Omar, Australia's celebrity Maine Coon cat (info and pics)

Omar is a beautiful ginger tabby-and-white Maine Coon cat living in Melbourne, Australia with his human companions and a calico cat called Strudel (a.k.a. Ru). He is a celebrity cat, which is unsurprising because he looks like a celebrity; a glamour boy. He is made for celebrity status but then aren't all the huge Maine Coon cats that we see on the Internet? They have this presence which immediately catches the eye. His caretakers have a fantastic Instagram informational slide show which allows me to provide some details about his life.

Leaning into those ear scratches! Omar LOVES having his head petted. He leans right into it, he purrs, he drools and sometimes if you’re not petting him he will shove his head into your hand and force you to pet him.
"Leaning into those ear scratches! Omar LOVES having his head petted. He leans right into it, he purrs, he drools and sometimes if you’re not petting him he will shove his head into your hand and force you to pet him." - words from his Instagram page.

He was born on 21 September 2013. He weighs 14 kg and his approximate length is 120 cm (nose to end of tail). He has four siblings. Two brown tabby sisters and two red brothers. Omar's caretaker doesn't know if they grew up to be as big as Omar but he believes that they are quite large. Omar has a meal at breakfast time, a snack in the late afternoon and a meal before he goes to bed. If he doesn't eat before he goes to bed he asks for food during the night! That is my interpretation from his Instagram page. There is quite a big discussion about how many times cats should be fed in order to replicate the behavior of their wild cat ancestor.

He is about 17 inches tall. That is the height from the floor to his shoulder (Magic, the world's tallest pet cat was or is a little taller). His favourite toys are balls of paper or his catnip mice and he also likes his Da Bird toy. It appears that some people have accused his owner of allowing Omar to become overweight but this is not true. He looks about perfect weight to me. He is about 9 kg bigger than his cat companion, Ru (see below). They sleep beside each other sometimes. He is described as being "determined, outspoken, occasionally affectionate, quirky and intelligent."

Showing the size difference between Ru and Omar
Showing the size difference between Ru and Omar. Photo: Instagram.

His Instagram page provides some nice insights into the character of the Maine Coon cat generally which I like. His human companions tell us that Omar is "sometimes vocal but mostly either tapping my humans when I want food, banging on doors I want to be let through or just getting underfoot."

His favourite food appears to be freeze-dried chicken breast. As I understand it, he is fed largely on a raw home-made diet which I find very interesting together with wet foods but no dry. It is unusual for a cat owner to provide a raw diet and it would be nice to know why they chose this for Omar. I agree with it by the way because it is more natural and it's the kind of diet that can help eliminate some inherent digestive tract problems which can be present with conventional commercially prepared dry and wet foods. He may have a sensitive stomach.

They provide him with a "balanced combination of bone, organ and muscle meat, with protein sources like beef, chicken, duck, turkey, lamb, kangaroo and venison". His favourite season is spring and autumn because it is a little less hot. He lives in Melbourne, as mentioned, and therefore it probably gets too hot in summer. Maine Coons have a shaggy medium-long haired coat. Sometimes cat owners provide a cat with a lion cut to make the heat more bearable. I've seen this on Persian cats for instance.

Omar and his 'dad'
Omar and his 'dad'. Photo: Instagram.

Like all domestic cats he likes to catch bugs. His recommended canned cat foods are @ziwipets and @felinenatural. Omar's owner says that he does not feed him dry cat food because it contains lots of fillers and artificial flavours to make it smell like food and it can cause dehydration in cats. I fully agree with all that. I think, however, that some dry cat food is not as bad as people make it out to be e.g. Hills Oral Care. The big problem is that domestic cats don't drink enough water to compensate for the lack of water in the food.

Omar is not allowed to sleep on the bed at night, it seems. I don't like this because cats love to sleep on their human's bed. His owner says that he is too heavy to sleep on people. I get it. Omar has a little bit of trouble squeezing into his litter tray because of his size. The size of a litter tray is important in order to encourage cats to use it. I have an article on that which you can read by clicking on this link if you wish.

Interestingly, Omar has never caught a mouse or a bird and brought it back to his home. A lot of cat owners would like that because one of the upsetting aspects of being a guardian to a domestic cat is that they kill animals and bring them home. You can't blame them but it is not a pleasant experience for many people.

Omar eats 360 g of food per day together with a few treats. He has been featured on the front page of the Herald Sun, which certainly improved the number of his followers on Instagram. He has never travelled abroad and his 'owners' think that it would be too much stress for him. Like all domestic cats he sometimes nibbles his owner if he has been petted or brushed a little bit too much.

Another interesting bit of information about Omar is that on two occasions he has gone to the toilet on the bed. His owners say that the cause was an upset stomach. Both duvets had to be thrown away. Comment: I wonder whether that was really an upset stomach? I know that my ex-wife's cat did exactly the same thing because he was left alone too much. I am not suggesting that that is the case in this instance, far from it. Omar is clearly deeply loved and cared for brilliantly. Perhaps Omar is fed raw cat food because he has a delicate stomach?

Also, like many domestic cats he doesn't like it when the doorbell rings or somebody knocks on the front door. My cat is exactly the same as I'm sure many other people would confirm. Cats do not like the sound of strangers coming into their domain.

In response to the question, "Are you affectionate?" The answer is, "I can be - usually when I want something or when one of my pawrents is sick". I find that interesting because it indicates that Omar is not overly affectionate or needy which actually is a confirmation of what Gloria Stephens says about the character of Maine Coon cats in her book Legacy of the Cat.

Note: videos on this site are typically made by people other than me and held on YouTube servers or the servers of other businesses (not the server storing this website). Sometimes the videos are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

Omar has a beautiful catio. And he has a nice back garden as well. The reason why Omar is confined to the indoors with the catio and garden access is to protect wildlife. In Australia they appear to be far more sensitive towards domestic cat predation on native species. There has been lots of discussion on this on the Internet and the government has consistently promoted protecting native species from domestic and feral cat predation. They have a big problem with feral cats which, in my view, has resulted in a big campaign of cruel feral cat killing but that is another story.

Here is a tweet from Omar's food supplier!

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