We bought two Maine Coon boys 14 years ago. They were almost 5 months old and had been briefly owned by someone else and then returned to their breeder. We will never know exactly why, but from the start they detested us going anywhere near them with a B.R.U.S.H.
When they were kittens their fur seemed to maintain itself but things changed as they grew. Many people claim that a Maine Coons coat is low maintenance so let’s answer the popular question: Do Maine Coons need to be groomed?
Maine Coons definitely need to be groomed because they can’t maintain their coats by themselves. Without a thorough brushing, their undercoat soon becomes matted and tugs painfully at their skin causing sore spots to develop.
When a cat grooms itself, it only cleans the top layers. Though many Maine Coons don’t enjoy being groomed, it is essential for their owners to persevere with it at least once a week and every day is the ideal.
How Do You Groom a Maine Coon Cat?
Short-haired cats are a breeze to groom. With Maine Coons, it is a different story. It is imperative to groom a Maine Coon cat carefully and gently from a young age. If you hurt a cat during grooming be prepared or the lightning-fast reaction which usually ends in pain for you.
The best way to groom a Maine Coon is to start with a soft-bristled brush so it feels like it is just being stroked. Use a calm approach and hopefully your cat will stay chilled too.
What Does Grooming Involve?
Grooming is more than just dragging a brush through a cat’s fur for a few minutes. I would compare the process
Choosing the right tools makes grooming a whole lot easier for you and your cat. There are multiple pieces of equipment to choose from and it is difficult for a novice owner to know where to start. What are the best grooming tools for Maine Coon cats?
Below is a list of some of the best grooming tools in the market today. To create an effective grooming kit you will need:
Cat Grooming Gloves
These gloves have gentle nodules that provide an excellent way to remove loose fur and yet trick your cat into believing it is just being stroked. These grooming gloves get excellent reviews.
A Soft Brush
Using a soft brush is another way to accustom your Maine Coon to the regular grooming of its fur. Once it is amenable to the gloves, you can move onto an actual tool. You don’t want anything that might snag on a knot at first so a soft brush is ideal.
Combs are ideal for gently teasing knots out and also for helping to trim out knots where they should be used as a guard between the scissors and your cat’s skin.
A Slicker Brush
Many owners swear by these as invaluable when grooming Maine Coons. They loosen and remove knots before they can develop into large, felt-like mats. This Slicker Brush gets thousands of shining reviews.
Scissors are essential when it comes to grooming cats. You’ll need a pair for body hair and a pair for facial hair. Don’t be tempted to use household scissors, especially if they have pointed tips. Pet scissors such as these, have rounded tips for safety reasons. You won’t believe that scissors can vary so much in quality so choose carefully.
Maine Coons are infamous for clawing at things so you’ll be interested to know how you can stop your Maine Coon from scratching your furniture. One way to limit the damage is to keep claws trimmed a little, so invest in a pair of cat nail clippers and ask your vet to show you how to use them.
These are really useful for cleaning eyes, ears and fur – and any other areas that happen to get dirty! I would always go for an unscented, hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly brand so these Organic grooming wipes are perfect.
Don’t use human shampoo on your cat. Invest in a good quality cat shampoo. If you think it sounds expensive, a bottle will last at least a year so it averages out to be very cheap per bath.
Your Maine Coon is worth it. Look for one that is suitable for sensitive skin, hypoallergenic, paraben and detergent free. Another thing that is worth looking at is if it cruelty-free. Here is one that to me ticks all the right boxes and it is also highly recommended by those who have purchased it.
A Large Soft Bath Towel
You may be happy to share your bath towel with your cat, but most people aren’t. So either buy it one or dedicate one of yours just for your cat’s use. Most cats appreciate a cuddle in a towel after a bath.
Cat Tooth Brush
Yes, these are available and essential for keeping plaque away that can lead to gingivitis in your Maine Coon. You can get the type that slips on to your finger but if your cat isn’t used to having its teeth brushed you will be in danger of getting bitten.
Cat Tooth Paste
Don’t be tempted to use your toothpaste for your cat’s teeth. It’s not safe for cats to swallow. A good cat toothpaste will inhibit plaque formation and naturally prevent the formation of bacteria. Here’s some toothpaste that comes in a variety of flavors so hopefully, your cat will like one of them.
For those whose cats are averse to brushes and toothpaste, you can now buy a spray to help care for their teeth. A tooth spray can fight bad breath and plaque with no need for brushing.
A Flea Comb
Most cats suffer from fleas at one time or another. A good way to check it use a flea comb and wipe it on a white tissue to see if any specks of flea dirt are present. Here’s a recommended flea comb perfect for the job.
The Full Maine Coon Grooming Process
Not all of these grooming elements need to be carried out every day. In each section, I have added the frequency with which each should be undertaken.
It’s easy to look into your Maine Coon’s ears on a daily basis to make sure they are clean. If there is any grime give the a gentle clean with a grooming wipe.
Only do the surface you can easily reach and never be tempted to twist a cloth deep into your cat’s ears or attempt to clean deeper with cotton buds. You could inflict serious damage.
Most of the time a cat keeps its own eyes clean. If you notice a large build up, use a grooming wipe to gently sweep the dirt downwards, away from your cat’s eyes.
Try to brush or spray your Maine Coon’s teeth on a daily basis from the day you get it. This breed is prone to dental problems and you could really help to lower your cat’s chances of suffering if you keep up a good dental health regime.
Maine Coons like to scratch things and it is important that they are allowed to do this. If you can’t persuade your cat to only scratch its designated scratching posts, you could trim the very tips (the area left of the green line on the diagram below) from its claws to limit the damage caused.
This is something that only needs carrying out every 2 to 3 weeks.
When claws are clean it is easy to see where the quick is – the area where the blood supply and nerves are. On the following diagram, you will notice the pinker area of the claw which is actually the tip of the toe bone.
You can also see the quick which consists of the blood supply blood supply and nerves. Never cut into the boney area or the quick. Only remove the very tip.
With all that fluff it is no wonder that a Maine Coon’s bottom area gets a little dirty. Check if it needs a wipe each day. Some people clip the fur around this area and down the backs of the legs to help their cat stay clean.
How often to do this depends on how quickly your cat’s fur grows. Just use your judgment and clip it as necessary.
Groom your Maine Coon’s coat on a daily basis if possible. That way it will never get a build up of knots which are difficult and painful to remove. Always brush gently in the direction of the fur growth. Use the slicker brush once your cat is happy with the feel of the soft brush.
Some people like to trim the hair between their Maine Coon’s toes. If you feel the need then do this carefully with your grooming scissors any time you think it is looking untidy.
It is not essential to bath a Maine Coon but some people like to and occasionally it may be necessary. You don’t have to immerse your cat in a tub of water. You can use a large sink and a spray.
The water should be warm, not hot, don’t get shampoo in your cat’s eyes and rinse it thoroughly. Then cuddle it in a large towel. If your cat doesn’t enjoy this don’t persist – you will cause it untold stress.
Flea, Tick and Mite Treatment
As part of your grooming regime apply these treatments as required to keep your Maine Coon’s coat and ear parasite free. Your vet will be able to advise you of the type, quantity,
When Should Grooming Begin?
Brush your Maine Coon as soon as you get it and keep it up on a regular basis. It may seem not to need it but it will ensure it accepts it as part of life.
If you live in a hot climate grooming is even more essential to remove as much loose fur as possible and keep your cat cool.
How Often Should Grooming Occur?
Definitely groom your Maine Coon at least once a week, and daily if you can find the time. You will keep shedding under control and prevent mats from forming.
What Happens If I Don’t Groom My Maine Coon?
There is nothing more difficult to remove than matted fur that hugs a cat’s skin. You can’t get a comb through it and it is dangerous to try to cut it out with scissors as you can’t tell where the mat ends and skin begins.
In severe cases, a sedated groom is required and your cat will end up with shaved areas – I speak from experience! This is expensive and traumatic for both of you.
If you don’t help your Maine Coon to keep its teeth clean, plaque will build up which could lead to gingivitis and the removal of
It’s worth a try but if all else fails you could try the dental spray mentioned earlier.
If you are super lucky, you will have one of those obedient, well trained Maine Coons who only scratch designated scratching posts (do I hear you laughing …) If like us, your Maine Coons decide what they will and won’t scratch your belonging will suffer a whole more if their claws aren’t trimmed.
If your Maine Coon doesn’t clean its own eyes and you don’t assist it, it will not look so pretty and you might not notice if it has an eye infection or an eye injury that is causing the build-up of eye gunk.
If you don’t check and clean your Maine Coon ears from time to time, you may miss a case of mites or ticks. Ticks are particularly unpleasant as they can carry harmful diseases. Mites cause your cat to scratch its ears incessantly and make them sore to the point that they could become infected.
A very good reason for removing as much loose hair from your cat as possible by brushing it
This is very worthwhile unless you relish the idea of cleaning vomited hairballs. If your cat doesn’t manage to regurgitate hairballs and they pass into its intestines they can cause a blockage that necessitates an operation. Not a pleasant scenario.
Some grooming processes only have a cosmetic benefit, some are for your benefit and some definitely help to keep your Maine Coon healthy. Hopefully, you can tailor the various suggestions in this post to create a regime to suit your cat’s needs.