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Showing posts from August, 2022

Study says more than 1 in 5 Maine Coon litters have stillborn kittens

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Maine Coon newborn. Image: MikeB A study conducted in France concluded that, out of 15 different cat breeds, a little more than one in five Maine Coon litters had at least one stillborn kitten. The exact figure is 23.4% of the litters. Of the 15 breeds, the Maine Coon was the third worst in this regard. Litters with a stillborn kitten leads to the other kittens being slightly less heavy than if there was no stillborn kitten within that litter (see link below). As expected, despite this, the Maine Coon came out top in terms of birth weight. The Egyptian Mau was the worst in terms of percentage of litters with a stillborn kitten at 32%. For humans living in the USA, one in 160 birth of stillborn. RELATED:  Birth weights of 15 cat breeds compared and other useful information . Image: MikB from data from the study referred to. The number of stillborn kittens in litters appears to be high among the purebred cats but my research on dogs indicates numbers which are not that dissimilar. On ave

Are Maine Coons energetic?

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The question asks whether Maine Coons are more energetic than your average domestic cat and the answer is that they are not. In my personal experience their energy levels are very typical of any normal or standard domestic cat companion. They are not known for being lazy or energetic.  For example, the Bengal cat or Savannah cat are both known to be more energetic than your typical domestic cat because of their wild cat inheritance - they are wild cat hybrids.  Are Maine Coons energetic? Not really but they are stars πŸ‘Œ✔️πŸ˜ƒ. The pic is from Purina. At the other end of the spectrum there is the Persian cat which is known to be less energetic or more passive than the typical domestic cat. In between these two extremes you will find the vast majority of cats belonging to the other cat breeds and of course the non-purebred cats as well. The question in the title is a little bit difficult and imprecise to be perfectly frank. The energy levels of a domestic cat is impacted by their environme

Maine Coon meow/yawn - purr/trill in that order

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This is another cute video of a Maine Coon and one which once again touches on the tiny voice of the Maine Coon. They do have cute vocalisations. When you combine the cute sounds that they make with their impressive stature and size and their beautifully shaggy medium-longhaired coats you have this exotic combination which is so attractive to many people and which is why you see so many videos like the one on this page. The video comes from the TikTok page of  🌻Bri🌻 (@briandmilly) TikTok | Watch 🌻Bri🌻's Newest TikTok Videos . Enjoy and thanks for making the video. The quality could be a bit better 😎. Please note that TikTok allows their videos to be downloaded to your desktop and therefore they allow them to be uploaded to websites such as this one. I am doing nothing wrong. If I embed the video using TikTok code it is likely that in due course the video will disappear if and when the video on TikTok is removed or TikTok changes their policies and convert embedded videos on t

Why don't Maine Coon cats meow?

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Well, Maine Coon cats do actually meow but clearly some people think they don't otherwise they would not have asked the question. All domestic cats meow in their own way. Although some make a silent meow . Perhaps it is because the Maine Coon meow is a little bit special and sometimes doesn't sound like a conventional meow.  For instance, in the video the Maine Coon responds to their human talking to them by using a trill/meow sound. Or they have a yowl/meow or a squeaky meow. But they're all, often, forms of the well-known meow. But then again, the feline vocalisation which is called the "meow" is a very 'elastic' sound. Each individual cat has their own version of the meow. And this applies right across the board whether the cat is a Maine Coon or any other breed or any other random-bred cat.  "Their large size belies their tiny voice - for such big cats, they are fairly quiet". That's a quote from Gloria Stephens who lives with Maine Coon

Smart sensing snake toy for cats including the Maine Coon!

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We know that Maine Coons are generally full-time indoor cats for the simple reason that they are too spectacular and too expensive to be wandering around outside unsupervised although some Maine Coon owners do allow this. One owner just got her Maine Coon cat stolen and the theft was recorded by her Ring security camera doorbell. Sad to say the least. She'll never see him again I suspect and the thief just made $1000. Maine Coon kitten plays with smart sensing snake cat toy. Image: MikeB So, there is added responsibility and pressure upon Maine Coon Owners to entertain their cat or for them to entertain themselves. And I've just spotted this smart sensing snake cat toy which is interactive and which has a sensor at the front so that it can stop and change direction and so on.  When it encounters obstacles the eyes flash and it automatically turns back. The 'tail' (body) swings and the tongue wags! It will enter a dormant state after it has been played with continuously

11-month-old Maine Coon with excessive bacteria in his stomach. Treatment discussed.

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This is a problem with a young Maine Coon cat in the UK who is described as being a fussy eater and the owner's veterinarian has put the problem down to an excess of bacteria in the cat's stomach. The vet prescribed a specialist dry food diet called Royal Canin Gastrointestinal . After a short time, the vet said they could go on to Royal Canin Digestive . But if the condition flared up again, they should revert back to the previous diet. The cat has gone off the earlier diet and now is only eating the second diet. RELATED:  Treating Feline Inflammatory Bowel Disease with Fecal Microbiota Transplantation . Royal Canin Digestive a food for cats with sensitive stomachs? Sadly, he has a loose stool i.e. diarrhoea, which is ongoing.  The woman was asking for advice on the mumsnet.com website and I provided it. I am not a veterinarian. I can just provide my opinion and she can take it or leave it. My advice is below.   Do you have any thoughts which can be passed on to this woman? I

Is this too much for an unregistered Maine Coon?

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The question in the title is being asked by a mother on the mumsnet.com website (UK). She is seeking advice because she wants to adopt a Maine Coon cat. She is not sure how much to pay and she is attracted to an advert online for a Maine Coon cat at £700 but she has also seen other Maine Coon cats advertised for £1500. She believes that the cat at the cheaper price might not be a true purebred but she says that "the kittens will probably look like Maine Coons nonetheless". She wonders whether £700 is "a lot of money for an unregistered kitten however." Maine Coon kittens. Photo in public domain. The point that I want to make is that if you want to adopt a Maine Coon cat you are going to have to buy one from a breeder. Occasionally you might be able to find one at a rescue centre but this would be incredibly rare. So, you buy purebred cats rather than pay an adoption fee at a shelter. And when you buy a Maine Coon cat you simply have to have evidence that the cat is

Is the Maine Coon descended from Norwegian Skogkatts brought to North America by Vikings?

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Technically it is possible that the Maine Coon is descended from Norwegian Skogkatts but there is no hard evidence. There's been a lot of discussion on the Internet about whether the Vikings "discovered" North America before Columbus and there is now evidence on my reading of the research that the Vikings had a settlement in North America about a thousand years ago and well before Christopher Columbus arrived in the Americas.  Comparison between Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest cat. Image: MikeB from pictures taken by Helmi Flick (with her permission). RELATED: Comparison between Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest cat . Scientists used new dating techniques to analyse tree rings which provided evidence that the Vikings occupied a site in Newfoundland, Canada in 1021 A.D. It seems that they went as far south as a place called Vinland where grapes were grown but not as far south to what is Maine today. It is unclear exactly where that place is but it is probably the area surrou

Maine Coon vet visits compared to other cats in Japan and Sweden

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There are two studies on the Internet in which the Maine Coon cat breed is compared to other breeds and non-purebred cats concerning visits to a vet for health issues under an insurance policy. One comes from Sweden and the other from Japan. Maine Coon vet visits compared to other cats in Japan and Sweden. Image: MikeB based in background image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay Sweden They evaluated vet visits for health problems of insured Swedish cats between 1999-2006 by age, breed, sex and diagnosis. I am able to look at the summary ONLY which is about 10 lines. There were 875 visits to veterinarians for health problems per 10,000 "cat-years at risk".  They concluded that the Siamese, Burmese and Abyssinian cats had higher rates of claims compared to the Norwegian Forest cat, the Maine Coon, the European Shorthair and domestic cats (moggies).  In other words, the Maine Coon, on this evaluation, is healthier than the Siamese, Burmese and Abyssinian cats. The most common claim

Congenital hernia of the diaphragm overrepresented in Maine Coon cats

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The full inherited condition i.e. congenital condition is called 'peritoneopericardial diaphragmatic hernia (PPDH)' and in a study published on National Centre for Biotechnology Information website, it is described as being overrepresented in long-haired cat breeds including Maine Coons, Persians, Himalayans and longhaired random-bread cats.  I don't know how prevalent this condition is in Maine Coons. It might be very rare. And probably is. What are the symptoms?  According to petmd.com they include irregular heartbeat, labored breathing. The abdomen may move rapidly (palpitate) or feel empty. Reactions such as vomiting, diarrhea, and bloating can occur because of damage to the bowel or stomach. This is the first time I have heard about this. We know of the other inherited conditions in Maine Coons such as hip dysplasia and patella luxation together with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) but this is a new one to my knowledge. The study on this was published in 2018. They

Are Maine Coons descended from Norwegian Forest Cats?

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Despite the similarity in appearance of the Norwegian Forest Cat and the Maine Coon, there is no hard evidence, to the best of my knowledge, which supports the view that Maine Coon cats are descended from Norwegian Forest Cats. The idea for this suggestion mainly comes from the story of Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) who tried to escape France during the French Revolution. She was imprisoned with King Louis XVI in the summer of 1792. At that time Captain Clough was the captain of a ship called The Sally which sailed between Le Havre and the state of Maine. The ship was docked at Le Havre and therefore it was an ideal means to escape to take the king and Marie Antoinette and her possessions to America. Unfortunately, they failed to engineer her escape and both Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI were executed by guillotine. Marie Antoinette by Joseph Ducreux. Image in the public domain. However, her possessions and apparently her cats had been loaded onto The Sally in preparation for her

Blood clotting disorder in Maine Coon cats?

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Definitions: Dysfibrinogenaemia - this is a blood clotting disorder because of an abnormal form of fibrinogen in the blood which is a protein produced by the liver which helps control bleeding by helping blood clots to form. Afibrinogenemia - this is an inherited fibrinogen abnormality causing a rare bleeding disorder. Haemostasis (hemostatis) - this describes a mechanism which leads to the stopping of bleeding from a blood vessel. Hereditable (heritable) - this means capable of being inherited. Coagulopathy - a disorder causing either excessive bleeding or clotting. An investigation carried out in 2020 and published on August 21, 2020, found that dysfibrinogenaemia may be a hereditary condition in Maine Coon cats. They were investigating a report of afibrinogenaemic haemorrhage in a Maine Coon cat. Two littermates subsequently died from surgical non-haemostasis (not stopping bleeding) which suggested to the researchers that this was hereditable coagulopathy. They concluded that "

How many Maine Coons are there in the world?

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This is a very grand question and it is asked on the basis that somewhere there should be the information to answer it with some precision. But no. After searching diligently on the internet focusing on Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) registrations for the breed I came up with a blank. I could find no registration numbers on the CFA website. I searched high and low.  I used the CFA custom search facility but nada. Nothing. I couldn't find any data on the number of Maine Coons in America never mind for the entire planet. That would be extraordinary if it existed. Update : I have emailed Amanda at the CFA and asked her how many MCs are registered with her cat association. If she responds with an answer that'd be a start. I also asked her to hazard a guess at the overall number on the planet! No chance. Photo:  Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay. Perhaps the big cat associations have a policy of not allowing public access to their registration database. Perhaps they don't

Genetic mutation of MYBPC3-A31P linked to HCM in 41.4% of European Maine Coons

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The MYBPC3 gene gives instructions to the body of developing Maine Coons to make cardiac myosin binding protein which is part of heart muscle cells. Cardiac MyBP-C is linked to a basic unit of muscle contraction. When the MYBPC3 is mutated, it is associated with a significant increased risk of the development of the well-known heat disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy for which the Maine Coon is also well-known to suffer from. It is one of several inherited disease very sadly affecting this impressive a popular cat breed . Genes and chromosomes. Image in the public domain. The mutated gene is also referred to as 'cardiac myosin-binding protein C3 mutations'. The mutated MYBPC3-A31P gene was identified in a colony of Maine Coons way back in 2010. So, it is present in the USA. A study (see title below) was concerned with its prevalence in European Maine Coons. The researchers assessed 3757 cats from different breeds including 2744 Maine Coon cats for this mutation. The muta

Maine Coon did not eat for a week and became jaundiced

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Fatty liver disease in a Maine Coon was secondary to megacolon in this medical case, which may interest some people and it may help one or two cat owners which is all I can expect. Prompt veterinary attention might have prevented this health problem and before that a look at the living arrangements of this cat. In this instance a 6.5-year-old male, sterilised Maine Coon was taken to an emergency service veterinary clinic in the US (NYSCVM Emergency Service) with the main complaint of icterus which is a technical word describing jaundice. Jaundice is the main symptom of a malfunctioning liver or liver disease. For example, in people it is present in those who are alcoholics because alcoholism damages the liver. Maine Coon at vet. This picture is for illustrative purposes only and this is not the cat concerned. Image in the public domain (as assessed). This Maine Coon had a history of intermittent constipation and weight loss. They had lost 4 pounds in one month and a history of anorexia

No part of a Maine Coon cat should be exaggerated

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It is interesting to read that the premier cat Association, the CFA (Cat Fanciers' Association) - the cat association which really dictates (with TICA) how Maine Coons should look - makes it clear that no part of the cat should be exaggerated, and the cat should be "well-proportioned and balanced".  In other words, any form of extreme appearance such as a particularly heavy muzzle or particularly large ears with extra-long lynx tips are not going to be seen as advantageous in terms of winning cat shows or in terms of having an ideal appearance. As soon as I read that no part of a Maine Coon should be exaggerated, I immediately thought of the extremely large, extreme-bred Maine Coon cats that often come from Russia. These cats have very heavy muzzles.  Lion-faced Maine Coon with exaggerated features. Image in public domain now. In fact, their heads look like the heads of lions. I get the impression that breeders have selectively bred their cats over years to look like male

Cat show judge goes over the basics of Maine Coon appearance

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 This video should be of interest to people who want to know what a Maine Coon should look like if they are going to do well at cat shows. I have discussed this topic before (see link below) but I think it is nice to hear a cat show judge going over the main features and what to look for in a good-quality Maine Coon cat.  Note: you might have to click on the play button 2x to get it to play πŸ˜’. You see what I would describe as quite a small female Maine Coon which he carries around in that classic cat show judge way which is a hand under both ends of the torso making the cat look very long. The size of this cat brings home to us that not all Maine Coon cats are enormous. Often times they are quite small relative to our expectations.  Cat show judge goes over the basics of Maine Coon appearance. Screenshot. That's not to say they are small compared to the general population of domestic cats. They are not. They are nearly always larger than your typical domestic cat but we should be

Do Maine Coon cats like to be pets or would they prefer to be barn cats again?

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Looking at their behaviour and how well loved they are, and cared for, and how much they enjoy those pleasures, it's pretty certain that Maine Coons like to be pets and if given the choice to be a pet or a barn cat they would almost always choose the former. There will be some variation between individuals because each has their own character. Maine Coons come from medium-longhaired barn cats on the east coast of America, mainly in the state of Maine. So that's their origin and it is a philosophical question as to whether they would prefer to be living their life as they did hundreds of years ago; free of human attentions hour-by-hour. How a Maine Coon should enjoy the outside. Image: The Discerning Cat. But, the answer to the question in the title is pretty obvious because, like humans, domestic cats including Maine Coons will migrate towards their comforts and the major comfort for a Maine Coon cat is a food source. Where there is food that's where you will find a domesti

'Aquaman' Maine Coon with glacial, diamond eyes and a mini-blep

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'Aquaman' is an incredibly impressive, white Maine Coon with extreme features. Bred to extreme I'd say because the original Maine Coons were never like this. These super Maine Coons have massive muzzles and towering lynx-tipped ears. They look unreal only we see so many of them they are becoming the norm but these impressive cats are not the ones winning cat shows under the auspices of TICA or the CFA.  RELATED:  The extreme Maine Coon face . The winners of their shows are much smaller and much more normal-looking but still the largest domestic cat breeds overall. But it is no big deal. These impressive MCs are often bred by Russians under the Word Cat Federation cat association of FIFe, both European cat associations. At present (Aug 2022) Russian cat breeders are banned from showing their cats in Europe because of Putin's invasion of Ukraine. RELATED:  What kind of Maine Coon wins competitions ? Large white Maine Coon, Aquaman. Photo: Robert Syka (and the video) This

Laid-back Maine Coon wears AIR MUZZLE while being professionally groomed

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I learned about the air muzzle from this video. I had no idea what it was until I saw it in the video and wondered what it was called. She mentions it in her commentary but she speaks fast so I had to look it up. And as you can see it stops a cat biting when they are being subjected to professional grooming which can be quite vigorous. I am sure that sometimes cats are somewhat traumatised at professional groomers as they work fast and are quite tough on the cats. And the place is going to be scary to some cats. Air muzzle available online for around £25 in the UK. Probably a similar price in dollars in the USA. Image: in public domain. This Maine Coon has a bit of stud tail which was treated and the nails were trimmed. Afterwards he was given a full shampoo and wash and then a sort of modified lion cut which is a less-severe version. Throughout the treatments the Maine Coon behaved impeccably and I am sure that the vast majority of domestic cats would not behave in such a laid-back wa

Grooming a cat to help improve coat quality

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The quality of a cat's coat is controlled by a number of factors: The cat's hormone concentrations; Nutrition; The general health of the cat; Parasitic infestations; The cat's genetics; How well the cat grooms herself; And finally, whether the cat's owner brushes their cat at all or how regularly. When a cat grooms themselves their tongue, covered with backward facing spines made of keratin, combs their coat. The wet saliva is deposited on their fur which by the way is how people who are allergic to cats pick up the allergen as the saliva dries and flies off onto furniture. The saliva catches dirt and their tongue pulls out loose hair as they groom themselves. Mothers teach their kittens how to do this. And you will see allogrooming in which cats who are friendly with each other groom each other in an act of friendship. Brushing a Maine Coon. Image: PetsKB. Grooming tips Cats will normally keep themselves clean but when they get older or when they are ill it won't