About Maine Coon Cats

Maine Coon Tetsumo Flickr

Maine Coon cats are popular pedigree cats with a mysterious history. While established as a domestic breed, it became a popular breeders choice in the 19th Century and has now become popular throughout the world.

Maine Coon - Sven Walter - Flickr Maine Coon Kitten - Miss Vichan - Flickr Maine Coon - Rory MacLeod - Flickr

Breed Characteristics of Maine Coon Cats

Tactile and affectionate, Maine Coon cats are often referred to as gentle giants that are fond of contact with their owners and other pets in the home. It is an intelligent breed and they are capable hunters.

The breed is often exhibited in cat shows and such events provide opportunities for you to see the various coat patterns and colours available such as tortoiseshell, solids, tabbies, parti-colours, smoke and bi-colour. Kittens can be purchased from reputable breeders. Some breeders may stipulate that they want you to enter into contracts to ensure that they are satisfied that you will be responsible owners. There may be also conditions about whether you can breed from your cat.

About Maine Coon Cats

The Maine Coon is also referred to as the American Longhair. Originally a native breed in Maine, USA, it continues to be popular because it is an avid hunter and distinctive in its appearance. It is a well-known breed and can be found in various colours. An intelligent breed, Maine Coon cats are the second largest domestic cat breed. Female Maine Coons can weigh up to 6.8 kilograms, and male Maine Coons can weigh as much as 11.3 kilograms. A male Maine Coon was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010 as the longest cat at 123 centimetres.

Maine Coon cats can live for more than 12.5 years on average. They have long, dense fur that is ideal for surviving harsh cold climates. They have a bushy, long tail that is used to curl up with to keep warm. The breed has large paws that prevent the cats from sinking in the snow.

Choosing a Maine Coon Cat

When it comes to choosing your Maine Coon cat, you will need to think about whether you want a male or female, whether you will be breeding from your cat and whether you will be showing him or her. Many owners will consider either spaying or neutering their pet between 5 and 9 months of age. Males are usually larger than females but you may make your choice may be based on colour rather than sex of the kitten.

If you are considering breeding, female Maine Coon cats will regularly call to local mates that may not be Maine Coons; therefore, you will need to keep her indoors to ensure that she does not have unwanted non-pedigree litters. Male Maine Coon cats will want to mark out his territory and will be keen to find suitable females to mate with, again not necessarily other Maine Coons.

Prices will vary from breeder to breeder for various reasons. You may not want to go to the trouble and expense of breeding and therefore choose to keep your Maine Coon cat as a pet.  Always ask the breeder questions, and do not be afraid to ask even the most basic ones. You may not be overly familiar with the breed. Try to see the litter to see how your kitten is interacting with the others. Pick the outgoing kitten that is friendly and fun. Avoid kittens that appear nervous or are showing signs of distress or other health issues. All kittens should look healthy and clean with bright eyes and ears. Check the skin for any surface conditions or mite infestations. Teeth and gums should be bright and healthy. Ask about flea and worm control and any inoculations that the breeder has arranged to be carried out before the kitten is ready to take home. The breeder will usually make arrangements for inoculations for Cat Flu and Feline Infectious Enteritis. For added peace of mind, you can ask that you want a vet to check over your kitten before you finally make payment and collect your kitten. You may be expected to make a deposit to secure a kitten.

Think about everything that your Maine Coon cat will need in your home from shelter to food. Will you be carrying your kitten home in a box or crate? You can purchase a carry crate that should be suitable to keep your kitten secure when transporting him or her to the vet or on journeys to the cattery. Buy suitable food and dishes to use for food and water. House cats will need a litter tray that should be cleaned regularly.

Your breeder should be available even after you bring your kitten home to answer any queries or concerns. Always try to use the same food as the breeder used to feed your Maine Coon cat. If you need to change it, then introduce the new food gradually to prevent diarrhoea.

Introduce your kitten to other pets slowly after he or she has been allowed to explore your home on his or her own.

Maine Coon - Marcel Steger - Flickr Maine Coon - John Haslam - Flickr Maine Coon - Dan Hershman - Flickr

Maine Coon Health

As a pedigree, Maine Coon cats have a genetic predisposition towards some disorders. Like many pedigree breeds, breeders try to ensure that cats known to have a genetic disorder are not bred from wherever possible to try and breed out conditions that can be detrimental to the cat’s health. Of course, there are some disorders that will affect either Maine Coon cats as well as non-pedigree cats.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a form of heart disease. It is a heterogenetic disease that is common to cats of all breeds and forms. It increases the thickness of the heart wall of the left ventricle, with systolic anterior motion of the mitral valves with hypertrophy of the papillary muscle. The condition can cause death by tachycardia and heart failure, arrhythmia and ventricular fibrillation or the formation of thrombi of the left atrium or weakness of the heart.

Spinal cord neurons can be damaged by Spinal Muscular Atrophy that affects the skeletal muscles leading to young Maine Coons developing peculiar walking styles and weakness of the hindquarters. This condition can be genetically tested.

Polycystic kidney disease affects Maine Coons. As the name suggests, the disease causes cysts to develop within the kidneys that increase in number and size as the cat ages. As it progresses with age, it can take a long time to notice the condition. It usually presents with weight loss, increased urine output and thirst.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis cannot be tested and there is no known cure. It affects all breeds and types of cat. The condition causes death and it is a form of the Corona virus. Nearly 8 in 10 cats carry the virus but only about 1 in 100 cats will develop the condition when the virus mutates and escape into the circulatory system.

Despite these illnesses and assuming all goes well, you will have many years of enjoyment as an owner of a Maine Coon.

One thought on “About Maine Coon Cats

  1. Maine Coon Kittens says:

    It is conceivable that the predecessors of the Maine Coon kittens were brought by the Vikings. It is really perceived that they were going with felines. As indicated by the Sagas, Leif Ericson had colonized the fanciful Vinland around the year Mil. These programs have presumably settled in the “Anse aux Jellyfish (Meadows), in Newfoundland, where archeologists have discovered hints of a Scandinavian town. For more such facts visit the site.

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