Should Maine Coons be bathed?

No, Maine Coons should not be bathed unless there is a specific health reason. Such reasons might be that the cat has fallen into some paint or has a bad flea infestation. These would both be rare for Maine Coons as they live pretty special lives, normally, as they are purchased cats from a breeder and they can be expensive depending on the quality of the cat. They'll normally be full-time indoor cats in the interests of their security and safety and well cared for.

Dirty stray kitten being bathed and probably enjoying it
Dirty stray kitten being bathed and probably enjoying it. This is NOT a Maine Coon! This is a stray who was rescued and in a bad way. Photo in the public domain.

The reason why you should not bathe a Maine Coon is because they (1) 'bathe'; self-groom themselves all the time like any other domestic cat and (2) you'll dry out the skin and wash out all the cat's body odour - their scent. If they have a cat friend living in the same home their friend will suddenly fail to recognise them and hiss!

This is confirmation that domestic cats identify each other more from their scent rather than their appearance. I remember living with sister and brother cats and I had to bathe her because she fell into some white emulsion paint (I was painting the bathroom). After she was bathed, her brother decided that she was an alien cat who'd wandered into the home and started hissing at her aggressively. 

We made sure she was fully dried off before allowing them together again and then all was fine. She also groomed herself to get rid of the smell of the water.

The short answer as to why you should not bathe any domestic cat is because they self-groom assiduously every day which cleans them perfectly unless they are overwhelmed by dirt as you see in feral cats who've become ill and have lost their motivation. This is very sad to see, incidentally.

Sometimes people who show cats at cat shows bathe their cats to make their coat more attractive but this is a special reason and does not apply to the typical cat guardian. Also I think it is a bad idea.

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