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Showing posts from March, 2022

Maine Coon - Pitbull love story (video)

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Here is a brilliant interspecies friendship. More than that, actually. Love actually. I might be anthropomorphising these love birds but I don't think so. The Maine Coon is Ernest and the Pitbull is Hemingway. Neat. The Maine Coon is polydactyl which may have inspired the names of these companion animals because 'Hemingway cats' are known to be polydactyl. In case you are unsure what that means, it means that he has more than the usual number of toes.  If you like interspecies relationships: try this one:  Alsatian and crow are best mates ! Maine Coon, Ernest, and Pitbull, Hemingway together. Screenshot. Maine Coons are famous for this condition but it was bred out of them by American breeders. It is a shame as polydactylism is part of the Maine Coon heritage. Nowadays a polydactyl Maine Coon would be disqualified in a CFA organised cat show competition . That's how far from the history of the breed the cat associations have come. They consider polydactylism a crude def

Maine Coons developed severe facial ulcerative dermatitis when used as test subjects for a human acne drug

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I will have to keep this brief because I am working off an abstract of a study which is a summary. I've seen similar studies where scientists have used Maine Coon cats to test drugs that are used on people suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). I guess the scientist wanted to see whether these human drugs work on cats and Maine Coons are predisposed to developing HCM. Maine Coons developed severe facial ulcerative dermatitis when used as test subjects for a human HCM drug. Image in public domain. On this occasion they tested a drug called Spironolactone (SPIR) in America. As mentioned, they tested it on Maine Coon cats with familial HCM i.e. inherited HCM. They wanted to see whether this drug improved diastolic function and reduced left ventricular mass in these cats. The conclusion is that it did not work. They tested the drug over four months. For me, a disturbing statement in their summary is this: one third of cats treated with SPIR developed severe ulcerative facial

Polydactylism was deliberately bred out of the Maine Coon

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Originally, around 40% of Maine Coons were polydactyls. That's a very high percentage. It comes from several authors writing about the Maine Coon cat. Perhaps the best-known book on the topic, That Yankee Cat by Marilis Hornidge, states that: "The number of claws in those paws was perhaps the most controversial of all issues in the final stages of setting up a standard. The traditional MC was frequently a polydactyl or many-toed cat, a genetic mutation that occurs with great frequency in the upper north-east United States." Image from: Polydactyl Maine Coons written by Susan Grindell MSc, BOptom Mainelymagic Maine Coons Beth Hicks, one of the foremost experts of the breed, stated: "I don't know if you are familiar with it but there was a study done by someone connected with a university in the 1950s which showed that 40% of Maines were polydactyls. Now, this was before they came back on the show circuit." She means that once Maine Coon cats became show cat

House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle's Maine Coon died at the age of 12

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You may have heard the news that the speaker at the House of Commons in the UK, Sir Lindsay Hoyle has just lost his Maine Coon cat, Patrick, who died at the age of 12, two years after being crowned Westminster's top cat. Sir Lindsay Hoyle and Patrick. Photo: EPA. Sir Lindsay Hoyle is an animal lover. He said that Patrick lived a good life. I am sure that he did as the Speaker is clearly an excellent animal caregiver. The information that caught my eye is the age of Patrick when he died. The age of 12 is not a great age for a domestic cat nowadays. I think we can expect the average random bred cat to live normally beyond the age of 15. When I did some quick research on the lifespan of Maine Coon cats, all the websites I visited told me that they did between 12-15 years of age on average. My estimation is that this is about three years shorter than your typical non-purebred cat. I think this is a factor in whether you adopt a purebred cat or not. And I think, too, that this is not ab

Maine Coon kitten, Red, born with convergent strabismus. Serious or cute?

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Red is one of a litter of seven Maine Coon kittens, all of which were born with convergent strabismus. This is an inherited condition. The cat is cross-eyed and the eyes point inwards (converge). The litter of seven was created by breeder Rebecca Hardy. The mother's name is Mahri. Rebecca lives in Hillsborough, UK. Maine Coon kitten, Red, born with convergent strabismus. Serious or cute? Photo: Rebecca Hardy. Note: to my mind, there is also has a slight anatomical abnormality with his face. His mouth is very strongly downturned. I wonder whether the genetic mutation causing the crossed eyes has also impacted his facial skeleton? I don't know. I am speculating. Six of the kittens self-rectified their strabismus as their extraocular muscles strengthened. This didn't happen for Red. And so, he's now got to live with crossed eyes. It looks a little disconcerting but my research indicates that cats adjust to it and their binocular vision is apparently unaltered. The experts

Regal Maine Coon does a majestic blep (video)

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Regal Maine Coon does a majestic blep. Screenshot. The cat blep is the 'feline tongue sticking out behavior' which we all see from time to time. When a regal Maine Coon does it, it looks out of place. It is a bit like the Queen of England sticking her tongue out at her subjects 😊.  The video maker, Robert Sijka calls it the 'most majestic blep ever recorded'. I agree. Sijka takes awesome photographs of awesome Maine Coons too. @robert_sijka The most majestic #blep ever recorded. #mainecoon #cats #catsoftiktok #felisgallery ♬ original sound - Felis Gallery by Robert Sijka Note : This is an embedded video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source or the video is turned into a link which stops it working here. I have no control over this. In an earlier article I discuss five reasons why cats do the blep - see link below. It may interest you and you may have some thoughts of your own. If so, please leave a comment. RELATED:  5 possible reason

23-pound Maine Coon receives a teddy bear haircut and a blow-dry (video)

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This is a cross post because I think that it is a good video and I don't see enough good videos. It's about a pet groomer who has a TikTok account. Judging by what she does in the video I think that she is a good pet groomer. She is considerate and you can tell that she has done a lot of this because she moves quickly and efficiently. 23-pound Maine Coon receives a teddy bear haircut and a blow-dry. Screenshot. Her Maine Coon client is a 23-pound cat whose owner wants a teddy bear haircut and a blow dry. They also want his stud tail treated. Stud tail is a greasy patch at the base of the tail which needs to be regularly washed with medicated shampoo as you see in the video and you can add cornstarch or baby powder to keep it down and stop it becoming too greasy. It won't go away so you've got to treat the condition all the time. @askacatgroomer Meet my “Maine” man #mainecoon #catsoftiktok #cats #catbath #catbathchallenge #catgrooming #catgrooming #pepsiapplepi

Did Marie Antoinette's Norwegian Forest cats (Skogkatts) start the Maine Coon breed?

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There are about a dozen different stories as to the origin of the Maine Coon. Some are fanciful and some are more realistic and plausible. Perhaps the Marie Antoinette Norwegian Forest cat story is somewhere between these extremes. It goes like this. Marie Antoinette. The face of a cat lover! Image: BBC. Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution sent to America her Norwegian Forest cats when she hoped to escape to the New World. RELATED:  Maine Coons are non-native to the USA. Discuss . It is plausible that the French Queen might have owned Norwegian Skogkatts because one of her most devoted admirers at the French court was the Swedish diplomat Count Axel von Fersten. He would have had access to Scandinavian random bred cats (as they were at that time) from Norway and they might have been beautiful cats.  He might have offered her some as an exotic gift. However, there is no evidence to back this up. It is speculation as many of these Maine Coon origin stories are. RELATED:  Maine

Successfully managing IBD in a Maine Coon cat and eradicated an endoparasite

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According to the record in the summary to a research study published online, a 2-year-old, female Maine Coon cat suffering simultaneously from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and an intestinal single-celled parasite was completely 'cured' with the following treatment. By cured I mean she presented as 'clinically normal' six months after treatment. IBD in cats. One treatment is a raw meat diet. This cat is not a Maine Coon! Image: MikeB RELATED: Try ground rabbit with supplement to cure feline inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) . The endoparasite was Tritrichomonas foetus which was cured with Ronidazole. This is a drug which is well tailored for this particular parasitic infection. Tritrichomonas foetus is described as a species of single-celled flagellated parasite known to be a pathogen in the intestinal tract of cats and also in cattle. The inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) was apparently cured or entirely successfully ' managed ' which is be a better descrip

Maine Coon is middle-ranking in terms of developing Type 2 diabetes in purebred cats

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The table on this page in my view ranks purebred cats in terms of their prevalence to developing diabetes mellitus. The scientists have compared the incident rate to the number of cat years at risk which I find a bit strange but they did look at a cohort of 504,688 individual cats insured in Sweden. So, the data comes from insured Swedish purebred and non-purebred cats and claims made on behalf of those cats by their owners over a total of 1,229,699 cat-years at risk. So, based upon these insurance claims they concluded that the Maine Coon cat is middle-ranking which I take to mean that this extremely popular cat breed is neither predisposed more or less than the average purebred cat. The table also tells us that Maine Coon cats are less predisposed to Type II diabetes (another way of describing diabetes mellitus) then standard random-bred cats. This I think is a good thing. RELATED:  Can feline diabetes be reversed ? As an aside, the breeds: Burmese, Russian blue, Norwegian Forest

Super Shaggy Richie the Maine Coon on TikTok

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Here is Richie, the Maine Coon, on TikTok. It gives his admirers the chance to see his amazing fur as his owner plays with it. It looks like a very enjoyable (for both) experience and very tactile. It is nice to see him moving. As usual he looks stunning. He's a lemur-Maine Coon hybrid! 😉.  In this video his caregiver messes around with his extraordinary fur. It is by some miracle of genetics that Richie was created because his appearance always astounds me. It is as if he was created on another planet. I'd love to know a bit more about how Richie came into the world.  RELATED:  Black smoke Maine Coon Richie with a black face and diamond eyes . Was he some freak of genetics or a strange genetic mutation? I think I need Sarah Hartwell to explain the genetics behind Richie. And the coat; this is shaggy plus, plus. What are his litter mates like? That would be interesting to know. @richiethemainecoon Zoubisou bisou 😽 #mainecoonkitten #funnymainecoon #cutecat #catsoftiktok

The Netherlands: Maine Coon more popular, Exotic Shorthair less popular

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Although the information that I am reading, which is a study from 1999, is outdated I am sure that the trend reported 20 years ago is still in place today and therefore feel justified in referring to this study. Dutch bred Maine Coon from the Numa Coon Cattery Amsterdam. Photo: the cattery. The scientists conducted a survey of the Dutch cat fancy. They assessed the number of registrations by the cat clubs participating in the foundation 'Overleg Platform van de Nederlandse Cat Fancy'. The Dutch cat fancy accepts 34 different cat breeds which is actually less than the CFA and substantially less than TICA. They found that the number of "Longhair and Exotic Shorthair litters decreased by 9%'. Litters of Maine Coons, Birmans, British Shorthairs and Norwegian Forest Cats increased. The Abyssinian, Siamese and Oriental shorthair cats remained static in terms of popularity. I am deducing that if more litters are registered, more cats are being created in order to feed the mar

Genetic mutation causing HCM in American Maine Coon cats not present in European cat population

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Scientists screened 3757 cats from different cat breeds in America including 2744 Maine Coon cats for a genetic mutation called MYBPC3-A31P, which the scientists say has been identified in the USA in a colony of Maine Coon cats suffering from autosomal dominant hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). I'm not sure whether this is THE genetic mutation which causes HCM and Maine Coon cats. It probably isn't. The genetic mutations causing HCM in domestic cat is a complex subject. But let's say that this is at least one genetic mutation which alters the creation of muscle fibres in the heart causing the heart wall to thicken leading to this inherited health problem. Young Maine Coon with human face. How healthy is she/he? Photo as per bottom-left on image. Note: I am not suggesting that this cat has HCM or has been poorly bred. The results of the study pointed to the fact that this mutation is only found in Maine Coon cats with a prevalence of 41.5%. They found one exception which

Cystic renal disease occurs with a low prevalence in Maine Coons

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I think this point needs to be made. 'Cystic renal disease' is referring in this instance to polycystic kidney disease or PKD. The Maine Coon Expert site incorrectly states that the Maine Coon has a predisposition to developing this disease. I base that assertion on a study published online which has been referred to by other websites. The headline to this article is the exact words taken from the study. Feline PKD ultrasound scan. Image: Clinician's Brief. The scientists also stated that the PKD in Maine Coons, when it occurs, is unrelated to the PKD observed in Persians and related breeds. However, they do conclude that ultrasonographical findings compatible with chronic kidney disease ( CKD) are not uncommon in juvenile Maine Coons. I interpret that to mean that young Maine Coons can show indications that they will develop chronic kidney disease. But this is not PKD. CKD is common in all elderly domestic cats and a main reason for euthanasia. The study checked out

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