Maine Coon cats are some of the most attractive longhaired felines you’ll ever see. They’re a natural breed, and they don’t typically suffer from the medical issues often seen in purebred cats, although they sometimes have issues with hip dysplasia due to their relatively large size.
While these friendly cats don’t require the same amount of grooming as other longhaired breeds, such as Persian cats, they still require regular brushing to keep them looking great and to minimize hairballs. Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to groom your Maine Coon cat.
If you’ve just adopted one of these social cats, you might have questions about how often they need to be groomed and whether you need to bathe them. Below we’ll cover a few basics, including how often you’ll need to groom your feline friend and how often you’ll need to bribe your cat to hit the tub.
How Often Do I Need to Groom My Maine Coon Cat?
Maine Coon cats do best with short brushings two or three times a week supplemented by more extensive grooming when needed. Depending on how thick your cat’s fur is, you might want to invest in a gentle de-shedding tool.
Keeping your pet's skin and coat clean and healthy is very important, but finding a great shampoo can be harder than the actual grooming! We love our Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo because it makes grooming so much easier. This pH-balanced formula is made with natural ingredients like oatmeal, cucumber, and aloe. It's free of phthalates, sulfates, and soaps and very gentle on your pet's skin.
Do Maine Coon Cats Need Regular Baths?
Maine Coon cats, like all domestic kitties, are adept at caring for their own needs in the bath department. It’s not uncommon for cats to spend up to half their day in grooming-related activities. Most adult kitties are awake and active for an average of 15 hours per day.
If you’ve ever buried your nose in your cat’s fur, you’ve probably noticed that, unlike dogs, cats don’t smell. So, there’s no need to schedule regular bath times, and bathing your cat can lead to dry and flaky skin, dandruff, and other skin issues.
On the other hand, Maine Coon cats generally love water: playing with it, watching it, and sometimes even jumping in it. If your pet smells like a skunk, it’s perfectly reasonable to put them in the bath, and your kitty might actually enjoy it!
Do Cats Enjoy Being Groomed?
Cats, just like people, have individual likes and dislikes. Make grooming a fun human-cat bonding activity with lots of cuddles, encouragement, and treats to ensure your cat has a pleasant experience. With enough treats and love, you should be able to get even the most reluctant cat to tolerate regular grooming.
Step-By-Step Guide to Grooming Your Maine Coon Cat
Grooming your Maine Coon isn’t hard. Get prepared ahead of time and give your feline time to adjust to the process.
1. Gather Your Supplies
While your pet may eventually enjoy grooming, it’s crucial, particularly in the beginning, to have everything you’ll need to take care of your cat’s grooming needs on hand and ready to go before you get started.
A brush and deshedder are essential to keeping your Maine Coon cat’s fur healthy and under control. Grab a bag so you can easily throw away the hair that accumulates in the brush. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a pile of fur on your couch or wherever you decide to brush your cat.
If you groom your cat on the couch, grab an easy-to-wash blanket to catch some of the hair, or you might be vacuuming for days.
2. Set Up Your Grooming Area
Put down a drop cloth, towel, or blanket in the area where you plan to groom your cat, and position your trash bag or fur receptacle within an easy-reaching distance. If you have a squirmy cat, you might have to hold it in place to get all that brushing done.
3. Get Your Cat
Try to lure your cat to the “grooming location” with treats. Many kitties that enjoy being groomed get excited when they see their favorite brush. If your cat isn’t a big fan of the process, you might need to pick them up and bring them to the area where you plan to groom them. In that case, take a few treats to bribe the reluctant feline. Use positive reinforcement techniques to gradually get your cat to accept grooming. Over time, your cat may form positive associations with grooming and even end up loving it.
4. Look for Tangled Fur
Determine if there are any areas where your cat’s fur has matted and needs extra attention. You can feel the mats easily while petting your cat, and it’s easy to see when your cat’s fur is getting too thick and out of hand. Typical locations of mats are your cat’s neck and hindquarters.
If you’re regularly grooming your cat, you shouldn’t have to deal with tangles that require snipping or other serious measures. Remember to stay away from any open injuries or wounds. Avoid going near any healing or sensitive areas with broken skin!
5. Brush Away Mats or Tangles
You should remove the mats and tangles individually before you attempt to brush your cat from ear to tail. Use short strokes on the problem areas and brush your cat in the direction of the grain of their fur. In other words, use long strokes going from head to tail. If you use a de-shedding tool, remove all the mats and tangles first to avoid unnecessary wear and tear on your equipment and potentially hurting your cat by pulling their hair.
6. Brush Your Cat’s Entire Body
Start with the area around your cat’s ears and neck. Cats tend to enjoy being petted and brushed in both places, but your cat may become irritated when you attempt to brush their tummy and anywhere near their butt, including the tops of their back legs. Use treats and encouragement to make the experience more enjoyable. A few minutes of regular and consistent brushing a few times per week should prevent you from spending too much time getting your cat’s fur shiny and tangle-free.
Maine Coon cats are some of the sweetest animals you’ll ever meet, and they make extraordinary companions. Regular brushing is essential to keeping the cat’s fur healthy and in top shape, and once you and your cat get into a rhythm, grooming will become an excellent bonding activity that you’ll both look forward to.
Featured Image Credit: Summer 1810, Shutterstock