something that will help in stimulating their skills. Consider opting for toys that are steadily stable on the ground. You may try to give them toys like fur mice, ball toys, electronic mouse toys, or a laser pointer towards the ground.

3. Have some litter boxes

Always remember that you need to have available litter boxes generally accessible to your Maine coon. Basically, pour out about two inches of fine-grained clay cat litter over the boxes. It is advisable to scoop the litter boxes every day and replace the litter once every week. Moreover, ensure that the number of your available litter boxes inside the house is greater than the number of your pet Maine coon.

Generally, the Maine coons can easily learn the way of using a litter box if ever you teach them its location. It would be a great help if you take your Maine coon to the litter box so that he will know where it is. The use of a litter box is highly applicable for indoor Maine coons. This would generally reduce the possibility of letting your cat do their business within the garden.

How to take care of a Maine coon based on their health requirement

In order to provide a well-balanced life for the Maine coon, the way on how to take care of a Maine coon needs to consider their health needs. The Maine coons may also experience some health-related issues. So, it is always better to take care of them giving priority on this aspect as well.

1. Let your Maine coon to be spayed or neutered

Generally, you must consider spaying or neutering your cat, especially if you do not want to breed them. Spaying is actually a surgical process of removing the ovaries of the female feline. Meanwhile, neutering is the removal of the testicles of male cats. For most, the spaying and neutering of cats is already a routine which can only be done by a licensed vet.

However, these two processes may offer lots of health benefits for your Maine coon:

  • Prevent unwanted kitten birth
  • Avoid homelessness issues for pets
  • Living a longer and healthier cat’s life
  • Prevent hormonal behavioral concerns
  • Protect the Maine coon from some health-related problems like enlarged prostate, uterine infection, and feline’s cancer
  • Lower the number of unwanted euthanasia for animals to control the population of cats
  • Male Maine coons may turn to be more docile
  • Reduce the cat’s sexual behavior
  • Lesser susceptibility to cat’s fighting within the neighborhood
2. Look for Maine coon’s specific health issues

Even though the Maine coons seem to be healthy and that they can even withstand the harsh winter elements, they are still highly susceptible to some conditions compared to other cat breeds. The Maine coons are susceptible to the following health-related problems:

SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHY

This is actually a hereditary condition which is a type of paralysis affecting the Maine coon kittens. It may generally lead the lifespan of a Maine coon kitten in a shorter period. You may typically notice this genetic condition to your Maine coon when he reaches 3 to 4 months old.

The spinal muscular atrophy is not a painful or fatal disease for cats but it will lead to progressive instability having abnormalities on unsteady posture. Basically, this instability is due to the absence of motor neurons typically located in the lower portion of the spinal cord and muscle atrophy in the hind limbs. In case you observe that the Maine coon is suffering from using the rear legs, better to take him to the veterinarian immediately.

HYPERTROPHIC CARDIOMYOPATHY

Maine coon’s heart wall thickening is known as the hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Regular heart examinations of the Maine coon are required in order to keep track of their heart’s condition.

POLYCYSTCIC KIDNEY DISEASE

There is actually a formation of cysts within the kidney and destroy such organ if the Maine coon is suffering from this condition. It can be detected either with a DNA test or ultrasound.

HIP DYSPLASIA

Generally, larger cats are more susceptible to this kind of condition compared to the smaller breeds. Although this condition may not call for serious concern, this can result in feline’s arthritis which can be painful. Look for the following signs and symptoms of hip dysplasia in your Maine coon:

  • Reduction of activity level
  • Loosening of the joints or laxity
  • Osteoarthritis and degeneration of the joint
  • Do not engage in running, jumping, and climbing
  • Loosening of the muscle mass within the thigh muscles
  • Enlargement of the shoulder muscles
  • The weakness of the hind limb
OBESITY

Generally, the growth rate of the Maine coon is actually slow. As you may notice, most cats may reach their full growth in their two years of age. However, the Maine coon is not able to achieve their full size until their age of 3 to 4 years.

Yet, the drawback of this slow growth rate is the overfeeding of the Maine coon because of the misleading thought of their pet owners that they are not growing that fast. Actually, this mistake will end up to Maine coon’s obesity that must be resolved by a calorie-restricted diet.

3. Have a regular vet visit
how to take care of a maine coon

Since the Maine coons are susceptible to various health problems, it is very crucial for them to have a veterinary visit regularly. This will also help in checking the overall fitness and health of your cat. Aside from that, veterinary check-ups may detect underlying health concerns that the pet owner is not aware of. Moreover, the detection of any unwanted conditions at an early stage will let the treatment to start as soon as possible.

In addition to that, the Maine coons also require vaccinations. Initially, on the very first day of visit at the vet, the cat may undergo a physical exam and will be tested for leukemia in cats. Setting an annual appointment for your Maine coon to the vet basically helps in maintaining the good health of your cat. Perhaps, take him to the veterinarian immediately if you already observe any health-related concerns.

Here are some of the signs that may indicate that your Maine coon requires medical assistance:

  • Difficulty of breathing
  • Hiding
  • Immobility
  • Intense drooling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Profuse vomiting
  • Runny nose
  • Twitching
  • Too much grooming

However, the list above is not a complete list. As a general rule, always take time to visit the veterinarian the moment you observe any misbehavior of your Maine coon.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to take care of a Maine coon is actually a big responsibility as a pet owner. There are actually various aspects of their lives that should be given proper attention in order to give them good health and wellness. Generally, the Maine coon is a fantastic cat breed that is actually distinct and highly irresistible. So, taking care of them is very crucial as it will dictate how they can happily and comfortably live their feline’s life.