As an owner of Maine Coon cats, it is so frustrating! You get offered a free sample of food so you decide to try it out on your little furry friends. They gulp it down in about 30 seconds and you’re happy that you’ve found a new food that you can use. You immediately buy 5 boxes.
You get home and are excited to treat them with their new food and look forward to seeing their little faces purr away as they munch into it. You put it onto their plates, they walk up to it, give it a sniff and slowly walk off. What just happened? You try again the next day but only get a look of disgust and contempt from your Maine Coons.
Does this just happen to me or everyone? Well, if you have the same problem – let me help you with this one.
Are Maine Coons fussy eaters? The Maine Coon cat is no more of a fussy eater than any other domesticated cat. Fortunately, fixing this problem is relatively straight forward but it is up to you, the owner, to fix this, not the Maine Coon!
Are all cats fussy eaters?
Truth be told, yes all cats can be fussy when they want to be and it certainly isn’t restricted to Maine Coons! However, cats naturally aren’t that fussy. Domestic cats share a lot of similarities with wild cats and you wouldn’t find one of these turning their nose up at a little shrew. When they can get food – they eat it. Well, maybe after playing with it for a bit first!
The problem isn’t with your Maine Coon though – it’s with you. Let’s take a look at why this is.
Why are cats fussy eaters?
The first thing to remember is that your Maine Coon doesn’t see food in the same way that we do. If we had to eat the same thing day after day, it would soon get boring – whether it contained everything we needed in it or not. But then for us, we don’t just eat because we need to, we eat because we want to. Can you see us just consuming a few tablets each day with all the sustenance we need to keep alive as you see on some cartoons? No – we want to eat nice things and enjoy the process.
So, anyway – I digress, but the point I’m making is that your Maine Coon is really no different from any other domesticated cat. Well, at least in their eating habits. What they consume is directly related to what we provide them of course so if your Maine Coon is being fussy you need to look at your habits, not theirs.
Maine Coons will only usually be fussy eaters if we, as owners, chop and change their eating habits too much. I know this as I’ve done it and paid the consequences! But it is fixable, as you will see later.
Simply put, if you regularly change their food and their eating schedule then you will most likely have a fussy Maine Coon. If you don’t – you won’t.
Can I stop my Maine Coon from being a fussy eater?
Yes, you can stop your Maine Coon from being a fussy eater. The good news is that at least on paper, it’s quite simple. The bad news is, your Maine Coon may not have the same enthusiasm to fix this as you!
There are two things you need to do to prevent your Maine Coon from being a fussy eater, they are:
- Find food that your cat will eat. This can be a brand with variety and can include a dry food plus an evening ‘treat’.
- Stick to the same schedule.
So, you see – you really don’t have to be that strict. Buy a variety box of wet food plus a dry food and provide them with this on a daily basis. Give them food in the morning and in the afternoon.
In the evening, we give ours pure fish. We buy it frozen from the supermarket and cook it at 1800 every day. There is nothing added to it, just pure fish and one portion each.
Then, you stick to it, day after day at the same time with the same food. Does this mean you can’t ever change their diet? Of course not! You may decide, for whatever reason, that you want to change this after some time. Do so. But the point here is not to keep chopping and changing it every few days.
Is it a problem if my Maine Coon is a fussy eater?
Not really, I mean it’s not really the end of the world, is it? However, it can both be an inconvenience for you and also a worry that your Maine Coons aren’t happy with what you’re providing them.
But remember we mentioned earlier that cats don’t think about food the same way that we do? It’s true and they won’t love you any less just because you’re not rotating their food every two days!
But when does it become a problem? Your Maine Coon being a fussy eater is only a problem when one of the following two problems exist:
- It becomes a problem for you due to the expense of continually trying new foods and the time (and stress) it takes to do this.
- It becomes a problem for your Maine Coon as they are becoming thin and acting differently.
Certainly, if you suspect the latter then don’t waste any time and speak to your Vet about what you’ve tried, how they’ve responded and what you can do about it.
If either of these points become a reality – it is of course time to make some changes. A lot of people wonder if the Maine Coon has a particularly sensitive stomach – we wrote about this here if you want to take a look (opens in a new window).
What if my Maine Coon won’t eat their food?
The first thing to consider is whether there are any health problems with your Maine Coon. You’ll most likely instinctively just know that something isn’t quite right.
Is your Maine Coon sniffing the food and then walking off or do they show no interest in food at all? If it is this and they have less energy than before and are spending more time sleeping – something isn’t quite right.
You need to be careful here and ensure they are drinking. It doesn’t take long for a cat to go downhill health-wise and if they are not drinking you need to seem professional help as soon as possible.
However, if they are sniffing the food and then walking away then you can try just leaving it to see if they eat it eventually. If they are hungry and healthy, they may just eat it later in the day when they’re more hungry.
How long you leave the food out depends on your environment. In hotter climates, you need to be careful with flies but generally speaking, you can leave the food out for most of the day.
This is one of the advantages of dry food. You can leave it out a lot longer than wet food!
My advice is this. If your Maine coon is just sniffing the food and walking off, leave it out and see if they have it later. If, after several hours they don’t – replace it with a fresh one and see what happens then.
It’s frustrating wasting food in this way but your Maine Coon needs to know that you’re not just going to replace the food immediately if they don’t fancy it. Over time, things will improve.
So, are Maine Coons fussy eaters? Not any more so than any other cat! Remember, the onus is on you, the owner – not them. It is up to you to fix this problem and unless you change something – your Maine Coon will continue to be fussy.