Maine Coon raw food diet advice to keep your cat healthy
Maine Coons, with their typical size and build, need the best nutrition to stay sleek, active, and healthy.
With fully-grown adults tipping the scales at up to 11 kg, Maine Coons have to stay slim and trim by balancing calorie intake with activity levels. Too many calories and too little movement can quickly cause a serious weight problem, with all the potential health issues that this may entail.
Is raw food the way to go, though? Of all the food types—dry, semi-moist, wet, B.A.R.F., or homemade—uncooked nutrition for cats demands the most care, attention to detail, and precautions to ensure safety.
Is all the work worth it, or are there better options for your Maine Coon? Raw food diet pros and cons are all discussed here—read on and get the full picture!
How does raw food work?
The idea behind raw food for cats is to get as close as possible to their natural diet.
In the wild, cats hunt and eat:
- Small birds
- Mice and other rodents
- Lizards, reptiles, slugs, snails, and frogs
- Insects, such as moths or grasshoppers
Microwaves being scarce in nature, a cat’s prey is eaten raw, including the bones, organs, and even stomach contents.
Raw food for domestic cats follows the same principles. Raw food recipes are regulated under UK law by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), with support from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). They do not regulate the ingredients or make-up of raw food but set out guidelines and regulations as to how commercial raw food products have to be manufactured and marketed.
Most manufacturers of ready-made raw food agree that products should contain high proportions of:
- Animal fat
Commercial raw food and public-domain raw food recipes generally also claim to be free from:
Who can resist giving a Maine Coon the best of the best?
Raw food for Maine Coon cats—the pros and cons
The upside of raw food for your Maine Coon is that it is very close to an optimal natural diet.
The downside is that you run the risk of food contamination by using uncooked ingredients, particularly animal protein such as raw chicken.
Infestations of harmful bacteria in raw meat happen incredibly easily as it is a breeding ground for:
- E. coli
These all live naturally in your Maine Coon’s intestines but are kept in check by beneficial bacteria, such as Bifidus or lactobacilli.
If your cat eats contaminated meat, the bad bacteria may gain the upper hand, potentially leading to gastrointestinal infections such as:
- Chronic bowel disorders
Salmonellosis is an acute bowel disorder, the symptoms of which are:
If left untreated, your Maine Coon can quickly experience:
Most sensitive stomach problems clear up on their own once the pathogen has passed through your cat’s system, but salmonellosis can be persistent. Any gastrointestinal illness that lasts more than 24 hours can have serious consequences, namely:
- Hepatic lipidosis—In an attempt to gain energy, your Maine Coon may begin to release fat reserves, flooding the liver with fats that are stored for processing around the organ’s surface area. This can rapidly lead to impaired liver function, only treatable through a long course of medication and a tightly-controlled diet
- Knock-on kidney issues—Liver impairment can affect kidney function as well, particularly if your feline’s kidneys have to cope with highly acidic urea from an impaired liver
- Heart damage—In the most serious cases, cats can suffer heart problems as a result of hepatic lipidosis
If anything, listeriosis is even more serious than Salmonella infections.
On top of the above symptoms, cats suffering from listeriosis suffer from severe lethargy.
Listeriosis, if undiagnosed and untreated, can prove fatal in a matter of days.
Chronic bowel disorders
After initial acute diarrhoea has cleared up, cats can suffer longer-term bowel disorders such as:
Which is safer—store-bought or homemade raw food?
The above-mentioned dangers apply to all raw food, whether you buy ready-made raw diets or prepare meals on your own at home.
While commercial raw food manufacturers usually guarantee that their products leave the factory free from any pathogens, you can’t always be sure that the food will be stored safely in shops or won’t become contaminated when you get it home.
Preparing raw food on your own carries with it the additional burdens of:
- Cross-contamination risk—Working with raw food demands scrupulous hygiene and intensive cleaning regimens after you have finished your food prep. This is the only way to avoid your family being exposed to potentially harmful bacteria
- Labour-intensive preparation—Preparing raw food takes a lot of time and effort as you have to follow the recipes exactly to ensure each batch is both nutritionally complete and the same as the last batch. Maine Coons react highly sensitively to even minute variations in the formula
- Requirements for a separate preparation area and tools—You will need dedicated work areas, tools, and equipment for your homemade raw food. This is the only way to ensure complete safety for both your Maine Coon and the other members of your household
- With all the cons listed here, you may be wondering whether there is a better Maine Coon food as an alternative to a raw diet.
“Gimme my food NOWWWWWW!”
What to feed a Maine Coon to ensure they’re safe and healthy
Whatever food type you decide on as an alternative to raw, the food needs to contain:
Lots of high-quality animal protein
Animal protein is the best source of amino acids—like taurine—that your Maine Coon needs for:
- Muscle build
- Organ health
- Skin and coat maintenance
While many commercial cat foods contain vegetable or plant protein sources, these are not an adequate substitute for meat as cats can’t metabolise them anywhere near as efficiently.
The efficiency with which cats can metabolise various protein sources is indicated by their biological value (BV), and plant protein comes a very weak second to all types of meat:
The right amount of fat
Animal fat is an excellent secondary source of energy but, more importantly, provides essential fatty acids, such as:
- Linoleic acid
- Arachidonic acid
- Omega-3 and omega-6 acids
The real benefit for you, as a Maine Coon parent, is that your feline will go mad about the taste of animal fat.
Choosing a product that contains a healthy dose of animal fat—such as you find in good quality cat jelly or cat gravy—will mean your Maine Coon will love getting all the health benefits from the high-quality food on offer.
All the essential vitamins and minerals
Your Maine Coon needs vitamins A, B complex, D, and E to stay healthy.
The good news is that these are all present in sufficient quantities in the following ingredients:
Liver and fish
Vitamin B complex
Liver and meat
Kidney, fish oil, and liver
Wheat germ oil and liver
These ingredients also contain the broad spectrum of minerals your feline requires to ensure strong bodily functions.
Find out how to recognise high-quality cat food
A bit of research into the label on any commercial cat food will tell you whether the product you are looking at is up to snuff for your Maine Coon.
The most important elements to look at on the packaging are the:
- Ingredients list—This should be short and should list every ingredient clearly. You should not see any grains or cereals, artificial ingredients, or unpronounceable scientific names, and a clearly-defined type of meat should be in pole position
- Guaranteed analysis—The guaranteed analysis should tell you that protein makes up 50% of the product, fat up to 20%, and carbs less than 3%. Combined with an ingredients list that meets the above criteria, this should be a good product
A word of warning, though. Most commercial foods are cooked aggressively to eliminate harmful bacteria, but this can also lead to a degradation of the nutritional value of the product.
Your best bet is to look for a product that has been cooked using gentle methods, such as steaming—this eliminates pathogens while retaining the nutrient value that you originally sought in raw food.
Only the best is good enough, as long as it’s gently steamed!
Image (c) Untamed
Is Untamed good for your Maine Coon?
Untamed is the best way to give your Maine Coon the nutritional benefits of raw food without the health risks involved.
Untamed is an all-natural food that is perfectly suited to your feline, whether you have a:
- Kitten that you want to grow healthily without any risk of tummy upsets or malnourishment
- Adult that you need to stay active without gaining weight or being at risk of lifestyle-related diseases, such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism
- Feline prone to excessive shedding or problems with hairballs
- Senior that you want to remain healthy, active, and at a constant weight as long as possible, even if they have gum problems or are missing teeth
Untamed sticks to the following principles in producing the perfect food for your Maine Coon:
Exclusively animal protein
With twice as much animal protein as most commercial cat foods, Untamed gives your Maine Coon all the energy and nutrition you could ask for.
Each tin of Untamed—be it Chocka Chicken, Tuck-In Tuna, or Full-On Fishy—is made using the high-quality ingredients in the right amounts to “hit the spot.”
Developed by vets, each Untamed recipe is designed to keep your Maine Coon in top condition, helping your cat avoid:
- Food allergies
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs), such as cystitis or bladder stones
- Weight issues brought on by carb-rich diets, an indoor lifestyle, or as a result of being neutered
- Gastrointestinal problems and tummy upsets
- Hairballs and coat issues
Ethical manufacture and logistics
Untamed believes your Maine Coon should be healthy but that our planet should be, too.
We are committed to keeping your cat’s environment as sustainable as possible, so we:
- Only source from long-term partners committed to being cruelty-free and green
- Ensure our packaging is 100% recyclable
- Operate a completely carbon-neutral supply chain
Your Maine Coon deserves the best, without any of the risks of a raw diet. Try Untamed today and see the difference we can make!
“Waiting for the postman to arrive with our Untamed.”
Where can you get Untamed?
Getting Untamed for your Maine Coon is quick and easy—considerably more hassle-free than dealing with raw cat food!
Here's how to buy Untamed cat food online:
Our service includes free cat food shipping. Once your trial pack lands on your doorstep, your Maine Coon can start sampling the taste sensations of Untamed.
Every cat is different, but our happy Untamed Maine Coon parents tell us you can look forward to:
What Untamed can do
Within a week
After two months
Within four months