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Showing posts from June, 2023

Origin of 'Maine' in Maine Coon

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It is obvious that the word 'Maine' - in the name of this cat - comes from the name of the state of Maine but it is a rather strange name as it might as well have been 'Main'.  Early Maine. Image as per credit at top of image. Why has the 'e' been added to the end?! Incidentally the 'Coon' section possibly originates in the misconception that the cat was a cat/raccoon hybrid! The belief was based on the similar appearance (ringed) tail apparently. The poor souls believed it. Or a certain Capt. Coon (or 'Koon') imported long-haired cats as ships' cats into the state.  It is a bit of a mystery as is the origin of the word 'Maine'. When you think about it the name is peculiar for a number of reasons. The name for the state was 'fixed' in 1665 by the British King's commissioners when they ordered the region to be called the 'Province of Maine'. The word 'Maine' might originate: In the name of a small village ca

Is my Maine Coon fat?

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Sometimes, nowadays, concerned Maine Coon owners are aware of the domestic cat obesity epidemic and are vigilant about the weight of their cat. A good thing. On social media they ask if their Maine Coon is fat. One such lady asked users of the Mumsnet.com website that very question and she posted a photo: Is this Maine Coon fat? No, is my answer. Image: Mumsnet.com. And she said: My (not so) little Ollie is 7 months old (100% Maine Coon) and his vet today told me he is too heavy for his age and to restrict food. He is 5.1kg. He doesn't seem overly round and he is still growing and very active... I've always been told not to restrict the food of kittens. I am sure that you'll agree that he is not fat although more photos would help the assessment. But you can see the thigh bones sticking up at the rear. He looks quite 'boney' which is good for a Maine Coon as they are 'rangy' and a little slender underneath that copious coat of fur.  Check This is an easy wa

How would you get rid of all feral cats humanely? AI responds.

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I asked an artificial intelligence computer - an egg-head geeky thing which should provide the best answer to the question in the title - and this is what it came up with. I mistakenly published this on a site about Maine Coon cats. There are no feral Maine Coon cats as far as I know!  This is how they treat feral cats in NZ. I think it is cruel and degrading. Image: The Press. The men who killed them see nothing at all wrong. It is all normal behavior for them. I am on a different planet to them. Managing feral cat populations humanely typically involves a combination of strategies that prioritize the welfare of the cats while also addressing the potential problems associated with their presence. Here are some approaches commonly used: Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Programs: TNR involves trapping feral cats, sterilizing them, providing necessary veterinary care, and returning them to their original location. This approach prevents population growth by eliminating reproduction while allowin

The worst thing about Maine Coons is - wait for it - their fur

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  She should know as she is addicted to collecting Maine Coons and she admits it! She is complimented on her clean and tidy house by visitors as she likes it like that BUT (big but) it takes a lot of work. She is organised and has the equipment and commitment to keep her home fur-free. It gets everywhere she says. She does not like it. She has a leather sofa so the fur does not stick to it. I bet it clumps up into tumbleweed and blows down the corridors. Hell, I don't live with a Maine Coon and my shorthaired cat sheds enough to create tumbleweed fur balls and sausages. You get used to it and even brushing and combing does not stop the shedding. One of the lady's Maine Coons who likes her a lot. Screenshot. She does not say if her Maine Coon shedding slows in autumn and winter and it might but I don't think the seasonal changes in shedding (because of more or less light) applies to her and her family because I am pretty sure that they are all indoor cats. Indoor cats shed e

Letting your full-time indoor Maine Coon into the garden (backyard) for the first time

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MC, Foxie, steps out into the garden for the first time. Screenshot. This is an interesting little video for me. It shows the initial caution when the Maine Coon (MC) - Foxie - is allowed into the garden followed by intense curiosity. The caution comes from what I'd describe as 'feline agoraphobia' when they are kept indoors all their lives.  They are used to the security that the home provides. The area beyond the walls is alien territory; both interesting but potentially dangerous. It is a mix of emotions: excitement and slight anxiety. @maxiecoon ๐ŸชดPlants vs Foxie ๐Ÿ˜ธ Let’s garden adventures begin!๐Ÿพ ๐ŸงกFoxie enjoys being in a garden ๐Ÿ˜ธ We are not sure what plants we have there, so we’ll just wait and see what will grow ๐Ÿ‘€ (if Foxie doesn’t destroy them ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿป‍♀️, he tries to sit in a planter when he has a chance ๐Ÿ˜ธ๐Ÿชด). As previous owners of this house also have cats, these plants should be safe ✨ Anyways, Foxie is more interested in insects and bugs living there ๐Ÿ‘… No u

Do Maine Coons need special food?

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Maine Coons do not NEED special food but there is an argument that they might BENEFIT from a special food such as made by Royal Canin, a large pet food manufacturer based in France, which has jumped on the bandwagon of Maine Coon health concerns which have been thoroughly documented on the internet.  Image: Royal Canin (annotated by MikeB). This is the point: Maine Coons suffer from hip dysplasia - a lose joint between the socket of the hip and the ball of the femur; a joint problem. And patella luxation - a knee cap that moves from its normal capping position. RELATED: What can a Maine Coon owner do to help their cat with hip dysplasia ? To use this inherent weakness in this popular cat breed Royal Canin make a product called "Royal Canin Maine Coon Adult dry cat food" which is "especially formulated for adult Maine Coon cats; King Size kibble encourages longer chewing, with glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints". So, there you have it: a special cat food

What is the rarest Maine Coon colour?

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What is the rarest Maine Coon colour? Image: MikeB This is a bit technically and I'd say an example of a cat fancy nerd navel gazing! I'm being a bit cruel. But there is not much point in knowing the answer. But perhaps the question has been asked with an eye on adopting the ultimate status symbol. My guess is that the 'dilute calico smoke' is the rarest coat type and colour. I explain why later in the article. I don't have a photograph of a dilute calico smoke Maine Coon because they are vanishingly rare :). This is where I have to make a confession. I don't know the answer. But I won't be alone. I am positive that the author on any other website providing an answer to question in the title will be guessing. That's because there's no available information on this from the cat associations. If we had access to the list of Maine Coon registrations at the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) for the past five years (plus the same from the other major as

Ukrainian breeder exports Maine Coon kittens to China during the war

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A bold and confident Maine Coon breeder located in Ukraine is advertising online that they'll ship two Maine Coon kittens to Hong Kong for $600! The cattery is KINGCOONS*UA. It is bold and what about the risks of shipping a kitten from Ukraine, where the war is still raging in the east and south and the long flight 7 hours and 15 minutes.  I guess it works out but it seems risky to me. There is also the issue of pet passports. What is Beijing currently saying about the importation of animals into their country?  USDA provide a useful page on this. It is complicated . Click here to see it . The breeder says (please excuse the English grammar but this is verbatim): If you want to buy Maine Coon kitten to China, it is possible delivery of Maine Coon kittens from Ukraine to China by courier or by cargo. All our kittens are purebred, registered, have the pedigree, veterinary passport, microchip. Delivery of 2 kittens from Ukraine to Hong Kong cost 600 $. For communication about the pur

'Monster' - his name - Maine Coon has a unique way of telling his caregiver that he is eager to get walking

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'Monster' is a monster! A Maine Coon monster. And he is a black smoke. Basically, it is the same amazing coat type sported by one of the internet's most famous Maine Coons: Richie . And as the video states he has got it into his mind that he needs to jump up onto his caregiver's back as he prepares to take them outside for a walk on a harness and lead, which is a great idea. The perfect way to entertain a full-time indoor Maine Coon. The internet stories about Monster say that he does this to make sure that he is included on the walk but I am not sure. I think he does this because he is excited and he shows it by effervescently jumping up on the man's back because he wants to get involved even before he gets out the front door for that daily and much-loved walk. It is fun and excitement. A clear sign that this caregiver is spot on in terms of the quality of caregiving that he delivers. 'Monster' - his name - Maine Coon has a unique way of telling his caregi

Are Maine Coon cats good with babies?

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In general terms Maine Coon cats are probably better than your average domestic cat when it comes to their reaction to a new baby in the home and interactions thereafter. This is because when you buy a Maine Coon you normally know what you are getting in terms of personality whereas with say a rescue random bred cat there is less predictability in respect of character.  Image: MikeB And Maine Coons are considered to have calm and fairly phlegmatic characters. There are many videos of owners showing off their super-large Maine Coon cat to the video camera and the cats take it all in their stride with no wriggling or expression of agitation. By-and-large this is a calm breed of cat which makes them very suited to being good with babies. The reason for this is that Maine Coons are bred through artificial selection. The word 'selection' is the operative one. It means that breeders select foundation cats who have the correct appearance for a Maine Coon as per the breed standard AND

Relative birth weight (to mother's) is lower in Maine Coons compared to smaller breeds

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This is a very short note on an interesting topic as it concerns the weight of the Maine Coon which is important to Maine Coon afficionados. Although Maine Coon kittens have a birth weight which is higher than that of other breeds e.g., Maine Coon kittens 115 grams, Norwegian Forest Cat kittens 106 grams, Birman kittens 97 grams, Siamese kittens 92 grams and Persian kittens at 82 grams, the weight of Maine Coon kittens relative to their mother's weight tended to be lower than for the other breeds mentioned. Lithuanian Maine Coon kitten. Image: the breeder. For instance, Maine Coon kittens' weight relative to their mother's weight was 2.3% in this study. For the Norwegian Forest Cat kittens, the percentage was 2,7%, Birmans 2.8%, Siamese 2.8%, Exotic Shorthair 2.9%, British Shorthair 3.1% and Persians 3.2%. Incidentally this tendency is seen in puppies i.e. smaller birth weight for the larger dog breeds. For comparison the study states that the kitten to female mature weight

Adopters of Maine Coons should buy a kitten or an adult who's used to indoor living

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"Most cats will generally adapt to indoor housing provided there is sufficient space and that they are accustomed to these conditions from an early age." -  Study: Adaptation of domestic cats to confinement link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2007.09.003  . I would also add that the home of 'sufficient space' should be adapted to some extent to be suitable for a domestic cat such as quiet areas for snoozing and high perches for looking and to allow the cat to climb. Omar a famous full-time indoor Maine Coon. If he goes outside, it will be under supervision of some sort. Image: Instagram The quote is part of the summary of the study referred to. In general people would agree with it. It does not mean that adult cats used to being allowed outside can't eventually get used to full-time confinement.  But cats who've had years of freedom will find it particularly hard and stressful, I'd argue (depending on the cat's character), to accept and settle down w

Majestic Maine Coon meets the cutest Persian kitten

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This is one of those ah... moments. The cutest Persian kitten gingerly sneaks up to a 19-pound, majestic snow-white Maine Coon who looks on with calm disdain. It is a very cute video. And nice to see these two very different cat breeds together in the same video.  The cutest Persian kitten gingerly sneaks up to a majestic snow-white Maine Coon who looks on with calm disdain. Screenshot. This is the first time these two have met. It looks like the Persian kitten is new to the home and the resident cat is the white Maine Coon which is why he is not really very welcoming towards the Persian. It'll take a little while for the resident Maine Coon to accept the little incomer. But for first contact is a success, I'd say. Kitten reaches out to make friends and is rebutted! Screenshot. The kitten really wants to make friends and reaches out to touch the Maine Coon who responds negatively. I have good feeling that things will change and that the Maine Coon will warm to the newcomer and

How to confirm that your Maine Coon cat is purebred without pedigree papers (and more)

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How to confirm that your Maine Coon is purebred without pedigree papers (and more). Note: this is not a Maine Coon but the picture is here from the Wisdom Panel video for illustrative purposes only. It shows a saliva swab being taken which is sent to the laboratory. Wisdom Panel provide a DNA testing service by mail. The business certainly operates in the USA and the UK and possibly other countries. You apply for a testing kit online. In the UK it currently costs £58.49 p. At the moment they are giving out free WHISKAS samples with every order.  They say they scan for 70+ breeds and populations, 45+ health tests and 25+ trait tests. So it is a comprehensive testing of your cat's DNA which they assess through a swab of their saliva.  You send this swab to their laboratories and they will send you the report in the post and/or perhaps online in an email as well. It's as straightforward as that. Click on this link to go to the UK website for the service . If you live in the USA I

Scammers sold a 'Maine Coon kitten' who died after three days and cost £900

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NEWS AND VIEWS - ENGLAND: The title is bad enough but, on my judgement, the kitten wasn't a Maine Coon in any case. This was a multi-scam: a very unhealthy kitten was sold to a woman who bought her for her autistic 10-year-old son, Bryn Stutley, and the kitten was not a Maine Coon cat as described by the scammy seller. Note : this is a good instructional story for would be Maine Coon adopters. A very important lesson actually. The scammers are a former police officer, Amy Byrne and Harry Angell. I feel compelled to make a comment. It is ironic that the scammer is a former police officer. That tells me that the police service in the UK is employing the wrong sort of applicants to be police officers. In fact, this has been admitted by the Metropolitan Police chief but that is another topic. The kitten was named Lokie by the purchaser who is Yolanda, 45. She bought the kitten from a seller called 'Semeena' as reported by the Mail Online.  The seller assured Yolanda that the ki

Maine Coon rescued from the Ukraine dam flooding during the war

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Maine Coon rescued from the flooding in the south of Ukraine due to the dam being blown up. Screenshot. It is unusual to see a beautiful, classic Maine Coon in Ukraine during this brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine with so many killed; both humans and animals. This is a rare rescued Maine Coon. The tweet:  After Putin bombed a dam and caused a devastating flood, and continued to bomb civilians as they were evacuating, a lot of people and animals were left behind to die. This very cute cat was rescued. The recent blowing up of part of the Nova Kakhovka dam during the Ukraine war, which formed the Kakhovskyi reservoir (Kakhovka reservoir) - one of the largest in Europe - was an act of ecocide. The Sunday Times reports on it in their article, "The drowned earth strategy is ancient but it has a modern name - ecocide". The flooding has been devastating. The environmental damage shocking.  Here is an update on this now famous Maine Coon whose name is Maks (7-years-old). This is a

Sunshine beauty female Maine Coon goes boating

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This is a really pretty Maine Coon. Such a delight for tired eyes. A real beauty. She has got to be a dilute ginger tabby. Delicate features but not to the point where she falls foul of the breed standard. Maine Coons are not meant to be delicate but robust-looking to reflect their barn life existence in their pre-show cat days in the 19th century on the East Coast of America. This looks like the Florida Keys or some other part of that sunny state to me but I am not that familiar with that neck of the woods. But it does look like a sunshine state for a sunshine Maine Coon. Even her coat is radiant. She is so definitively female. Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference but not in this case. Now, if you are thinking of buying a Maine Coon you could do a lot worse and to go boating with her like this it makes it all look so delightful, so right. The cat is getting all the excitement they need and the caregiver is getting the company and the satisfaction from knowing that they are

Hip dysplasia surgery for a domestic cat may cost upwards of $20,000

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Depending on whether the operation is bilateral (both hips), the exact nature of the operation and the quality of the veterinary surgeon, surgery to rectify hip dysplasia (both hips replaced) may cost upwards of around $20,000. Lesser operations in the in US costing $1,500 to $3,000 per hip is the norm As I understand it, the alternative to a surgical treatment for advanced hip dysplasia is a lifetime of pain-relieving medications and supplements which has a way of adding up financially. Maine Coon hip replacement surgery is very expensive. Image: MikeB Pet insurance was discussed in The Sunday Times today. The authors mention the £24,000 cost of a full hip replacement for a dog in the UK. This is not dissimilar to the cost of the same operation on humans. You'll definitely need health insurance for that  unless you are very well off. Or a second mortgage on your house. You know why I have mentioned the exorbitant cost of pet hip replacement. It's because a lot big dogs and bi

Actor Lou Diamond Phillips lives with 5 Maine Coon cats. Discuss.

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Lou Diamond Phillips is a well-known actor with a Wikipedia page; a mark of recognition. Well done to him for his acting success. And well done to him for being a cat lover! He's got to be a decent man. Anyone who loves cats is automatically a good person ๐Ÿ˜‰. Note: Wikipedia does not mention that he lives with cats! Shame. They are vital to his biography ๐Ÿ˜Š In previous research I came to the conclusion that not many celebrities adopt Maine Coons . That's true but the reason is almost certainly because their work makes it very tricky to be a good cat caregiver. Their work is probably often too peripatetic. I fairly sure that actors and actresses struggle with adopting any domestic cat for this reason although not all acting requires a lot of travel or being away from home for long periods. Here is a Twitter picture of the man and his five MCs! Actor Lou Diamond Phillips and his 5 Maine Coons. Image: Facebook. An interesting aspect of his cat ownership is that he is an apartment

Cleaning up poop matting for Maine Coons? Shampoo recommendation?

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On my personal mini-survey poop (and sometimes pee) stuck on the fur around the bum of a Maine Coon is a fairly if not a very common problem ( click this link to see what I had to say about it a little while ago ). Grooming Maine Coons around the bottom is not uncommon either. It is a proactive measure to stop poop sticking to those pesky hairs which is annoyingly messy to clear up. Obviously, it needs to be done with great caution perhaps professionally it you know of a good groomer. Be careful with groomers as things can go wrong. Available on Amazon where it have received over 8,000 reviews at 4.5 which is about as good as it gets. Picture: Amazon. It is sad that this majestic domestic cat is so burdened with such a mundane and unpleasant problem.  One Maine Coon owner on the social media site Reddit.com asked in despair for advice about a good neutral shampoo to help with the clean-up. By 'neutral' I mean and he means a neutral pH, not too alkaline (high pH) in order to avo

Smartphone addiction is harming the relationship between cats (Maine Coons!) and kids

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Maine Coons are great companions for children of all ages. They are a great influence in teaching kids empathy, compassion and taking responsibility for a companion animal who is dependent on human caregiving.  Smartphone addiction harming the relationship between cats (Maine Coons!) and kids. Image in the public domain. Note: she needs a lesson in how to pick up a Maine Coon! Don't basically ๐Ÿ˜Š. Kids learn a lot from all domestic cats and I'd like to think especially the Maine Coon as they have great characters which seem ideal for interactions with children. The Maine Coon is famously suited to form a strong bong with a child. Their generally tolerant nature and calm demeanour makes them well suited for children . Maine Coons can be the same size as children (see above)! This may help to encourage respect for cats at an early age which is carried forward into adulthood. Those are the potential benefits for a child when bonding with a Maine Coon or any other cat. BUT (a big lo

Oliver the Maine Coon's rapid growth

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A lot of Maine Coon social media starlets are featured for their rapid growth and enormous size when fully grown. Oliver is another impressive example. He is a gorgeous snow-white Maine Coon. He's also another Maine Coon with an impressively calm and balanced character. I see this a lot on social media. Image: MikeB These big Maine Coons come across as lovebugs with calm dispositions. You could not ask for more from a cat companion. There is nothing that I can see on his TikTok page which tells me that he is deaf. A high proportion of all-white domestic cats are deaf because the gene that creates the pigment-free coat also affects the inner ear rendering the cat deaf (see Cornell's assessment below). Link to his TikTok page . Also, the pigmentation can be removed from one of the eyes rendering it blue due to white light refraction through the eye as blue light is scattered more than light of the other wavelengths. Researchers found that only 17 to 22 percent of white cats with

Where is the Maine Coon from?

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Settlers to New England. Image: MikeB The Maine Coon is one of the oldest natural breeds in North America's New England area and has been around since the late 1800s. The pre-Maine Coon cats (forerunners of today's Maine Coon) from that area were probably hybrids of shorthaired domestic cats and longhaired cats from overseas, specifically longhaired cats from Europe and the UK brought over with immigrants (inc. pilgrims) who landed in New England including the state of Maine. Maine in 1890. Image in the Although that answers the question it is rather vague. I'll add a little bit of detail. But before doing so I think it is fair to say that the Maine Coon cat is from America as the cats that made the breed were in America for 400 years as random bred cats before breeders took some of the early pre-Maine Coons and created the breed through selective breeding.  Let's say that the Maine Coon is America's domestic cat. Back in the day when the first settlers to the conti

Anchors away! Watch as two Maine Coon cats set sail

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I love the feeling and mood of this video. The cool rippling water. The Maine Coons are enjoying the experience too. They've clearly done this before. And I love to see domestic cats habituated to being outside on a lead doing all kinds of things like dogs.  It is a wonderful way for a cat to make the most of their lives. All that mental stimulation can only be really good for them. It just takes a lot of patience normally to arrive at the point where the cat takes it all in their stride. 2 Maine Coons go sailing and it looks nice. Screenshot. I like their harnesses too. They don't have side panels. I think this may avoid the falling over syndrome that we see sometimes when domestic cats are put in a harness for the first time. They go silly and flop down and become entirely inactive as if zapped. As if the on-switch has been turned off. They (the experts) say that Maine Coons like water. I am not so sure that they like water any more than any other typical domestic cat but if

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