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A large cat breed with long hair spells for a grooming dilemma. Knowing how to groom a Maine Coon cat will prove challenging since their coats are prone to matting. And since they are one of the largest cats, it will take more time and effort to ensure that their lustrous hair is in good condition. For this post, I will discuss practical grooming tips, tools, and advice to make the grooming task less of a chore for you.
Maine Coon Grooming Tools
Before we start, you must have the right tools for grooming. Maine Coons are long-haired cats, so you have to get the right brush, shampoo, and whatnots. To keep it simple, I suggest that you get these things:
- Deshedding tool. A cat deshedding tool (Check this one on Amazon) will help remove shed hair before it falls around the house. For Maine Coons, this is very important since they have a lush and shaggy coat that typical brushes can’t handle.
- Fine-toothed comb. Aside from the deshedding tool, you also need a fine-toothed comb (Check this one on Amazon) as an all-around groomer. It comes handy when working on mats and brushing your Maine Coon daily.
- Cat shampoo. Maine Coons have long hair, so you need a cat shampoo that will clean and nourish their coat. Look for a feline shampoo with natural ingredients (Check this one on Amazon), light scent, and minimal chemical content.
- Cat toothbrush and toothpaste. Like most cats, Maine Coons are natural groomers. However, they don’t have the ability to clean their mouths. For this part, you need a cat toothbrush (Check this one on Amazon) designed to clean their daggers. You should also get a toothpaste made, especially for felines.
- Cat ear cleaner. Maine Coons can’t clean the inside of their ears. And if not groomed, their ears can harbor nasty dirt, which will emit a bad smell later on. I suggest that you get a cat ear cleaner solution (Check this one on Amazon) for this purpose.
Grooming a Maine Coon Cat
When grooming a Maine Coon, you have to have a lot of patience. First of all, this cat is huge, and some of them are not fond of grooming sessions, much so a bath. But to help you out, the following are some of the tips I suggest:
Bathing a Maine Coon
Maine Coons have lush coats that require a lot of attention to prevent matting. Brushing alone won’t suffice, so they need regular baths. Bathing your Maine Coon at least every one to two months will help manage their shedding and dander:
- Before you bathe the kitty, give its coat a nice brush. You can use the deshedding tool to remove the shed fur that may result in tangles.
- It’s important to brush a Maine Coon before a bath to prevent knotting and matting.
- After brushing, you can now bathe your Maine Coon.
- Fill your bathtub with lukewarm water just right after the cat’s paws. You should use a shower head to wet the Maine Coon’s body.
- Once your cat is all soaked, apply the cat shampoo. Massage it on your Maine Coon’s coat, ensuring that its thick mane gets washed pretty well.
- Most cat shampoos need to be left on the kitty’s coat for up to 15 minutes. This is to let the formula seep through the skin and kill potential parasites.
- After that, rinse your Maine Coon well but avoid spraying water on its face.
- Instead, wet your hands and wipe it on your cat’s face.
- Once done, dry your cat with a clean towel. You can also use a pet dryer with the lowest heat setting.
- Lastly, give your Maine Coon a nice brush. Make sure that you brush in the same direction as their fur grows.
Clipping a Maine Coon’s nails
Maine Coons have sharp claws that require regular clipping. This will prevent them from causing deep scratch marks on your furniture or even your skin. For this part, here’s what you need to do:
- Never use human nail clippers for your Maine Coon. I suggest buying a cat nail clipper (Check this one on Amazon) to be safe.
- Make sure that your Maine Coon is calm before clipping its nails.
- Put your Maine Coon in a lying position then hold one of its paws.
- Slowly, trim the nails but avoid squeezing the paws too much.
- Let go of your cat after a nail or two so it won’t feel agitated.
- Work your way on each paw until you finish trimming all the nails.
- Reward your cat right after you finish clipping.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: The pink part on your Maine Coon’s nails is called ‘the quick’. It’s a very sensitive area with blood vessels and nerves. You should never cut this. Otherwise, it will bleed profusely, and you’ll need to bring your cat to the vet.
Cleaning a Maine Coon’s ears
Maine Coons grow some fur on their ears, so it’s essential to groom this part as well. Over time, your Maine Coon will gather dirt on its ears, which can lead to infections if not cleaned. When cleaning a Maine Coon’s ear, you must do the following:
- Restrain your Maine Coon by wrapping it with a clean towel.
- Wrap the cat in a position it’s comfortable at, and don’t make the towel too tight.
- After that, lift the ear flap of your Maine Coon to squirt a small amount of cat ear cleaner.
- Once you’ve introduced a small amount of ear cleaner, massage your Maine Coon’s ear to spread out the solution.
- Massaging will soften up dirt and waxes inside.
- After a minute of massaging, get a cotton ball then wipe your Maine Coon’s outer ear.
- Never use cotton buds or any similar objects since it can cause injuries on your cat’s ears.
- You may need to re-apply the ear cleaner solution once or twice until there’s no dirt left.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you’ve refrigerated the cat ear cleaner, wait for it to reach room temperature before the application. Introducing cold fluids into the Maine Coon’s ear can cause shock and health problems later on.
Expressing a Maine Coon’s anal glands
You have arrived at the most hated part of cat grooming: expressing the anal sacs. Your Maine Coon’s anal glands are the small thingy on each side of its anus. These ducts can harbor poop and other dirt that will become impacted if not cleaned.
Expressing a Maine Coon’s anal glands is gross and smelly, which is why Maine Coon owners just pay for a groomer to do it for them. But if you want to save some bucks, here’s what you need to do:
- Start by locating your Maine Coon’s anal glands. It’s usually at a 5 or 7 o’clock spot on either side of its anus. It feels like jelly beans when full.
- While wearing a pair of surgical gloves, press each gland gently using your thumb or index finger. Press inward and upward until the gross matter comes out.
- Wipe this with moist towels, preferably ones you’ll throw away afterward. You can also use cat grooming wipes to clean up.
- Make sure that the gross matter won’t get into your Maine Coon’s lush coat. If it does, spot-clean it with a damp towel and a small amount of dry shampoo.
Do Maine Coons shed their mane?
Maine Coons are unique because they have a thick mane, which resembles that of a lion. This mane sheds a lot during summer to cool down its body.
However, as the winter starts, your Maine Coon will grow its thick mane back. It serves as a thick scarf to protect them from freezing temperatures.
You should groom your Maine Coon’s mane properly to prevent matting and dirt buildup.
Knowing how to groom a Maine Coon cat is part of being a responsible cat owner. I hope that the tips I discussed here will help you with your next grooming session. If you’re not confident, you can always ask for help from a professional groomer. From there, you can learn your way around for proper grooming at home.