Aren’t Maine Coon kittens the cutest? So many cat lovers would love to have one of these little cuties as a pet.
But let’s be honest, when buying a Maine Coon kitten, it so much more than cuteness.
If you are on the market for a kitten to bring home to your family, you’re probably lost in a sea of information.
You probably don’t know where to start and how to go about choosing the right breeder to purchase from. There are so many aspects of consideration to be taken.
So how would you choose a Maine Coon breeder?
A Maine Coon breeder should be chosen on the basis of professionalism. The breeder should be registered with the CFA or TICA. They should have been in the business for some time where reviews can be looked at. The parents of the litter should be healthy and verifiable proof of kitten care should be noted.
However, do not let your guard down. It is of utmost importance to ensure you purchase from a good breeder.
Here are a few key factors to consider when choosing a breeder.
You may want to start your search by seeking out the most reputable breeders near you.
You can ask friends, relative or just about anyone who is into cats.
If this is not an option, then perhaps join a Facebook Group for cat lovers or Maine Coons and ask in there for recommendations.
There is no doubt you will have the contacts of a few good breeders turning up in no time. Some people are kind enough to provide valuable feedback.
We have a list of registered Maine Coon breeders if you want to take a look.
Make sure they have a location and good contact details, and you can tour the premises.
Ask what gurantees they give with the kitten, and what health concerns they take into account. Good breeders do PKD tests.
You can also go to the breeder’s website and Facebook page for customer reviews.
You don’t want to bring home a kitten you are not equipped to take care of, do you? It is very important to ask the breeder for the kitten’s health records.
Taking on the responsibility of a pet is a huge commitment, so it is very important you have all the facts on your potential Maine Coon before you take her home.
You need to know what you are getting into.
Ensuring your potential pet is up to date on all relevant vaccinations is a key area to look at.
You should ensure kittens are free from PKD and FIV. If the breeder cannot provide these documents, we would say, find another breeder.
Some cat species are more prone to certain genetic issues than others. Generally, all species of cats will likely have some sort of genetic health condition they are prone to.
Think of it this way, if your family has a history of high blood pressure, then you are likely to be affected at some point in life.
Here is a list of the common types of genetic screening performed on Maine Coon cats.
Spinal Muscular-Atrophy (SMA) – This is characterised by poor posture or posture abnormalities. It occurs due to gradual loss of motor neurons in the end of the spine and atrophy muscles of the hind legs.
Polycystic kidney-disease (PKD) – In this case, the kitten is born with multiple cysts inside of its kidneys. These cysts gradually increase in size as the kitten grows and eventually leads to kidney dysfunction.
Feline hypertrophic-cardiomyopathy (HCM) – This diseases leads to heart failure or attack. What occurs over time is the walls of the heart’s muscle thicken, which leads to an enlarged heart.
This type of information is very important as it provides potential cats owners valuable insight into the future of their Maine Coon’s health. If the breeder cannot provide these, then you know what to do.
Like humans, cats also have different types of personalities. Some are affectionate, standoffish or aggressive.
When looking for a good breeder, have a discussion about the behaviour and personality of the parents of a particular litter.
Cats tend to inherent behaviour/personality traits from their parents.
You can ask to be taken to the parents of a specific litter to be able to observe their behaviour.
Try interacting with them to see how they react to you. This will give you major insight into the future personalities of their litter.
If a breeder wont tell you about the parentage then this is a bad sign.
Experts have recommended that a female car breeds no often than every 8 months. Cats need time for their body to rest and rebuild following a pregnancy.
Since the average gestation period is a little over 2 months, this will provide adequate time for the rest. Breeding too often can produce stressed kittens.
Checking on this will allow you to be sure the Queen’s health is not being left on the back burner by the breeder.
This knowledge will also ensure you get a healthy happy kitten.
The state of the facility the cats are being kept also plays in their personalities and health.
Are they kept in the family house of their breeder? Is their area kept clean?
These are key observations you should make when visiting the breeding site.
Often breeders may opt to house their cats and litters in their home while others may provide a separate area for breeding cats.
So if you attend a facility and notice overcrowding or any such relates issues; then it could be a red flag.
Breeders should be able to provide a clean, spacious and loving environment for each of their cats.
It is also important to ensure your breeder is registered within one or more Cat-Breeder Associations.
Most breeders are a part of either The International Cat-Association (TICA) or The Cat Fanciers-Association (CFA).
It is probably a good idea to ask the breeder to have a look of their Code of Ethics. The Code-of-Ethics is a document given to breeders when they have become an approved Maine Coon breeder by TICA.
As a way or reassurance, lots of breeders provide a health guarantee valid for anywhere from a few months to a year.
This is important, especially in cases of undetected genetic abnormalities. Sometimes, genetic testing may not detect certain abnormalities.
If this happens and your kitten becomes ill all you take her home; once your vet can prove that the illness was a result of a genetic abnormality, you will be eligible for a replacement.
However, health guarantees rarely extend for longer than a year.
This is because breeders cannot determine the conditions in which cat will be placed once they have been purchased.
Once you’ve got all the factors mentioned above checked, selecting the Maine Coon that is right for you becomes much easier.
To end with thei are a few other considerations that you may wish to consider.
Diet of the kitten – Check the diet for the kitten has been good quality food which is protein rich.
Vaccinations – What is the vaccination policy of the breeder?
Socialization – Ask about how well the kitten has been socialized.
Litter trained – Are they already litter trained?
Contract of sale – Will the breeder provide a contract of sale?
Guage passion for the Maine Coon – The more passionate the breeder is about the Maine Coon the better.
Good breeder will inform you of health problems for a Maine Coon – Do they inform you of the known issues of the breed.
References – Ask to see references, and will they supply any?
Maine Coon 101 | Read This Before Getting One