Another article about these gentle giants? Yes, please. This time around we have to answer the question “Do Maine Coon cats shed too much?” because my lovely reader from Maine (coincidence? I think not!) wants to know if something’s wrong with his favorite pet.
Honestly, if I had to write about one specific breed all the time, Maine Coons would definitely be my breed of choice. I enjoy seeing those big furballs and their squarish muzzle. Their cute ears with those tufts on top and their big mesmerizing eyes absolutely get me every time!
But, enough rambling about my secret desire to get one. Let’s answer the question for my little buddy (and all of you who need it).
Do Maine Coon cats shed?
Yes, of course, they do! Have you seen the amount of fur they have?
These beautiful furbabies come from a really cold state, aka Maine, where winters are extremely harsh and their fur is there to protect them. They have a double undercoat and a top layer that can be shorter or longer, depending on if they are mixed or not.
Their two undercoats are extremely soft and they’re keeping her warm. The third, outer layer of fur is actually called the guard layer. It’s oily and, in fact, repellent because it keeps the dirt and water away from the cat’s body.
Pure Maine Coon breed has long hair, but those who are paired with other breeds can have medium or short hair. Their fur is one of the main reasons why people adore these gentle giants. But, why do they complain about shedding, then?
The problem is that these felines start changing their fur more when they are kept indoors. Do Maine Coon cats shed more when they’re home pets? Unfortunately, yes; when you keep your feline inside, she’ll shed more. Kittens usually don’t shed as much until they have reached adulthood.
A healthy indoor Maine Coon is going to shed all year round and in smaller amounts. The one that’s living outside will experience seasonal shedding. Because of this, these glorious cats are not for people who are allergic to them.
The main allergen for most feline owners is their hair. Dander (dead skin cells) gets attached to their fur and as soon as they start shedding, it’s everywhere! Even though cleaning their fluff from your home can be annoying, these gentle giants are definitely worth it.
Seasonal or all-year-around shedding?
Since it’s obvious that these magnificent creatures are not hypoallergenic, it’s good to know a couple more things. Depending on their breed, cats can have one to two shedding cycles, with most indoor felines having only a steady all-year-around cycle.
Let’s be real, cats shed daily, but peaks of shedding are usually in spring and autumn. That’s what we call seasonal shedding. You’ll notice that your furbaby is leaving a bit more mess behind, than usual. During those two seasons, everything in nature changes.
The temperature and humidity of the environment shift (sometimes even drastically) and cats, as well as other animals, have to adapt if they want to survive. A steady all-year-around cycle means shedding the same amount of hair daily and it’s nothing to worry about, at least when it comes to Maine Coons cats.
There are plenty of reasons why cats shed and all of those are closely related to their diet, health, genetics, and the environment they live in. During this process, cats are getting rid of the dead hair and replace it with a new, healthy one.
When it comes to Maine Coons, they have both seasonal AND all-year-around shedding cycles. This is normal for this breed and if they have fluffier fur, they’ll definitely shed more. For you as a Maine Coon owner, this means a bit more brushing and collecting dead hair from your furniture.
However, if you notice that your feline is shedding more than usual, or what you’d consider normal, it’s a sign that something’s off. Do Maine Coon cats shed more if they’re sick? Let’s find out.
What are the reasons Maine Coons shed excessively?
From what I’ve previously shared with you, you could’ve noticed that this doesn’t indicate anything good. But don’t assume the worst right away, your kitty is not leaving you for good any time soon. Of course, some health issues may be the problem, but some things can easily be solved.
Before you start drawing conclusions on your own, observe your feline and go through this part of the article. These five problems are the most common reasons why Maine Coon cats shed excessively and I’ll try to give you some tips on how to handle them.
However, if you suspect that your feline has some underlying health problems, or that it may be her genetics, don’t hesitate to contact your vet and make an appointment. Share your worries as soon as you notice some changes in your cat’s behavior or eating habits and the vet will help you.
So, what can I tell you about this topic?
1. Health issues
If your Maine Coon cat is shedding excessively, she may have some health issues that you’re not aware of. Generally speaking, cats’ fur is the perfect representative of their condition. If they have shiny and strong hair, they’re definitely healthy.
So, if they have problems, a dull coat, and visible changes on their skin will indicate that something’s not good. Therefore, please, contact your vet as soon as possible if you think that some of these mentioned below may be the cause of the problem you’re facing.
Hormonal disbalance may cause excessive shedding and if your feline is going (or she went) through pregnancy, or the sterilization process, she’ll lose more hair than usual. Sunburns, skin problems, and medications may cause shedding, too.
Your feline can also have different food allergies. They’ll mostly be triggered if you gave her human food to eat. Pay attention when you’re feeding her something for the first time, and always monitor her for an hour or two afterward. Dairy products, grains, and beef can make her sick, for example.
She may also have food poisoning that results in excessive shedding and digestive problems. Again, this may be from the consumption of something that’s not primarily cat food. Her immune system is disrupted, and well, she starts losing her hair.
Some fungal (ringworm is the most common one) or bacterial diseases, parasites, and endocrine disorders may also be the reason for the Maine Coon cat’s extreme shedding process. There are severe issues that include liver and kidney diseases and cancer that can make your cat lose her beautiful fur.
If your feline is anxious or under a lot of stress, shedding may become more excessive. Even the slightest change in the living environment may be a trigger for your furbaby and she may start losing one of her best assets.
I know that the question “Do Maine Coon cats shed more because they’re stressed?” crossed your mind now and that you may be confused a bit. The shortest answer that I can give you is yes. Since this may be hard to spot, check out for signs that your feline is under stress if you’re not aware of something obvious.
Did you move to another house, or adopt a new pet into the household? Both of these can make her uncomfortable and make her feel stressed.
Other possible stress indicators in Maine Coon cats, besides shedding are constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chewing on furniture or other objects, and even consumption of non-food items, aka pica.
If you notice changes in her behavior, like hissing and being unfriendly (which is very unusual for a Maine Coon), then eating too much or rejecting her favorite treats, your feline may be under a lot of stress. She’ll also poo and pee outside of her litter box.
In cases when you can’t understand on your own what is causing her to feel this way and help her to forget the stress, you can always consult professional animal behavioralists who can help you solve the problem.
3. Room conditions
If you have Maine Coon cat as your pet, you basically have a walking and the most pawesome temperature indicator. When you notice her hair all over the place, and it seems like too much, check the thermometer and humidity levels in your home.
Maine Coon cats will shed profusely if their owners live in a well-insulated house or apartment because their thick undercoats, usually keeping them warm, are no longer needed. Their protective coat, however, will mostly stay unaffected in this situation.
So, if you’re sure your furbaby is shedding because of changed room conditions, help her out with daily grooming and brushing. That way, you’ll be able to clean right away and she’ll be grateful that you’ve helped her to get rid of her old coat.
Hygiene, or better said, bad hygiene, will cause your Maine Coon cat to shed more than she’d normally do so. Since they have long fur, you have to help with grooming. Of course, your feline will do most of the things on her own, but brushing her occasionally would be nice as well.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, you’ll be able to manage her hair and dispose of the excess easily. Don’t let her have a bad hair day just because you’re not in the mood to pick up the brush. The queen of the house has to be pampered the way she deserves!
So, brushing her every two to three days will help you to clean your living space and it will stimulate oil excretion from her skin. This also means that those healthy oils will be distributed evenly, and your feline will have gleaming fur.
You can give her occasional trim or take her to the pet hairdresser every few months. This will help your Maine Coon cat to shed less and it may be a fun pass-time activity. If you decide to give her a new haircut on your own, use a fine-tooth comb to hold the strands, so you don’t hurt her.
Your feline may have shabby fur because of the food you’re giving her. Are you feeding her meals with high nutritional value? Do Maine Coon cats shed less if they’re eating healthy?
Her ideal diet should include a lot of meat since they are obligate carnivores. To be bushy-tailed, they need all the nutrients from it. She needs around 50% of proteins and 20% of fat for an impeccable coat and good overall health.
The excessive shedding in your Maine Coon cat won’t happen the moment she processes the food. It takes some time for the nutrient deficits to show.
There are also some other indicators of poor diet and those are eating disorders like anorexia and obesity, gorging, and then gagging at food. She may have dental issues, allergies, and problems with her digestive system as well, so you should be able to notice that on time.
How can you manage Maine Coon shedding?
After going through all the reasons why your Maine Coon cat can be shedding excessively, it’s time to learn how can you manage that. Obviously, she’ll still leave traces behind her, even if you step up your grooming game skills and change her diet.
Because cats always shed in smaller amounts, you can’t completely prevent the shedding of your Maine Coon cat’s fur. But what can you do to control it? Time to find out.
I guess this one is completely unexpected to be on the list, even less to be on top of it. Well, believe it or not, Maine Coons are utterly IN LOVE with water. Yes, you’ve read that right. These big, fluffy tail-waggers adore spending time in the water, unlike other breeds.
Umm, wait, do Maine Coon cats shed less if you give them an occasional bath? Hell yes!
Prepare her a relaxing bath once a week and your feline will be grateful. Not only will your Maine Coon cat shed less, but she’ll also have fun and release the stress that she may have. Make sure you’re using cat’s shampoo or dawn dish soap (but only in cases of emergency).
Human shampoos are full of additives that can be harmful to animals, so don’t even think about sharing yours with your feline. I know sharing is caring, but not in this case. Prepare warm water beforehand, and don’t force her into the tub.
Even though the majority of Maine Coons eagerly accept spending time in the water, yours may be an exception. So, give her some time to explore what’s happening. The best option would be if you start giving her occasional baths while she’s still a kitty. That way, you probably won’t have problems later on.
In case your furbaby is afraid of water or simply rejects the bath, you can clean her with wet wipes or dry shampoo and still remove some of that dead hair. Either way, your Maine Coon cat will shed less, and cleaning your home will be simplified.
I’ve already mentioned a couple of times that brushing is really important when it comes to long-haired breeds. Maine Coon cats are going to change fur regardless, but shedding all over the place will be prevented if you brush them regularly.
You won’t have a lot of her hair on your clothes, and you’ll put an end to tangling and hairballs. This will help her to maintain that healthy, dazzling shine of her fur too!
During peak shedding seasons, try to brush your Maine Coon cat daily. I know this may not be an easy task, but I guarantee you that your feline will completely enjoy it. She needs your attention and she would do basically anything for you to pet her.
Grooming her from early kittenhood will help her feel more comfortable as she’s growing up. You can also offer her some treats before and after the session. Try even giving her something to munch on while you’re stroking her gently with a brush.
3. Change her diet
As you could read above, one of the reasons why your Maine Coon cat is shedding excessively can be her diet. So, change it. I’m not talking about some drastic changes but rather about minor adjustments. Include food that has more nutritive value than the one you’ve been feeding her this whole time.
I’ll tell you a little secret. There are some specific nutrients that will strengthen your Maine Coon cat’s coat and give her that healthy look, preventing unnecessary shedding at the same time.
Taurine, which has antioxidant characteristics, will also help in this case. It will help with cell turnover, easing inflammation and faster wound healing process. Chicken, turkey, and tuna are rich in this nutrient.
Keratin is helping your hair to grow stronger and gives it a better structure. It will help your furry friend as well. Not only that – it will help her skin and claws too! This nutrient can be found in salmon, dark meat, and poultry.
Omega 3 fatty acids will make your Maine Coon cat’s hair cuticles stronger, which as a result has less shedding. Her fur is going to look healthy and shiny, just feed her enough fish where these acids can be found.
Vitamin E will help strengthen her immune system and let her wounds heal a bit easier since enough of it actually prevents skin itchiness. Trout, chicken, and shrimps are great sources of this one.
Last but not least, collagen improves bone density, hydrates the skin, and highly affects the texture of your feline’s fur.
4. Bug-free life
Our adorable feline friends with long furs have a bit more problems with parasites (read fleas and ticks). So, pay attention to whose and check your Maine Coon regularly. If you notice that she’s scratching way more than usual, it’s possible that bugs invaded her coat.
Do Maine Coon cats shed more in this case? Yes, their claws may damage their skin and that contributes to losing their fur. They may have wounds and get infected skin as well, which is something we don’t want, right? In case you’re not sure how to handle this situation, don’t hesitate to ask your vet for advice.
5. Lint rollers
Whether you hate them or not, you’ll need lint rollers. As soon as you accept them as your besties, life will become so much easier – I guarantee that. With Maine Coon cats and their shedding habits, it would be better if you invest in quality lint rollers rather than those that you can find everywhere.
Also, prevent any buildup of hair in places all over your home using a vacuum cleaner or other tools. Surely, your feline has her favorite spot on the couch in your living room and I bet there can be quite an amount of her hair over there. It’s better if guests don’t notice that, right?
6. Consult your vet
Last but not least, in case you can’t figure out the reason why is your Maine Coon cat shedding a lot and you’ve tried different techniques to make the excess stop, talk with your vet. You can call him or her and simply talk about what’s happening and what symptoms you noticed.
If they think that something more serious than seasonal shedding is in question, make an appointment and bring your kitty for some tests. Don’t worry too much because your vet will definitely figure out what’s happening.
So, my little fella from Maine, I hope you got all that you needed. The shortest answer to your question, “Do Maine Coon cats shed too much?” is yes, but I went a bit further explaining all the possible reasons for the excessive shedding when it comes to this breed.
If you think that your feline may be under a lot of stress, or that she may have some health issues, try to investigate what’s happening. Be the greatest detective ever and once you solve the mystery, make each day a perfect Caturday for both of you!