Maine Coons are known for their stunning good looks and elegant long fur. Notably bigger than your average domestic housecat, and certainly much fluffier, it may seem like your Maine Coon is shedding considerably. Maine Coons, originating in Maine, were bred to withstand harsh winters, hence their magnificent and regal coats. With this beautiful and luxurious coat comes a lot of fur, which is certain to lead to shedding!
What is Shedding?
Shedding is a normal and natural process all cats go through on a daily basis. It’s the result of their natural fur growth cycle. Much like we shed hair when we brush, shampoo, or simply go about our days, cats shed hair when they groom themselves or take a nap. If you’ve ever watched your cat hack up a hairball, that’s a result of them shedding. As unpleasant as it is, all that fur comes from shedding!
According to Daily Paws, how much your cat sheds depends on how much sunlight they get in a day. This is known as a photo period. Indoor cats that are exposed to either consistent heat or air conditioning can shed more than an outdoor cat, since artificial temperatures can confuse the natural shedding process.
Why Do Cats Shed?
According to Zoetis Petcare, shedding is the natural, biological process of the body ridding itself of dead hair and releasing natural oils. Even if your cat is grooming itself, there is still fur to be missed that will fall out naturally. Regardless of how well your cat grooms themselves (and cats are very self-conscious groomers), shedding is inevitable across breeds.
Do Maine Coons Shed More Than Other Breeds?
Generally, long-haired cats, such as the beloved Maine Coon, shed more than their short-haired counterparts, simply due to them having more fur. Since they’re bigger than the average housecat and have more fur, shedding can seem constant with the Maine Coon. However, it’s suspected that most domesticated house cats shed a similar amount. Though it may seem like they shed a lot (and they certainly can, as most cats do), rest assured that your Maine Coon’s shedding isn’t particularly more so than other breeds.
The Maine Coon Coat
The Maine Coon cat’s coat is one of many reasons people adore this stunning breed! Maine Coons do have an undercoat – a layer of small hairs that grow close to the skin – as most cats do. Maine Coons have a double coat. The double coat is made up of the undercoat and guard hairs. Since the Maine Coon was bred to withstand harsh winters, the double coat keeps them warm. Double coats don’t result in more shedding than single coated cats, but the fur may be more noticeable on a Maine Coon, due to the sheer mass and length of it.
How to Minimize Your Maine Coon’s Shedding
While Maine Coons don’t necessarily shed more than the average housecat, their fur can certainly be more noticeable on your clothes and furniture! According to Maine Coon Central, here are some tips for how to minimize your Maine Coon’s shedding:
- Brushing your Maine Coon can certainly help with minimizing shedding. Allocating a few minutes a day to brush your cat can help regulate the amount of fur that pops up around the house. While your Maine Coon may be fabulous at grooming themselves, brushing can help grab any flyaways or additional fur embedded in their undercoat.
- Bathing your Maine Coon once a month can help remove the bulky buildup of fur that would otherwise present itself on your couch or pants! If your Maine Coon hates being bathed, try enticing them with treats and use a gentle stream of water to avoid overwhelming them.
- Focus on a diet rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to keep their coat luscious, long, and healthy. Also, make sure they’re drinking enough water.
Cat Shedding Season
On average, cats shed twice per year: in spring, to ditch their heavier winter coat, and in fall, to prepare for their winter coat, according to Daily Paws. This seasonal shedding is totally normal, especially if your Maine Coon has indoor and outdoor access. It’s a sign that your Maine Coon’s coat is adjusting to the seasons. Brushing your Maine Coon to remove any excess fur during the shedding season can prevent them from getting hairballs! According to the ASPCA, indoor cats shed all year round, while cats with outdoor access have two major shedding periods a year.
How to Clean Up Your Maine Coon’s Fur
Vacuums, lint rollers, and a simple broom and dustpan can help tremendously to remove fur around the house. Vacuuming areas where your Maine Coon normally naps can help dispose of shedding. Lint rollers come in handy if your Maine Coon gets fur all over you during a cuddle session. A simple broom and dustpan cane remove buildup on the floor and around the house. Be sure to regularly wash your cat’s bedding to remove excess oils and fur.
When Shedding Becomes Concerning
If your Maine Coon begins shedding more than what you consider normal, it’s time for a trip to the vet, especially if they’re biting at their skin or excessively scratching. According to the ASPCA, excess shedding can be a result of:
- Poor diet
Take your Maine Coon to the vet immediately if you suspect any of the aforementioned issues. Bald patches and excess hair loss can be a symptom of something more serious.
While Maine Coons may seem like more work due to their sheer size and thick coat, rest assured that their laid back personality and domesticated genes make them no different in terms of maintenance compared to other breeds. If you’re afraid of fur floating around your house, you won’t have to worry about that with a Maine Coon! Their grooming needs are typical of most cats and a simple veterinary recommended brush or fine-tooth comb can help. With these tips, hopefully your Maine Coon won’t shed as much around the house!