Posts

Showing posts from October, 2011

Difference between Maine Coon and Siberian cat

Image
The difference between the Maine Coon and Siberian cat in respect of appearance will be found in the breed standards of these cat breeds. There will also be purported differences in personality and finally in respect of health issues. Purebred cats generally have some sort of propensity to a genetically inherited illness . Photos are copyright Helmi Flick The photos on this page are protected by copyright ©. Violations of copyright are reported to Google.com (DMCA). The breed standards compare as follows in a small selection of key areas: Ears - Maine Coon ears are large and well tufted (lynx tipped). They are wide at the base. The Siberian ears are medium large and ear tips are allowed but as you can see they are not necessarily present. The MC has more prominent ear hair ( ear furnishing ) inside the ear flap. General - Maine Coon is rugged and solid with a smooth shaggy coat. The Siberian is described as medium to medium large with a triple coat and the overall app

Maine Coon Rex

The Maine Coon Rex is a curly haired Maine Coon. The word "rex" is used in the cat fancy to describe curly haired cat breeds such as the Devon Rex and Cornish Rex. The Maine Coon Rex popped up in the UK in the 1980s as a result of deliberate cross breeding with a curly haired cat or as a natural mutation. The cat was considered deleterious to the Maine Coon breed and culled (breeding cats neutered). Some people liked it and wanted to promote it. I don't think there are any pictures of this cat and certainly not ones that can be published under license. If you have one please tell me by leaving a comment. You'll just have to visualize one! The LaPerm is probably a similar cat to be honest. You can see the LaPerm on this page .

Maine Coons and Water

There is an anecdotal connection between Maine Coon cats and water. They are said to like water and to paw at water bowls etc. None of the respected and well known books that I have on cat breeds and/or the Maine Coon refer to this likeness for water or playing with water. The CFA website, the Cat Channel says they are fascinated by water, however. There are no creative commons images that I can find of Maine Coons playing with water. This supports the view that Maine Coons are not necessarily crazy about water. I have discussed this aspect of Maine Coon cat behavior before. On this page I set out my theory as to why this breed likes water (if it really does). The page included a testament by Helmi Flick , celebrated American cat photographer who lives with two Maine Coons and two Brit SHs . A colleague of mine VG has a page on her website about how Maine Coons love water and a video. You'll have to make your own mind up about it. It is possible that Maine Coons like wa

Maine Coon Weight Range

Image
The Maine Coon weight range is dependent on the fact that this is the largest purely domestic cat (meaning not a wild cat hybrid) in the cat fancy and the sex of the cat. There will also be individual cats that are very big indeed. These cats will not be typical of the breed. Typically large Maine Coon CFA cat show - Photo by semarr Tabby and white coat I think I tend to underestimate the weights of cats as visitors to my site who keep Maine Coons have bigger cats that I had imagined. I have played and lived with Maine Coon cats in the USA. They are big but we must not image that they are giant cats. They are a little bigger than the average large cat. According to Dr. Fogle of Encyclopedia of the Cat (ISBN 978-1-4053-2149-5), the Maine Coon weight range is between 4 and 10 kilograms or 9 and 22 pounds. Wikipedia says that male Maine Coon weight from 15 to 25 lb (6.8 - 11 kg). On my page about the size of domestic cat breeds I say that the Maine Coon weight range is

Maine Coon Eye Colors

Image
A cat association breed standard dictates what eye color is acceptable for the Maine Coon purebred cat. So, I'll have to quote a breed standard. The International Cat Association (TICA), one of the big players, says this: "Color: Any shade of green and/or gold. No relationship to coat color. Blue and odd-eyes accepted in whites and particolors.". The Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA), said to be the world's largest cat association has a very similar breed standard with respect to eye color . We should be seeing green and/or gold eyes with what I consider the best coat, the tabby and white, for this cat. Let's look for a picture of a tabby Maine Coon and see if the eyes meet the breed standard. Maine Coon cat eye color - gold on a tabby Maine Coon Photo by DreamShoot by Marcel Steger Well, this handsome boy meets the standard with respect to eye color  - beautiful gold eyes. Kittens have blue eyes until the pigmentation settles in into the iris of t

Maine Coon Paws Photo

Image
I have the best Maine Coon paws photo! The author is a Flickr photographer, username by ~Sage~. The TICA Maine Coon breed standard demands tufted feet: " Feet: Large, round and well- tufted . " The breed standard is the document that sets out guidelines for the desired appearance of a purebred cat according to the cat association concerned. Maine Coon cat paw photo - the tufted paws - Photo ~Sage~ I have chosen this photo because of the extreme tufting to the paws. The tufted paw is an adaptation for cold weather . The Maine Coon is a former farm cat if you go back to the 19th century and further. Her name is "Cookiecat". She is a calico Maine Coon . Below are two more photos of her: Maine Coon paws photo showing very well tufted feet - Photo ~Sage~ This is a cropped part of the above image showing the right paw again: You won't see better, or longer, or more pronounced Maine Coon paw tufts.

Maine Coon Cat Ear Tufts

Image
Maine Coon ear tufts - classic tabby and white appearance - Photo by foxypar4 (Flickr) One of the defining characteristics of the Maine Coon's appearance is the ear tufts, the hair that grows from the tips of the ear flaps (the outer ear). They are called "lynx tips". They are reminiscent of the caracal, a wild cat . The caracal has the best ear tufts of all cats, wild or domestic. They are used to communicate . The lynx also has lynx tips, of course! But of all the domestic cats, the Maine Coon has the most prominent ear tufts. They are enshrined in the breed standard: "EARS: Shape: large, well-tufted ". Maine Coons also have long ear hair inside the ear that flops out as the picture above shows. The ear tufts fall into the category of "ear furnishings". This is cat fancy language. In humans, ear hair is undesirable - quite the opposite in the cat fancy. Most moggies, random bred cats, have hair inside the ear but it is less extravagan

Feet: Large, round and well tufted.

Image
Cookiecat Pussycat , a photo by ~Sage~ on Flickr. Yes, the Maine Coon has uneven length long hair. The long hair extends to the hair between the toes of the paws. The paws of this well known Flickr Maine Coon are outstandingly furry! The fur sticks out at all angles. Her name is "Cookiecat". She is a calico Maine Coon cat and she is very pretty indeed.

Shaggy Maine Coon

Image
I spy a Maine Coon , a photo by rbstijl on Flickr. The Maine Coon fur is shaggy. It is not meant to be too neat and tidy I think. The International Cat Association like the slightly untidy appearance. The fur is not of an even length. It looks more natural. This nice photograph sort of show off that shaggy haired look. You can also see the great ear hair of a Maine Coon. They are famous for their ear hair sprouting out and those glorious lynx tips, the hair growing out from the tip of the ear making them look more pointed and larger. I think this is a white Maine Coon.

Are Maine Coon cats smart?

Image
by Tetsumo The Maine Coon has average intelligence. However, this is a tricky question. In an intelligence test of the cat breeds the Maine Coon did not come out on top. The Sphynx cat did . The skinny cats such as the modern Siamese and Oriental Shorthair came out well. As a breed the Maine Coon is probably mid-table in terms of intelligence. However, we should really be asking, "Is my Maine Coon smart?" It is really more about individual cats. Some are smarter than others. Some Maine Coons are very smart. We don't ask, "Are Americans smart?" or "Are French people smart?" We ask if an individual person is smart. The same applies to cats. I suppose that is common sense.

Maine Coon lifespan

On average, the Maine Coon lifespan will be the same as any other domestic cat. This is about 14 years. There is one proviso. Purebred cats tend to live a little shorter on average than random bred cats. This is because selective breeding for appearance can affect immune systems and bring in genetic diseases that are carried by recessive genes that would have been invisible and ineffective but for inbreeding. Some people suggest the Maine Coon lives on average about 13 years. A Swedish insurance company survey found the average age for the MC to be 12.5 years.  I don't know the sample size or any other details. It could be about right though. The MC does have some genetic diseases to cope with. I would suggest that moggies lives about 3 years longer on average but there are no researched figures on that as far as I am aware. Some people think a cat is old beyond ten years of age. I disagree but this idea is built around the shortened lives of purebred cats I think. A good

Why are Maine Coons so big?

Maine Coons are big because breeders have selectively bred from large cats for many years. That means selecting large cats and mating them over and over again. The original cats were large too. These cats were probably long haired cats from England that came over with the settlers in the 1600s. The answer as to why Maine Coons are so big, the biggest domestic cat registered by the Cat Fanciers' Association, is because the starting cats were large and through careful cat breeding they have been made larger. Large cats have a greater likelihood of suffering from cat health issues such as hip dysplasia . Miniature cats are bred small in the same way but by selecting small cats.

Are Maine Coon cats expensive?

Maine Coons are no more expensive than any other purebred cat. The price depends on the quality of the cat and whether the cat is a breeder (being sold to a person breeding cats) or a pet. I guess it depends what you consider expensive. Purebred cats do vary in quality because breeding is not a science. By quality I mean how close is the cat's appearance to the breed standard and how good is the cat overall, in terms of general appearance and character? I will presume for the sake of this post that the cats are healthy. Please ensure that they are. There are lots of Maine Coon mix cats advertised on the internet. Petfinder comes to mind. These are nice cats, as good as any other cats, but not purebred cats. The price is around 500 USD ($) in the USA and a similar number but in pounds (£) in the UK. Prices can go to 1000 and more. For some people these prices are expensive and for others they are not. Remember that it can cost upwards of about $15,000 or £15,000 to maintain

Are Maine Coons hypoallergenic?

Image
The certain answer is, No. Sorry. Hypoallergenic means less likely to cause an allergic reaction in a person. There is nothing that supports the idea that Maine Coons are hypoallergenic. Maine Coon in The Netherlands. Photo: Dani The truth is that no cat is going to be completely hypoallergenic because the allergen that causes the allergic reaction in some people is a protein called Fel D1 in the cat's saliva. It is deposited on the cat's fur when he or she grooms. It then dries and flies off into the atmosphere as cat dander. Cats that are said to be hypoallergenic to a degree are the wildcat hybrid, the Savannah cat (which incidentally is the Allerca cat called the Ashera GD ) and the Siberian cat. But I don't believe that the Siberian is hypoallergenic. There is no reason why it should be. Breeders tend to promote cats for whatever reason they can find. Assume that all cats are not hypoallergenic. Rather than cat breeds, individual cats will be hypoallergen

Are Maine Coons lap cats?

It seems that in general Maine Coons are not lapcats. I'll quote some excellent sources and be guided by my own experiences. Maine Coons are people orientated but not "overdependent" (Gloria Stephens of Legacy of the Cat ). Dr. Fogle in The Encyclopedia of the Cat endorses this view. They don't particularly like being held. This indicates that they are not overly fond of going on a person's lap. But cats vary from individual to individual so generalizations can be risky. My own experiences with Zak and Quinn two fine Maine Coons living with Flicks in Dallas, USA also tends to support this. Zak liked to play and be around me but kept his distance a bit and did his own thing. I like that quality. Whether a cat is a lapcat will usually depend on the individual cat and his or her temperament and early socialization.

Are Maine Coons Vocal?

Image
In general the answer is no. But it is relative (to other cat breeds) and it depends on the individual cat. Maine Coons are said to not constantly demand attention. The Maine Coon has a "tiny voice". That automatically makes this cat less vocal even if it only means less loud! Maine Coon - Photo by Dani. Gloria Stephens in Legacy of the Cat says that they "are fairly quiet". She is a very experienced cat fancy lady and past cat show judge. Maybe she still judges, I don't know. I have lived for a short time with a couple of Maine Coons, Quin and Zak . Zak was not vocal. He trilled a bit but asked by his presence rather than vocal communication as is the case with the Siamese cat. Siamese cats can make some extraordinary sounds. That is why I call it relative. Compared to the British Shorthair Maine Coon might be considered vocal. Hope this helps.

Maine Coon Cat and Patella Luxation

Pattela luxation is a slipping kneecap. The word "pattela" is the scientific name for "kneecap".  "Luxation" means dislocation in medical language. Maine Coon cats are genetically predisposed to the condition. The kneecap is anchored by ligaments. It slides in a groove that is in the femur. When the groove is too shallow the kneecap slips out when the knee bends. In cats, the kneecap most often slips out to the inside of the knee joint - called "medial luxation". Maine Coons with patella luxation will be lame to a certain degree and skip. Vets can diagnose for pattela luxation through expert manipulation. It is not advised to try yourself. The OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) keeps a register of cats that are free of this condition. Screening for hip dysplasia an associated condition can be carried out by the OFA. Treatment involves weight control and surgery if needed. Arthritis can develop if it is not treated.

Where are the Maine Coons?

We, in the West, sometimes forget that purebred cats are not found in all parts of the world. The idea of breeding purebred cats is essentially a western concept starting in England in the late 1800s. Although there is the difficult concept of what I call "de facto"purebred cats that have evolved naturally. For example the Japanese bobtail was around hundreds of years before it was a cat association recognised cat breed. The Bahraini Dilmun is a current de facto purebred cat but officially a moggie. Anyway, what of the Maine Coon? America is of course the number one Maine Coon territory as it is where the cat breed started. This is an American cat. Then we have Europe. Not all parts of Europe will have the same numbers of Maine Coon, far from it. The old European countries will have a good number of Maine Coons, such as England, France and Germany. European countries such as Romania, shouldn't even be in Europe! Sorry that is not politically correct. There won't be

Maine Coon Hip Dysplasia

As is the case for dogs, cat breeds that are most often afflicted by hip dysplasia tend to be the larger, big boned breeds and in particular male cats as they are larger. The Maine Coon is the largest cat registered at the Cat Fanciers' Association on my reckoning. Some Maine Coons hit the 25 lb mark. Another breed that suffers from this condition is the Persian . Apparently of the total number of X-rays sent to OFA (the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) from Maine Coon breeders, 23% show hip dysplasia. Although most have mild symptoms. These cats should be "culled" (removed) from breeding lines. Hip Dysplasia - Description The head of the femur (the thigh bone) fits loosely into a poorly developed socket in the hip (acetabulum of the pelvis, more accurately). The joint becomes unstable. The bones degenerate as a result and this causes pain coupled with abnormal movement. The condition is inherited - it is a polygenetic trait (multi-gene based). If the condition a

A Maine Coon is the World's Longest Domestic Cat

Image
I have smile a bit when I read this. Yes, Maine Coons are known to be large. In fact, they are the largest of the domestic cats on my assessment. I am talking about averages and cats that are not fat! Maine Coons are quite slender under that shaggy, silky fur. They are quite rangy and this is why Stewie, a Maine Coon pet cat, has been declared the world's longest domestic cat by Guinness Records. The interesting point is this: Guinness World Records declare that Stewie is "the longest cat in the world". He is not! Guinness have forgotten about the wildcats, which, incidentally, is not untypical. Common Guinness guys, wake up. Even if you accept that Stewie is the longest domestic cat, you would probably be fooling yourself. What about MAGIC ? She is the definitely the world's tallest and largest domestic cat. She is an F1 Savannah cat, a first filial wild cat hybrid (the wild cat is the serval ). But it is highly likely that MAGIC is longer than Stewie becaus

Cancer boy loses red Maine Coon in shooting

This is so typical of modern society. I am sorry if that sounds negative or depressing etc. But it really is. And we are talking about the UK here. The UK is in a mess, in my opinion on several levels. It is the story of a handsome (all Maine Coons are handsome) red tabby Maine Coon cat that was adopted to help Henry Dancer get through his terminal cancer. Henry was 12 at the time. He succumbed to the cancer about four months after his Maine Coon, Ben, was shot. Ben went missing, got shot and badly injured and returned. Simple story. Sad story. The chances of finding the perpetrator are zero. People who shoot cats, and there are quite a few people like that in the world, don't care if the cat is a moggie or a Maine Coon. If it's moving, shoot it. I suspect that he was shot with an air rifle. They don't require licenses as far as I know in the UK and cats shot by air rifles are quite commonplace . In the USA it would have been a bullet. True.  This is the original stor