Should I feed my Maine Coon a raw diet?

The idea of feeding a raw diet, often homemade, to a domestic cat became a trend about 12 years ago. The raw diet has been touted as a good cure for sensitive feline stomachs and digestive problems leading to 'smelly poop'. Of the purebred cats, the Bengal probably topped the list of the best 'patients' for the change in diet. Although I am sure that many Bengal cats benefited as their stool improved, we don't hear about the potential issues.

Premix and raw meat cat food diet. Photo of mince by BobPetUK
Premix and raw meat cat food diet. This is taking raw meat and adding in the nutrients needed to make it a balanced diet. It is a good option. Photo of mince by BobPetUK

Risk and reward

Despite the fact that I am a supporter of the raw diet for cats, I am also fully aware of the potential hazards. The decision to feed a raw diet is a personal one based on risk and reward. It will be a balanced decision. And if you want to feed your Maine Coon a raw diet, I think the safest way forward is to buy a commercially prepared food to help avoid most of the risks associated with a raw diet such as bacterial contamination.

RELATED: in July 2023 there was a lot of talk online about bird flu which can be transmitted between animals. It was said that a cat eating chicken necks can get bird flu! Must be very rare but a thought. Click this to read about it.


The premix and raw meat cat food diet mentioned above it a good option I feel as it reduces the risks of bacterial contamination. Click this link to read about it.


My personal view is that a raw diet is best PROVIDED you know exactly what you are doing if it is homemade and you are EXPERT at the process. If not, the risks are too high and I'm sure the experts and veterinarians would advise not to feed your Maine Coon homemade or even commercially prepared raw foods. Any changes to a raw diet from a standard diet should be gradual.

Maine Coon stomach

Also, the Maine Coon is not known for having a sensitive stomach or digestive problems. As a consequence, there isn't a reasonable argument to give your Maine Coon a raw diet unless you have struggled with gastrointestinal issues with your Maine Coon and your veterinarian has suggested trying a raw diet.


Today there are some studies on the raw cat diet. The scientists tend to reflect what the veterinarians say which is to avoid them! In general, you'll see studies pointing out the hazards. For instance, the study: "Raw diets for dogs and cats: a review, with particular reference to microbiological hazards" (2019) say that there is no formal evidence of the benefits to, for instance, an improvement in the gut biome (the good bacteria in the gut) but there are downsides such as Salmonella poisoning and the presence of other infectious organism in raw foods. Link to study:
Surveys in Europe and North America have consistently found Salmonella species in a proportion of samples, typically of fresh-frozen commercial diets. - the above-mentioned study.


Raw pet food commonly exceeds hygiene thresholds for counts of Enterobacteriaceae. These bacteria often encode resistance to critically important antibiotics such as extended-spectrum cephalosporins, and raw-fed pets create an elevated risk of shedding such resistant bacteria. Other infectious organisms that may be of concern include Listeria, shiga toxigenic E scherichia coli , parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii and exotic agents such as the zoonotic livestock pathogen Brucella suis, recently identified in European Union and UK raw pet meat imported from Argentina.
This study paints a very bleak picture and it is off-putting. I am not sure it is that bad but it does point out the risks so there must be some clear benefits and as mentioned the Maine Coon has a pretty robust digestive tract on my research. 


My excellent reference book Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook, is pretty clear too: the four vets who wrote the book are against giving a domestic cat a raw diet.

They state that "there are numerous serious problems that can be associated with feeding a raw diet. Here is a list from their book.

All said and done

If you are truly expert and if your Maine Coon has a sensitive stomach and digestive problems and if your vet advises trying a raw diet, go ahead!

Below are some best-ranked commercially prepared raw diets. I'd buy commercial to be safe.

If you are set on a raw diet for your Maine Coon

America has a better range of commercially made raw cats diets than any other country. Vet Street recommend these (thank you Vet Street):
  • Best Overall Raw Cat Food: Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Meals Freeze-Dried Cat Food
  • Best Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food: Smalls
  • Best Grain-Free Raw Cat Food: Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Morsels Cat Food
  • Best Frozen Raw Cat Food: Tiki Cat Raw 
  • Best Raw Cat Food Delivery Service: Darwin’s Natural Selections Raw Cat Food
  • Best Raw Cat Food Topper: Instinct Raw Boost Mixers Freeze-Dried Cat Food Topper
  • Best Raw Cat Treats: PureBites Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Treats

Maine Coon breeder

Some Maine Coon breeders prepare their own raw diet. Here is one from a Russian breeder. You can read about this breeder's preparation of raw food by clicking on this link.

It looks disgusting right!? 


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