Do Maine Coon Cats Shed?

Silver and white tabby Maine Coon cat sitting down getting brushed to prevent excess shedding.

With the Maine Coon cat being renowned for its luscious, silky thick coat, it is no wonder we often find ourself asking, do maine coon cats shed? 

Like all cats with fur, Maine Coon cats do shed. However, don’t let this put you off adopting one. Shedding is a natural part of a cat’s life, and is perfectly healthy – in most circumstances. 

Going back to the Maine Coon’s ancestral roots in Maine, North America, they had to adapt to the cold harsh winters. It is no wonder, these majestic cats developed the double layered fur coat they have today. With this beautiful thick coat, brings shedding. You can read more on this in my guide ‘ What is a Maine Coon Cat?

But the good news is, it is possible to manage the shedding of your Maine Coon’s coat with a little love and regular care. 

A healthy Maine Coon cat will shed very little. 

Do Maine Coon Cats Shed? 

Photo of cat brush with fur on it

As you might already know, Maine Coon cats do shed their coat. But in most cases, this is nothing to dread. It is a perfectly normal pattern in a Maine Coon’s life, especially with their thicker, silkier coat compared to most cat breeds. 

This article will explore the reasons behind why Maine Coon cats shed, and provide background into shedding patterns, factors that affect shedding including health factors, including some top tips that you can implement today to control and manage effectively your Maine Coon’s coat. 

Why Do Maine Coon Cats Shed? 

Photo of brown tortie Maine Coon girl with green eyes perched on top of a cat tree with her front paws crossed over.

As I mentioned briefly at the top of this article, the Maine Coon cat’s ancestral roots go back to Maine, in North America. 

Did you know, the Maine Coon cat is the official state cat in Maine, North America? 

If anyone knows Maine well, it’s renowned for its heavy snowfall, and high winds in the winter. Maine Coons had to adapt to this climate when they began to appear in North America in the mid 19th century. 

Therefore, it is no wonder they developed the thick coat they possess today. It was, and is essential for survival in the cold climates. With this thick coat, they are prone to shedding, but no more than a normal cat with fur. 

With some knowledge into their shedding patterns, and how to effectively manage this, you will hardly notice your Maine Coon cat shedding. 

On a related subject, if you would like to learn more about Maine Coons and allergens, you can do so in one of my previous articles.

Why do Maine Coons have a double layered coat?

Many people might not be aware that the Maine Coon cat has a double layer of fur. The Maine Coon coat consists of an inner layer of impenetrable fur which provides much needed insulation and traps air. Their outer coat is what acts as their protective blanket, keeping them warm and dry from the elements such as snow, rain and wind. 

Role of Fur in Regulating Maine Coon Body Temperature

As you might have guessed already, maine coon fur plays an important role in regulating their body temperature.

There is more science behind this. The role of fur, not just in cats, but in any animal provides an advantage by preventing heat loss. This is known as thermoregulation, and it slows down the process of heat loss. 

This also means that maine coon cat’s body temperature never changes, and remains at it’s core temperature. 

Quality of Maine Coon Coat Impact on Shedding

Photo of brown brown tortie Maine Coon girl with shiny coat, sitting in a hallway staring at the camera.

For most Maine Coon cats, their coats are silky and smooth in texture. It is naturally oily but should not be greasy.

If your Maine Coon has this type of coat, and is perfectly healthy, then you can expect them to follow a typical shedding pattern. 

However, when a Maine coon cat starts to become greasy and shows stringy hair, especially below their belly, you can expect more shedding to be apparent. 

It’s always a good idea to consider bathing your Maine Coon if their fur becomes greasy. If you suspect it’s more of a health concern, then seek a professional opinion from your local vet.  

What are Maine Coon Shedding Patterns? 

Photo of a grey and white kitten showing off her silky smooth fur.

Maine Coon cats shed their coat in the seasons leading up to extreme temperatures – that is spring before summer, and autumn/fall before winter. 

They shed in the spring, getting rid of their thick winter undercoat, and then again in the autumn/fall to prepare a thicker, dense coat. 

Of course, there are exceptional circumstances where a Maine Coon might shed little or more, for example if it is an indoor cat in which its shedding pattern can be minimal, or if it has a health condition that promoted more shedding than usual. 

Let’s explore Maine Coon shedding patterns a little more. 

Seasonal Shedding in Maine Coon Cats

Maine Coon cats tend to shed on a seasonal basis, typically twice a year. They shed in the spring, as they prepare to go into the warmer weather of this summer and shed in the autumn/fall, as they prepare to go into the colder weather of the winter. 

You can expect your Maine Coon’s shedding to last a few weeks to a couple of months. If your Maine Coon is exposed to a lot of sunlight, their shedding patterns may be a bit more sporadic. 

Although this is the typical pattern of shedding, it is not an exact science, and Maine Coon cats can shed all year round due to many factors. What is important, is the quality of their coat, as that will directly affect the amount of shedding. 

Shedding Pattern of an Indoor Maine Coon Cat

If you have an indoor Maine Coon cat like myself, then you might notice they shed all year round. If you have several Maine Coons, you might observe that they all possess different shedding behaviours. There are several factors that can influence this, and I will go discuss these further on. 

But why do indoor cats shed more? 

An indoor cat is exposed to more artificial light as opposed to natural sunlight, causing all-year-round shedding. This shedding is usually lighter in nature, and more manageable. 

Although don’t be surprised if you might find the some tumbleweed of fur rolling on your wooden floors. 

Outdoor Maine Coon cats on the other hand tend to shed at the expected seasons when they are preparing for extreme temperatures. 

Health Factors Affecting Shedding in Maine Coon Cats

Photo of red and silver Maine Coon getting bath to prevent shedding. He has a towel over his head that makes him look like the Sith Lord in Star Wars

All cats with fur shed. Owning a Maine Coon cat does not mean it will shed more than other cat breeds. 

There are several health factors that can be taken into account when understanding the nature of shedding in your Maine Coon cat. I will explore these in the table below. 

What causes a Maine Coon cat to shed excessively?

Several factors including age, diet, grooming routine or lack of, stress, pregnancy, disease, and parasites can all cause over-shedding in your Maine Coons coat. It’s important for you as an owner to be aware of any change in your Maine Coon’s behaviour that disrupts normal shedding. Any concerns are best met by a professional vet.  

Health Factors Affecting Shedding Health Effect on Shedding 
Age Older Maine Coon cats tend to shed more as they start to groom less and less. The quality of their fur changes as they get older, becoming thinner, and less supple, causing it to fall out more. 
DietA lack of protein and too many carbohydrates in a Maine Coon’s diet can cause them to shed more. Ensuring your cat has all the essential nutrients in their diet will result in a healthier coat, that doesn’t shed as much. 
StressStress can directly affect the amount a Maine Coon cat sheds. For example, a cat that doesn’t like getting picked up will be more stressed if they are picked up, or a drastic change in routine can stress a Maine Coon significantly. Minimising any situation that stresses your Maine Coon will prevent excessive shedding. 
DiseaseSome diseases can cause a Maine Coon cat to shed more. For example, a Maine Coon with hyperthyroidism can cause uneven hair loss. Other diseases that affect kidneys or liver, or that cause cancer can cause excess shedding. 
PregnancyA pregnant Maine Coon is prone to excess shedding due to a lack of calcium and minerals which they otherwise would have. They can also lose some of their fur when giving birth, and nursing their kittens. 
ParasitesPesky parasites such as fleas, worms and mites can cause a Maine Coon cat to scratch more, resulting in hair loss. It can be hard to spot a parasitic infection in your Maine Coon, which is why it’s important to identify any changes in health and behaviour. 
Table of Health Factors that Affect Shedding in Maine Coon Cats

Top Tips To Prevent Excess Shedding in Your Maine Coon Cat

Photo of silver and white tabby Maine Coon kitten girl standing in the bath staring at the camera.

There are many effective ways to prevent your Maine Coon cat from shedding, starting from today. 

If you find that your Maine Coon is shedding more so than usual, and you don’t believe any health issues to be the cause, following some of these top tips can help a lot in maintaining their beautiful coat. 

Groom Daily

Maine Coon cats do require brushing on a regular basis due to their double layer of fur. Brushing them regularly helps them out when they are also grooming themselves and prevents excess shedding, and matting. 

Grooming will also encourage the healthy distribution of natural oils throughout their coat. 

Bath Your Maine Coon 

Another top tip to keep on top of your Maine Coon’s shedding coat is to bath them every month or two. Maine Coon cats are naturally excellent at bathing themselves, but a once over in the bath can ensure any excess hair is removed, and also prevents any matting that can build up. 

Nutritious Diet

Maine Coon cats like to eat a mixture of meats including chicken, lamb, fish and rabbit. Being the large cat they are, it’s incredibly important they are fed a diet that meets their nutritional needs; that is a diet filled with plenty of protein, fats, vitamins, fatty acids and just the right amount of carbs. 

If you would like to read up more on the nutritional requirements of Maine Coons, then you might find this blog titled ‘ Are Maine Coon Cats Picky Eaters?‘ informative.

Maintain a Stree-Free Environment

Maine Coon cats do stress easily when their routine and/or environment is disrupted. If your Maine Coon doesn’t like to be lifted, don’t lift them. If they don’t like a busy environment, try to minimise that as much as possible. Maine Coon cats are very much like zen, and preventing stress in them will prevent excess shedding. 

Regular Trips to the Vet

As much as we love our Maine Coon friends, it’s not always easy to spot when something might be wrong. However, by keeping up with regular trips to the vet ensures they receive their yearly health check where potential problems can be spotted early by a professional. 

How Can You Control How Much Your Maine Coon Cat Sheds? 

We know that Maine Coon cats do shed – that is a fact. 

There are many factors that directly affect Maine Coon shedding as previously discussed, the most obvious being that they are a cat breed with fur! 

So how can you control how much your Maine Coon cat sheds? 

Just being aware of some of the factors that affect shedding in your Maine Coon is often enough. These might be changes in your cat’s behaviour, diet, environment, or just seasonal changes in which it is perfectly normal to expect some shedding. 

If you do have any concerns about your Maine Coon, it is always best to seek a professional opinion from your local vet. 

If you enjoyed reading this blog, then you might find some other related topics of interest. 

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