Posts

Showing posts from June, 2021

Exaggerated ruff of the modern Maine Coon

Image
I am not sure if this is a general trend but I am seeing Maine Coons with exaggerated ruffs. They are almost approaching the appearance of a lion's mane. Well, not quite but I'm beginning to call them manes and not ruffs. The picture below is an example.  TICA simply state that the ruff becomes more developed with age. They don't specify the dimensions of the ruff or whether it should be impressive or large or dramatic et cetera. On that basis, I presume that breeders have decided to take it upon themselves to make it look more impressive.  I'm not saying that I'm seeing these very large ruffs across the board but there are some incredibly impressive Maine Coons on the Internet with enormous ruffs, chiselled muzzles and gargantuan ears topped by a plume of paint brush-like hair! Left: exaggerated ruff. Pic in public domain. Right: standard ruff. Pic by Helmi Flick. The 'ruff' comes from menswear of the 1500s - the Elizabethan era. It is called neckwear. I

A friend of yours tells you that they’re about to get a cat. What’s the best advice you'd give them?

Image
This is an easy question to answer. The best advice that you can give a person who wants to adopt a cat is to tell them that they should prepare properly. This means doing research on the budgetary requirements i.e. the cost of keeping a cat for the animal's lifetime . It also means doing some work on understanding cat behaviour which will include introducing a new cat to your home. It will be a strange place for their cat and they will need to be looked after carefully and introduced sensitively with tolerance and understanding. This is even more important if there is a resident cat. There can be some great complications under those circumstances. Halle Bailey with her new grey tabby cat wearing an enormous collar. This is not a Maine Coon! Photo: her Instagram page. But above all, if a person wants to adopt a cat they must commit to a lifetime's care. They have to get their mind in tune with that concept before they go ahead. It's a mental process. True commitment mea

Maine Coon 3 life stages: newborn, juvenile and adult

Image
A series of photos by Maine Coon of Superbia showing 3 life stages of a handsome black-and-white Maine Coon: newborn, juvenile and adult. You can see the adult in a pen because he is a breeder (see below). I'll be frank: I hate to see any cat in a bloody cage and especially when it is for breeding purposes. People breed cats for profit. In the meantime, the cat is imprisoned. Nothing personal against the breeder by the way. In general, I don't like the way breeders have to keep their breeding cats in cages because they behave badly i.e. spray urine and howl, I guess. Adult black-and-white Maine Coon from breeder: Maine Coons of Superbia in Germany. Photo: the cattery. Juvenile Maine Coon from Maine Coon of Superbia. Photo: the cattery. Juvenile Maine Coon from Maine Coon of Superbia. Photo: the cattery. The photos are by Maine Coon of Superbia. They are based in Germany I believe. A really nice series of photos. Newborns are pretty unprepossessing, aren't they? But they gro

Polydactyl Maine Coon youngster with unruly whiskers

Image
I see a mass of whiskers and toes on this cute Maine Coon youngster bred by Albireo Yuliasha. I don't know where she lives. It might be Ukraine. I like the cat. It is nice to see a polydactyl Maine Coon. They are famous for this multi-toed congenital condition which is harmless. It is not an illness. I have a page the world record polydactyl cats - those with the most toes which you can see by clicking on this link . Polydactyl Maine Coon youngster with unruly whiskers. Photo and breeder: Albireo Yuliasha. Hemingway's House on Key West is the most famous place for polydactyl Maine Coons. But I think a lot are not Maine Coons. In fact, I don't think any are today but there may have been some years ago. Perhaps they were never Maine Coons but referred to as cats of this breed. 

Do Maine Coons like dogs?

Image
Maine Coons like dogs if they are socialised to dogs just like any other domestic cat. By "socialise" I mean that they have been raised with dogs during the first seven weeks of their life. That's the basic, standard method of ensuring that any domestic cat gets along with dogs throughout their adulthood. In fact, socialisation is at the root of all domestication. Without a newborn kitten being socialised to people and other pets they would end up being feral cats. Domestication has to be 'trained into them' through socialisation. Maine Coon is irritated by a snappy little pain in the bum terrier. Screenshot from video below. The video shows a Maine Coon who is socialised to dogs and a dog who is socialised to domestic cats in general: So, in this regard Maine Coons are no different from any other domestic cat either purebred, pedigree and random bred. When they're young they have to be familiar with dogs. They have to be around them, interacting with them, le

Are Maine Coons the best?

Image
Are Maine Coons the best purebred cat? The answer depends on you and what your preferences are with respect to the appearance of domestic cats. What distinguishes each cat breed from the other is their appearance because, at heart, their character is very similar if not identical subject to variations between individuals because each cat has their own character. There will be some variations on character between the breeds but less than the experts profess to be the case. So, what you are buying or adopting when you select a Maine Coon is a cat with a certain appearance and there is no doubt that Maine Coons have a very definitive appearance which is large and distinguished. You know what they look like otherwise you wouldn't be here. Maine Coon kittens. Photo: Helmi Flick. So, if in your eyes the appearance of the Maine Coon cat is exactly what you want and is the sort of appearance that attracts you then they are the best cat breed. I know I'm stating the obvious but I thi

Are Maine Coons and Siberians related?

Image
Are Maine Coon cats and Siberian cats related? I will start by saying perhaps the obvious which is that every animal is related if you go back far enough and if you believe in evolution as opposed to creation. Every animal on the planet started with bacteria in the sea about 3.8 billion years ago (estimated). Anyway, I'm being a little bit flippant but I don't think that Siberians and Maine Coons are related. Siberian Siberian cat bred in Russia at the Golden Dream Cattery. Please click on the photo for more. Photo: Golden Dream Cattery. As the names of these cat breeds suggest they come from different parts of the planet. The Siberian cat's origins are in Siberia, Russia and the history is long at about 1000 years . The story is that they lived in monasteries acting as guards and the monks treated them as pets. The breed was exported to the United States on June 28, 1990. So, the origin of this cat breed is that they were moggies i.e. random-bread cats in Siberia for ab

Are Maine Coons active?

Image
In an absolute sense Maine Coons have a medium activity level which means that they are neither lazy and inactive or very active according to a former president of the Cat Fanciers' Association and a show judge, Richard Gebhardt. But there are factors which have an impact on activity levels and they are as follows:- Maine Coons have average activity levels. Photo in public domain (modified by MikeB). The environment affects a cat's activity level. I would argue that sometimes, and I stress sometimes, full-time indoor Maine Coon cats might be forced to be relatively inactive because their owner might not be around much and the environment in which they live is not what experts call 'enriched', meaning things to do in it.  I said that Maine Coons should not be allowed outside  (unless in an enclosure or on a leash) and therefore the only way to stimulate activity would be to engage with your cat regularly and have an enclosure attached to the home (a catio) where a cat

Why do Maine Coons chirp?

Image
It is incorrect to suggest that all Maine Coons chirp! The question implies that all Maine Coons chirp when it simply isn't true. Some might make slightly strange sounds which you could describe as a chirp-type sound but many other Maine Coons don't. It's basically a myth that has been bandied around the Internet and has almost become fact.  Beautiful Zak. A darling Main Coon cat who did not chirp! :) Photo: MikeB All individual cats have their own voices. Some cat breeds do make certain vocalisations more often than others such as the Siamese cat has quite a raucous meow sound and the British shorthair sometimes has a silent meow. So, there are some trends in terms of vocalisations that certain breeds follow but by and large all domestic cats make the same sort of sounds with variations between individuals, which is all perfectly normal. We shouldn't try and label Maine Coons with a certain sound. It is said by Gloria Stephens, who wrote the book Legacy of the Cat ,

Do Maine Coons like to cuddle?

Image
Yes, Maine Coons like to cuddle. Just like any other domestic cat they like to be petted as an expression of your love for them. Perhaps some people think that Maine Coons are a different species of cat than the regular domestic cat, but they are not. They look different, they look majestic especially when they are one of those very large individuals , but in their heads, they are just the same as any neglected, downtrodden and forgotten moggy. Maine Coons are meant to with humans, in the human world. That's their role but go easy and respect the cat. Sweet female Maine Coon likes to be cuddled. Photo: Pixabay. Of course, it depends on how you cuddle your Maine Coon and where you cuddle her and for how long you do it. It depends on who initiates it and it also depends, to a certain degree, on the personality of the individual Maine Coon concerned. You can't say that they are all exactly the same as if they have been cloned or stamped out on the factory floor. Some Maine Coon

Should Maine Coons be shaved?

Image
Maine Coons should not be shaved unless there is a particular and pressing reason for it. At one time I objected to what people call the "lion cut", which you see on Persian cats not to infrequently, but I now see the advantages sometimes . Rarely, if the climatic conditions are particularly hot a Maine Coon might benefit from being shaved if you are unable to keep her cool inside the home. Or there might be a medical reason such as a skin condition and your veterinarian recommends it. But there is a big downside: shaving (lion cut) might require a full anesthetic which is risky. One in four hundred cats die because of a general anesthetic. Or they can suffer brain damage. If it can be done while the cat is sedated it is far better. White Maine Coon cool and serene. Who'd shave that glorious coat?! Photo in public domain. Or your Maine Coon might have become deeply matted to the point where it was impossible to remove the mats without hurting your cat. Under these circ

Can you let Maine Coons outside?

Image
There is no absolute barrier to it but is it a good idea to let your Maine Coon go outside and wander around freely? No, it's not. I think it's too dangerous because they look so attractive and, depending upon where you live, there is a possibility that your cat would be stolen. Some thieves steal purebred cats to breed from them and make money by selling the kittens. The Covid-19 pandemic has made things worse with a spate of thefts of dogs primarily but also including cats because companion animals have become more popular during these extended lockdowns leaving people with the time to spend with their companion animals and for single people to have some company. Image by  barnabashohl  from  Pixabay So, letting your Maine Coon go outside like a moggy may be too risky. Some people do it and you hear stories of them getting lost or being injured just like any other cat but I don't like to hear about it. Although, Maine Coons in an absolute sense have no more rights than

Can Maine Coons breed with regular cats?

Image
Some people want to know whether Maine Coons can mate with any other domestic cat including random-bred domestic cats and, of course, the answer is a very positive Yes, biologically speaking. This is because the Maine Coon is itself a domestic cat with exactly the same DNA as any other moggy. There is absolutely no biological barrier to this glamorous purebred cat mating with any other domestic cat. Image: MikeB. However, that said, you don't want to do it because the offspring will not be Maine Coon cats. They will be hybrids which are euphemistically called 'Maine Coon mix' cats. In short, these are moggies because the purebred cats have to be purebred and registered with a cat association and have a pedigree. What's the point of mating a Maine Coon with a moggy? And, my argument is positively supported by the major cat associations because their breed standards do not permit what they call "outcrosses". Below is a screenshot from the be standard of The Inte

Can Maine Coons have blue eyes?

Image
'White cats and all cats with white may have blue or odd eyes'. That is a direct quote from the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) which fully answers the question.  To put it another way: All-white and particolor Maine Coons can have blue or odd-eye colours under the CFA and TICA breed standards. Other than cats with some white, eye colour "can be shades of green, gold, green-gold or copper. Those are the allowed Maine Coon cat eye colours under this association. The same applies to TICA. All-white blue-eyed Maine Coon. Credit: see image. There is not much more to say but I will say this. White fur is fur without pigmentation. The dominant white gene makes a cat all-white and the piebald or white spotting gene makes a cat partially white (bicolor or particolor)). Both these genes can affect eye colour in that they can make the eyes blue or one eye blue leaving the other I normally yellow (odd-eye color). This is why the breed standard allows blue eyes in Maine Coon c

Can Maine Coons be small?

Image
Absolutely yes, Maine Coons can be relatively small. They can't be small in an absolute sense such as around 8 pounds in weight because they are meant to be big under the breed standard which is the guidelines that breeders follow if they want to create cats which are in line with the correct appearance. But not all Maine Coons are huge. Perhaps, we've become accustomed to seeing these gargantuan Maine Coon cats on the Internet looking more like lynx wild cats in terms of size. Here is a nice neat female Maine Coon looking not much larger than a typical house cat: Female ginger tabby MC looking relatively small. Photo in public domain. These huge Maine Coons are exceptional and I would argue relatively rare. The typical Maine Coon is larger than the average purebred cat and they are, as I have stated numerous times, the largest domestic cat breed. This means that they can weigh around 15 pounds, if you adopt a female and if the breeder is not breeding very big Maine Coons.

Teeny Maine Coon kitten with a hint of Einstein

Image
Here he is, the teeny-tiny Maine Coon who licked an electrical socket :) . That's the comment of a funnyman on the Reddit.com website. They say this little fella or girl is a Maine Coon but I have no idea is that is actually the case (where are the ears for example!?). It does not matter an awful lot because this is about the face and the backlit hair. The expression is priceless. The eye color is super as it matches the fur colour. He/she is some sort of tabby cat I believe. Teeny tiny Maine Coon kitten named Tony. Photo: Reddit.com An awesome little cat who must be the cutest on the internet today. There is a hint of Einstein in there somewhere. It's the shaggy coat. Maine Coons are meant to have medium-longhaired shaggy coats. But where are the ears! Is this a Scottish Fold!? Could be unless the ears are hidden by the fur with is 'burnt out' photographically speaking. Photo in the public domain on Pinterest. This is Einstein, the great man whose general theory of

Fluffy cream tabby Maine Coon with whisker tendrils

Image
I cannot shake off the thought that this glamorous cream-coloured Maine Coon is female but perhaps I am stereotyping. It's just the colour and the fluffiness of the coat and the tendril whiskers which lead me down that route. Cream tabby Maine Coon. Photo: Pinterest. This is a very beautiful Maine Coon. The coat is not white but, as stated, cream-coloured. I don't think that that is an official colour under the breed standard for this cat. Let me check. Well, I'm wrong. I have just checked the CFA breed standard and it states that one of the solid colours is cream and it is described as " one level shade of buff cream, without markings. Sound to the roots. Nose leather and paw pads: pink." Although looking more carefully she has faint tabby markings (see the forehead). This super-looker may be a cream tabby which is one of the many colours and coat types of this cat breed. The 'cream tabby' is described as "classic, mackerel, ticked: ground colour

Average lifespan of Maine Coon cat

Image
How long do Maine Coon cats live for? What's the average lifespan? Do they live shorter lives than the average random-bred family cat? These are difficult questions to answer accurately. In fact, I don't think we can answer them accurately because nobody has been counting. Nobody has a database or carried out a full-blown survey and therefore you will read anecdotal evidence i.e. statements by breeders or people who think they know the answer and these answers get repeated on the Internet. I am not sure that they are accurate. Picture of a Maine Coon who looks like a middle-aged man. Photo: Pinterest. My research indicates that people believe that Maine Coon cats live between about 10 and 15 years old. Some may live longer than that and some may live shorter lives. One well-known Maine Coon, Rubble, lived for 31 years and was at one time the oldest domestic cat in the world. But there will always be exceptions and this article is about the mean or the average although these

Can Maine Coons have short hair?

Image
Proper Maine Coons i.e. Maine Coons with a pedigree and who are purebred cannot have short hair. This is because the breed standard insists that the coat of this popular cat breed is "heavy and shaggy; shorter on the shoulders and longer on the stomach and britches. Frontal ruff desirable. Texture silky with coat falling smoothly" - Cat Fanciers' Association breed standard. Maine Coon showing the medium-longhaired coat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick This description of the desired coat precludes the possibility that the Maine Coon can have short hair. This is a medium-longhaired cat with a shaggy coat and perhaps the reason for these very clear guidelines by the cat associations is that the cat originates in the barn cats of the state of Maine in the USA. These cats were suited to the climate of that state during the winter months. Therefore, the breed standard is faithful to the original cat going back hundreds of years. The shorthaired coat is completely different to t

Popular posts from this blog

Black smoke Maine Coon Richie with a black face and diamond eyes

The extreme Maine Coon face

Difference between European and American Maine Coons