It is not uncommon for people to ask if Maine coons are hypoallergenic. Unfortunately, the answer here is no. They are incredibly furry creatures who shed A LOT. This is due to the fact that they have a coat made up of multiple layers. It is one of the features that gives the breed their lovely, majestic appearance.
It is normal for cats to shed, but the sheer amount of shedding Maine coon owners have to deal with is a lot more than other cat owners. This is not because the Maine coon sheds more than other cats, they are just larger cats and so have a lot more fur.
Most owners will find that they need to vacuum the house once or twice a week in order to keep on top of the fur being dropped on their carpets and furniture.
When the undercoat begins to shed the dead fur can easily become tangled up in the longer top coat of fur. This results in matting of the fur. Matted fur can be really painful for your Maine coon. Once a small amount of matting develops it can escalate quickly into a larger matt which is a serious problem. Matted fur pulls on the skin causing inflammation. As well as being extremely painful for your Maine coon, this can easily lead to a skin infection. For more information on removing matted fur from a Maine coon, see my step-by-step guide.
Maine coons are known to have sensitive stomachs as it is, so a fur ball is the last thing they need. When Maine coons groom themselves they are inevitably going to accumulate fur in their stomach. This can build up into a furball causing them to stop eating, lose weight and develop issues with their bowels. If they are fortunate enough to bring the fur ball up themselves then it is a horrific sight to behold and have to clean up. Larger fur balls are a real problem and in the worst cases can require surgery in order to remove them.
Maine coons shed a lot of fur. It’s also not uncommon to own more than one Maine coon. The combined fur build up on your carpet and furniture over the course of a week results in a lot of cleaning! Regardless of how good your vacuum is, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to remove all of the fur and keep it that way for long. This can be an issue if you have relatives with allergies or respiratory issues such as asthma.
In warm weather you will find that your Maine coon sheds more fur than during the winter. This is so that they do not overheat in the summer.
A clue that your Maine coon is feeling stressed is a sudden increase in shedding. This may occur if a change has occurred within the household e.g. the introduction of a new pet or baby. Something as simple as being left at home alone for long periods of time can trigger this sort of stress response.
Your Maine coon’s nutritional state is reflected in their coat. If your Maine coon is experiencing a nutritional deficiency then this can result in excess shedding of fur. If this is a concern for your Maine coon then try feeding them a specifically-designed Maine coon variety of cat food such as Royal Canin for Maine Coons.
If your Maine coon is advancing in their years then you may find that they start to groom themselves less. This may also occur if they have a problem involving their joints, meaning that they find it difficult to reach certain spots when grooming. If this is the case then it is advisable to brush your Maine coon more frequently to prevent matting of the fur.
If your Maine coon seems to be shedding excessively then you may want to see the vet to check for problems with their skin. Red skin and areas of baldness are a sign that the skin has become irritated and inflamed. This could be due to allergies, infections or fleas. Ensure that you are up-to-date with your Maine coon’s flea prevention treatment.
Well, a basic grooming once a day is a really good idea. This doesn’t need to be anything special, just take a massage brush and turn it into a game. Play with your Maine coon, gently massaging them with the brush and removing any fur which is easily shedding. Taking the time to spend a few minutes every day to do this will not only save you time cleaning up fur but will also help you to bond with your furry friend.
Once a week you should perform your more thorough grooming routine; twice a week is even better if you have the time. Bathing a Maine coon can be challenging if your coon is not fan of getting wet. Having said that many Maine coons love water, so much so that they will even follow you into the shower! (Read more About Us and their fondness of water in my article, How to Manage Your Maine Coon’s Water Obsession). Bathing your Maine coon once every 2-3 weeks is a good idea as this will help to reduce the chances of their fur becoming matted. It will also remove layers of dead undercoat which will be likely to shed over the coming week.
In order to perform a full grooming routine on your Maine coon you will require a variety of tools and I talk about these in more detail in my grooming guide. For now, here are the recommended items to manage shedding specifically in your Maine coon.
This great little brush is designed to provide your Maine coon with pleasure whilst gently brushing them at the same time. This can be used on a daily basis to remove loose fur.
If you can get your Maine coon to roll over and allow you access to their tummy then this is a great gadget. This tool gets into the deep fur of the undercoat and removes dead fur, reducing the risk of matting. Large quantities of fur can be removed each time the tool passes through the undercoat. This is relatively inexpensive and you can purchase it on Amazon by clicking here.
Here is our video of the Furminator in action:
This shampoo has been specially created to reduce shedding and in turn prevent fur balls. The natural formula is designed to loosen dead the dead hairs of the undercoat whilst strengthening the remaining fur so that it does not break away so easily. For more information see my guide to the Best Shampoos for Maine Coons.
In the past I used lint rollers to pick up cat hair off of furniture and clothing. These however are horrible for the environment as the plastic sheeting is single use and not biodegradable. Nowadays I use a reusable, rubber lint remover. I purchased mine from Pets at Home. Here is a link to a similar product on Amazon.
We have a Henry hoover. We already had this hoover before we adopted our Maine coons. In general it is a great vacuum cleaner but it just wasn’t able to get the fur out of the carpeted areas of our house (we mostly have laminate flooring).
It turns out that you can buy a specific carpet attachment for the Henry hoover and this works fantastically when removing pet hair from the carpet. My husband had initially purchased an off-brand version of this attachment and it did almost nothing for the fur situation. Once we bit the bullet and bought the specific Henry attachment we could see that it was well worth the money.
If you are having issues with fur in your carpets and you looking for a new vacuum cleaner then the Bissell Cleanview Swivel Pet Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner is a good option to look into. This is honestly as good as a Dyson, if not better, but without the price tag. It’s a bagless, eco-friendly cleaning option and is specifically designed for removing pet hair. It swivels as you push it around to get into all of the corners and cervices but also has three different attachments for getting into hard-to-reach places. The best part is that each purchase leads to a donation to the Bissell animal foundation. Click here to read more user reviews and see current pricing on Amazon.
Maine coons are lovely creatures so please do not let the shedding of fur be a reason not to adopt one! With regular grooming, a good diet and a sturdy vacuum cleaner shedding should not become unmanageable. Life with a Maine coon is great fun and you’ll soon find that the fur issue does not both you at all.