Cats

The 5 Best Cat Foods for Maine Coons

March 27, 2020
Mallory Crusta

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The 5 Best Cat Foods for Maine Coons

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The massive Maine Coon requires the same meat-based nutrition every cat needs.

Like any other cat, his body needs plenty of animal-sourced protein, animal-derived fat, and the right balance of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. But just as your Maine Coon has more fur, more muscle, and more fluff on his ears, he also needs a little more highly-concentrated nutrition than his petite relatives.

While smaller breeds are finished growing by their first birthday, your Maine Coon will continue to grow until he’s about four years old. Whether your Maine Coon is still growing or has reached his adult size, he requires a calorie-dense, protein-packed diet that keeps him sharp and strong.

That’s why we recommend Nulo’s Adult & Kitten Turkey & Chicken Recipe as the overall best cat food for Maine Coons. This food is formulated for all life stages and is loaded with all the nutrition your Maine Coon needs.

It’s a soft, creamy paté that emphasizes meat over plants and delivers plenty of moisture for a hydrated, healthy cat.

At a Glance: The Best Cheap Cat Foods To Buy

We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

IMAGE PRODUCT
  • Rich in nourishing animal-derived ingredients
  • A good source of DHA for brain and eye development
  • Cats love the way this food tastes
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  • Rich in highly-digestible animal-sourced protein
  • Contains tuna oil as a source of DHA
  • Formulated for both kittens and adult cats
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  • Rich in highly-digestible, nutritionally dense muscle meat, organs, and bones
  • Contains a species-appropriate source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • A low carbohydrate alternative to traditional dry foods
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  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help to control inflammation
  • Rich in muscle meat, organs, and blood
  • Low carbohydrate content may help to prevent and control diabetes
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  • Features rabbit as its primary ingredient, a highly-digestible protein source
  • Contains an array of beneficial muscle meat, organs, and bones
  • Contains herring oil, an anti-inflammatory additive
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What Kind Of Food Is Best For Maine Coon Cats?

While the best food for Maine Coons is built on the same carnivorous nutritional philosophy that characterizes all of the best cat foods, this breed’s long growth period and massive frame demand a few subtle dietary differences.

Until he’s a year old, feed your Maine Coon a food formulated for kittens.

The first year of your Maine Coon’s life is a phase of rapid growth. Your kitten’s skeleton, eyes, brain, and muscles are growing and developing at breakneck speed.

That development, combined with your kitten’s activity and antics, adds up to high calorie demands. In addition to needing more calories, growing Maine Coons also need more high-quality protein, more of the right fatty acids, and a growth-oriented balance of key vitamins and minerals.

Foods formulated for kittens deliver the right levels of all of these key nutrients. While some smaller breeds can stop eating kitten food when they’re a bit younger, Maine Coons should stay on kitten food until they’re about a year old.

Though kittenhood ends around age one, Maine Coons don’t reach their adult size until they’re about 4 years old.

Maine Coon cats continue to grow for the first 3-4 years of their life. While kitten-specific food isn’t necessary, your young Maine Coon will benefit from a rich diet that packs a good protein and calorie punch.

Whether you choose a diet formulated for adult maintenance or all life stages, look for foods that are rich in high-quality protein, relatively calorie-dense, and which contain animal-derived fats.

Best Cat Food for Maine Coons: Our Top 5 Picks

The foods on the following list are all, first and foremost, species-appropriate foods.

All of them are protein-rich products that emphasize meat over plants. Because your Maine Coon is a carnivore with no biological requirement for them, you won’t see a lot of fruits and vegetables in the foods on this list. In addition to honoring your cat’s need for animal-based nutrition, most of the foods on this list respect your cat’s need for a moisture-rich diet.

All but one of the foods on this list are canned products, meaning that they deliver almost all the water your cat needs, keeping him hydrated whether he’s interested in the water bowl or not.

Secondly, they were chosen with your Maine Coon’s breed-specific dietary needs in mind.

Several are formulated for all life stages, meaning that they’re well-suited to this slow-growing breed. They feature highly-digestible protein and species-appropriate sources of key omega-3s, helping to support healthy development and a silky coat.

Overall Best: Nulo Adult & Kitten Turkey & Chicken Recipe Canned Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Protein: 11% Min
  • Fat: 6.5% Min
  • Fiber: 0.75% Max
  • Life Stage: All Life Stages
  • Type: Canned
  • Made In: United States

Pros:

  • Rich in nourishing animal-derived ingredients
  • A good source of DHA for brain and eye development
  • Cats love the way this food tastes
  • Appropriate for Maine Coon cats of all ages

Cons:

  • Contains some non-essential plant ingredients
  • With multiple protein sources, this food may not be ideal for cats with allergies and food sensitivities

During their three to four years of physical development, Maine Coon cats continue to require elevated levels of protein and calories. This food from Nulo Freestyle is formulated for all life stages, meaning that it’s an appropriate choice whether your Maine Coon is two months or two years old.

It’s a soft, creamy paté-style food that emphasizes turkey, chicken, and turkey liver as its main ingredients. Protein-rich and nutrient-packed, these ingredients honor your cat’s needs as an obligate carnivore and support lean muscle mass.

The food also contains tuna and menhaden fish oil, sources of omega-3 fatty acids that support brain and eye development during kittenhood. Though it contains a few plant ingredients, the food remains low in carbohydrates and an overall species-appropriate choice for your strictly carnivorous Maine Coon.

Best Budget: WholeHearted Flaked in Gravy Chicken Recipe

Product Info:

  • Protein: 11% Min
  • Fat: 6.5% Min
  • Fiber: 0.75% Max
  • Life Stage: All Life Stages
  • Type: Wet/Canned
  • Made In: United States

Pros:

  • Rich in highly-digestible animal-sourced protein
  • Contains tuna oil as a source of DHA
  • Formulated for both kittens and adult cats
  • Low carbohydrate content
  • One of the most affordable foods on the market

Cons:

  • Contains tapioca starch and other plant-derived thickeners

This food from Petco-exclusive brand WholeHearted is an excellent example of the fact that you don’t have to pay a lot of money to feed your Maine Coon well. It’s a meat-based food that contains chicken as its primary ingredient. Though you will spot some tapioca starch as a thickener, the food remains low in carbohydrates and is generally a species-appropriate choice that emphasizes the protein your Maine Coon needs.

Tuna oil serves as a source of omega-3 fatty acids, helping to support a healthy brain, keen eyesight, and a luminous coat.

The food is formulated for all life stages, so it’s a good long-term option that should keep your Maine Coon satisfied from the kitten years to adulthood.

Best Dry: Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Mackerel & Lamb Recipe Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Protein: 43% Min
  • Fat: 25% Min
  • Fiber: 2.0% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Air-Dried
  • Made In: New Zealand

Pros:

  • Rich in highly-digestible, nutritionally dense muscle meat, organs, and bones
  • Contains a species-appropriate source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • A low carbohydrate alternative to traditional dry foods

Cons:

  • Low water content isn’t ideal for cats

A high-moisture diet is ideal for cats of every breed. Thanks to their desert heritage, most cats have low thirst drives. This disinterest in the water bowl, combined with inefficient drinking habits, leads to cats who just don’t get enough water from the tap, fountain, or water bowl to compensate for the moisture depletion of a dry diet.

A high-moisture diet—think canned, raw, or rehydrated freeze-dried food—ensures that your cat gets the moisture he needs in every meal. It’s the easiest way to make sure that your cat stays hydrated, reducing his risk of urinary tract disease and blockage.

But if dry food is essential for your budget or lifestyle or if your cat’s preferences just won’t budge, consider this air-dried food from Ziwi Peak. This New Zealand brand brings you a different type of dry food—one that’s low in carbohydrates with significantly more meat than plants. This food is made with mackerel and lamb muscle meat, tripe, liver, heart, and lung as its primary ingredients.

With an array of muscle meat, organs, and bone at the heart of its recipe, this food honors your Maine Coon’s carnivorous needs without adding on a lot of ingredients he doesn’t need. Thanks to the use of New Zealand green mussel, the food is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.

It’s a hearty, nutrient-dense option for your adult Maine Coon.

Best for Seniors: Feline Natural Chicken & Venison Feast Canned Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Protein: 9.0% Min
  • Fat: 5.0% Min
  • Fiber: 0.2% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Canned
  • Made In: New Zealand

Pros:

  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help to control inflammation
  • Rich in muscle meat, organs, and blood
  • Low carbohydrate content may help to prevent and control diabetes

Cons:

  • One of the most expensive cat foods on the market

As your Maine Coon cat enters his senior years, his nutritional requirements will change. Compared to younger cats, seniors often require higher levels of higher-quality protein to prevent muscle loss.

This canned food from Feline Natural is a meat-based, protein-rich recipe that emphasizes chicken and venison muscle meat and organs as its primary ingredients. In addition to plenty of bioavailable protein, the food contains New Zealand green mussel, a source of omega-3 fatty acids. Because they have anti-inflammatory properties, these fatty acids are particularly valuable for senior cats, who are prone to inflammatory conditions like arthritis.

Best for Sensitive Stomach: Vital Essentials Rabbit Mini Patties Grain Free Limited Ingredient Freeze-Dried Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Protein: 52% Min
  • Fat: 15% Min
  • Fiber: 3.0% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Freeze-Dried
  • Made In: United States

Pros:

  • Features rabbit as its primary ingredient, a highly-digestible protein source
  • Contains an array of beneficial muscle meat, organs, and bones
  • Contains herring oil, an anti-inflammatory additive
  • A minimally-processed food that harnesses the nutritional power of meat

Cons:

  • None

While food sensitivities don’t appear to be more common among Maine Coon cats than any other breed, there’s a good chance that your Maine Coon will encounter some food intolerances or allergies. It’s a good idea for these cats to opt for a single-protein diet that minimizes their exposure to problem ingredients.

Additionally, cats with digestive issues do best when eating a diet primarily composed of highly- bioavailable protein without a lot of inflammatory ingredients.

This food from Vital Essential meets a lot of the requirements for cats with digestive sensitivities. It’s primarily made of finely ground whole rabbit, featuring a nutrient-rich blend of muscle meat, organs, and bones.

The food also contains herring oil, a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to supporting skin and coat health, this additive has anti-inflammatory properties that may be beneficial for cats with digestive sensitivities.

Gets mixed reviews—some cats don’t seem to like this food

Remember—the most important consideration when choosing a food for your Maine Coon isn’t his breed. It’s his species.

Cats, regardless of breed, are obligate carnivores. Their nutritional requirements are built on a diet of prey animals. Those carnivorous needs should come first. Before any other consideration, look for foods that are inspired by a prey-centric diet.

The best foods for Maine Coons are meat-rich with minimal plant content, delivering all the nutrients your cat needs in their most bioavailable form—usually meaning that they’re derived from animals.

After that, consider your cat’s unique needs. Allergies, food sensitivities, taste preferences, and budget issues are all important factors when choosing the right food for your cat.

Mallory Crusta

Mallory Crusta is a blogger and adventurecat enthusiast who brings you the facts about cat products, wellness, and care. She's the co-founder of Wildernesscat, a resource for savvy cat guardians who want to give their felines richer, healthier lives. Visit Wildernesscat for product reviews, radically natural nutrition tips, and lifestyle inspiration
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