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 21 foods you should not give to your Maine Coon if you care about keeping it healthy and at an ideal weight.
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 yours a dry food only diet you may be blissfully unaware of the correct portion size for dry food and might 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. If you’d like to know what I recommend then it’s this Rachael Ray Nutrish – there’s not much better you can give your cat than this!
2. Milk and Other Dairy Products
Most people have give their Maine Coon milk or cheese in its lifetime and many offer these thing to theirs om 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 is 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 worse 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 contains caffeine. Be careful to dispose of teabags 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. Raw Meat and 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.
Yes, wild and feral cats eat raw meat but they generally have much shorter lifespans. Before going down the raw food diet route do your research thoroughly. I would rather be safe than sorry and stick to cooked products.
10. Fat 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. Large Amounts of 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 raw 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 well 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 gluten – some cheap brands can be.
18. Human Medicines
Make sure you keep all medication out of your Maine Coons reach. Cat’s 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 funny 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 cakes, 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.
The easiest way to ensure your Maine Coon is getting the safest and best diet possible is to stick to high-quality, specially prepared cat food and avoid feeding it anything else.
And give it nothing but water to drink …