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Showing posts from October, 2021

Prevalence of a genetic mutation in Maine Coons causing HCM in comparison to other cat breeds

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This is a table showing the prevalence of a genetic mutation in Maine Coons causing HCM in comparison to other cat breeds in which it is not present as per the chart. HCM is a well-known heart disease in cats. It stands for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Tabby Maine Coon. Photo in public domain. This is a study which discusses how common a genetic mutation is in Maine Coon cats which is responsible for the heart disease called HCM in that cat breed. The scientists identified a dominant mutation in what is called the myosin-binding protein C (MYBPC3) gene of Maine Coons (MCs). I know I am repeating myself but I think it helps. The study wanted to find out how prevalent it was in this attractive and popular cat breed. The table show below shows you. It is highly prevalent and on this table exclusive to the MC.   The study concerned 3,310 cats which were mainly Maine Coons. It's a retrospective study in which they reviewed other studies. As I understand it, blood samples for DNA test

When the Maine Coon was not famous newspaper reporting was hilarious!

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I'm thankful for Marilis Hornidge's book That Yankee Cat for these stories.  Deaf cat - Fabulous White Maine Coon at Show Cat. Photo: copyright Helmi Flick. This coat type features in one of the stories below! In September 1973, Newsday , a Long Island, New York daily replied to a question on the Maine Coon with the flat statement: "There isn't any such animal." In September 1976 in The Asbury Park Press , Asbury Park, New Jersey, USA in a column on pets, Dr. Michael Fox was asked by a reader about the family tree of the Maine Coon. I guess they were asking about the origins of the breed and the good Dr.'s response was that the Maine Coon "is merely a large variety of domestic cat that has reverted to the wild." That makes me laugh. I think Dr. Fox is still giving advice on the internet. He is much respected. In July 1977 the Kennebec Journal of Augusta, Maine - where the editors and journalists should have a good knowledge about the Maine Coon

80 Maine Coon cats seized from one home. Can you believe it? I can't!

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West Hillhurst, Calgary, Alberta, Canada: This is a very peculiar report by CBC from April 2016 . It is no longer news, of course, but it deserves to be looked at. The report states that the Calgary Humane Society seized about 80 Maine Coon cats from a home because they were ill and neglected. They did not know whether this was a "breeding situation" but they were investigating.  Brad Nichols is senior manager of animal cruelty investigations with the Calgary Humane Society. (CBC) At the time they were considering charges. I don't know of any Maine Coon breeder who at any one time has 80 Maine Coon cats in the pipeline as breeding cats or cats to sell. Perhaps it happens but when I go online and look at Maine Coon breeder's websites I see a couple of litters of kittens for sale and perhaps an adult retired breeding cat, something like that, but 80! That sounds very peculiar. I would suggest that they've got it wrong. Perhaps some of the cats were Maine Coons b

Are Maine Coons descended from Norwegian Forest Cats?

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My answer is that Maine Coons are not descended from Norwegian Forest Cats. Although, you may hear different answers from different people because the early or originating history of the Maine Coon is still a mystery.  MC versus NFC. The montage is by MikeB from pics in the public domain at this time. Perhaps the simplest answer is the best one namely that the early settlers to America brought some longhaired cats with them from mainland Europe and England (sometimes as ships' cats) and these became pet cats in America along the eastern seaboard. And then, people realised that they were wonderful looking barn and farm cats and decided to selectively breed them to refine them to turn them into show cats. This last stage occurred in the middle of the 1800s and over the intervening more than 150 years the cat breed has been refined through artificial selection to the point where it is today: in some cases bred to extreme so that they are larger with more pronounced muzzles and ears

Snap, crackle and pop Tortie Maine Coon

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Tortie Maine Coon with a face framed by his ruff and ears. Photo in public domain as on Pinterest. This is a cute, colourful bear of a cat with an amazing ruffled ruff and ginger feet. She looks young, probably still a kitten almost. Let's say a toddler or in science-speak a 'sub-adult'. We know that she is female as almost all tortoiseshells are.  You probably know that already. Tortoiseshell cats are heterozygous. They are always female except for males with certain chromosomal abnormalities.  The action of the sex-linked orange gene O is to convert the production of black pigment (eumelanin) into orange (phaeomelanin). Tortoiseshell cats are a mosaic of orange and non-orange areas. Male tortoiseshell cats occur at a frequency of one in every 3000 male births. There are four possibilities for the occurrence of the tortoiseshell male cat. Robinson's Genetics spells out the four possibilities: somatic mutation, XXY genotype, XX and XY mosaics and chimeric cats. I do

Why are solid cat colours called 'selfs'?

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You will see some wonderful self-coloured Maine Coons: Chocolate Maine Coon. Chocolate is one of the basic self colours (solid colours) according to Robinson's Genetics. Picture in the public domain on Pinterest. None of the world's experts tell us why solid cat colours are called 'the selfs'. I'll have to decide myself (excuse the pun). 'Self' means self-coloured and the term 'self-coloured' is not only used in the cat world - specifically in the cat fancy. It is used, for instance, in the textile business where it means 'having a single and uniform colour'. The same meaning as in the cat world. It means 'having the natural or original colour'. This, I believe, is the reason for the terminology. It is a reference to the original colour coming from the 'self' i.e. the individual cat before potential modification through selective breeding such as making the coat bicolour (a self or solid colour plus white due to the presen

No outcrosses for the Maine Coon

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I thought I'd check the position regarding outcrosses for the Maine Coon. All the cat associations do not permit outcrosses. This includes the GCCF, CFA, FIFE and TICA. Outcrossing introduces unrelated genes into the breeding line.  This is the TICA breed standard. I added the cat and the red box! It helps to maintain health and reduce inbreeding but it pushes the breeding line away from the pure Maine Coon appearance. I presume that the cat associations don't permit outcrossing of Maine Coons to ensure the purity of the genes that create its distinctive appearance while at the same time believing that the cat is not too inbred. All selective breeding is inbreeding. It is a question of how far you go. Go too far and you have an unhealthy cat with inbreeding depression. Not far enough and the appearance is not good enough as per the breed standard. Sometimes cat associations allow outcrossing for the betterment of the breed. For example Devon Rex breeders can outcross to the

Chubby-cheeked white Maine Coon kitten

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Chubby-cheeked white Maine Coon kitten. Picture: Pinterest and therefore in the public domain. This is an interesting looking Maine Coon kitten.  All Maine Coon kittens tend to look quite rounded and chunky. They become more elongated and elegant when the grow up so we can expect to see this sort of chubbiness but this is exceptional. The ears are already very impressive with huge lynx tips. The muzzle is already pronounced. As expected in a white cat, the eyes are a clear blue. It looks like he or she has rouge on his cheeks as if she has put on makeup.  This is just the vestiges of a pattern that has been masked by the dominant white gene which removes melanin (pigmentation) from the hair strands. White cats don't have white pigment in the hairs but no pigment. A super-looking cat who's no doubt made someone very happy and proud. ASSOCIATED:  Wise black Maine Coon kitten looks knowingly into the camera

Tabby Maine Coon checks out something of interest in the backyard

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A glorious tabby Maine Coon checks out something of interest in the backyard. Maine Coons look their best in the tabby coat I believe, as do others. The reason why I like this photograph is because it shows us the length which has been turned into the height of the Maine Coon. It's an un-posed photograph, a snapshot, taken in the backyard; an ordinary photograph which is why the cat looks extraordinary.  ASSOCIATED:  Maine Coon plays with a standard moggy through a glass door  (showing the size difference). Tabby Maine Coon checks out something of interest in the backyard. Photo: Pinterest. The size of the Maine Coon becomes very apparent. But this is a big one. Not all Maine Coons are this big . I have said it before, the CFA does not state that Maine Coons should be big. They're meant to be substantial and have that robust appearance but the cat fancy does not tell breeders to create enormous Maine Coon cats. It has become a cultural habit.

'Yankee Clipper', the Maine Coon kitten who breached the Iron Curtain

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The Iron Curtain was a political boundary between the Soviet Unions' satellite states and the West in Europe. It ended at the end of the Cold War in 1991. Even in the 1970s purebred cats were occasionally being shipped internationally from America. I guess it was mainly for breeding purposes as cat breeders wanted a good foundation cat. Black and white Maine Coon kitten. This is not Yankee Clipper! Image in public domain. On April 12, 1972 a black-and-white Maine Coon kitten called 'Yankee Clipper' started on a 6,000 mile journey from New York to Bucharest, Romania in a sturdy wooden crate. I guess back in those days animal crates for air transportation were not quite as sophisticated as today's versions. This must have been quite an optimistic and courageous project bearing in mind the relative innocence and lack of sophistication of those days. I'm told by Marilis Hornidge in her book That Yankee Cat that the crate was covered with signs and pictures of cats, a

Picture of a shaggy, 'dishevelled' yet attractive tortie Maine Coon

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She reminds me of a slightly dishevelled man. That's probably an unkind analogy. It is also incorrect as tortoiseshell cats are almost invariably female! And I'm anthropomorphising cats but what the heck. The broken tortoiseshell coat combined with the shagginess of it gives us this dishevelled appearance. I think this is a super-looking cat.  Picture of a shaggy, 'dishevelled' yet attractive Maine Coon. Photo in public domain. I think the impression of a moustache due to the tortoiseshell pattern leads me to anthropomorphize the cat and change the gender! This is a 50-year-old man with ginger hair! My imagination is running riot. SOME MORE ON TORTIES: All Tortoiseshell Cats Are Feminine Tortoiseshell Cats

Handsome, all-white, male, giant Maine Coon, Tihon, likes to cuddle

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This handsome, all-white, male, giant Maine Coon likes to cuddle his female human companion a lot. He doesn't like to be alone and he follows her around wherever she goes. This includes going to the bathroom together which is normal for the domestic cat.  The bathroom is full of the smells of the human! Cats love that. It is like 'in-your-face' human presence. He lives in Moscow, Russia. You will see a lot of very large and highly impressive Maine Coons in Russia because the breeders tend to do an amazing job with their cats . They sometimes breed more impressive Maine Coons than the Americans which must be a bit galling to the Americans because this is an American cat or that's what they like to claim. I would agree with them because although the Maine Coon originates in the European cats they've been in America for 400 or more years. Do all Maine Coons like to be cuddled and be that close to their human caregiver? No, not all of them as each cat has their own i

How often should a Maine Coon be bathed?

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The question in the title presupposes that all Maine coon cat owners should bathe their cats. And as at Oct 21, 2021, the top website that Google finds when searching for answers to the question in the title, states unequivocally that Maine Coons should be bathed at least once a month to help control shedding and keep the coat clean. Wrong, I say. Maine Coon being bathed to get rid of fleas. This is one of the reasons why you might bathe a Maine Coon but only exceptionally. Constant, daily flea combing will do the job and cats love it. Most cats don't like to be bathed. Photo in the public domain. I don't live with a Maine Coon but I would strongly disagree with their advice. You do not need to bathe your Maine Coon unless for a special reason . It is wrong to presuppose that you should. The Maine Coon is like any other domestic cat in this respect. People don't ask how often they need to bathe their moggy? They don't even think about it unless there is a specific r

Black silver classic tabby Maine Coon

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This is a black classic tabby Maine Coon from Russia. The classic tabby is also known as the blotched tabby. The classic tabby has only been around since the middle of the 1800s. The spotted tabby is the original tabby cat coat inherited from the wildcat ancestor. This cat looks a tad overweight to me but still very handsome with the two distinguishing appearance features of the Maine Coon: the large lynx-tipped ears and square muzzle . Black silver classic tabby Maine Coon. Photo: Cattery INARI-Питомник Инари Click this to read a lot more about the tabby coat . And click this to see a classic tabby moggie I fed when I lived in a flat . That was years ago and I remember it well. He hissed at me and ate the food. He was overweight actually so I wasn't doing a great job. I just could not resist as I recall.

2 appearance features which define the Maine Coon

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In my view, there are two features of the Maine Coon appearance which define this cat breed. The most important of these is the "visibly square" (to use the language of the Cat Fanciers' Association) muzzle. This pronounced muzzle distinguishes the Maine Coon from all other breeds. If you want to quickly check whether a Maine Coon is genuine you could do worse than starting at the muzzle. 2 appearance features which define the Maine Coon. This individual has been selectively breed to extreme but the square muzzle and lynx-tipped large ears are very noticeable. Photo in public domain. The second defining feature is the "large, well-tufted, wide at base, tapering to appear pointed" ears. The tufts of hair coming out of the tips of the ears is a very strong defining attribute of the Maine Coon cat. You see breeders enhancing and emphasising both the square muzzle and the lynx tipped ears. ASSOCIATED:  Picture of a Maine Coon who looks like a middle-aged man Some

7 reasons why a Maine Coon cat would be disqualified at a CFA cat show

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Maine Coon show cat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick. The CFA Maine Coon breed standard makes it clear that the following anatomical features would disqualify an individual cat at a cat show: Delicate bone structure; Undershot chin, i.e. the front teeth, the incisors, of the lower jaw overlap or project beyond the front teeth of the upper jaw when the mouth is closed; Crossed eyes; Kinked tail; Incorrect number of toes (this must be a reference to polydactylism which is quite a common feature on Maine Coon cats ); On their fur there are white buttons, white locket or white spots; Maine Coon cats that are hybrids i.e. showing evidence of hybridisation resulting in the colours chocolate, lavender or the Himalayan pattern.

Do Maine Coons need a special diet?

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What do Maine Coons eat? And do they need a special diet? The answer is a simple one. It is one you would expect. In general terms Maine Coons are the same as any other domestic cat. In terms of their dietary requirements they are exactly the same as a humble moggy, or a stray cat, or feral cat. They all require the same diet. That diet should be as near as possible a replication of the mouse. A mouse is an ideal diet in terms of nutrients. I stress in terms of nutrients because mice can also transmit worms to cats . But in terms of balance in a diet what makes a mouse makes a good diet for a domestic cat. Caveat : There is one possible reason why an owner might consider a diet tailored to Maine Coons: their predisposition to heart disease and joint issues both of which are genetically inherited. Seek vet advice on that but Royal Canin do a special dry food high in fish oils and glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate for Maine Coons . Beautiful young Maine Coon to type. Pic in the publi

Maine Coon Singapore Facebook administrator sold 2 cats from a breeder for S$400 commission

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NEWS AND COMMENT: Although, the detail in the story is a little bit thin, it is an interesting one. It concerns the administrator Derek Chew Keng Khoon, 45,  of a Facebook page called Maine Coon Singapore. It's a kind of meeting place for Singapore citizens who live with a Maine Coon. It also appears to be a place where some people visit for the purposes of trying to purchase a Maine Coon. As I understand it, it is against Facebook policy to sell cats on their website. Maine Coon Singapore Facebook administrator sold 2 cats from a breeder on S$400 commission Khoon is accused by the Singaporean authorities of using his flat as a pet shop to sell two kittens. I will presume that these kittens were Maine Coons. His name, incidentally, is very apt, I think you will agree. Maybe that's partly why he loves Maine Coon cats. He faces three criminal charges in Singapore: two of them concern using his flat as a shop to sell to kittens between January 5, 2020 and February 29, 2020 with

Young Maine Coon looks like he's been plugged into the electricity supply

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Extraordinary hair. Frizzed and frazzled. And his enormous ears are clogged with more hair.  It looks like electricity is shooting through him. I think he is a Maine Coon because of the ears. Actually, I have decided that he is. The giveaway is the lynx tips to the ears. No domestic cat has ears like that other than the Maine Coon. I sense that he is a purebred cat from the appearance. I have no idea where the picture was taken but probably somewhere in the US. He is a bicolour brown tabby. The sunlight backlights the whiskers which is why it seems that they are on fire in front of his face. Young cat who looks like he's been plugged into the electricity supply. Picture: Reddit.com.

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

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Black smoke Maine Coon Richie with a black face and diamond eyes. Photo: Instagram. OMG, this is a Maine Coon with an amazing face. His full name is "Richie du Mont d’Even". I think he has a black smoke coat which has created this black face with the assistance of other genes (polygenetic influence?) and ears with piercing, diamond eyes. This is a very special cat. His paws are balls of fluff. He has a mane that goes over his head like a halo. He's angelic and other-worldly. The lynx tips on the end of his ears are smoky grey which makes them stand out. They are a bit like the opposite to the black lynx tips of the wild caracal. I believe that he lives in France. He was born on 7th November 2020. He is still very young. They say Maine Coons reach adulthood at around the age of 4. He is going to be enormous as well. ASSOCIATED:  Black Smoke Maine Coon Cat Here is the video: View this post on Instagram A post shared by Richie du Mont d’Even (@richi

5 reasons why you think your Maine Coon is small

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The first reason why you believe that your Maine Coon is small is because you may have a misapprehension as to how big they are. There are quite a lot of individual Maine Coons which are not that big but we are less likely to see them on the internet. The breed standard does not state that they have to be big. A lot of the Maine Coons that we see on the Internet are indeed very big. They are outstanding but rare. The average Maine Coon is bigger than the average domestic cat but they may not be as big as you think they are. Can Maine Coons be small? Clearly a classy Maine Coon which matches the breed standard. Photo in public domain. Another reason is because your cat is a female. Sometimes female Maine Coons can be about the same size as regular domestic cats. A third reason would be that your cat is not a purebred Maine Coon. There are a lot of 'Maine Coon mix' cats on the market. A lot of the cats that you see on adoption sites are described as 'Maine Coon mix' bu

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