How Can I Make My Maine Coon Grow Bigger? (Avoid This…)
If you have a Maine Coon and it’s not growing as big as you expected. Then, you may be wondering what you can do to make it grow bigger…
How can I make my Maine Coon grow bigger?
To make your Maine Coon grow bigger there are no shortcuts just feed it quality and nutritious food. Also, if it’s within its first year there’s no reason to be worried. Maine Coon cats grow slowly compared to other cats.
So, now you know. But, what other reasons could affect your Maine Coon’s size? How big should it get? Why do some of these cats never reach their full size? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…
Why is my Maine Coon so small?
If your Maine Coon is small, in your opinion, it may not be purebred. If the cat is a hybrid then it may not grow to be as large, but there is no way to be sure.
However, if your cat is purebred and still in the smaller size it could be a result of an illness or lack of nutrients.
Maine Coons are one of the largest breeds of house cats, but some people are finding that their cats aren’t as large as they expected. Hopefully, these few reasons have helped to clarify.
Also, always keep in mind that Maine Coon cats grow slower than other breeds, so there’s a possibility that it’s still growing. If this is the case, contact your vet for further advice on which food you should be feeding them.
Things to avoid while fattening up your Maine Coon:
- Avoid over-feeding: This could lead to obesity or other health problems. Instead, you should be feeding them a healthy diet so they can naturally grow to their full size.
- Avoid these foods: Anything that is full of fillers like starch, wheat, and corn. Maine Coons need real meat to ensure they are getting proper nutrients.
- Avoid force-feeding: This is never a good idea! Instead, try free-feeding if it seems like they aren’t eating enough. Allow your cat unlimited access to food instead of feeding them once or twice a day so they can eat when they are hungry.
How big should Maine Coons get?
The average Maine Coon cat can grow to be over 3 feet long and weigh around 26 pounds. This is for purebred Maine Coons, as hybrid cats don’t grow to be nearly as large.
Males tend to grow larger than females. Anyone who wants a cat that is over 3 feet naturally in length will have better luck if they find a male.
When does a Maine Coon reach their full size naturally?
Most Maine Coons don’t reach their full size until they are about 3 or 4 years old. It’s normal for them to appear as small cats until they are ending the second year of their life.
Maine Coon cats grow very slowly, so don’t expect to have a large kitten roaming around the house any time soon.
Why do some Maine Coons NOT reach their full size?
If a purebred Maine Coon doesn’t reach their full size its diet could play a big part in it. They require a high-quality diet that promotes healthy growth and the lack of nutrients could be why they are a smaller size.
Cats are carnivores so they must eat a diet rich in protein. However, before being worried about your Maine Coons size you should determine their age and if they are purebred.
Most of these cats need almost 4 years to grow. And, if they are a mixed breed they likely won’t be as large as expected, so there’s very little to be concerned about if they seem small.
Another reason a Maine Coon may not reach their full size is that they are battling an illness. Kidney disease and diabetes are just a couple of diseases that could lead to weight loss and affect the cat’s growth.
If you notice your cat has any of the following symptoms, contact your vet:
- Frequent urination
However, many illnesses could play a part in why a Maine Coon isn’t growing to its full size. If there are any concerns regarding your Maine Coon’s weight it is a good idea to consult your vet for further information.
How can I help my Maine Coon grow naturally?
If you want to help your Maine Coon grow naturally it’s important to feed them good-quality food and encourage them to get a lot of exercises. To make sure they get enough exercise it’s a good idea to encourage playtime with them.
This can be done with toys and balls (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad), or even cat towers and cat trees (Click here to see this tree’s reviews, on Amazon #Ad).
When it comes to their food, cats are carnivores and need a high-quality diet to ensure that all of their growing needs are taken into consideration. To make sure they are eating the right food, look for something that is:
- Rich in protein (approximately 52 %)
- Moderate in fat (approx 35 %)
- Low in carbohydrates (approx 12.5 %)
Do Maine Coon mixes get big?
Maine Coon mixes usually don’t grow to be nearly as large as a purebred. If your Maine Coone cat is under 25 lbs then this could be a sign that they are a hybrid.
Many people have trouble distinguishing a purebred and Maine Coon mix because their physical features are so similar to one another. Their full size is usually the easiest way to tell if it is a mix.
Do Maine Coons get growth spurts?
Each Maine Coon cat is unique and grows at its own rate. However, it’s very common for most Maine Coons to experience growth spurts their first year of life. After their first year, they will grow at a slower rate until they reach full size.
These growth spurts tend to begin when the cat is around 3 months old. They will gain roughly 2 pounds a month, and this usually carries on until their 7th month. Although the average cat will experience its growth spurts between 32 and 50 weeks, every cat is different.
What foods should I avoid feeding my Maine Coon?
Since Maine Coons are carnivores they need a diet rich in proteins and moderate in fats. Try to avoid giving your cat carbohydrates because they have trouble digesting it.
Food like starch, corn, and wheat are all hard on their digestive system. When looking for food try to choose ones that are all meat and avoid filler.
Avoid the Veg
Another thing you should never do is put your Maine Coon on a vegetarian diet. This diet may be great for humans, but it is harmful to cats and could affect your Maine Coon’s growth. Certain fruits and vegetables, like grapes and onions, are actually highly toxic to cats and could make them very sick.
Avoid Dog Food
Dog food is also something that you should avoid feeding your Maine Coon. Cats and dogs have completely different dietary needs. Their digestive systems and livers need different nutrients to stay healthy.
What size is the biggest known Maine Coons?
It all boils down to each cat’s DNA, but as far as the biggest Maine Coons, the current record holder would be a grey tabby whose name was Mymains Stewart Gilligan, known as ‘Stewie’ for short, and Stewie measured in at a whopping 48.5 inches in length!
That’s slightly over 4 feet and quite a lot of kitty! To give you an idea of how much Stewie deviates from the norm, the average Maine Coon is expected to be 10 to 16 inches tall, up to 40 inches in length, and weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 to 25 pounds.
What animals did natural Maine Coons hunt?
Maine Coons are descended from cats that were brought over from Europe in the 1600-1700s that bred with the local American cat population, resulting in several strays who hunted and become larger through natural selection.
As a result, they hunt a pretty wide range of creatures, including birds, fish, rats, birds, and bigger prey such as squirrels, rabbits, and even larger hares. It’s not surprising as cats are one of Nature’s apex hunters, so in the wild a Maine Coon is likely to hunt just about any animal that it thinks it can take!
Techniques to improve your Maine Coon cats size
Here are some useful techniques to help to improve their size:
Make sure enough calories are offered
Making sure that your kitty is getting enough calories is going to be paramount to ensure that they may achieve their full-size potential. This is a matter of knowing how many calories your cat needs each day. With Maine Coons, this is going to be 24 to 35 calories per pound of body weight.
Thus, a 10-pound Maine Coon will need 240 – 350 calories every day, divided up into 2 – 3 feedings. If you weigh your kitty to determine their individual caloric needs, then you are well on your way to creating their optimal diet.
Your cat needs protein for energy and to maintain and grow that Kitty-Adonis physique and knowing the right amount can help you to ensure that your cat’s food is going to be the best. On average, your cat’s daily caloric intake should include 2 grams of protein per pound of your kitty’s weight.
Avoid filler food and carbs
If you are comparing two cat foods and notice that one has noticeably more carbs, then this might be an indicator that they are using a lot of fillers or grains. This is common in some of the cheaper foods and something to avoid. Go with the lower carb cat food, provided that it has the right amount of proteins,
Plenty of exercises
Maine Coons are quite the hunters in the wild and if your kitty is an indoor kitty, then you are going to want to ensure that they are getting plenty of exercises. A tried and true method for this is also one of the most fun ways to go about it – a keychain laser pointer.
Laser pointers are cheap and for your kitty, they never get old. Play with your cat at the same time every day and they will learn to expect this and can get a good amount of exercise while spending some quality time with you.
Beyond this, make sure that they have plenty of toys and rotate them out with new ones from time to time, to keep things interesting.
Spay and neuter?
Spaying or neutering your cat at an early age does have an impact on its growth. If done in the later years, rather than when your cat is a kitten, your cat will grow more slowly than it would if it had been spayed or neutered as a kitten.
Spaying and neutering also help for longer life, as it reduces the chances of certain feline cancers that may occur down the line, so unless you are intending on breeding your Maine Coon, this is something that you want to get done early.
Keep an eye on its weight
Regular weighing is a good idea, as your Maine Coon’s lovely, thick coat can make it a little hard to simply guess at a glance. You can check their developing weight as your cat gets older and this can help you to determine if they are a healthy weight, underweight, or possibly getting a little on the obese side.
Do not rush!
Your Maine Coon grows at a slower rate than other breeds and if you don’t know to expect this, then it’s easy to think that you might have ended up with the runt of the litter. Relax! Your Maine Coon is not expected to reach their full growth potential until they are 3 to 5 years of age!
Be patient with the process, take good care of your kitty, and wait. The odds are that they are going to be a goodly-sized cat, it just takes a little time!
What are the best food options for your Maine Coon?
Wet food is the best, as this is the easiest for your kitty to process and is generally going to have better qualities or proteins since it will be actual meat, rather than dried and reconstituted as you would find in dry foods. That said, dry foods are still okay, but you need to focus on some key elements.
Let’s take a look!
Protein is king! Your kitty would normally be hunting for their meals and the animals that they consume are protein-rich. For your domesticated kitty, you want 2 grams per pound of your cat’s body weight of protein to be a part of their overall daily calories.
Not too much fat
You want to make sure that your cat is getting enough fat for a shiny coat, but you don’t want to overdo it. A general breakdown of fats, proteins, and carbs can tell us the ideal fat amount. Your cat should have 50% protein, as well as 10% carbs, and 30% fats as part of their daily caloric intake.
Keep carbs low
Too many carbs are bad for us, and it’s bad for your Maine Coon! Try to stick to approximately 10% of your cat’s daily calories as far as your carb target.
A lot of discount cat foods can have an inordinate number of carbs, due to filler materials and grains that are a little harder for your cat to digest and not good for them. If you are on a budget, then you might consider buying a small bag of high-quality food and mixing it with a lower-quality one.
This will help to reduce the overall carbs while being a little more budget-friendly, and your cat will likely enjoy the variety which the mix will naturally provide.
Needs minerals and vitamins
Your cat needs several vitamins and minerals, just like we do, and thankfully you don’t need to be a veterinarian to select a food that will meet the minimums that your kitty needs. The Association of American Feed Control Officials, also known as AAFCO, has already done the work for you.
When you are purchasing cat food, look on the can or the bag for AAFCO. If you see this, then the food that you are considering meets or exceeds your cat’s nutritional profile requirements already and you can purchase it with confidence!
Why are growth charts helpful?
Growth charts can be quite helpful in making sure that your cat is on the right track, especially since Maine Coons are slow growers.
That said, keep in mind that each cat is unique. If you purchased your Maine Coon from a breeder, you should also ask if they can tell you the measurements of the parents. This will help you to know if your cat is expected to be a little larger or a little smaller, just in case the parents weren’t very average.
Use the growth chart loosely, as it’s there just to give you a base standard, and don’t modify your cat’s diet based on it without your vet’s approval. While a growth chart is a useful tool, it’s there to set expectations, rather than to be a 100% accurate projection of where your cat should be.
Provided that you use it in this manner and weigh your kitty regularly, the growth chart can give you some basic guidelines that should prove quite useful as your cat slowly grows up into the big bundle of love that it will eventually be!
What should you expect as your Maine Coon Grows?
You may be wondering what to expect as your cat grows, here are some things to look out for:
0 to 3 Months old
For the first 3 months, Maine Coons grow up very quickly, which leads to a little confusion when they naturally slow down again. Within the first 3 months, you can expect your Maine Coon to weigh anywhere in the neighborhood of 3 to 5 pounds.
Females will usually be closer to the 3 mark, as they tend to weigh 4 -6 pounds less the males, but this rule is certainly not graven in stone.
4 to 7 months
At the 4-month mark, your cat will likely weigh 5 to 7 pounds, and from this point on they will gain approximately 2 pounds per month until they reach the 7-month mark. Again, keep in mind that female Maine Coons are usually a little on the lighter side, and remember that this is an approximation.
Ultimately it will depend on your specific cat’s DNA.
8 to 11 months
By the 8-month mark, your Maine Coon Cat will typically weigh between 8 and as much as 15 pounds. During this time your kitty has just hit a growth spurt and this is something that you will notice when they hop up on the couch with you!
By the first year, your Maine Coon will have a bit of heft to them, so to speak, with a weight range of 10 to 20 pounds! That’s because they are having their second and final growth spurt, so this is the last time that you will see a noticeable jump in size.
After this, your cat’s body is going to ‘slow their roll’ and your kitty will grow very slowly until they reach its full size.
Year Three to Five
During the years 3 to 5, your cat is slowly growing into their full adult size, and while there is no way to tell before year 5 if they are fully grown, we can give you a general range. By year 5, your cat will be anywhere from 10 to 16 inches tall and will weigh in the neighborhood of 8 to 25 pounds.
Again, DNA is the most important factor here. There are definitely ‘runts’ that occur in some litter, and while they generally don’t make it in the wild, a domesticated kitty can do fine and you might just have the smallest kitty of the litter. On the flip side, you might have a little giant – it’s all a roll of the DNA dice!
What signs to look out for to gauge its growth potential
Here are some key signs to look out for so you can get a feel of its potential growth:
Size of its paws
Your Maine Coon is considered a ‘teenager’ between the ages of 3 months to one year, and during this time you’ll have a tall, skinny kitty, with paws that look a little too big for them. The size of the paws can give you a hint as to your kitty’s eventual adult size.
Your cat is going to grow the rest of its body to accommodate them, so take a good look at them and go with this expectation. While it’s not 100% accurate, it’s generally on-target and can at least give you a good idea of what to expect.
Size of its mother and father
Another important factor is the size of the parents! While ‘runt’ or ‘giant’ genes can certainly skip a generation, in most cases if you know the size of the parents then you’ve got a pretty good range that you can expect from your cat.
If you purchased your kitty through a breeder then be sure to ask for the measurements, as they are one of the most accurate methods for gauging growth that you can have at your disposal.
Male or female
Females tend to weigh less than males, although there is no guarantee. The suggested average by gender for this breed is 8 to 12 pounds for females and approximately 15 to 25 pounds for males. Your cat may differ, however, but this is statistically the range that they tend to fall in by gender.
State of its health
Health conditions will, of course, factor in, as also the amount of nutrition received as a kitten. As such, if your Maine Coon is a rescue, then you have no way of knowing if they always had proper nutrition. Additionally, certain diseases and conditions are other potential factors to consider in your cat’s eventual fully-grown size.
Do some Maine Coons vary in size?
Some Maine Coons will definitely ‘stick out when it comes to size, but there are a lot of factors that come into play. Mixed Maine Coons, for instance, having the DNA of 2 breeds will certainly affect the eventual size of the cat.
Gender, the cat’s parents, and their health as a kitten and as an adult also come into play, as well as whether or not your cat is neutered and if so, WHEN they were neutered. As such, Maine Coons can vary quite a bit in size, so don’t be too alarmed if your cat seems overly large or a bit on the petite side.
When in doubt, simply check with your vet and a quick checkup can help to rule out any health conditions so that you know that your cat is happy, healthy, and simply growing up the way that they are supposed to be!
Can a mixed Maine Coon get big?
A mixed Maine Coon can certainly still be a big cat, but it’s a roll of the DNA dice. Mixed Maine Coons, on average, tend to be smaller, rather than larger kitties, but there are always exceptions to the rule. Your best bet is to consider both breeds and the size differences between the two.
What can cause a Main Coon to lose weight?
Whenever your cat seems to have a dramatic shift in their weight, this is always a reason to pay close attention or, even better, to get them in for a vet checkup. That said, let’s look at some factors that can cause weight loss so that you’ll have a better idea of what to look for or rule out.
Not eating all of its food (Being Picky)
Cats are notoriously finicky when it comes to their foods and can get bored of the same meals, just like you or I might. If your cat isn’t eating all of its food, then you might try mixing in another brand or simply replacing it to see if this is more to your kitty’s liking.
If your cat isn’t getting enough vitamins, and protein, or simply getting too many carbs, then this can certainly cause weight loss. The same goes especially for their daily calories. Remember – your cat needs 24 to 35 calories for every pound of body weight to maintain its current weight.
If you’ve done the math and your cat is getting this, then it’s time to visit the vet to see what might be amiss.
Rushing its food
Try dividing up the feeding sessions if you are only feeding your cat once a day. With a once-a-day feeding, you are rushing things a little from a nutritional perspective, as your cat is going to get a calorie overload and their body might well expend a bit as waste.
2 feedings a day is ideal and can help to ensure that you are absorbing and using as much of their meals as possible.
Health issues are another important factor to consider. For instance, if your cat is diabetic, then this is certainly going to have an impact on its weight. Other, less-dramatic factors include the age at which they were neutered and your cat’s actual age in general.
Senior kitties, for instance, might well weigh more or less, depending on their level of activity and whether or not they are in good health.
Also, if your cat is having a sudden weight drop, it’s always a good idea to check with the vet to rule out parasites. As a general rule, you should have your cat dewormed every 3 months for indoor kitties, although for outdoor cats every 1 to 2 months is your best bet.
Parasites such as worms cause a dramatic shift in weight because they are absorbing nutrients from within your cat and taxing your kitty’s health in the process. Thankfully, regular visits to the vet can help to keep health factors in your cat’s weight down to a minimum.
Can Maine Coons be indoor cats?
Yes, Maine Coon cats can be kept indoors and will be perfectly happy, provided that you give them plenty of space and fun things to do. Make sure that your cat has plenty of toys and it wouldn’t hurt to spend some time with your kitty playing with them.
The key to keeping them happy indoors is all about giving them plenty of love and fun distractions that they can take advantage of when they are at work or otherwise occupied.
A good way to tell if your cat is bored is to pay attention to their sleep schedules. Maine Coons sleep for about 16 hours a day (this includes their nighttime sleep).
If your cat suddenly seems to be sleeping all of the time, then it’s a good indicator that they might be bored, and adding some new toys to the mix might be just what the doctor ordered!