The adorable Maine Coon cat is quite different in both physique and personality from most other breeds. Both of these elements are a factor when looking at their dietary habits as you will discover in this post!
I’ve owned Maine Coon cats for over twenty-five years so I know a thing or two about them. They are part of our family and our son, who is now 13 hasn’t known life without them. Spending this much time with them yields a lot of information about them that you won’t find in any ‘manual’.
When it comes to food though, is the Maine Coon different from any other cat? Do they require more food than other cats or actually less? Do they have an insatiable appetite? Let’s take a look…
So, are Maine Coons greedy? The Maine Coon is no more greedy than any other cat. However, you may be surprised as to how much your Maine Coon is eating but this isn’t necessarily related to them being greedy. This is a larger than average cat and they spend a lot more time outside and playing than many other breeds. Therefore, they need more calories than most cats hence why they may need more food than other cats!
Why Maine Coons eat so much
Maine Coons are well-muscled cats which means they burn up a lot of energy without even moving. Couple this with the fact that they are quite active cats and you can start to understand why they appear to eat so much. In reality, Maine Coons eat the amount they require to maintain their weight.
Ideally, you should take the time to calculate how many calories a Maine Coon requires to sustain its weight and feed it this amount divided between 2 or 3 regular meals. If your Maine Coon still seems hungry and especially if it loses any weight but otherwise seems healthy, add a few more calories to its daily allowance.
Bear in mind some Maine Coons will eat more than necessary out of boredom, particularly indoor cats so ensure your Maine Coon has the attention it needs and an enriched environment.
Are all cats greedy?
I think when we start talking about cats and using the word ‘greedy’ we need to take a step back just for a moment. I think it’s fair to say that when we think about cats being greedy it’s not the same as us being greedy. Cat’s don’t think about things in the same way as us of course!
So, what do we mean when we associate a greedy behavior with our Maine Coons? What we are talking about is whether your cat eats anything and everything that it can – not because it needs it, just because it wants it! If this is the case, you could be excused for thinking this is related to the cat being greedy.
If the truth is to be told, no breed of cat is particularly more greedy than the other and they all act broadly the same around food. If there is a problem, it is usually caused by the owner providing too much food (or too little), too frequently (or not frequent enough) and not ensuring that they get enough exercise (yes, you do have a part in this!)
Are Maine Coon cats always hungry?
Maine Coons are not always hungry. Sometimes you may question this, as they sit there staring at you in the kitchen whilst you make yours. But, they are probably just interested in what you’re doing. You see, Maine Coons are highly inquisitive creatures and they demand to know exactly what you’re up to at all times. Don’t even think about going to the bathroom without their knowledge! The below video is our Harry in the bathroom with me…
Given a typical life, where they are fed regularly and given them the amount of time outside as they need, they will be quite content.
However, there may be occasions when the Maine Coon could be more hungry than other cats though, which leads me nicely on to the below…
Why would the Maine Coon be Greedier than other cats?
As you probably know all too well, the Maine Coon is often (but not always) larger than your average cat. Not only this, but they are also often highly active. They will want to spend a lot of time outside hunting and a lot of time inside, playing (with you!).
Therefore, if you combine these two things (larger and being more active) it becomes clear that they will require more calories a day than your average cat. If you’re used to owning regular moggies (I love all cats by the way, not just the Maine Coon!) then you will be used to feeding them a certain amount of food. However, the Maine Coon will require more than this.
So, although you may think your Maine Coon is being greedy – it most likely is not! It just needs a little more food than average to keep its energy levels up.
Can you stop the Maine Coon from being greedy?
I said above that it is most likely the Maine Coon is not being greedy. If there hasn’t been a regular schedule of mealtimes in your household (for you cat, not for your family!) and sometimes a meal was missed then this could have conditioned your Maine Coon to act in a certain way.
When cats don’t know what time their next meal is coming, or whether it will come at all, they will act in a way that they think is necessary to survive. They may try and take on more calories than they actually physically need at that time as they don’t know when their next meal is coming.
It is a matter of self-preservation really and if you imagine a cat in the wild where they are hunting and aren’t sure when their next meal will be (or what it will be) you can see a similarity in behavior. I’m not comparing the
So, how important are regular mealtimes for your Maine Coon? Let’s find out…
The Importance of Regular Food Sessions
Having regular feeding sessions for your Maine Coon can help with a few problems:
- You can easily monitor exactly how much food your Maine Coon is taking on. If you (or your family) are feeding them sporadically, then it makes it very difficult to gauge exactly how much they are getting.
- Your Maine Coon will become familiar with the regular feeding times and they will subconsciously know when the feeding times are.
- The routine will help to keep anxiety levels down in your Maine Coon.
I will say this though. Not having regular feeding times doesn’t mean that you’re definitely setting your Maine Coon up for failure. All cats are individuals. What I’m saying is having regular feeding sessions will most likely be the best option for you – but there are no guarantees!
I have to be honest though at this point – it hasn’t always worked out this way for me. As I said earlier, all cats are individuals and with our most recent two (Harry and Charlie) they seem to do best on a more flexible approach. In the morning, we provide a couple of sachets of food each which keeps them going for a fair few hours.
In the evening, around 5 pm we provide plain, cooked fish (usually Cod). So, we have a pretty fixed routine in the morning and in the evening but during the day we are more flexible and tend to feed them when required. It’s not ideal, but it works with ours.
The Importance of Play Time
This is an important point and related to the subject. Especially with the Maine Coon, it is important that you spend time with them interacting with them and playing. This not only helps to reduce anxiety (both in your cat and you) but it helps to burn some calories!
Try your best to make sure you spend some time with your Maine Coon every day playing with them. This is a very special cat who will want to play for more of their life than most other cats. Make sure you wear them out before you wear out yourself!
Often, people ask this question when their own cat is showing signs of being greedy themselves. So, if your Maine Coon appears to be greedy then don’t look at the cat but look at yourself, your family and your routines. Assess whether you are feeding your Maine Coon at regular times and be sure to not miss any meals!