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Showing posts from February, 2022

What do Maine Coons sound like?

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Maine Coons have a reputation for chirping and trilling more than other cats. Don't believe that all Maine Coons sit around the living room chirping and trilling like birds. They don't. In fact, I am unconvinced that Maine Coons chirp and trill much more than any other domestic cat.  Some individuals might have a tendency to make a chirping-like sound from time to time. That is about as far as I am going to go in restating this anecdotal information. However, there is also a tendency for people who write about the Maine Coon to restate what has already been stated on another website and you just build up this fiction into fact. Harry a ginger Maine Coon who talks like other domestic cats. Screenshot. Gloria Stephens in her book Legacy of the Cat makes no mention of how Maine Coons sound or the kind of vocalisations that they make. If Maine Coons genuinely chirped and trilled and were truly noted for it, she would have mentioned it. Gloria Stephens is a former cat show judge an

Maine Coon chin should be strong, firm and in line with the upper lip and nose

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This is about the appearance of the Maine Coon. It is very important for the breed. The title is an extract from the CFA breed standard of the Maine Coon with respect to the muzzle/chin. We know that the muzzle should be very strong and square. In harmony with that objective, the chin should be strong, firm and in line with the upper lip and nose.  When viewed in profile as you can see in the image below, the "chin depth should be observable and give the impression of a square, 90-degree angle". The anatomy of a cat is not going to square shaped 👍. But the chin must not be tapered. The problem with describing a breed standard in this way is that it can drive breeders to extreme. They might be trying to achieve that 90-degree angle when natural feline anatomy does not allow it.  Maine Coon chin should be strong, firm and in line with the upper lip and nose. Is this example acceptable as per the breed standard? Image: MikeB. I have picked out a Maine Coon in profile which I th

Maine Coons with a "delicate bone structure" are disqualified in competition but what does it mean?

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You might be expecting me to tell you what a "delicate bone structure" means in relation to a Maine Coon show cat in competition at a cat show, but I don't think I can tell you. The phrase "delicate bone structure" is very elastic in its meaning. But the CFA breed standard makes it clear that if your Maine Coon has a delicate bone structure, he or she will be disqualified in competition at a cat show. Not a Maine Coon with a delicate bone structure. Photo: Instagram. Personally, I think that this criterion for qualification is too elastic and too vague. The interpretation of it is going to lead to injustices being perpetrated. Perhaps it never happens. Perhaps no judges have ever disqualified a Maine Coon for having a delicate bone structure. Perhaps this criterion is more academic than practical. What it is saying is the opposite: that Maine Coons should be substantial and quite big and solid. I have a feeling that the phrase is pushing Maine Coon breeders t

Maine Coon the size of a girl (and how not to pick up a cat)

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The picture highlights the size of the big Maine Coons. In some ways it is a bit deceiving because I'm sure that this Maine Coon weighs a lot less than the girl. This is partly because the cat is covered with shaggy, long hair. Visualise what the cat would look like naked and he'd be quite a bit smaller 😉. There is also a perspective issue as the cat is nearer to the camera than the girl and the photo was taken with a wide-angle lens which magnifies the perspective effect. It is not meant to be a direct, precise, size comparison. It's just a nice picture which brings home to us the extraordinary size of these very large Maine Coons which have become so popular. Maine Coon the size of a girl. This is a silver tabby by the look of it. Photo: Pinterest. On a minor point, it has to be added that the girl is holding this cat in an entirely incorrect way. I've seen this before with Maine Coons and kids. Maine Coons appear to be very accepting of being mishandled like this

Youngest Maine Coon cat with hip dysplasia was 4 months old (study)

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This is a study I have visited before. Perhaps like others, I had the impression that hip dysplasia in Maine Coons arrived perhaps in middle-age and got worse as the cat got older. However, in this study of 2,732 cats of which 2708 (99.9%) were Maine Coons, they found that the youngest cat with feline hip dysplasia (FHD) was for months old. This information may interest people with Maine Coon cats if they are wondering whether their cat companion has hip dysplasia because they are young. Note: these kittens are here to illustrate the page. I have no knowledge of their health. We are told that Maine Coons don't become adult until they are about four years old so we have a cat with this inherited disease who is still a toddler in cat years. The study scientists said that they performed 96.2% of the radiographs on cats between the age of four months and 60 months. Overall, they found that 635/2548 (24.9%) of the cats suffered from FHD. There was a tendency for males to have it more

Infographic: Maine Coon 2nd most popular cat breed in 2021 according to CFA

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According to the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA), the Maine Coon was the second most popular cat breed in 2021. In 2020 it was in third place as you can see from the infographic below. The Maine Coon has jumped over the Exotic Shorthair to take second place.  The Infographic above shows you the top 10 cat breeds as per CFA registrations for 2020 worldwide, in which you can see that the Maine Coon was in third place during that year. It does not surprise me that the Maine Coon has jumped over the Exotic because it is a better cat breed. Both cat breeds have some inherited health problems but the Exotic has the same health problems as the better-known Persian which, on my calculation, as in the top two breeds with the most inherited health problems with the Siamese . RELATED:  Do Ragdolls have health problems ? I like to focus on health because, in my mind, health is more important than appearance. I know people tend to conveniently forget about health problems but when they have to

The huge Maine Coons that you see are more likely to have HCM

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A study found that heavier Maine Coons were more likely to have HCM. That is the conclusion that I want to take from the study. There are other links between HCM and aspects of the Maine Coon cats such as older cats were more likely to have HCM and cats with longer humeri (forelimbs) were also more likely to suffer from this heart disease. Huge Maine Coon but will he develop HCM early? I have a page on this god-like cat - Kefit. Please click this link to read it . I am not saying that Kefir has HCM. I am simply flagging up the link between size and the disease and Kefir is the biggest Maine Coon I have seen. Pic: his caregiver in the photo. I've discussed the study in some detail on a different page which you can access by clicking on this link . The prevalence of HCM in Maine Coons is quite high. It is, as you might know, an inherited health condition for this popular breed. HCM describes the thickening of the muscle walls of the heart which makes it malfunction. You can't

There are NO pros to declawing your Maine Coon cat when considering the cat

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A top website on the Maine Coon cat, Maine Coon Expert, has an article headed: "The Pros and Cons of Declawing Your Maine Coon". It is a very long article. It discusses declawing cats in great seriousness and in great detail. It argues for and against it. Personally, I am flabbergasted that the authors can find something positive (pros) to say about declawing cats. In 35 countries it is banned as an illegal activity. In the UK if a veterinarian declawed a cat they would be prosecuted by the RSPCA. Although it never crosses their mind. It is entirely off the radar of UK veterinarians. It is banned in Israel. There are NO pros to declawing your Maine Coon cat when considering the cat. Image: MikeB Any enlightened legislature will decide that it is barbaric and should be banned. The Maine Coon Expert website says that there are pros doing it and that it should be decision of the cat owner whether it is done or not. The trouble is that Maine Coon cat owners don't know what

Scientists artificially created a family of Maine Coon cats suffering from HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy)

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In 1999, a group of scientists decided to take one Maine Coon cat suffering from familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (FHCM) and from that "proband" (an individual serving as the starting point for a genetic study of a family) they created a colony or family of HCM sufferers by mating the proband with related cats.  Image: Pixabay. To be clear, the scientists created an inbred family of Maine Coons who all suffered from HCM. The purpose? To determine the mode of inheritance, phenotypic expression and natural history of HCM to better understand the disease in humans. To a cat advocate, this is an abuse of domestic cats and unusually a very popular purebred cat, the Maine Coon. They concluded that HCM in this family of Maine Coons that they had created resembled the human form of familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. As a consequence, the research should prove to be "a valuable tool for studying the gross, cellular, and molecular pathophysiology of the disease". Th

Are there any genuine Maine Coons at "Maine Coon Rescue" organisations?

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I have just visited several online Maine Coon rescue organisations. They are charities run by volunteers and they are meant to be adopting out Maine Coon cats judging by the names of their charities. But when you visit these websites, you immediately notice that the cats advertised for adoption are either Maine Coon mix cats or they cannot vouch for the pedigree of the cats advertised for adoption. Or they are clearly random bred (mixed breed) cats as seen below. Maine Coon mix at a Maine Coon cat rescue organisation online. A nice tabby moggie. By all means adopt the cat. You'll do well to but don't think you are adopting anything other than a tabby moggie. The rescue organisations are being less than honest. I don't want to be mean-spirited or in any way undermine these cat rescue charities. They do great work. However, if a cat rescue organisation is advertising rescued Maine Coon cats for adoption, you expect them to be listing purebred Maine Coon cats. But they aren

Two rescued Maine Coons ready for adoption in London, UK

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The Facebook page of The Maine Coon Cat Club has led me to the website of The Maine Coon Cat Club on which they have a page concerning welfare and rescue which includes cats currently needing new homes.  So, on this page, there are two male Maine Coon cats in need of adoption. They are rescue cats. They are both in London, UK.  We are not told by The Maine Coon Cat Club whether there is documentary evidence regarding these two cats in respect of their pedigree.  So, if you're going to apply to adopt one of these cats, I think you will need to ask about the pedigree and whether there is any paperwork that goes with the cat because without that you don't have certainty that you are adopting a genuine Maine Coon cat.  This may put a spanner in the works. Perhaps you won't like to hear this. But I think you have to do due diligence when you are supposedly adopting a purebred Maine Coon cat. The same will apply to any purebred cat. And it doesn't matter whether they are res

Blue Maine Coons have blue noses and red Maine Coons have red noses

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This is an interesting little snippet from the CFA Maine Coon breed standard. As you might know the CFA allows a massive range of coat colours and patterns . It's almost an infinite number when you combine them. One of those acceptable coat types is what they call the "Solid Color Class" where they list the following colours: white, black, blue, red and cream. Blue Maine Coon. You won't get a more impressive looking domestic cat. Awesome. The nose leather is blue! As ordered by the CFA breed standard. The eyes match too. And I expect the paw pads are blue as well. Photo: Pinterest. Cream is a diluted red, by the way. And blue is a diluted black. So, if you want a Maine Coon which complies with the CFA breed standard, which means that he or she is a high-quality Maine Coon, the nose leather i.e. the end of the nose has to be pink if the cat is white. It has to be black if the cat is black. It must be blue if the cat is blue and brick red if the cat is red. Finally, if

Could my cat be part Maine Coon?

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Yes, your cat might be part Maine Coon but why do you want to know? What's the point? A "part Maine Coon" is a moggy. This is a mixed-breed cat. This is a random-bred cat. You might as well go to a rescue centre and adopt a cat that needs a home than go in search for a part Maine Coon cat. Perhaps you did adopt your cat from a rescue centre. Perhaps they told you that the cat is part Maine Coon. So, what is a part Maine Coon cat? It is not a purebred cat. On the face of it, it should be a cat whose parents are a purebred Maine Coon and a moggy. Or a Maine Coon and a moggy might be the grandparents of a part Maine Coon cat. Sometimes they are referred to as " Maine Coon mix " cats. You might see quite a few of them on cats for sale sites. The person who placed the ad decided that the cat that they want to rehome looks a bit like a Maine Coon. Rather than describe the cat as a random-bred cat or a moggy, they add a bit of spice to the advert and describe the cat a

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