Most of us like to spoil our cats now and then by giving them a little treat. Sometimes it’s suitable for them and sometimes we are inadvertently poisoning them.
Many human foods are bad for Maine Coon cats so it’s worth taking note of these when planning their meals and treats.
You would be surprised at some of the things that cats are given to eat from time to time. Here is a list of foods you should not give to your Maine Coon if you care about keeping it healthy and at an ideal weight.
21 Foods NOT to give your Maine Coon Cat
These are 21 foods that Maine Coon cats should NOT eat:
1. A Dry Food Only Diet
Maine Coons often conceal the fact that they are overweight under their glorious fur coats. If you happen to feed your cat a dry-food-only diet you may be blissfully unaware of the correct portion size for dry food. You’ll also be shocked at just how many calories it contains.
If your Maine Coon is overweight it could well be down to the amount of dry food it eats. As a comparison, this 3.5-ounce portion of dry food below contains more calories than four 3.5-ounce pouches of wet food.
So in the interest of keeping your Maine Coon in a healthy weight range, give it mostly wet food and just a small portion of dry food each day.
2. Milk and Other Dairy Products
Most people have given their Maine Coon milk or cheese in their lifetime and many offer these things to theirs on a regular basis. While young kittens can digest milk adults can’t.
Once a cat is weaned from its mother’s milk its body stops manufacturing the enzymes that digest the lactose in dairy products.
Basically, weaned cats soon become lactose intolerant and this means undigested milk and other dairy products ferment in their stomachs giving rise to stomach cramps, sickness, and diarrhea.
Maine Coons do not need any dairy products so don’t give them any.
Just as some people can’t wait to give a baby its first taste of chocolate, it seems there are some owners who can’t wait to give it to their Maine Coons as a little treat.
Many people seem aware that chocolate is poisonous to dogs. Well, it can also be poisonous to cats.
The problem is caused by a compound known as theobromine (formerly known as
Theobromine is toxic to cats in certain doses. A small amount may not have any adverse effect but it very much depends on the concentration in the chocolate and the weight of your cat.
It is safer to avoid the risk of poisoning by not giving your cat any chocolate or products containing cocoa.
In worst-case scenarios, theobromine ingestion can be fatal. If your cat eats chocolate (even a small amount or an amount you’re unsure of) do contact your vet as soon as possible for advice.
Chocolate poisoning is usually treated by inducing vomiting and this needs to happen as soon as possible before the poison is digested and absorbed.
4. Too Many Cat Treats
Cat treats are calorie dense. Two or three as a treat are OK but not the whole packet at once.
You might inadvertently be contributing to your Maine Coon becoming overweight and an overweight cat is prone to all sorts of health conditions, and possibly a shorter lifespan. If you love your cat, go easy with treats.
Here is a great selection of treats by Blue Buffalo Wilderness in a variety pack of four flavors.
5. Raw Egg
Don’t give your Maine Coon raw egg. They can contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella.
Also, raw egg whites contain a high level of a vitamin called avidin which can bind to vitamin B7 preventing it from being absorbed by your cat.
Over time, this could leave your cat deficient in B7 which it needs for a healthy coat and claws.
6. Tea and Coffee (caffeine)
Like theobromine, caffeine is just not good for Maine Coons. Avoid giving them tea, coffee, and any substances that contain caffeine.
Be careful to dispose of tea bags and coffee grinds where your cat can’t get access to them.
7. Fizzy Drinks and Soda
These contain citric acid and phosphoric acid which will ruin your Maine Coon’s tooth enamel and can cause stomach upsets.
They can also contain caffeine which, as mentioned above, is not good for cats. The only drink a cat requires is
8. Grapes and Raisins
Just a few grapes or raisins can cause a Maine Coon to become ill and in some cases can lead to kidney failure.
If your cat eats either and then displays signs of stomach pain or vomits repeatedly, visit your vet as soon as possible.
It’s best to completely avoid feeding grapes and raisins to your cat and to ensure you keep them out of its reach.
9. Poor Quality Raw Meat and Raw Fish
You might feed a Maine Coon a raw food diet all its life and never have a problem.
Raw food can contain pathogens (bacteria, viruses, micro-organisms that can cause disease) and parasites. Freezing meat and fish usually kills off parasites, but not always.
Freezing does not kill pathogens. If you feed your cat raw meat or fish, it could contain extremely dangerous bacteria such as E-coli, salmonella,
If your Maine Coon is elderly, or not fit and healthy for any reason, contaminated raw food could have a devastating effect.
Raw meat is fine if it’s from a trusted source. You can see how to buy and make war food further down
10. Fat Trimmed From Meat
It just doesn’t make sense to give Maine Coons fat trimmed from meat. It is high in calories and could easily contribute to them gaining weight, especially if given as a treat alongside their normal daily diet.
A cat’s diet should be high in good quality lean protein not fat. I have seen some claims online that a high-fat diet can cause pancreatitis in cats but have found no scientific studies that confirm this claim.
11. Too Much Liver
Liver is a good source of:
- vitamins (A and B)
- fatty acids
- amino acids
- minerals (copper, iron, niacin, phosphorus,
This is why small amounts of liver are fine in your Maine Coon’s diet.
You should not, however, feed large amounts of liver to them every day as this could lead to a toxic level of vitamin A building up.
12. Onion and Garlic
Onions and garlic contain thiosulphate which can be toxic to Maine Coons. Cooking does not destroy the toxin.
It is rare for cats to eat enough onion and garlic to cause real problems but exposure to concentrated forms of onion, garlic, onion soup mix, garlic powder, and some baby foods could put cats at risk.
The ingestion of too much thiosulphate causes hemolytic anemia – damage to the red blood cells.
13. Cooked Bones
When bones are cooked they become brittle. If you give your Maine Coon a cooked bone to gnaw at the bone may splinter.
If your cat swallows a piece of sharp bone it could become stuck in its throat or damage its intestines.
14. Dog Food
While stealing the dog’s food from time to time won’t cause your Maine Coon any harm, it’s not a good idea to give it to it on a regular basis.
Dogs have different nutritional requirements to cats and so a cat fed regularly on dog food will not be getting all the nutrients it requires.
15. Yeast dough
Be careful where you leave dough to rise. If a cat manages to eat it, many problems may follow – the least being your loaf being spoilt!
If a sufficient amount is ingested by your cat, it will swell in its intestines and stomach causing pain and possibly a blockage. Make sure you cover rising dough and place it out of reach of an inquisitive Maine Coon!
Your Maine Coon may like tuna, especially the tinned stuff we humans eat. A little of it won’t harm them but if you feed human-grade tuna to a cat as a main meal most days then your cat will not get all the nutrients it requires for good health.
Also, some tuna has high mercury levels and this can have an adverse effect on your cat’s health.
17. Foods Containing Gluten
Cats can have an intolerance to gluten. Symptoms include itchy skin, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and asthma.
If you suspect gluten is causing your cat a problem really should get a test carried out by your vet. to be certain.
Avoid feeding your cat human foods containing gluten and ensure your cat’s food itself isn’t high in gluten – some cheap brands can be.
18. Human Medicines
Make sure you keep all medication out of your Maine Coons reach. Cats are not so prone to eating random things as dogs are but you don’t want to take any chances.
Medications such as Ibuprofen, Tylenol, and Aspirin can be extremely harmful to cats. These should never be deliberately administered to a cat as the active ingredient in one small capsule is likely to be toxic to their small bodies.
And remember a cat is likely to lick off anything applied to its body, so don’t be tempted to apply human creams or ointments to their cut paws or dry skin conditions as these may contain ingredients that are harmful when ingested.
Always consult a vet when any medication is required.
Cats cannot tolerate alcohol. Don’t allow your Maine Coon to help itself to a lick of your beer, wine, or any sort of alcohol.
As cute as this may seem at the time, it can all too quickly have dire consequences. If you don’t finish a glass, pour it away so that your cat can’t have a sneaky drink once you’ve gone to bed.
20. Sugary treats
Resist the temptation to give a Maine Coon cake, biscuits, desserts, or anything loaded with sugar. Cats do not need processed sugar and it will help them gain unnecessary weight. It will also harm their teeth.
Don’t forget many of these also contain artificial sweeteners. One of these is Xylitol which is known to cause issues in dogs but does not cause serious problems for cats.
However, artificial sweeteners are not thought to be that healthy for humans, let alone cats.
Cats don’t tend to suffer from nut allergies in the way we do though some people question the safety of macadamia nuts.
These are most definitely toxic to dogs which may be where the concern for their safety with cats comes from. However, there is no record of macadamia nuts posing a danger to cats.
Though they are high in protein, nuts also contain a lot of fat. A cat ingesting too much fat can lead to diarrhea and vomiting. Therefore it’s probably best not to give any type of nuts to your cat.
What do Maine Coon Cats Eat?
Maine Coon cats can eat a combination of wet, raw, and dry cat food, and specifically designed cat treats. There is no need to buy breed-specific food.
The most important aspect of a Maine Coon’s diet is the correct balance of protein and the essential nutrients they require to stay healthy.
How To Make The Best Maine Coon Raw Food Diet
In order to make the truest nutritionally complete homemade Maine Coon cat food, you need just one ingredient: whole prey such as frozen day-old chicks. This is known as the Prey Model Raw diet (PMR).
A Maine Coon diet based on whole prey naturally includes skin, meat protein, organs, and bones. These elements provide all the vitamins and minerals a cat needs to thrive.
If you can’t face feeding your cat whole prey for its dinner, to make a balanced Maine Coon raw diet you should adopt the BARF method.
This acronym stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Feeding, and also Bones and Raw Food. This diet includes a percentage of dairy, fruit, and vegetable.
What Are The Risks of a Raw Maine Coon Diet?
Cats are obligate carnivores and their digestive system is designed to eat raw meat. The highest risk when feeding your Maine Coon a raw food diet comes from pathogens and parasites. However, this risk is minimal when you buy your meat from a reputable supplier.
Salmonella and E. Coli usually only result from an improper slaughter process and poor animal husbandry. Neither of these pathogens should ever exist in meat intended for human or animal consumption.
If you buy meat from a trusted butcher or supermarket, the risk is low. Also, pathogens live on the outer surface of meats, so as a precaution, rinse thoroughly before use.
Avoid using minced meat of any type as the mincing process will mix in any bacteria making it difficult to rinse off.
Freezing raw meat for three days and then defrosting it carefully will destroy any parasites that may be present but this does not kill harmful bacteria.
How To Make Maine Coon Complete Raw Food
Complete raw food contains all the nutrients a Maine Coon needs to develop and thrive.
A complete raw meal for a Maine Coon includes:
- Protein, fat, and carbohydrates from muscle meat
- B vitamins, phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, and iodine from organ meat such as kidney, liver, and heart
- Calcium from uncooked bone
If you choose to follow the PMR model, the proportions are:
- 80% meat
- 10% organ meat (half of this amount must be liver)
- 10% meaty bones
If you choose to follow the BARF model
- 70% meat
- 10% organ meat (half of this amount must be liver)
- 10% meaty bones
- 10% dairy, fruit, or veg
How Much Raw Food Does a Maine Coon Need?
An active adult cat needs to eat the equivalent of 4% of their body weight.
An inactive adult cat only needs to eat 3% of their body weight.
Maine Coon Raw Food Feeding Guide According To Weight and Activity Level
|Maine Coon weight
|Active cat daily allowance
|Inactive cat daily allowance
How Much Raw Food Should Maine Coon Kittens Eat?
Most people recommend free-feeding Maine Coon Kittens until they are 12 to 18 months old. Make a batch of raw food and keep it in the fridge. Give a kitten small portions throughout the day.
Raw food is safer for Maine Coons than many people realize as long as the meat is responsibly sourced. If it’s not for you, choose a good quality prepared cat food. There is no need to buy any breed-specific food either!
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of food is best for Maine Coon cats?
The best food for Maine Coon cats is one that’s high in meat protein, low in fillers, and is labeled as “COMPLETE”. This way you know it contains all the nutrients your Maine Coon needs to thrive.
Some foods are more expensive but this doesn’t always mean they are the best. Beware of expensive food recommended by vets as this is not always the best food for Maine Coons. it’s more likely that the vert is getting a commission from selling it.
Are eggs good for Maine Coon cats?
Eggs are a good source of protein for Maine Coon cats. They aren’t recommended as the only source of protein, but eggs are fine as a supplement to a balanced diet.
Raw eggs should be avoided. It’s estimated that 1 in 20,000 eggs contain salmonella. If this is served uncooked it could make your Maine Coon ill. However, cooking destroys salmonella if it happens to be present.
What raw meat can I give my Maine Coon?
If you choose to raw feed your Maine Coon, you can give them any raw meat as long as it’s been responsibly sourced.
Maine Coons can eat the following raw meats:
However, it is not recommended to give cats raw fish including shellfish.
Do Maine Coons need raw meat?
Maine Coons do not need raw meat, but it is a more natural diet for an obligate carnivore such as a cat. No study has actually shown that raw food is nutritionally superior to cooked cat food so you should feed your cat as you prefer.
That said, a high-quality raw diet is superior to low-quality cooked food, but a high-quality, balanced cooked diet can equally provide all the nutrients a Maine coon needs.
There are several benefits to a well-prepared raw diet including:
- less smelly poos
- healthier teeth from gnawing raw bones
- more nutrition in smaller portions
- no additives and artificial ingredients
Are we sometimes misled about what we should or should not feed our cats? Read my article that looks at common cat food misconceptions and truths