Showing posts from February, 2023

Free to use infographic about the Maine Coon

If you like it and want to illustrate a webpage or print it out for some homework or something, feel free. Don't download this version as it has been compressed. Download the original which you can see by clicking on this link . When you get to the page, right click on the infographic and select 'save as'. Bingo.  It has to be very compact on detail as infographics have limited space. The salient points are covered.  At one time the Maine Coon was almost extinct as a breed. It is hard to imagine now as it is in the top three most popular cat breeds. The reason? Their impressive size and overall appearance supported by some amazing individual cats who've been bred to extreme.  The breed standard does not insist that this breed be huge but some breeders have struck out and made them as big as the wild lynx. Their popularity is mainly about their impressive appearance but their temperament is good. You can tell by the photos of them on the internet. Thousands of photos of

Aggressive female Maine Coon is 9 months old. Owner is at wits end.

 A woman on social media is asking for help. It's quite a strange question. She has two Maine Coon cats, one male and one female. Their ages are 12 months and 9 months respectively. The male cat is calm and fine. The female is aggressive whenever she tries to brush or pick her up.  She hisses, growls, swats and nips her owner. She can't handle her cat and is at her wits end. She is asking for advice as to what to do next. Annoyed MC. NOT the cat in question!! This is probably a male Maine Coon. Image: YouTube. I must say I find this peculiar because an adopter buys a Maine Coon cat from a breeder or that is the normal route unless somebody has given you one or the cat has been owned previous to you. If you buy a Maine Coon cat from a breeder, they should be fully socialised and ready to be integrated into their new home. That is the duty of the breeder. They should spend a considerable end of time achieving a well socialised kitten. This cat appears to be unsocialised to a cert

Should a Maine Coon cat be neutered later than regular cats because of their slow development?

The general consensus is that Maine Coon cats take up to 4 years to become adults. And also, the general consensus by veterinarians is that neutering of male cats is best done when they are 6 or 7 months old. Puberty in regular male cats occurs between 4-7 months of age. Note: this is about male cats because the word 'neutering' applies to that gender. Females are spayed. Although, as you might know, the word "neutering" can also apply to general sterilisation. 6 months old male Maine Coon. Image: u/CZinvester on At puberty the male cat develops secondary sexual characteristics such as barbs on their penis and jowls (a chunky looking face). It is suggested that puberty in Maine Coon cats occurs a bit later than for regular cats because of their slow development and it might occur between 7-9 months of age. There is a certain degree of flexibility. You won't find a precise time. So, let's presume that if a Maine Coon cat is neutered at six months of

My first Maine Coon cat. Very independent. Does not like being held and only snuggles at night. Do they become more snugly?

The title is a question on I think it's a good question as it goes to the heart of domestic cat character and the Maine Coon cat character. My interpretation is that the kitten is a dilute ginger tabby with a bit of white. He is, of course, beautiful and he is definitely purebred. You can tell that by the very distinctive appearance. My first Maine Coon cat. Very independent. Does not like being held and only snuggles at night. Image: u/dinokith on The adopter is concerned that her cat is not friendly enough for her. She is the type of cat caregiver who wants their cat to sit on their lap and lie next to them in bed et cetera. Some people don't like that too much and they prefer a cat which is more standoffish. You will see many different descriptions of the Maine Coon cat (MC) character on the Internet. Some authors state profusely that Maine Coon cats are wonderfully friendly and so on. They don't differentiate between individual cats which I think

I want to adopt a Maine Coon. What kind of lifestyle should I give her?

I think that this is a fair question because obviously domestic cats live in a human world. They live in a world created by humans for humans. It is the cat who has to adapt unless the human really bends over backwards and unusually creates an interior of their home which is designed for a domestic cat. Leash! I have provided a hint there as to what kind of lifestyle you would provide for your Maine Coon cat. It would essentially be a full-time indoor lifestyle with trips outdoors with your cat on a leash. That is my personal view. That would mean leash training when they are a kitten if you adopt a kitten. It makes it much easier. Big blue Maine Coon looks after regular-sized friend. Cute. Image: Reddit user: u/Emperor-Palpamemes Stimulation In addition, you will probably have a catio at the back of the house to provide your cat with some mental stimulation. The other input in terms of mental stimulation would be, as mentioned, taking your cat for a walk on a lead . Distinguished The

Some behavioural traits of the Maine Coon according to a large-scale Finnish study

I think that it is always useful to go to science to examine the behavioural traits of any single cat breed. In this instance, a Finnish study titled: 'Breed differences of heritable behavioural traits in cats', looked at 5,726 individual cats through a questionnaire given to their owners.  Ginger tabby and white Maine Coon chilling. Image in public domain. Maine Coons participated in study as did other breeds and non-purebred cats. They were looking at whether selective breeding of Maine Coon cats and other breeds controlled to a certain extent the cat's character. And they found some correlations between genetic inheritance and behaviour. I have always said that in any chosen breed you can't say that all the individual cats are going to have the same character. That is impossible and it doesn't make sense. That's because there are two influencing factors: inherited character and environmentally altered character through experiences. Also, there are many breede

How much do Maine Coons shed? Comprehensive discussion.

It's a bit like asking how long is a piece of string? I'm joking but the answer depends to a certain extent upon the perceptions of the cat's owner. Some Maine Coon caregivers will hardly see tumbleweed hairballs blowing around the kitchen floor !  Or whiskers that have been shed lying on the carpet or bed. Domestic cat fur does tend to get everywhere and an experienced cat caregiver will be somewhat blind to it because they become used to having it around. Huge Maine Coon will be difficult to groom. Image in the public domain with words added by MikeB. But to answer the question, Maine Coons shed their fur like any other domestic cat which is to be expected. Only, as they are a medium-longhaired cat, the hair strands are longer and therefore there is more hair in terms of overall bulk being deposited on household surfaces. This is compounded by the fact that they are the largest domestic cat breed . Of course, the old adage is that caregivers of medium-longhaired and longh

Lynx tipped ears should appear pointed in the Maine Coon

I think that this amazing Maine Coon cat has been bred to extreme to the point where the ears do not quite match up to the breed standard which as you can see in the Infographic states that the ears should be pointed as the fur at the tip of the ear extends the triangular shape of the ear to a point.  Lynx tipped ears should appear pointed. Infographic by MikeB at PoC based on an image on Pinterest and in the public domain with words added. If there's too much fur in the lynx tipping it's going to flop as you see in the wild cat species, the caracal and it is going to splay outwards a little bit as you see in the photograph in the Infographic. I could be barking up the wrong tree. But we should be gauging a Maine Coons's appearance by reference to the breed standard. My gut feeling is that this beautiful cat has been bred to extreme which means a little bit too far in exaggerating the important features of this cat breed. And the ears carry 10 points in a cat show. They ar

When do I start feeding my Maine Coon cat adult cat food?

When do I start feeding my Maine Coon cat adult cat food? Answer: when they become adults (!) which is latter than normal as they are the biggest domestic cat breed. Kitten foods Because kittens grow rapidly, the average kitten gains half an ounce (14 g) a day. Although this wouldn't apply to a typical Maine Coon cat because they are bigger than normal. They need a growth formula food.  The average domestic cat is basically full-grown and sexually mature at nine months of age but see below. It takes a human about 13 years to reach the same level of growth. The fast growth takes a lot of nutrition. Pic assessed as being in the public domain. 10-week-old kittens need about twice as much protein and 50% more calories per pound than adult cats. At 12 weeks of age a kitten's energy needs are three times that of an adult cat. Kitten food is also formulated with DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) to help support brain and vision development and it has extra vitamins and minerals to support

How do I know if my Maine Coon is pregnant?

Maine Coon cat vet with an ultrasound machine that can detect pregnancy. Image: MikeB Ultrasound may detect pregnancy at day 15 and there is a cat and dog pregnancy test available for day 30. In between, at day 20 a vet will feel for the tiny embryos (palpate).  The pregnancy test is called FASTest® RELAXIN. It is a "rapid immunochromatographic assay for the qualitative detection of the pregnancy hormone relaxin in plasma or serum of the dog and cat".  It is the only known pregnancy-specific hormone of the carnivores (dog and cat) that informs about the presence of relaxin producing placenta tissue. Therefore, it is perfectly suitable for an indirect proof of pregnancy in the female dog. I have never used it to check if my cat is pregnant because I don't breed cats. I don't have any knowledge about its efficacy and safety. It seems that you can buy it online but I'd see a vet about this. It is too important.  Maine Coon cat at vet with an ultrasound scanner. Image

How to tell if your cat is a Maine Coon mix

The little Infographic below tells you the essential information that you need to know in deciding whether the longhaired cat that you have acquired is a Maine Coon mix or not. The basic default situation is this:  If you've 'acquired' a longhaired cat such as a tabby and you don't know whether he or she is a Maine Coon mix or even a fully-fledged purebred Maine Coon, then your cat is NOT a Maine Coon and it is not a Maine Coon mix. That's the starting point. You have to beat that DEFAULT situation. Infographic my MikeB at PoC. And the only way to beat it is to have a DNA test done (I don't think they are available) which is rather pointless and it will obviously cost a little bit of money. Or your cat might show some genuine appearance characteristics strongly indicating that they are a Maine Coon mix or even a purebred Maine Coon. Personal viewpoint In my personal view there is not much point knowing if you cat is a Maine Coon mix because all you are proving i

Why do Maine Coons have extra toes?

There are several issues to discuss when responding to the question in the title. It appears that some people think that all Maine Coon cats have extra toes. This is incorrect.  Huge white polydactyl Maine Coon. Image: Pinterest. Not all Maine Coons are polydactyl Sarah Hartwell in her website is one of the few providers of information on polydactylism in Maine Coon cats to state that "historically, the polydactyl made up 40% of the original unregistered Maine Coon population". Note that she says "unregistered". These are Maine Coon cats which were not registered to a cat association. I take that to mean that these were not officially Maine Coons and perhaps she is referring to the Maine Coon before they became a purebred, pedigree cat (see below as well).  Falling percentage It's quite a high percentage which has been dramatically reduced since the Maine Coons became a registered purebred cat because, for example, the Cat Fanciers' Association does not reco

Why are Maine Coons so friendly? Are they 'so' friendly?

People ask Google why the Maine Coon cat is so friendly. Is it really true that they are extra friendly? Clearly internet authors are saying that they are. My go-to reference book on the personality of the Maine Coon is one written by a former cat breeder and show judge, Gloria Stephens.  She lives with Maine Coon cats. I don't think that you could get a better reference than her. I prefer book references to the internet because on the latter authors tend to race off copies of what they've seen without really questioning it. Are Maine Coons as friendly as some people claim? Image by MikeB at PoC. Gloria Stephens Gloria Stephens tells me that they are 'people orientated' which implies that they are friendly but 'they are not over-dependent'. They don't constantly demand attention "preferring to hang out with their owners". And she says that they don't necessarily want to be held but they like to be near the person they love. And they form close

Why are Maine Coons so expensive? Are they?

Are Maine Coons really so expensive? Some people think they are because they ask Google this question. But every product in the world has a price which is dictated by market forces. The person sells a product at the price that they can get for it. It doesn't really matter whether it's good value for money or not. That is what the market dictates. Not the most expensive And this philosophy comes into play with cat breeders because the Maine Coon cat is not the most expensive breed. The F1 Savannah cats which are not actually a formal cat breed are far more expensive than a classy Maine Coon. These F1 Savannah cats can sell for well over $20,000 . And the Internet tells me that the Toyger, which is a cat breed developed to look like a miniature tiger, can sell for upwards of about $5000 . This will be generally more than the cost of a Maine Coon which is around $1200-$1500.  Quality and who's buying? But the price depends upon the quality of the cat. And it depends upon wheth

Difference between Maine Coon and domestic long hair

The difference between a Maine Coon cat and a domestic longhaired cat comes down to the fact that the former has been artificially bred (selective breeding) whereas the latter has usually procreated according to natural selection. Natural selection is random breeding and therefore the domestic longhair is a random-bred cat whereas, selective breeding produces a purebred, pedigree cat registered with a cat association.  Difference between Maine Coon and domestic long hair. Infographic by MikeB. And because each individual Maine Coon cat is registered with a cat association, if they are in genuine Maine Coon, their appearance should comply with the association's breed standard . The breed standard tells breeders what their Maine Coon cats should look like in order that they can win cat show competitions if they want to enter their cat into these competitions. And so, as the appearance of Maine Coon cats is moulded to the guidance of a breed standard (see a section below from the CFA)

Difference between Maine Coon and tabby

A comparison between Maine Coon cats and tabby cat coats is unhelpful as they are different things entirely. The Maine Coon is a purebred, pedigree cat and the word 'tabby' refers to the tabby coat. The comparison is made all the more unsatisfactory because the most common coat type for the Maine Coon is the blotched (classic) brown tabby and the brown tabby-and-white. In this instance 'Maine Coon' and 'tabby' are one and the same thing in one way. Ginger tabby Maine Coon. Image believed to be in the public domain. This is a young Maine Coon. Ginger tabbies are normally referred to as 'red tabbies' in the cat fancy. Some people also search for an answer to the following question: 'How can you tell if a tabby is a Maine Coon?' The question implies that the 'tabby' is a specific cat breed and it is not. It is a coat type as mentioned. You can see the absurdity of the question when there are many Maine Coon tabby cats.  It is a problem which

Buttercup, the cat in The Hunger Games is a Maine Coon ginger tabby former stray

I've just been watching an episode of The Hunger Games . A good series of films. The episode I watched is part one of the Mockingjay series. I noticed what I immediately recognised as a Maine Coon cat in the film. A ginger tabby Maine Coon to be precise. The best! I thought I would write about him. Ginger tabbies are nearly always males and therefore I can presume that Buttercup is male. Buttercup the Maine Coon in The Hunger Games. Image: Screenshot from the film series and in the public domain as assessed. Ear-tipped Having found a photograph of him on the internet, which is presented on this page above, I noticed that his left ear has been 'tipped', a sign that he has been through a TNR program. A further sign that this cat must've been a feral cat for a while or a stray cat more precisely.  This would indicate that he was abandoned or he voluntarily returned to the wild. I think this an important and interesting part of the Buttercup story because you just do not s

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