When can I expect my Maine Coon cat to shed fur?

To answer the question in the title we need to know what controls the shedding of fur in domestic cats including Maine Coons. When you answer that question, you can answer the question in the title. Some people think that seasonal temperature changes governs the shedding of fur in Maine Coon cats and other domestic cats. This makes sense because fur keeps cats warm and therefore if it's warmer, they don't need so much fur.

Dante - a Red Tabby Maine Coon in the Snow
Dante - a Red Tabby Maine Coon in the Snow. Photo by Wendy


But it appears that cats are photosensitive meaning that they respond to the amount of ambient light when it comes to shedding fur. In other words, shedding fur is more influenced by the amount of light impacting upon the cat than by temperature changes. But of course, the amount of ambient light is directly linked to the ambient temperature outside i.e. seasonal changes.

Other factors

It's also important to note that other factors such as diet, health, and grooming habits can affect how much a cat sheds, and that shedding can vary from cat to cat. So, while ambient light can play a role in domestic cat shedding, it's just one of several factors that can affect how much fur a cat loses.

Indoor cats

But this article is mainly about seasonal changes and how they affect shedding. And here is another issue concerning Maine Coon cats. I would expect most of them to be full-time indoor cats because they are too valuable and attractive to be allowed outside unsupervised. This would be modified if the Maine Coon is leash trained which I think is advisable.

Full-time indoor cats are less affected by the amount of available light over the various seasons. There will be some impact because light comes in through the windows but you've got artificial light inside the home which is more constant.

You won't get a clear seasonal change as you would with a domestic cat allowed outside. In general, the more exposure to natural light the greater the amount of shedding and this applies equally to both intact and neutered and spayed cats.

RELATED: Non-Shedding Cat Breeds?

Thinning and thickening

Shedding thins out the coat and makes a cat more comfortable in warmer weather which is linked to more sunlight and therefore more ambient light. Conversely, a cat sheds less during shorter days when there is less ambient light and the climate is colder. This allows the coat to thicken.


For indoor cats exposed to constant light they may shed lightly and grow new coats year-round. The point is that there is much less distinction in coat density changes during seasonal changes.

RELATED: 4 ways that cat fur changes with age.


You can tell when a cat is shedding when you groom them. I regularly groom my cat with a flea comb because he is a single-coated cat and therefore I can comb him with a very tight comb. 

Pic: MikeB

And I know that when spring and summer arrives there is more fur in the comb as he sheds for the summer season. And when autumn and winter arrives there is less fur in the comb after I have combed him. This is obvious but it is a practical example of how you can measure shedding.

The shedding of fur is more of an issue with Maine Coon cats because they have more fur than a typical shorthaired domestic cat. They are famous for their shaggy coats and their ruffs. They need grooming by their caregiver to keep the coat in good condition. I would expect a Maine Coon owner to see what I see when I grew my cat but in greater quantities.


Note: I have read on the Internet that domestic cats shed fur during the autumn season. I don't understand this. I think this is incorrect because it is in direct conflict to what I said above. Autumn (fall) is a darker season. There is less ambient light. 

The coat is likely to thicken because the photosensitive signal is that the weather is going to be cold. It is possible that there is some misleading information on the Internet. If there is an article which misleads it can lead to further articles which misleading in the same way as there is a lot of copying on the Internet.


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