Maine Coon cat on bed

Maine Coon Cat – A Buyers and Owners Guide With Breed Information, Buying Advice and Facts

Introduction

The Maine Coon is one of the most common cats in the Western world and is arguably the largest of all the cat breeds.

It is a muscular and largely healthy cat. It has a large head and distinctive ear tufts. It has a tough coat but is particularly silky which gives an already large cat an impressive size when well groomed.

Although there are no exact records, most experts agree that this cat breed originated from Maine. The name Maine Coon was believed to have come as a result of mating between the raccoons and the domestic cats but this has been largely discounted.

It is most common in the cold regions and it has very unique features that enable it to survive such an environment, having deep fur and an affectionate nature,

If you have kids who are fond of pets, you will find the Maine Coon to be particularly easy going and gets along with all members of the household, new or old. It is a low maintenance cat breed.Maine Coon PKD

If you are looking to purchase a Maine Coon then they are available in a startling array of amazing colors, both solid and tabby. Almost all colors produce quite a striking cat on the eye with many colors being particularly sought after,

This is a pet for everyone and produces a nice ‘trilling’ when it is trying to get attention. It is a tough and sturdy breed which can withstand the tough and cold climate. It is no slouch in the rodent catching department either, being a top breed to remove unwanted vermin.

The female Maine Coon cats have a weight varying between 9 and 12 pounds while the male once range between 13 to 18 pounds

The eyes colors of these cats are generally impressive as they have colors varying from green to gold you can also find ones with blue eyes.

There are no restrictions when it comes to owning this cat breed. It is happy with an owner and can be happy within an apartment or a farmstead. The Maine Coon is mainly famous for its size and its appearance in the Harry Potter films.

History Of The Maine Coon

How the Maine Coon arrived on its contemporary journey is open to some interpretation and there many competing theories for why this cat breed is common in the US and Western Europe. There are several stories and theories that have been told relating to the historical background of this most wonderful of cat breeds.

One theory is that a well-known traveller, Captain Charles Coon used to travel across the Atlantic from England on his ship and always docked at Maine which could give us an insight into the name “Maine Coon”.

He travelled with his cats which were used for rodent control on the long voyages. When he docked, some of his male cats mated with the local feral cats in the area. The local female cats had kittens which was then named as a “Coon’s cat”. Whether this is the actual origin of the Maine Coon cats can be contested,

The Maine Coon has a similarity with the Norwegian Forest Cats so it could be natural pairing of similar breeds, as the Norwegians also used to travel the seas with cats.

The truth is, no-one really knows for sure so there are some good theories out there.

The Maine Coon Appearance

If you are looking for a striking pet for your home, then I recommend that you look at a Maine Coon. They have very interesting characteristics that can make anyone adore them.

Most of its distinct physical features enable it to survive in the cold environments it descended from. It is a physically large cat, holding the title of the worlds largest domestic cat breed. It is also a strong and physically adept feline that should look like a mini lion.

In research that was conducted, it was discovered that Maine Coons are available in more than 75 solid colors. This may include shaded silver, cameo, silver tabby, shaded white and blue tabby.

The weight of a female Maine Coon is likely to weigh around 3.6 – 5.4 kg while the grown-up males have an average weight of 5.9 –  8.2 kgs.

Typically they appear to have a strong body and broad chest, with their legs looking bigger compared to normal cat breeds.

The fur is slightly longer which appear to be silky with very interesting patterns. Their tails are full of fur and about 14 inches long. They use the tail to cover themselves during the winter period so that they can acquire more warmth.

The tail also helps them to float while in they are in the water. When you are to look for their eyes, you will discover most of them have colors ranging from gold to green. Blue-eyed Maine Coon are also common.

The Maine Coon Temperament

So, if you are thinking of keeping a Maine Coon cat as your family pet it would indeed be helpful to know what type of temperament your prospective new pet might have.

Basically, these cats are the best pets you could ever own for your family. They are naturally unique as they are able to detect who they want to stay close to, they are quite happy to follow owners around the house.

Maine CoonThe Maine Coon is a friendly and independent cat breed. While quite sociable in nature and is quite happy to get along with anyone, it is not overly familiar. It will follow you around the house, being quite curious in nature but is not a typical lap cat.

Unusually for there large size, a lot of Maine Coon’s are happy to be walked on a leash. This makes them quite a good choice for apartment owners in particular, who will need to exercise their cat if it cannot be let out of the property.

Although called a gentle giant, it is a good mouser and rodent remover. It also has a wide variety of sounds if can make, usually notated as a meow, cheep or trill.

They are also intelligent and curious. They get along with dogs and other household pets normally and it’s not unknown for them to get on with hamsters and birds.

They are so loving and they prefer staying close to their owners and trying to participate in the activities you are undertaking. So generally, their temperament makes them beloved by many families around the world.

The Personality Of The Maine Coon

With several monikers associated with the Maine Coon such as “gentle giants” and “dogs of the cat world” you can get a good idea as to their personality.

They are very large for cats and are very sociable and happy to be around humans and other household pets, be they dogs or cats. They are an intelligent breed which comes through in being curious about the world around them. It’s not unknown for Maine Coon’s to follow their owners around the house.

It’s also generally agreed that male Maine Coons are a little more social than the females, who behave more like ‘normal’ cats. They are not needy cats though. They like to be around humans but it’s not need driven.

Every time you are seated at home, they will tend towards sitting somewhere close to you so that they can associate with you. They can also keep waiting for you outside of a clsoed door if they discover you might be behind it. Good luck with those trips to the bathroom.

They have a lot of energy so plenty of toys might be advisable to keep their skills up. They are considered excellent mousers so your home should at least be free from vermin and rodents.

Other good traits they have is that you can easily train them, love playing with water, they are very energetic, talkative, and curious about so many things and above all, they are loyal. Being labelled as “dogs of the cat world” is about right.

The Maine Coon With Children And Other Family Pets

If you are looking for cat breed that will integrate well into a household that may already have children or other pets then the Maine Coon is the perfect choice. As mentioned earlier it has acquired the title of “gentle giant” for a reason.

When you keep a Maine Coon as a family addition there is always much to enjoy from them. One thing you need to note is that they are naturally born to with the ability to cheer you up with their playful antics.

An active child who likes running around the room and playing all sorts of games can actually befriend Maine Coons within a very short period of time. They are not quick to anger and will always give your kids company whenever they are playing.

The Maine Coon is a confident cat and will also be happy to befriend other pets, whether they are cats or dogs. They are not easily intimidated due to their larger size but aren’t naturally aggressive towards other animals within the household.

Your dogs, should you have them, will always find it easy to move around with this unique species of cat.

The Common Health Issues Effecting The Maine Coon

Being of a unique size and disposition the Maine Coon is susceptible to a few conditions more so than other breeds of cat. Whilst in no means certain that your cat will get these, there are four specific ailments that effect Maine Coons disproportionately.

They are;

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: This affects the respiratory system mostly. It makes the walls of the heart thicker. This results in a decrease of blood flow throughout the body. Detecting the presence of this condition, check if the cat has problems in breathing, changes in weight or if there is an irregular heartbeat.

Hip Dysplasia: When the hip joint of your pet becomes loose or dislocated. This will cause severe pain, and eventually arthritis. The more weight your cat gains, the more this condition might worsen. If your Maine Coon develops a limp and a preference for not jumping then it could be Hip Dysplasia

Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD): Occurs when polyps / cysts grow in the kidney of your cat. It is a genetic condition that the Maine Coon will be born with. It is hereditary and if the rate these cysts grows increases, then the kidney is likely to fail, leading to renal failure. Some of its common symptoms are vomiting, weight change, excess urination or decreased activity.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA): This is a hereditary disorder that is inherited through the genes. Spinal chord neurons decay causing muscular degeneration. Symptoms will be a muscle weakness and swaying gait upon walking. It is not treatable and Maine Coon breeders are trying to breed out this genetic trait.

These afflictions can be abated and a Maine Coon that is encouraged to be healthy and active will certainly go a long way negating some of them. For example, Hip Dysplasia can be mitigated against by not overfeeding and exercising regularly. However, PKD and SMA are more genetic conditions that the Maine Coon will be born with.

What You Need To Know About Grooming Your Maine Coon Cat

Although like any cat a Maine Coon can take of itself, if you want to keep it looking as good as possible you probably need to keep an eye of two main areas.

The Maine Coon has long hair, which gives them an even more impressive look. As such they can shed hair quite frequently in the right seasons and can always do with a bit of help with regular brushing to keep knots and tangles at bay.

The other area are the ears which are quite large and have tufted ear hair. It’s advisable to keep them free of wax and ear mites.

Starting to groom them when they are young is advisable. This will get the Maine Coon accustomed early on to being groomed which will help later on in its life. You need to use a soft brush when grooming them so that you will not cause them pain.

You also need to clip their claws so that they may not harm your kids whenever they are playing. Remember to bathe them but do not use extremely hot or cold water.

How Much Will It Cost You To Maintain A Maine Coon Cat For A month?

For a purebred Maine Coon the likely price is from $900 to $1500 depending on a great many factors to acquire a 12 week old kitten.

One of he most important things as a Maine Coon owner is to ensure it is well fed with a wide variety of nutritious foods to ensure health and longevity.

Meals that are protein rich and low carbohydrates are ideal and with good deal of wet food you can keep dental maintenance low.

If you spend appropriately, and not on expensive foods, then food costs for a single Maine Coon will be around $40 per month.

Obviously at the early stage of kittenhood you will be spending money on litter trays and toys to keep your Maine Coon entertained.

You may also have to include expenses incurred during deworming, vaccination, examinations, consultations and neutering. This total cost is about $140

Plan for the extra cost that you may incur on replacement of its feeding bowls, litter boxes, special shampoos for washing them and brushes/combs/clippers for grooming. On a monthly basis, these costs are minimal and shouldn’t be considered.

Finally, there might be insurance and in a low risk area the average monthly cost of insurance is around $20.

Thus a monthly cost for a purebred Maine Coon kitten that is insured health-wise should be around $60 to $80 per month. In reality, there is no upper limit if you really want to spoil them. And why wouldn’t you?

Your Maine Coon Will Most Likely Love Water

In a complete about face from the perceived reality that cats aren’t great fans of water, your Maine Coon might feel a little differently.

Perhaps it’s a throwback to the times of old when, at least as the legends go, they were used as mousers on the ships exploring the new world your Maine Coon may want regular bath times.

It’s almost unique in the cat world, but Maine Coons seem to love water. At least, most of them.

A wide variety of Maine Coon owners report various different antics of their cats behavior around water. From wanting baths, playing in paddling pools to full scale swimming in pools.

It is a breed more comfortable around water than most.

Kittens haven’t fully developed so if you are bathing them, please make sure that the water is luke warm and not overly cold. Pneumonia is a condition that a Maine Coon can catch.

This breed was born to survive in the harsh winter seasons and they are very sturdy and resilient cats. A little bit of water doesn’t scare them either. Indeed, they seem to revel in it.

The Range Of Maine Coon Colors

There are said to be around 75 different and identifiable colors that the Maine Coon can be found in. The most common solid colors are black, red/ginger, blue/silver, white and cream. There are also tabby and tortoiseshell colour blends giving many different varieties of coat color.

A favorite are the more like colors. They mainly have a silvery undercoat which gives a silvery smokey haze to the coat. Tortie smoke, red smoke, blue smoke, creamy smoke, and a black smoke are among the varieties that can be found under this category.

There is also the classic Tabby Maine Coon. A lot of people like this coat color and shade so they are popular. There are the Black Classic Tabby, Tortie Classic Tabby, Blue Classic Tabby, Blue Tortie Classic Tabby and many more.

There seems to be endless scope to of colors and shades for you to choose from should you have a preferred pattern in mind.

The Unique Size Of The Maine Coon

The Maine Coon is a popular cat breed. As well as popular it has the distinction of being the largest domestic cat breed in the world.

The Guinness book of records divides the title into two distinct awards. The Maine Coon is both the tallest and the longest of the domestic cat breeds.

An adult Maine Coon can obtain lengths up to 48 inches long, with the current record, held by a deceased Maine Coon named Stewie. They are naturally large cats with a thick fur that makes them look even bigger.

Maine Coons are extremely long when compared to the other cat species. This amazing length comes as a result of their long tail which is about 16 inches from pelvis to tip.

A fully grown adult male Maine Coon will on average be 15-25 lbs and 40 inches in length. When you consider their muscle development, you will notice that they have a strong muscular physique which enables them to live within their harsh environment. It’s a giant cat indeed and you may not find people not willing or able to carry them around. Their big size isn’t for everyone but its size does hamper their childish love of play. It is indeed, a “gentle giant”.

Lifespan And Healthy Weight Ranges

The Maine Coon has a healthy lifespan with an average of 11 to 13 years. Their large size gives them a sturdy life with the ability to cope with tougher conditions. They are however, prone to a couple of genetic traits and conditions.

In fact, a Maine Coon cross breed named Corduroy has lived to the ripe old age of 26 which holds the record as the world’s longest living cat.

Notably, a healthy weight of a Maine Coon kitten just born is 115 grams, which is the average. As it grows to the age of 12 weeks which is the common age when most of them are normally sold, most of them weigh about 1.35 kilogram to 1.8 kilograms.

As they grow bigger, the normal healthy weight of an adult male Maine coon will weigh between 13 to 18 lbs. The female registers a weight of 8 to 12 lbs.The weight of your pet is also very significant in its growth pattern. Unlike a regular cat whose age to reach maturity will take around 2 years, a Maine Coon will continue to develop till 4 to 5 years.

An unhealthy lifestyle with too much junk food and lack of exercise can seriously alter your Maine Coons weight and thus lifespan.

It would be good practice to make sure there is a daily routine to ensure regular exercise to keep your Maine Coon healthy.

 

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