To properly feed Maine Coon, you need to study the characteristics of the breed. Given the needs of the breed, you need to decide what to feed Maine Coon, that is, choose between ready-made feed, natural and mixed diet.
Maine Coon - breed features
Maine Coons are considered the largest thoroughbred cats. Having studied the features of the breed in advance, you can prepare to draw up an optimally balanced diet and possible health problems.
Common Maine Coon issues include:
- Ophthalmic ailments of a hereditary nature.
- Sensitivity of the skin and digestion.
- Delayed change of primary teeth.
- Intestinal inversion.
- Pregnancy and childbirth.
Inversion of the intestine is considered to be a canine pathology, but some large cats are also prone to it. Factors that provoke a dangerous condition include stress, activity immediately after eating, overfeeding and diet from inappropriate feeds.
Maine Coons remain kittens for a relatively long time. Representatives of the breed become adults at 1.5-2 years of age.
The relatively slow development and formation does not harm the pet in any way, quite the contrary. The owner has more time to track the condition of the ward and adjust the diet.
Choosing a place and utensils for feeding
For the quickest adaptation in the new house, the feeding and rest area should be equipped before the kitten moves. Choosing a place and utensils for feeding plays an important role, especially if your house already has pets.
Maine Coons eat slowly, thoughtfully, so a novice kitten needs to be fed separately from other pets. The kid should feel comfortable and safe, at least until he begins to assert his own rights.
To provide the kitten with comfort, give preference to stainless steel or ceramic bowls. Steel bowls are lightweight, so it is best to place them on a stand. In addition, the place to eat is best covered with a small rubberized rug that is easy to clean and prevents slipping.
How to feed Maine Coon - the choice of the type of diet
Determining what to feed Maine Coon, you need to make a choice of three possible diets:
Each type of diet has advantages and disadvantages for both the owner and the pet. Naturally, the owner must act in the best interest of the cat. It is important to remember that until the age of one year, the type of diet of a kitten is better not to change. Changing the type of feeding is acceptable after a period of adaptation in the new house or when changing the wrong diet.
Unlike most cats, Maine Coons prefer a taste variety of food. Even adult representatives of the breed with great pleasure consume a variety of foods.
Maine Coon's Natural Diet Means:
- Feeding raw and cooked foods in pure and mixed form.
- Feeding exclusively raw foods.
- Feeding semi-finished products of home production.
The benefits of a natural diet:
- The ability to provide a pet with a diverse, healthy diet.
- Quality control and freshness of products.
- The ability to adjust the calorie intake depending on the activity of the pet and the season of the year.
- Significant reduction in risks associated with sensitivity of the digestive system.
Disadvantages of a natural diet:
- Food for the pet must be prepared separately and regularly, and this takes a lot of time.
- Even the highest quality products do not compensate for the pet's needs for vitamins and minerals, so the kitten should receive feed additives.
- Natural food spoils quickly, so it cannot be left in an automatic feeder.
Maine Coon kitten can be transferred to a natural diet from 1-1.5 months of age. For large, late-growing cats, a slight delay in the transition to an adult diet is characteristic.
Industrial feed is an excellent and sometimes the only alternative for owners who do not have enough time to prepare food for a pet. However, prepared feeds are far from always useful.
Finished feed is divided into types:
- Dry - granules.
- Semi-moist - pieces with gravy or jelly.
- Wet - paste or paste.
The type of feed is an important criterion, but its quality is fundamental. For the convenience of owners, the quality of feed is indicated by classes:
- Super premium.
The higher the feed class, the more expensive it is. Super-premium and holistic classes are suitable for Maine Coon feeding. If the pet is healthy and does not have a tendency to any genetic pathologies, it can be fed daily, high-quality food.
If the kitten has chronic health problems, including hereditary ones, it must be fed with products for animals with specific needs:
- Supportive, preventive, therapeutic feed.
- Products for exhausted kittens and adult animals.
Benefits of finished feed:
- Time saving.
- High-quality feeds contain a basic complex of vitamins and minerals.
- Dry feeds are stored for a long time.
- It’s easy to calculate your daily feed intake.
Disadvantages of finished feed:
- Relatively high cost.
- The risk of buying fake feed.
- Monotonous diet.
Maine Coon kittens begin to be fed soft industrial feeds from a month old. If the kitten is deprived of maternal care, it must be fed an industrial substitute for cat milk. Transfer to dry food is made after a complete change of milk teeth.
A mixed diet involves making a menu of industrial and natural feeds. It is important to remember that the digestive system of a pet is much more sensitive than that of a person. Cats cannot digest food of a different structure, even if they ate it at different times. Part of the food is not digested in the intestines of the pet.
The process of decay leads to the extinction of colonies of friendly bacteria and their replacement by pathogenic microflora. As a result, the cat develops dysbiosis, as a result of which chronic indigestion, diarrhea, and constipation are observed.
A mixed diet is acceptable only in some cases. For example, if canned high-quality feed is added to natural food. Temporary mixing of the diet is the stage of transferring a cat from natural to industrial feeding.
Sample menu by age for Maine Coon
To calculate your physical and financial capabilities, you need to make a sample menu by age. Remember that Maine Coons grow up more slowly than other cats, so it is advisable not to change the type of diet until 1-1.5 years of age.
Note! An economy-class feed ration, an unbalanced natural diet and allergies are good reasons for a drastic change in diet.
Up to a month
At the age of one month, kittens are under the constant care of their mother. If the cat does not have enough milk or the kittens are deprived of maternal care, they are artificially fed.
- Goat milk diluted with boiled water.
- Scott's mix for kittens.
- Tiling mix for kittens.
- Substitute of cat's milk.
- From 1.5-2 weeks - infant formula "from 0" (without additives and sugar).
The daily norm of food for Maine Coon under the age of one month varies from 50 to 70 ml., It depends on the number of babies in the litter, individual characteristics and dimensions.
Number of feedings under the age of a month:
- From birth to 2 weeks - every 2 hours, a total of 10 times a day.
- From 2 to 4 weeks - every 2-3 hours, a total of 8 times a day.
When artificially feeding Maine Coon kittens, it is better to adhere to the schedule! Usually, veterinarians recommend feeding kittens on demand, focusing on their concern. Most Maine Coon kittens are phlegmatic, so they can remain silent and remain little active, even in a state of hunger.
At 1 month old, Maine Coon kittens open their eyes, but they are in no hurry to leave the nest. Depending on the number of babies in the litter and the fat content of the mother’s milk, the introduction of supplementary feeding can be delayed up to 1.5-2 months of age. If the kittens are active, they are interested in new smells and the study of the outside world, supplementation is administered at the age of one month.
- Maternal milk.
- Whole goat or cow milk.
- Low-fat beef broth.
- Minced boiled mixed with broth and homemade meat paste.
• Cat milk substitute or infant formula.
• In case of stunted growth - paste for exhausted kittens.
Serving size depends on the pace of formation, development and weight gain. The daily food norm ranges from 60-100 gr.
Number of feedings: 6-7 times a day, excluding breast milk.
At 2 months, all kittens from the litter should begin to feed. If some of the kids look too phlegmatic and are not interested in the outside world, it is wiser to consult a veterinarian. Due to natural phlegm, many inexperienced breeders miss developmental pathologies.
- Mother's milk or natural substitute.
- Whole milk is cow or goat.
- Calcined Curd.
- Dairy products.
- Minced boiled (finely chopped).
- Shredded, raw, processed with boiling water or previously frozen, meat (beef).
• Cat milk substitute or infant formula.
• Canned food for kittens.
The daily food intake depends on body weight and ranges from 80-120 gr.
The number of feedings is from 5 to 6 times a day, excluding consumed breast milk.
At 3 months, the kittens move to a new home, which is accompanied by extreme stress. In addition, babies should receive primary vaccination and prevention of worms. Against the background of stress, the kitten's appetite may deteriorate and weight gain will slow down - this is a normal body reaction that does not require intervention. It will take 10-14 days to adapt, during this period it is not advisable to change the usual feeding schedule and pet diet.
- Mother's milk or its substitute.
- Whole milk, fermented milk products, calcined cottage cheese.
- Minced boiled, raw, chopped meat.
- The broth is non-greasy, clean or with an egg.
- Raw quail eggs or chicken yolk. Can be mixed with cottage cheese.
- Grated carrots, a little green apple.
- Cat milk substitute or infant formula.
- Canned food for kittens.
- Semi-moist food for kittens.
Serving size remains unchanged, but due to increased nutritional value, the baby stays full longer.
Number of feedings: 5-6 times a day.
At 4-6 months, Maine Coon kittens begin to be actively interested in the outside world, play, communicate with the owner and other pets. At this stage, it is important to encourage the pet's interest in everything new, including unusual products.
- Whole milk, fermented milk products, cottage cheese - in large quantities.
- Boiled and raw meat without fat and bones - beef, veal, rabbit.
- Oceanic fish, non-greasy - crushed, boiled cleaned from bones or after deep freezing.
- Beef or poultry offal, boiled, chopped.
- Chicken, quail eggs - raw, boiled, scrambled eggs (without oil). Can be mixed with vegetables or dairy products.
- Vegetables - raw, grated.
- Semi-moist feed.
- Soaked dry food.
The daily norm of food for Maine Coon at the age of 4-6 months ranges from 100-160 gr. The number of feedings at the age of 4-6 months: 4-5 full meals and 1-2 snacks.
6 months to 1 year
From 6 months to 1 year of age, Maine Coon kittens are considered adolescents, are in the stage of active growth and need an enhanced diet. During this period, the pet will actively acquire life experience and study the outside world, therefore, in addition to a balanced diet, it must be provided with sufficient physical and intellectual stress.
- Meat - beef, poultry, rabbit.
- Meat offal - beef, poultry.
- Homemade milk.
- Sour-milk products - any, better than home-made.
- Fish and seafood.
- Broths are fish, meat.
- Chicken, quail eggs.
- Raw vegetables.
- Fruits are not sweet, little by little (as a source of vitamins).
- Greens, grass.
- Cereals - only with increased activity, growth retardation and obvious non-saturation of the diet without cereals.
- Until a complete change of teeth (7-8 months) - wet and semi-moist food for large breed kittens, soaked dry food.
- After a complete change of teeth - 75% of dry and 25% of wet or semi-moist food.
Serving size gradually increases, then, at the age of 8-9 months - decreases and stabilizes. The final daily intake of food is formed individually and ranges from 180 to 260 grams.
The number of feeds is gradually reduced to 2-4 times.
Maine Coon Vitamins and Supplements
When choosing natural feeding, it is important to consider that vitamins and supplements must be introduced into the pet's diet. Even the highest quality natural products cannot fully compensate for the needs of a growing organism.
- Meat and bone meal.
- Fish liver, chicken, beef.
- Greens, vegetables, fruits.
- Sunflower oil, olive.
- Brewer's yeast.
- Boiled and raw, soft cartilage.
Pharmacy vitamin supplements:
- Fish fat.
- Tricalcium phosphate feed.
- Omega-3, Omega-6.
- Vitamins of group B.
Taurine is an amino acid involved in the metabolic processes of the body. Cats, unlike dogs, do not synthesize taurine in the process of digesting food, so they should receive it from certain foods or vitamin supplements.
Natural sources of taurine are:
- Chicken heart, liver.
- Beef heart.
- Pork, fat-free ham, after deep freezing.
- Pork liver, heat-treated.
- Ocean fish, mollusks.
- Raw red fish.
- Live yogurt homemade.
- Whole milk.
To simplify the preparation of a balanced diet for your pet, you can purchase special vitamin supplements. Expanded and basic vitamin complexes are sold in veterinary pharmacies and pet stores. For cats, vitamin supplements are usually available in the form of powder or cracker pills.
Water in the diet of a kitten
Water, more precisely its amount in the diet, directly affects the metabolism and the process of hematopoiesis. With dehydration, especially in a kitten, the metabolism slows down and oxygen starvation begins. With natural feeding, the daily water rate is calculated from the ratio of 50 ml per 1 kg of body weight.
If the pet is kept on industrial feeds, the daily water norm increases by 2-3 times.
It is important to remember that a cat should always have a drinker with fresh water. If necessary, place additional bowls in the house, this is especially important in hot weather.
It is important to exclude prohibited foods from the Maine Coon diet:
- Bones, clean fat, skin, especially birds.
- Palm oil.
- Grapes, raisins.
- Juicy and sweet fruits.
- Corn and semolina.
- Raw freshwater fish.
- Dry, salted fish.
- Products containing sugar or its substitutes, xylitol (chewing gum, some sweets), flour or yeast, caffeine, cocoa, any stimulants (sweets, tea, coffee, chocolate), marinades, salt, spices.
- Smoked products, including sausages, balyks, fish.
- Expired Products.
- Leftovers from the table.
- Dog food.
Controversial foods in the Maine Coon diet are:
- Steam pork is a source of helminths and false rabies.
- Raw ocean fish are a source of helminths.
- Whole milk is a risk of individual intolerance.
- Chicken eggs are an allergen.
- Factory chicken - the risk of allergies and individual intolerance.
- Raw and boiled chicken liver in large quantities.
Unfortunately, among Maine Coons, allergies and animals that suffer from digestive sensitivity are common. All products that can provoke an allergy must be introduced into the diet gradually. Cereals are introduced into the diet of a kitten only if necessary - underdevelopment, lack of weight.