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Showing posts from January, 2022

German bred blue-cream tortie Maine Coon has a perfect muzzle for me

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Having looked at thousands of pictures of Maine Coon cats and studied the CFA breed standard I've become somewhat obsessive about the muzzle of this ever-popular cat breed. It is an important and distinguishing characteristic of the breed. I am beginning to sound like a member of the cat fancy when I am very much an outsider. I have to say that the muzzle on this individual is very pretty if I am allowed to use that adjective. German bred Maine Coon has a perfect muzzle for me. The cat is described by the breeder (Viktorija ShadowMeadow) as blue-cream tortoiseshell. The cat is 8-months-old. I think it is very well balanced. And that is an important factor in the breeding of these cats. Maine Coon cats should have a visibly square muzzle with a blunt end to it but it should not be bred to extreme to the point where it becomes out of balance with the rest of the face.  I have seen extreme muzzles and although they look interesting and impressive to some people, I don't think t

Can Maine Coons live outside?

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This, for me, is an interesting question. You can answer the question from a technical point of view or from a practical and realistic point of view. Technically, we are told by the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) that Maine Coons can live outside because the breed standard tells us that the Maine Coon is "solid, rugged, and can endure a harsh climate". That clearly states, by implication, that the Maine Coon could live outside if demanded. However, I don't think the breed standard intends to portray that possibility. Can Maine Coons live outside? Extract from the CFA Maine Coon breed standard. The statement comes from the origins of this breed. The introductory section of the breed standard under the heading "GENERAL" also states "originally a working cat". This is a reference to Maine Coons being barn cats back in the day. There are referring to the state's "Maine cats" as they were described before the cat fancy i.e. before the

Can you get Maine Coons in Australia?

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Yes, you can get Maine Coons in Australia. In fact, you can get them in many countries other than the USA. I have a list of Maine Coon breeders in Australia on this website. You can see it by clicking on this link, if you wish .  Please note that most cat breeders are 'hobby breeders'. They are husband and wife operations. As a result, they can close down and start up fairly rapidly. The point is that any list is going to out of date at some point in time. One current breeder is Monster Maine Coons in Sydney, NSW. The kitten below is from their Facebook page. Maine Coon kitten from Monster Maine Coons, Sydney, NSW. Photo: The breeder on Facebook. These breeders will be affiliated to cat associations such as The International Cat Association (TICA) or the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) just like any other Maine Coon breeder. You want to make sure though that the cat that you purchase is from a registered breeder and that you receive all the necessary paperwork to establi

Maine Coon 'Barivel' is the the world's longest domestic cat (2022)

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Barivel, a Maine Coon, is the Guinness World Records longest domestic cat in the world at 2022. Things change, of course. The video below talks about him and the picture, also below, is pretty astonishing. He lives in Vigevano, Pavia, Italy and measures an impressive 120 cm (3 ft 11.2 in) in length. He got the record on 22 May 2018. Where do they measure from and to 🤔? Maine Coon 'Barivel' is the the world's longest domestic cat (2022). Screenshot. However, I have a couple of points to make about this. There is one God-like all-white Maine Coon living in Russia which I written about which I think must be as long as Barivel. His name is Kefir . He's been named after a dairy milk product in Russia 😊. But he is simply enormous and he is bigger than Barivel, isn't he? This is Kefir. Isn't he bigger than Barivel? Photo: Yulia Minina (SWNS), the woman in the picture. You just wonder whether the Guinness World Records information is correct. Much depends upon who

Maine Coon Rescue on Facebook does not rescue Maine Coons

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I think this needs to be stated but it may be apparent to other people. You will find on the Internet "Maine Coon Rescue" organisations. They purport to rescue Maine Coons and then find a new owner for them. But it is impossible for these organisations to be viable because there are so few Maine Coons that need rescuing for obvious reasons. Maine Coon Rescue on Facebook does not rescue Maine Coons!. My message to them. No response 4 hours later. Still waiting. One such organisation is on Facebook. It is called 'Maine Coon Rescue' and it has supporters and about 27,000 followers. It is ranked highly in reviews. BUT this organisation cannot be rescuing genuine Maine Coons. They say that they rescue Maine Coon mix cats but anybody can say that. They have a calendar and featured on the calendar is a genuine Maine Coon. This is misleading. Maine Coon mix cats look like medium-longhaired moggies. And they are medium-longhaired moggies. A Maine Coon is either a Maine Coo

Maine Coon size versus dog size?

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People want to know how the size of the Maine Coon compares to the size of a dog. You probably realise that it is impossible to answer this question because dog size varies enormously. This is due to selective breeding over about 20 years or more. And, it has to be said, the size of the Maine Coon also varies considerably.  A Beagle versus a large Maine Coon comparing size. Image: MikeB based on images in the public domain. Here is another image comparing a Beagle and a standard Maine Coon from a YouTube video: Standard Maine Coon versus a Beagle comparing size. Screenshot. Small-to-medium-sized dog compared to a Maine Coon size. Image in public domain. This looks like a small Maine Coon. And here is a Golden Retriever and Maine Coon playing. This dog breed is quite large: People get the impression that all Maine Coons are always huge but they are not. Maine Coons can be a little larger than standard domestic cats (small female for instance) but in general they are considerably larg

Do all Maine Coons have extra toes?

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The question in the title is asking whether all Maine Coons are polydactyl. The answer is a definitive No. Some Maine Coons are polydactyl and some are not. I suppose the big question is what percentage of Maine Coon cats are polydactyl i.e. have more than the normal number of toes? Polydactyl Maine Coon. Photo: Pinterest You will find on the Internet that the figure of 40% is constantly reproduced and republished because one person is following another and the starting point in that process is the figure of 40%. That figure appears to come from earlier authors writing in books. Going back to the 1970s and perhaps earlier, some authors estimated that the percentage of polydactyls in the Maine Coon breed was originally as high as 40%. The reason why the word "originally" is used because there came a time within the cat fancy, and I'm referring primarily to the Cat Fanciers' Association, when they decided Maine Coons with extra toes were unwanted at cat shows. They

Do all Maine Coons have an "M" on their forehead?

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The answer to the question in the title is, no , because some Maine Coons have an "M" on their forehead but not all Maine Coons. This is because not all Maine Coons are cats with a tabby coat. Although the Maine Coon perhaps looks its best with a tabby coat, the cat associations allow a wide range of coat colours and patterns under their breed standards. Tabby Maine Coon with the classic M Mark on the forehead. This varies tremendously in this design so don't expect a perfect M! Photo: Helmi Flick. The question in the title almost presupposes that all Maine Coon cats are tabby cats, which, as mentioned, is untrue. A lot of people prefer the Maine Coon with a tabby coat because this is a rugged, barn cat in terms of its history. So you don't want to make the cat look too pretty.  That is the theory. This is meant to be a solid, substantial and now refined purebred cat but the history of this cat goes back about 400 years to the barn cats of the state of Maine in t

Maine Coon is the most popular cat breed but the 9th most attractive as per the 'golden ratio'

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In an apparent anomaly, a study measuring beauty using the 'golden ratio' organised by the website All About Cats concluded that the Maine Coon is the 9th most attractive cat breed with the most attractive breeds being the Norwegian Forest cat together with the Russian Blue. I say "anomaly" because it is likely that the Maine Coon is today's most popular cat breed.  Russian Blue - mathematically the most beautiful. Image: Daily Mail. Explaining the difference between mathematical beauty and observed beauty In another anomaly, the Persian and the Himalayan, both flat-faced-bread cat breeds, are the least attractive under a mathematical formula called the "golden ratio". Both these breeds are popular among the cat fancy. For decades, the Persian was the most popular cat breed as recognised by the Cat Fanciers' Association (most registrations). There are three possible reasons for this anomaly. The first is that the popularity of a cat breeder is no

Kesha lives with two Maine Coons and a Siamese cat (and Brad)

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Kesha is an American singer and songwriter. Her full name is Kesha Rose Sebert. She has the usual social media websites. She has a very good photographer who might be her partner, Brad, or somebody else because her Instagram pages are littered with really excellent photographs of a wide range of style-types.  Kesha lives with two Maine Coons and a Siamese cat. I believe that the Siamese cat Mr Peeps has been presented twice in the montage above. Wrong? Please tell me in a comment. Montage: Kesha Twitter feed. She is clearly a cat-lover because on her Twitter feed there is a photograph celebrating Pet Appreciation Day (2018) of her three cats, two of which are Maine Coons. Their names are Charlie and Queso. She also lives with a Siamese, 'Sir Mr Peeps'. It is said that she rescued Sir Mr Peeps from outside a strip joint in Russia. True? The photograph on this page shows four cats in a semicircle around Kesha and her partner Brad who are both holding the two Maine Coon cats. I

Do Maine Coons shed hair less than other cats?

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I'm afraid not. Maine Coons are just like any other domestic cat. They shed hair. In fact, as they are medium-longhaired there will be more actual hair in your home because the hair strands are longer. I think the question is a 'cri de cœur' to use a bit of French, by which I mean a desperate cry into the Internet to ask and hope that the Maine Coon sheds less than average because the person who asked the question loves Maine Coons but dislikes the idea of hair lying around their home. It is one of those minor (for some) and major (for others) downsides of being a cat caregiver. You have to learn to live with cat hairs around the home if you live with a cat. That is the best way to deal with it. Just reprogram your mind to accept it. You can minimise it by brushing your Maine Coon with one of those special brushes that picks up dead hair. You will find many examples on Amazon and online in general. Grooming a Maine Coon. Screenshot. I wouldn't advise bathing your cat to

Can Maine Coons breed with regular cats? This is not as straightforward as you think.

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By 'regular cats' I presume that the questioner means non-purebred cats or moggies. From a practical, genetic and anatomical standpoint the answer is most positively yes because Maine Coons are domestic cats just like moggies. They are exactly the same species. No problem there. Size difference between Maine Coon and standard domestic cat. This is Omar on the right. Photo: Instagram. However, from a cat breeder's standpoint it's a no-no. This is because the cat associations prohibit out crossing Maine Coons to other breeds and non-purebred cats. This is in order to maintain the genetic integrity of the breed to, in turn, ensure that the breed maintains its appearance. This is a very special and distinct appearance. It needs to be maintained. Below are the exact words from the CFA breed standard for this cat: Maine Coon Cat allowable outcross breeds: none. That's pretty clear although they don't mention random-bred (moggies) cats because they wouldn't. Th

Are Maine Coons America's native cat breed?

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Scientifically speaking, and strictly speaking, Maine Coons are not native to America. They are a non-native species of animal. To put it another way they are an invasive species because all domestic cats in America are an invasive species. Some cat breeders and cat associations say that the Maine Coon is America's native cat. What they mean is that this is America's cat breed and I get that. But they are not native to America. Classic Maine Coon with a barn cat appearance from the Maine Coon Barn Cat Facebook page. The Maine Coon and its predecessor has been around for about 400 years although for the vast majority of those years the cat was not described as a Maine Coon but as a barn cat. They were random bred cats until they were picked up by breeders and refined and renamed Maine Coons. That's how you make purebred cats. The Maine Coon is not indigenous to North America. In order for the Maine Coon to be a native species of animal it would have to be a domesticated N

Some genetics for the ginger (red) marble (classic or blotched) tabby Maine Coon male cat

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This is a ginger marble tabby Maine Coon. As most ginger tabby cats are male cats I have decided that this is a male cat. In fact, about 80% of ginger tabby cats are male because females have to inherit two copies of the "ginger gene" ( O ). Red classic tabby male Maine Coon cat. Photo in the public domain The marble or classic tabby is also called the "blotched tabby". The geneticists or breeders write down the genotype as A-B-D-mcmc . It differs from the mackerel or striped tabby with the addition of the mcmc allele. The ginger tabby is sometimes called the red tabby. To the best of my knowledge, breeders normally refer to these cats as 'red'. The reference to "ginger" is normally a layperson's description as is marmalade or yellow - see link below. RELATED:  Orange, red, yellow, ginger or marmalade cats . Once again, the pattern may be either mackerel, blotched, spotted or ticked tabby. The hair strands of the coat are coloured by minute

Maine Coon smoke is formed by the combination of the inhibited gene with non-agouti (aaI-)

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This is a nice photograph of a very large Maine Coon (yes, another wonderful-looking cat companion). What struck me immediately was the chiselled appearance of the smoke coat down the right foreleg of this cat. You can see the white parts of the hair strands below the dark tip. This to me is the classic smoke appearance. The top part of the hair strands are dark while underneath there is light coloured fur. The smoke coat and how it is created is very evident in this photograph of a beautiful Maine Coon cat. You can see the white under colour and the black tip. The photograph is from Twitter. I've lost the name of the contributor; sorry. The title explains how the smoke appearance is created as described by the authors of the book:  Robinson's Genetics for Cat Breeders and Veterinarians . They also state that: The action of I in producing white undercolor is clearly seen in this variety. (The symbol I is for the inhibitor gene). You might also see ghost tabby markings of d

Why are Maine Coons so vocal? Answer: not all Maine Coons are vocal.

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In the title, I have asked the question that Google suggests that I ask and I've answered it as well. I will try and add some detail. Yes, Google suggests to me that people search for an answer as to why all Maine Coons are vocal, meaning that they are very talkative. This simply is not the case on my research and based upon my personal experience. Dilute tortie cat photographed by Robert Sijka. And certainly, Gloria Stephens in her book Legacy of the Cat , supports me. She should know. She became a specialty judge for the American Cat Fanciers' Association in 1971. At the time of publication of her book,  first published in the US in 2001, she was an all-breed judge for the American Cat Association. She may well have retired but her experience is undeniable. She is also considered to be an acknowledged expert in cat genetics. She has worked as an instructor training judges and has conducted cat breeding seminars. And finally, she is or was a devoted and professional breeder