Whether you just got a Maine Coon or have been a lifelong owner, you may be wondering how to keep your Maine Coon happy and healthy. We want the best for our pets, always, and being that cats are mysterious creatures, they’re shrouded in mystery. The Maine Coon is no exception. Larger than your average house cat and equipped with a personality larger than life, sometimes it’s hard to decipher what they want and need to feel their best. Here’s a comprehensive guide to keeping your Maine Coon happy and healthy.
A Nutritious Diet and Fresh Water
Diet and water should always be integral to any happy and healthy pet’s diet, but especially your beloved Maine Coon! These darling cats require a high amount of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins A, B, K, and niacin, healthy fats and omega fatty acids, and lots of fresh water. Since a Maine Coon is bigger than your average house cat, they’ll require more food and more water.
To ensure a well-balanced and enriching diet, give your Maine Coon both dry and wet food. You can give your Maine Coon dry kibble in the morning and wet food in the evening. Look for high protein cat foods with minimal to no artificial fillers or additives, this ensures your Maine Coon’s diet is full of the most nutrients possible.
Set up large bowls of water around your home. Maine Coons drink a lot of water, so be sure they always have access to fresh and clean water.
Lots of Playtime and Enrichment
Maine Coons are incredibly social cats that thrive off of playtime and enrichment. Whether it’s a simple catnip toy or a laser toy, Maine Coons are highly intelligent and need physical and mental stimulation. Your Maine Coon adores contact with you and needs playtime to fortify their bond. Maine Coons are driven by social interaction and engaging play.
Play with your cat by using safe cat toys to get them going. Also, enriching activities like creating holes in a shoe box and filling it with cat treats can stimulate their minds – it doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. While Maine Coons are independent like all cats, they do deeply crave human connection and play.
Maine Coons were initially bred to be outdoor cats and meant to withstand harsh winters. Even if your Maine Coon is an indoor cat, they can still benefit from outdoor daily walks! Exercise is vital to this stunning cat breed, since they are bigger than the standard domestic house cat. They require slightly more energy expenditure. Harnessing and leashing up your Maine Coon for a walk around the neighborhood allows them to embrace their inner wild cat and get some exercise!
Since Maine Coons are super social, proper socialization starts in kittenhood and extends into adulthood. Even if your Maine Coon is full grown, they still need to be socialized with people and other animals. This gives them a sense of belonging, security, and confidence. Socialize your Maine Coon by providing them with lots of social outlets. Whether you’re having friends or family over, taking them on an outing, or getting another pet friend for them, they’ll thank you with their darling little chirps!
Scratching Posts Are Essential!
Maine Coons, like most cats, love to scratch! Though you might need a slightly bigger scratch post for these gentle giants, it’s a great investment. Scratch posts naturally engage your cat’s senses. In addition, they also keep their claws trim and clean!
Larger Than Usual Litter Boxes
Cleanliness is important to your Maine Coon, and they are particularly picky about where they go to the bathroom. Investing in larger than usual litter boxes to set up around the house is a wise investment since they’re naturally bigger cats. With this comes a more frequent need to go. Start by setting up at least two litter boxes in your home per Maine Coon. This can help prevent unwanted accidents and gives your Maine Coon ease of access when the time comes to relieve themselves.
Regular Vet Visits
One of the number one things you can do for your Maine Coon is take them to the vet regularly. Sadly, according to Vet Street, Maine Coons are genetically predisposed to certain conditions. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a common heart disease among cats that causes thickening of the heart muscle and can cause sudden death. If your Maine Coon has HCM, you’ll usually be able to tell, since symptoms like lethargy, loss of appetite, difficult breathing, and weakness when moving are present. Immediate medical assistance is required to provide quick, swift, and effective treatment.
Hip dysplasia is another common concern for Maine Coons. Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition where the hip socket is defective. Hip dysplasia is usually noticeable symptomatically, as your Maine Coon might have trouble jumping or playing. The good news is that it can usually be treated with corrective surgery or medication.
Spinal muscular atrophy is another condition common among Maine Coons. It occurs when the spinal cord neurons begin to die off. This leads to muscular degeneration and weakening. Though it isn’t typically painful and cats can go on to live full and fulfilling lives, it can drastically affect your Maine Coon’s ease of mobility and movement.
Brush Their Coat Regularly
Maine Coons capture the hearts of cat lovers around the globe with their regal, luxurious, and stunning coats. According to Purr Craze, Maine Coons have a three layer coat that consists of two layers of undercoat that insulates their body heat, and an external layer called the guard coat. Their coats are part of their domesticated breeding, since they were bred to withstand harsh winters. With this coat comes an extra need for grooming! Though Maine Coons don’t shed any more than other cats, their fur is longer and more noticeable on your clothes and furniture. Regular brushing can help mitigate the amount of hair around the house and keep them properly groomed!
Lastly, Lots of Love!
Last but certainly not least, love is perhaps the most important thing on this list. Maine Coons are adored and revered for their ability to bond hard and love even harder. Snuggling up with your Maine Coon, giving them safe and delicious treats, and taking the time to give them daily pets helps them solidify their bond with you. When you give a Maine Coon all your love, they’ll go to the ends of the earth to make you smile.