Cat ownership has to start somewhere. If you are looking at purchasing, or getting a Maine Coon, I am hoping this article may be of use to you
As I breed cats as a bit of a pastime, I have sold many, many cats in the past 20 years or so. I have bought a few as well and hopefully this may serve as a guide. I have owned Maine Coons in the past, and had periods without them. I decided I needed a Maine Coon. I was lucky, I know the breed I am after.
I bought Alita ‘sight unseen’ so I am hoping to run through my thinking process so it can help people in a similar situation.
I knew I wanted a purebred Maine Coon. That is, a Maine Coon whose parents are also Maine Coons.
In essence I knew I didn’t want a mix.
I wasn’t too worried about a pedigree Maine Coon, ie a cat whose parents, grandparents and great grandparents can be traced back with documentation.
As I already have cats in the household, I would only need a singular cat and not two.
I also decided the age of the Maine Coon must be between 12 weeks and 10 months. I wanted a Maine Coon that was still ‘kittenish’.
Preferably on the older side, as Maine Coons are prone to Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) that shows after 12 weeks for the next few months and this would rule out the cat possessing this condition.
So that leads me on to having to pick a breeder, rather than an opportune seller. I kind of ruled out nearby adverts, or online listings and went searching amongst the professional catteries that exist in Thailand
Interestingly I made a list of things that I wasn’t too worried about
These factors I would decide when I saw a cat I liked.
Professional ‘breed shelters’ might have been an option but I knew I wanted a kitten or a young adult so if it was an adult, I prefer the idea of a professional seller having looked after the cat. It will more likely have received a proper diet.
A Maine Coon breeder, whether exclusive or experienced would be my preferred option as the Maine Coon has some idiosyncrasies that I would prefer the breeder to be aware of.
A good high protein diet with the correct screening for the relevant genetic conditions were an important consideration for me.
Personally, I am comfortable speaking with them as well. Having spoken to many breeders and sellers during the years I now have a better sense of gauging a seller. I’ve been in their shoes.
A professional breeder also allows me to look around the Country. If you are wanting a local cat then this severely limits the amount of cats you can visit.
With options for flying animals available to me, as I live near an airport I could spread my net wide in my search. It also costs around $30 for me so it is not too expensive.
In today’s day and age, by far the best option is the internet.
It’s the place to start, and more than likely will be where it ends.
After all, Maine Coon breeders, like any animal breeder will eventually advertise their kittens for sale.
I discounted all the ones where the pictures didn’t look great or the living conditions looked, well, ‘less than optimal’.
I made a list of breeders and Facebook pages that had Maine Coons advertised and made a document to make the research easier.
It took me a few days and weeks, but eventually I found one.
Mainly because I saw this picture.
This is the picture that did it for me 😉
After that, it was just a matter of time.
All over the world, some owners can like cats but for finance reasons treat the cat poorly. I went about investigating the breeder.
Google searches and looking at the Facebook page didn’t throw up anything untoward.
So I started messaging, asking for more photos.
Hopefully this will show the living conditions of the Maine Coon. What I was getting back was very pleasing. I got back pictures going back quite a way, They showed a very healthy and well looked after Maine Coon kitten.
She was being fed well, and allowed to play, like every kitten should be able to.
I was finding out that she had been vaccinated, and was considered really healthy.
She wasn’t microchipped, but that’s not a common thing here.
She was also not named, so I would have to think of a name for her. Time to get my thinking cap on.
Questions about her parentage were also asked, and plenty of pictures were provided, as well of documentation via facebook messenger.
Things were going well.
Again, in this day and age, video can be transmitted so easily that it seems churlish not to ask for it.
I received plenty of video taken of her, and throughout the week or two’s contact I was continually receiving pictures and videos messaged to me.
Some of it was taken a few months back and some of it was done very recently.
I know this is good sellers practice as I do the same thing. When you think you have a ‘good buyer’, and by ‘good buyer’ I mean someone who you think will treat the cat well, you are more motivated to sell to that person.
Regular cat sellers are normally cat lovers. That’s my thinking anyway, and would much prefer to sell to someone they think will look after them.
I mean, who wants to sell to someone you think may mistreat the cat. It’s not common, for sure, but you still want to know.
I asked for pictures of eyes, coat, teeth and gums as well as body and was dutifully obliged.
Also asked for pictures of the living area. This tells you quite quickly whether the cat has been kept in squalor. I wasn’t expecting it and the pictures came back showing a good living area and conditions.
After questions via Facebook and messenger I decided call was in order.
There’s nothing quite like talking to a person. You can really get a feel for whether they like cats, and this was the case here.
I phoned on two separate occasions to talk about the kitten and the talks were good. Each chat lasted around half an hour as we discussed the breed and health in general.
The seller was very forthcoming with information, there didn’t seem to be anything withheld from me and there was not a hint of impropriety.
She’d been posting pictures of Maine Coons to me and seemed to be keeping me updated.
We discussed getting the cat to me and she seemed to know a lot about putting a Maine Coon on a plane, and having done it myself, knew she was being accurate with problems and charges.
A good sign was that she was also asking me questions as well. She was trying to understand why I wanted her cat and what the living conditions were to ascertain if she wanted to sell to me.
Personally, I think this was a really good sign. It’s an instinctive thing but I do the same thing. I want to know the cat I am selling is going to a good home.
Having asked a lot of general questions, like ‘how long have you been breeding Maine Coons’ and ‘under what circumstances do you refund’ I started asking more specific questions to the kitten.
I asked whether she was polydactyl, and she didn’t skip a beat, knowing what I meant (another good sign) and said the kitten wasn’t.
A regular amount of toes apparently.
On several occasions she volunteered the information about the health of the kitten, mentioning a few of the known conditions, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Polycystic Kidney Disease and HCM as well.
I was pleasantly informed that the kitten didn’t have these and showed all the signs of being a healthy cat.
The time period of around 12 to 17 weeks for Spinal Muscular Atrophy to show up had passed and I was interested in whether there was any signs of unsteady movement. Difficulty jumping? Or just a bit of an odd walk?
Nope, seemed healthy.
She was well wormed and had been kept indoors so that made sense.
Motor functions and dexterity were fine, and no balance loss or odd gait when she walked. Nothing about trouble jumping either.
I even got a small video to prove such.
At the end of the day, I was really satisfied that this was a good seller. The reviews seemed good on the facebook page and I was getting a good vibe as we were getting along well.
I asked and personality and temperament and was told all was good, got on well with other animals and her other cats.
Which was good. As I have a few of those.
Finally I asked about her birthday. She was born on 18th August 2018, was 28cm tall and 80cm in length from nose to the tip of her tail. She also weighed 2.55kg.
Just before she was sent to me, she also had a test for leukemia and aids. She passed with flying colors. This was one healthy cat.
So, I was happy to pay the deposit and and arrange a delivery day.
I say easy because the very day I decided I wanted this particular cat, I went to the cinema to see Alita: Battle Angel.
I liked the name Alita, so it was decided then and there.
Alita – The Battle Cat.
To be honest, this was a pretty simple and straightforward affair.
We lived around 1000 miles away from each other but both of us lived within 5 miles of an airport. We have a few options for air travel available,and there are several cargo options that allow pets to be transferred.
This is a pretty common occurrence and I have put cats on planes before to a destination when I have sold them so I already knew the procedures.
The date arrived and in the morning I received this;
So, Alita the Maine Coon was on her way. She would arrive early evening.
And I would be at the airport to greet her.
With some chicken. Apparently she likes that.
As long as you approach getting a Maine Coon with a clear head as well as your heart, then the process should go smoothly.
This is why I like dealing with professional breeders. They have done most of the things before and know a little bit about what they’re doing.
The process went smoothly and from the start of looking to the day she arrived took around 3 weeks. There were many messages that flew between us and any seller should never tire of you asking questions.
The deposit I paid was around 15% of the cost to reserve and full payment had to made before the kitten was placed on the plane, but it did come with a carrier and food for a few weeks so that was good.
The price I paid was fair for a well vaccinated, healthy and amazing kitten that I know she is going to turn out to be.
Her statistics are
In the next article I’d like to tell you about picking her up and introducing her my other cats. Introducing a Maine Coon to a new household, you may think is a nerve racking experience for.
I’d like to give you some idea of how effortlessly and painlessly introducing Maine Coon to a new house can be, and give you a glimpse into quickly they can settle in with that personality of theirs.
How did that go?