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Maine Coon Kitten Food Q&A's


Maine Coon kitten food is an important part of kitten care! Here, our readers discuss a variety of issues. Just scroll down to read more about:

  • Pork By-Product For Kitten?
  • Food For 9 Month Old Kitten
  • How Much To Feed My Little Guy
  • Can I Give Whiskers Milk?

Pork By-Product For Kitten?
I Think The Vet Is Trying To Sell Me Garbage.

by Jennifer
(Syracuse NY, USA)

I recently adopted a kitten, 3 months old, that I'm pretty sure is a Maine Coon.

The adoption agency I got him from includes the standard shots/neuter/vet visit.

So when I took him in today and asked about food--my fiance and I want to nourish him with the best possible food, did some research and went to an organic pet food store and got him a brand of wet canned called Dave's - the store is full of all natural, grain free pet food.

They said it's closer to a cat's natural diet, and also because it's wet. and they said it'd be fine for a kitten too because it's all natural meat. Here is the ingredients in some recipes: http://www.davespetfood.com/catfood/canned/

The vet today said that I need to feed him Maine Coon kitten food and pushed this "vet-created" stuff called Royal Canin. I felt pressured and she was a bit belligerent and pushy. But when I got home I realized the 2nd ingredient to "water sufficient for processing" is PORK BY PRODUCT.

I somehow don't believe that this is better, though admit I am not a doctor. But I am frustrated that everyone gives me different answers, every website says different things (or is full of idiots who think their opinion is fact on yahoo answers and the like).

The vet, of course, was short and wasn't easy to talk to. I had so many questions ready and she brushed me off. I at least wanted to ask if grain-free is good for the cat. She acted is if it were MY personal preference the cat eats grain-free (which is silly, I don't care..I only want what's best for the cat), and said that cats eat mice which eat grain so it's fine.

I'm confused and annoyed with the vet for pushing that on me and not taking time to talk to me about this. Can you give any insight on this issue? Also, sorry to tack on another question, but I heard tuna is bad...so should I not feed him the tuna/mackerel variety canned because of mercury?

Reply:

Hi Jennifer,

I'm sorry to hear about your disappointing visit to that vet. Regardless of her reasons (bad day, over-booked, personality insecurities about being "questioned") she really should have been professional enough to listen to your questions and concerns, and give thoughtful, respectful answers.

I'm sure you won't be returning to her (as it was part of the new-kitten package), but just in case, I recommend you find a new vet! If you have any friends or relatives who have long-standing relationships with their vet and recommend them highly, see if they are taking new patients.

She was (sort of) right about one thing, though: It is up to you to make nutritional decisions, including whether your cat eats grain-free. And as you've figured out, "grain-free" is a bit of a hot topic.

Speaking in generalities, grain-free food is considered high quality. And keeping a balanced viewpoint in mind, not all grain is bad. Yes, a cat will eat the stomach content of it's prey, including grain. Therefore grain is not "bad" in and of itself. But, they will not go munch on wheat or wheat gluten, corn or corn gluten for a snack in the wild! Therefore, it's wise to avoid any cat food with those ingredients!

It sounds like you've really done your research. Regarding Royal Canin, you might want to check out our two-part article on it if you haven't already: Royal Canin Cat Food For Maine Coons - Why Not Review It? I think it will make you feel better about not wanting to feed your little boy a food that is marketed for Maine Coons.

As for the pork by-product, here is a quote from our article on Maine Coon Cat Food Ingredients: "Chicken by-products consist of the rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as heads, feet, viscera (also known as innards, or offal)" Pork would be similarly revolting. This description puts it mildly, too. A quick search on the web will bring up disturbing and disgusting info on by-products for those who want more details.

As for your burning question, "Is grain-free better?" it certainly is up there. The protein content is so much higher than in regular food that you must make the switch very gradually. We made the switch to grain free a couple of summers ago.

Surprisingly, Alice's digestive system couldn't handle it. She had severe diarrhea, vomiting, and lost weight. It was gradual and I couldn't believe it was related to our switch to the "best" cat food I could find. But, it was.

My vet explained that as good as a food is, sometimes it just doesn't agree with a cat. Now she's thriving on her old food which has some rice in it (though not a primary ingredient.

Last summer, we ordered some Epigen from Wysong and the cats just devour it. They now eat it more than their "regular" stuff. It's grain free and starch free and Alice is thriving. Go figure!

Dave's looks like another great food. I don't think you should have any doubts about it. It's ingredients are whole, real foods.

Did the vet encourage you to go out and find Royal Canin, or was she selling it in-house? If so, that would also contribute to her defensiveness.

As for the tuna, you are right. It's not great. Here is a link to one or our past issues to Tattle Tails, our newsletter. At the end, Leo's health tip includes a section about tuna: Tattle Tails - Cats With Spring Fever.

Lastly, congratulations on your new little boy! He's all ears, isn't he? What is his name?

All The Best,
~Carrie

Comments:

What to feed our cats!
by: Nancy

When we were young we fed our Siamese "Kozy Kitten"...it smelled awful but she loved it. This was in the 1960's....no dry food then. Next cats 1980's got all dry food...nothing wet or canned! Now, 2011, we have a Maine Coon and a Russian Blue...vet believes in canned/wet food as a means to avoid kidney issues in later life. So we are feeding that...and we supplement it with Iams (weight and hairball type)...feeding Meow Mix and Whiskas from the grocer.....When reading the recommend amounts to feed it is just ridiculous....3 packets for each 5# of weight...for our Russian Blue that would be 9 packets a day or about $5 a day! We cannot go that way....the Maine Coon kitten is eating a bunch...more than the Russian Blue.

What should we be feeding?????



How Much To Feed My Little Guy

Marcy in Austin Texas asks:

I have a new addition, Olliver. He is 8 weeks old, I have never had a Maine Coon and the people I adopted him from instructed me to feed him 1/4 cup dry food and 2 tablespoons wet food a day.

cute kitten on dark background

But after the second day of him scarfing down his food like he had never eaten before I decided that is way too little.

HELP PLEASE HOW MUCH SHOULD I FEED HIM???

Reply:

Maine Coon Kitten Food For Olliver
Hi Marcy,

Olliver is adorable! You must be smitten!

And my goodness, I agree, 1/4 cup dry plus 2 Tbs wet does not seem like enough for an entire day! Young kittens are growing, and need plenty of Maine Coon kitten food. Plus they are full of energy and burn off their calories pretty easily. This is not the age to worry about obesity.

I haven't personally measured out kitten food before, as we prefer to free feed.
Perhaps others will add their opinions, too.

All The Best,
~Carrie

Comments:
Feed him as much as he wants
by: Jill

I was surprised by how much a growing Maine Coon eats. He will not be a full grown cat until he is about 3. My female can eat 2 small cans of wet food and a cup of dry on an active day and she is grown. She stops when she is full and is not overweight. I definitely prefer free feeding......she eats whenever she wants. Try that.....he is hungry.

Did you perhaps mishear the vet?
by: Jessy

Mine told me 1/4 cup at each feeding, i.e. twice a day.


Can I Give My 10 Week Kitten Whiskers Milk?

I have a ten week old kitten.

Reply:

Hi,
Congratulations on your new kitten. I'm not sure exactly what your question is. It could be two things:

"Can I give my new kitten named Whiskers some milk?"

or "Can I give my new kitten some Whiskers brand kitten milk?"

For the first option, the answer is no. There is no need to give a kitten milk. At ten weeks of age, they should be eating kitten food, either canned or dry (preferably some of each). I would not recommend the brands found at your local grocery store. You should read our articles on finding the best cat food and cat food ingredients, then go to a pet store and ask about the top quality brands offered.

It's an old wives tale that cats need milk, they do not. For folks who really want to give their cats some milk, for whatever reason, there is a product called Whiskas Catmilk Drink for Cats & Kittens.

If that was the product you meant, it looks just fine to use as a treat. It's not necessary to give it you your kitten, if you were thinking that kittens need milk. But, it looks like a fine treat.

All The Best,
~Carrie

Comments:

Milk?
by: Helen

Once a kitten is weaned from its mother they no longer need milk, nor should be given milk. Cats no longer make lactase, the enzyme to digest the milk protein, lactose. Milk will give Whiskers diarrhea.

Here is my 2 cents worth about pet foods/Maine Coon kitten food. The Purina Company has made and formulated cat foods for decades. Purina spends millions on continued research in animal nutrition and produces a good product. Over the last 40 years I have raised cats that lived into their late teens, one lived to age 23. My first MCC died at age 17. All they were ever fed was Purina Cat Chow. My vet likes the Purina Pro-Plan dry food.

My current MCC is fed Pro-Plan. He has a beautiful coat, is strong and full of vitality. A wise Texas A&M professor in animal nutrition once told me "you feed to fitness and it doesn't have to be expensive." (Now that doesn't mean you feed Ol'Roy from Walmart.) Most of the hype about premium cat foods is simply good marketing.

Talk to your trusted vet about the nutritional needs of your kitten. He will give you good pointers.




Maine Coon Kitten Food?

by Shirley
(Dallas)

Hi..
Our 9 month old kitten, Mandy, is now just about 10 lbs and 30 inches long. She was malnourished when we got her from the shelter.

We began giving her dry kitten food and added small amounts of lightly boiled boneless chicken breast meat for her..

She ate a lot of food & still begged. She is much better about that now, especially when we let her sniff our food & she realizes she does not like it.

However, I see that you talk about wet cat food. As Mandy seems healthy & growing, would you recommend giving her the canned food, as she has grown tired of the chicken? If you do suggest wet food for her, what kind (brand) do you recommend?
Thanks for your help.

Reply:
Hi Shirley,

I'm glad to hear Mandy is doing so well! Sounds like she is growing nicely.

Some folks choose to feed dry Maine Coon kitten food exclusively, and that's ok as long as the cat drinks plenty of water. To take their nutrition one step further, though, it is as good idea to add some canned cat food as well.

Canned food has more moisture, which cats bodies need, and lower carbs. All in all, it'll only benefit them to supplement their diet with some canned food.

As for brand, our cats like Wellness. You can't go wrong with regular Wellness & Wellness Core. But, there are others who have top-quality ingredients too!

The ultimate in nutrition is of course the raw diet. You've been giving her chicken, so she would likely love a bit of raw (insert whatever is on tonight's menu here!)to gnaw on too!

Bon Appetit!
~Carrie

Comments:

Food

My male Maine Coon never really liked wet food. So I fed him Meow Mix, which he seemed to enjoy over the decade.

My cats have food in their bowl constantly so they can enjoy eating whenever they want.

Try leaving a bowl of dry food out and see if he goes for it.


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