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Showing posts from October, 2022

Maine Coons from a few days old to almost 12 weeks now

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Screenshot montage by MikeB. It is nice to see newborn kittens growing up instantly to 12-week-old adults and this TikTok video allows you to do that. Of course, it's very popular because people love Maine Coon cats, and they love kittens. It kind of combines all the elements of what we like to see in domestic cats. You probably know that Maine Coons grow to be full adults slower than other breeds. Is this correct? I sometimes doubt it. But that is the now 'cast in concrete' fact. Is there any anatomical reason why Maine Coons should take longer to reach adulthood (3-5 years)? There shouldn't be as in this respect they are regular domestic cats like any other. Humans reach adulthood at around 20 years which is around one quarter of their lifespan. If Maine Coons live to 15 on average, reaching adulthood at the age of 5 represents one third of their life. Strange? Inaccurate? For me, the music sucks to use an American expression. It is horrible and intrusive. Below is an

Spinal Muscular Atrophy in Maine Coon Cats

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This genetically inherited disease in Maine Coon cat needs to be discussed but I don't want to paint an unnecessarily negative picture about this wonderful and popular cat breed. The best book on cat health problems ( Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook ) says on page 345 (latest edition at the date of this post) that this is "a genetic defect in Maine Coon cats". Cute ginger tabby MC sitting on his backside. Image in the public domain (believed). Spinal nerves die off that control the "skeletal muscles". The disease is evident at 3-4 months of age. The rear end of the cat sways and at about 5 months of age the cat cannot jump. There appears to be no pain and there is no treatment. The muscles decrease in size. A DNA test has been developed at the Laboratory of Comparative Medical Genetics at Michigan State University. Maine coon cat owners send a cheek swab to the testing center to see if they are carriers before being bred. This is clearly a service for

Success rate of corrective surgery for patella luxation in Maine Coon cats

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Veterinary surgeon. Image: Pixabay (modified). As the Maine Coon is genetically predisposed to acquiring patella luxation it is useful for caregivers to have an idea of the success rate of rectification surgery for this condition which is recommended by veterinarians for grade 2-4 patella luxation.  The patella is the kneecap and 'luxation' means its dislocation. Basically, the kneecap has moved away from the front of the knee to the side. Grade 1 patella luxation means that you can manually push the kneecap out of his groove, but it will return to his normal position once the pressure is removed. Grade 2 patella luxation means that the patella will sometimes pop out of the groove on its own, but it moves back to its original position when the leg is rotated and extended. Grade 3 patella luxation describes a situation whereby the patella is out of the trochlear groove most of the time but it can be pushed back into the groove with manual pressure. And grade 4 patella luxation d

I'm allergic to my Maine Coon. Should I wash him?

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You may know that the major allergen which produces an allergic reaction in about 10-20% of people is Fel D1. There are lesser allergens but that's the major one. It's called a thermostable protein. And it is found in the saliva, anal glands, sebaceous glands, skin and fur of cats. They now believe that it is the sebaceous glands are not the saliva which is the main production site of this irritating allergen. Fel D1. Image: MikeB As it is deposited on the fur of cats either when they groom themselves or by the secretions of the sebaceous glands, it may cross the minds of cat owners that by washing their cat they may eliminate the allergic reaction from which they suffer. There are quite a number of people who live with domestic cats despite suffering from an allergy to cats. They find a way around the problem. And there are ways but washing their cat is not one of them. Very temporary relief with downside Washing cats does reduce the amount of Fel D1 on the skin and fur of a

Maine Coon head tilt and loss of balance due to a polyp in the middle ear

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This is a little health article which I've gleaned from the Internet. I thought that polyps in the ears of domestic cats were quite rare, but my research indicates otherwise. They are benign growths that often originate in the middle ear and eustachian tube.  The condition can become chronic and infected because it is hidden, and it takes a while for symptoms to develop and become visible to cat caregivers.  This is a polyp in another cat. Image: Vet Folio. There can be inflammation which can lead to ataxia (loss of balance and coordination) and a classic head tilt which we see with the more common vestibular disease. In this instance a 15-month-old Maine Coon was suffering from a discharge from the ear. They had progressive head tilt and a loss of balance and coordination. The cat did not blink on the right side. A polyp is a tissue growth and this one occurred inside the middle ear, developing into an inflammatory polyp which caused chronic severe inflammation with production of

Admire the huge, magnificent Maine Coons but temper it with realism

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All of us admire the statuesquely impressive massive Maine Coons made famous by the internet's social media websites. They sock you in the face with their sheer size and lion-like, or human faces. Yes, we have seen those extraordinary human-faced Maine Coons from Europe. The MC (Maine Coon) has developed into the top 3 most popular cat breeds. I would expect the breed to be the world's most popular in coming years. Super, human-faced Maine Coon bred by a Russian but at what cost to health? Image credit: see image. Alright, let's enjoy humankind's creation of the MC. Yep, they are a human creation. When you see the stunning MC internet celebs you are not seeing the original MC that happily lived on a farm on the east coast of America. They were tiny and ordinary, almost dull by comparison to today's monsters. The MC cat show winners look rather sad compared to the huge MCs we are used to seeing . You are seeing a 'product' of human ingenuity which is designed

Why do Maine Coons invariably win the world record as the longest domestic cats?

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Why do Maine Coons invariably win the world record as the longest domestic cats? The answer is in the breed standard. I'll refer to the CFA breed standard. Here it is in relation to the body:  "BODY SHAPE: muscular, broad-chested. Size medium to large. Females generally are smaller than males. The body should be long with all parts in proportion...." Yep, the Maine Coon (MC) body should be long if a cat breeder wants one of her cats to win cat shows.  It is not often that a breed standard demands that a cat should be long. The desired length is supported by a further requirement concerning the body: "Size medium to large..." Notice that MCs don't have to be huge! Some are. But they should be large and at least medium-sized.  In general, they are the largest domestic cat breed because of the breed standard. Barivel. Image: Guinness World Records. This requirement is added to the length requirement to give us the world's longest domestic cat accolade on a

Are paw pad tufts of hair obligatory for Maine Coon cats?

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Yes, is the answer. The full-blown version of Maine Coon paw pad tufts of fur has a messy appearance, but it is very functional.  And the breed standard insists that Maine Coon have fur sticking out between their toes. The CFA breed standard is clear: " Paws large, round, well-tufted ". The phrase "well tufted" (a very cat fancy phrase) essentially means plenty of fur sticking out between the toes. Maine Coon paw pad tufts of hair as per the breed standard. Image: Flickr photographer: Sage. This means that it is obligatory if a breeder wants their cats to be in line with the breed standard. All Maine Coon breeders should desire this.  It is their raison d'etre. The breed standard is their firm guide.  RELATED: Cat Paw Hair . The reason why the administrators of the CFA and other cat associations insist on copious amounts of paw pad fur is because they see the Maine Coon as a natural American cat at heart. It is America's home-grown purebred cat. It is this a

How much are breeding Maine Coon kittens?

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One well-known Maine Coon breeder in the US King Klaudr Coons Cattery , usefully has a price list for their Maine Coon kittens, both those that are ' pet kittens ' and those that are ' breeding kittens '. This is the cattery where they create the enormous European Maine Coons. These cats are going to be excellent I feel. Their prices may be higher than normal as a consequence. RELATED:  Difference between European and American Maine Coons . They boldly state that breeding kitten prices start at $9000 . Note the 'start at'. These are sold to wannabe cat breeders. What the purchaser gets is full TICA (The International Cat Association) registration and breeding rights. Maine Coon kittens. These are not kittens from the cattery mentioned on this page. The picture is simply added to illustrate the page. It is believed to be in the public domain. The kitten comes with: TICA registration. Breeding rights. Veterinary certificate. Two pounds of vaccinations and dewormer

What can a Maine Coon owner do to help their cat with hip dysplasia?

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We know that hip dysplasia is fairly common in Maine Coon cats at around 23%-30% of the population getting it, which is a bit shocking when you think about it. Breeders can do more to prevent it. And it can develop at an early age.  This implies to me that your Maine Coon cat companion may be suffering from hip dysplasia for a substantial part of their life. Although the symptoms may not be visible until the cat is adults or even elderly. Is there something you can do about it? Can you ease the discomfort and difficulties that it presents? Well, I've been digging around for an answer to those questions. I sense that there is not a lot that a Maine Coon cat owner can do that is very effective, regrettably. Michigan State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, rather confidently state that most cats with hip dysplasia respond to non-surgical management. That's a reference to a combination of "environmental changes, physical therapy, drug therapy, or weight loss". H

Knowing the early signs of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in Maine Coon cats

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Respected sources of information on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in Maine Coon cats tell us that about 30% (25%-33%) of Maine Coons have a genetic mutation that makes them likely that they will develop HCM which is a thickening of the muscle walls of the heart leading to heart failure and other complications such as an increased risk of blockage. So, what are the signs that your Maine Coon cat is developing HCM? Image: MikB based on images in the public domain: heart: Wikipedia and MC: Pixabay. The genetic mutation referred to is a defective gene which is autosomal dominant. It affects both males and females. One copy of the gene may lead to the disease. RELATED: Mavacamten is slated as a possible new drug for HCM in Maine Coon cats . Test for genetic mutation In the US, the Veterinary Cardiac Genetics Laboratory at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine can test cats for this defect using a cheek swab or a blood test. That information was valid in about th

Downsides of owning a Maine Coon cat

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The benefits of owning a Maine Coon cat are well known, the most important being companionship followed by their beautiful appearance but there are some cons and here's a list: They are expensive and as they become more popular, they become more expensive 😎. Depending upon their quality they will cost between about US$500 and $2500 or more. Perhaps they average about $1000 or the equivalent in your currency although I would expect them to be more expensive in countries where they are harder to obtain. Downside of owning a Maine Coon cat? There are many but some of the reasons are minor and they are still worth it to many satisfied caregivers. Image: Pinterest (modified background). And if you think you can get a cheap Maine Coon you can't because you will probably be buying a Maine Coon mix. Health problems are a big negative. Like all purebred cats they inherit certain health conditions, the most outstanding of which are hip dysplasia, patella luxation and HCM (hypertrophic c

Realistic plush toy Maine Coon makes a super but pricey Christmas present

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Christmas is arriving! It's time to prepare presents 😊😃. I don't like Christmas but it's generally popular and so is the Maine Coon cat. This would be an expensive but beautiful present for a loved one. The quality looks excellent and as you might expect it is not cheap: £285.97 p. Realistic plush toy Maine Coon. Image: Etsy.com Still, these days people by smart phones as presents. Back in the day I used to get a pair of socks and a tangerine! Times have changed. This made to order in five weeks 50 cm realistic Maine Coon cat with coat type and colour of your choice is available in the UK on Etsy.com website and I believe that it is manufactured by FunimalArtdolls. It's the kind of object that would be very decorative in a home. I'm not saying that it is a substitute for the real thing. That said, it might be 💓. My mind turns to elderly people in care homes enjoying the company of robotic cats . You can transfer your emotions of caring and loving onto plush toys

Video of Maine Coon 'massaging' (kneading) his best buddy, a Staffy

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It looks like the Maine Coon is a full-time indoor cat living in an apartment in Gdańsk, Poland. The video has attracted the attention of news media which is why it has been seen well over a million times, which makes it the best video for this TikTok user: maine_staffy.  The user's handle reflects the fact that the dog is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The cat looks like a genuine Maine Coon; a grey tabby with a bit of white and what looks like dilute markings. A beautiful and cute cat for kneading his best buddy, the Staffy. I'll present the video twice (1) once as an embedded video from TikTok which may stop working and (2) an uploaded version which won't disappear, but the quality is poorer. @maine_staffy #massage #staffordshire #staffy #floyd #mainecoon #maine #cat #doglove #dog #funny #kocurek #pies #kot #kotek #zabawa ♬ оригинальный звук - 🐱 Otis&Floyd 🐶 We know that they are best buddies because when a cat kneads another animal species in

Neighbour's Maine Coon cats are attacking my small rescue cats. What to do?

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The problem described in the title posted on the mumsnet.com website is one which occurred in the countryside in the UK. The owner of more than one Maine Coon cat allows them outside because she feels that they are safe to wander the countryside. That's fairly rare. Maine Coon outside. Image in the public. I modified it by changing the background. RELATED:  Are citrus fruits a good cat deterrent ? And even though they are several hundred yards away from her neighbour, they do come onto her property and scare her relatively small rescue cats and on one occasion one of them physically attacked one of them. She wants advice on how to deal with it. My response is below, and this is the same as the response on the mumsnet.com website. The problem that you are encountering is really to do with humans trying to manage and control feline society which is very difficult. Legally, domestic cats can trespass on a neighbour's property as trespass doesn't apply to cats. Also, it seems t

How can I be sure I am buying from a reputable Maine Coon breeder?

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There are scams out there on the internet. We all know it and we should all be cautious in every aspect of life to protect against being scammed. The world is becoming more scammy! Defo. And sometimes this applies to Maine Coon breeders. I asked myself what I would do if I wanted to buy a Maine Coon kitten in the UK. The same answer would apply if I lived anywhere provided it was practical. Coonjangles Maine Coon kittens - all tabbies. Image: Coonjangles Maine Coon, UK. If you really want to be sure that you are buying a genuine Maine Coon of quality from a reputable breeder you have to visit the breeder in my view. There are many advantages to due diligence. Every Maine Coon breeder should allow a customer to view the kitten that they want to adopt with the mother of that kitten . They should allow a customer to select a kitten in their home which is usually their breeding facility. If they don't and provide a wishy-washy reason, I would not proceed. A breeder might have precautio

Why are Maine Coons so popular?

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One website author says that Maine Coon cats (MCs) are so popular because they have great personalities. True, but I believe that it is not the first reason for their popularity. All domestic cats, provided they are socialised to people and other pets and are treated nicely, have good personalities. Maine Coons are popular due mainly to their appearance and this photo tells you why! Image: in the public domain. In my experience of living to an advanced age, the MCs are popular because of their impressive appearance. The first thing most people are attracted to is appearance. This applies to almost any 'object' living or inanimate.  Humans mainly live visually. The dominant sense is vision. And humans love nice looking things.  They like to have attractive possessions. This observation is supported in all manner of contexts. Cars come to mind. For most people, particularly women, whether they buy a particular car or not is down to its appearance. And most people who make the dec

Picture of smudgy, snow-white, huge Maine Coon with black eyeliner, nose and feet

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A stunning Maine Coon cat. That's about all you can say. The contrast of the black detailing and the snow-white coat with some smudges is what does it for me and of course the impressive size. You can see the faint, ghost tabby markings which I presume have been washed out by the dominant white gene. Strangely the eyes are not blue. Normally white cats have blue eyes or odd eye colour because the gene that removes the pigment from the hair strands does the same thing to the irises of the eyes or one eye. That leaves the eye blue due to the refraction of white light passing through the eye.  RELATED:  Why are kittens’ eyes blue ? It is the 'nose leather' as breeders call it (the end of the nose) that is black. Actually, there is a bit of unpigmented nose leather there as well but a stunning cat. Just a great cat. Another one. We see a lot of super impressive Maine Coons on the internet. We are spoiled for choice. I have no idea where the photo was taken. It is probably Ameri

Why do Maine Coons stop growing later than other domestic cats?

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The Internet tells us that Maine Coon cats grow up more slowly than your regular domestic cat. You will see many articles on this. They appear to be repeating each other in saying that Maine Coons do not reach their full size until they are 3-5 years old. Other domestic cats reach their full size and adulthood around 12-18 months of age. So why is this? They don't tell us 😢😒. Or is the information slightly misleading? Another very large Maine Coon with a great coat. Image in the public domain in my view. So, I have to work out the answer myself and it is probably this: there's a slight exaggeration about the development of the Maine Coon to adulthood. It has become a kind of badge of honour for the largest purely domestic cat breed to grow more slowly than normal. And secondly it might take longer to fully grow all of their anatomy because they are bigger.  Perhaps their coat, such as their ruff (mane), continues to develop at year 3 but the rest of the cat has stopped growin

One month old ginger Maine Coon kitten is melting hearts (video)

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This is a very short video on the TikTok website by 'sir_jacoon'. It has caught the imagination of people because it's been seen about 1/2 a million times which is not bad for TikTok! I'm not sure why it is so popular to be perfectly frank, but it is probably as simple as this: Maine Coon kittens particularly ones with a very strong muzzle and a ginger tabby coat are very popular. And the expression on this kitten's faces priceless. But I don't like to see a kitten who is anxious and this one is. I'm not sure it's a good idea to make a video like this of an anxious little kitten but I understand the reason why because it's going to be popular. One month old ginger tabby Maine Coon kitten is melting hearts. Screenshot. The video is presented twice below: once as an embedded video from TikTok and the same video uploaded to this page. The former is better quality, but it might disappear which is why the other version is here! ✔️👍. @sir_jcoon Guarant

Can Maine Coons drink milk?

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Maine Coons are like any other domestic cat in that some adults and occasionally kittens are unable to digest milk and some milk by-products because they lack adequate amounts of the enzyme lactase. This enzyme aids in the digestion of milk sugars which is present in all dairy products. The unabsorbed sugar, lactose, holds water in the small intestine. This leads to what veterinarians called "increased motility" and a large volume of stool. "Increased motility" means an increased capability to move which in other words means diarrhoea in layperson's terms. Diarrhoea is the passage of loose and unformed stool. And diarrhoea is a symptom not a disease. Maine Coon drinking milk. This is a created picture as is probably obvious. Image: MikeB. Back in the day, when the cat owning public were less well-informed, they thought that giving their cat cows' milk was a treat. You'll see photographs of this on the internet. Milk is a treat to cats in terms of the tas