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Showing posts from September, 2023

Optimal size of a Maine Coon's litter tray!

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This one is easy and the post will be very brief! The experts say that a domestic cat's litter tray should be about 1.5 times the length of the cat from nose tip to base of tail. The world's longest domestic cat has almost invariably been a Maine Coon and the record holders measure around 46 inches from nose tip to the END of the tail. A Maine Coon's tail is around 12-16 inches.  Most Maine Coons are not as large as the world record holders for obvious reasons. I'll say that the average length from nose tip to end of tail of a large Maine Coon would be around 42 inches less 12 (the tail) making 30 inches. A friend of mine, Doug, has said there are no 45-inch stainless steel litter trays on the market! If that is true this page is more theoretical and actual. The answer is to get one that is as large as possible. That's all you can do. Although I am referring to very MCs. There are many smaller cats with less exotic needs. Therefore, the optimal litter tray for a Ma

Surge in abandoned cats at Maine's animal shelters

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I picked up on this story about feral and abandoned cats reportedly at an all-time high in the US state of Maine because you have to juxtapose this report against the well-known fact that the state of Maine is the historic home of America's favourite purebred cat, the Maine Coon.  The Maine Coon is described as America's cat. It kind of looks like an American cat because it's larger and more glamorous than other cat breeds. Everything is large and larger-than-life about the Maine Coon but sadly everything is larger-than-life about the number of animals at shelters in the state of Maine and these two bits of information are not good bedfellows. Maine animal shelters are asking for help as rescues across the western and central part of the state are reaching maximum capacity.   (Greater Androscoggin Humane Society) It brings it home to us that the Maine Coon cat is created by cat breeders. I'm not complaining about cat breeders. They have their hobby businesses and it hel

Does anyone else's MC have insane toe hair? My kitten has the hairiest toes ever.

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The title comes from the social media website: Reddit.com, where they have a thriving forum about the 'MC' which is how Maine Coon afficionados refer to their cats. This young MC has perfectly tufted paws as per the breed standard. One of the signs of a genuine Maine Coon cat. They are a badge of honour! Image: Reddit user: u/Freeflybudgie The answer to the question will be YES for genuine Maine Coons as 'well tufted' paws are part of the CFA breed standard. In other words, MC breeders affiliated with the CFA have to create cats with tons of 'toe hair' as this Reddit user calls it. The Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) breed standard for the MC's feet: "LEGS and FEET: legs substantial, wide set, of medium length, and in proportion to the body. Forelegs are straight. Back legs are straight when viewed from behind. Paws large, round, well-tufted . Five toes in front; four in back.2 You probably know that the breed standard is the breeding guideline on a

Suggestion to reduce hairballs in Maine Coon cats

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This is a quick note on the topic of hairballs to which Maine Coon cats are arguably more predisposed to suffering from than shorthair cat breeds because the Maine Coon cat is a medium-longhaired cat with a shaggy coat. It is often said that the cat caregiver should assist their Maine Coon cat in grooming by brushing them regularly. Hairball. Image: in public domain with words added. On the basis that Maine Coon cats have more hairballs than your regular shorthair cat, a study came to the conclusion that increasing dietary fibre with the use of a psyllium husk supplement such that the total dietary fibre was at 11%-15% facilitates the faecal excretion of hair.  In other words, the dietary fibre supplement helps the passage of hair through the Maine Coon cat's digestive system to the exterior and I think that is quite a useful bit of information if an owner believes that their cat is suffering from more hairballs than normal. Interestingly they found that adding dietary fibre in the

How many times a day should I feed my Maine Coon?

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The truth is that you will see all kinds of answers to the question in the title but one aspect of the lifestyle of the Maine Coon has an impact on the answer and that is they are usually full-time indoor cats.  Lifestyle? The point here is that if the Maine Coon was an indoor/outdoor cat they would be more active at night than they are. They would in all likelihood be hungry at the end of a night-time's activity and as a consequence feed more at a time that would be the human's breakfast time. The point I am getting to is that in a good relationship your cat will tell you when they are hungry and this will depend upon the individual cat's lifestyle. Fixed routine or flexible? You don't want to feed your cat automatically and habitually at certain times of the day. That's my opinion. I think you should learn when your Maine Coon cat is hungry because they've asked for food and then you pencil in those times as feeding times.  Full-time indoor cat And at night yo

Maine Coon breed standard - illustrated, comprehensive summary

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You may have noticed that I refer to the breed standards of purebred, pedigree cats all the time because they are the guidelines under which breeders create cats. The breed standards describe the appearance of the cat breed in question. This is a summary of the breed standard mainly in layperson's terminology. The standards can be quite technical because they use cat fancy language. Pic: copyright Helmi Flick. A superb tabby Maine Coon Most valuable pieces of anatomy! The first point to note is that the most valuable part of the Maine Coon anatomy in terms of scoring points at a cat show when competing with other Maine Coon cats is the coat. The judges score out of 20 the quality of the coat to which you can add 15 points in respect of "body colour and pattern". The shape of the body accrues 15 points in maximum. And the shape of the head accrues 15 points as well if it's a perfect head as per the breed standard! Rugged working cat The standard makes it clear that as

Wife is adopting a calico Maine Coon kitten and her husband thinks she is ugly. What do you think?

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Calico Maine Coon kitten. Image: Reddit user: u/Aaalyaaa A woman on social media is asking other users for their help because she is in the process of purchasing a female Maine Coon kitten who is a calico kitten i.e. tortoiseshell and white but her husband thinks that she is ugly and it seems that he is pressing her to adopt this kitten's brother who has a shyer temperament. The wife thinks that the female will get on better with her four-year-old child because she is more outgoing. But the central point is the disagreement between wife and husband on whether this female Maine Coon kitten is ugly or not. Below is my response on the social media site concerned namely Reddit.com. What do you think? Well, I am with you. You think she is unique and attractive. She has an interesting appearance which is worth a lot in terms of attractiveness. To me she looks like a tortoiseshell-and-white (calico) under all that fur! And don't forget she is a kitten. It'll take time to see her f

What type of Maine Coon cat would be disqualified at a cat show?

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Tabby Maine Coon at a cat show. The judge is typical of cat show judges. As well turned out as the cats. I believe that the photo is in the public domain. I can tell you what type of Maine Coon cat would be disqualified from a cat show that took place under the auspices of The International Cat Association (TICA). The breed standard for this cat breed under this cat association's rules state that the following aspects of a Maine Coon cat's appearance would disqualify them from a cat show: Non-permissible colors. Blue or odd-eyes in any colored cat other than solid white or with white. Fine boning. Cobby body. Tail fault. Tail length significantly out of balance with body. Significantly too small for age or gender. "Non-permissible colours" appears to refer primarily to modified colours such as chocolate, lilac, cinnamon, fawn and caramel. These are non-dominant black-based colours which are not allowed under the breed standard. What is allowed in general is "all

Maine Coons are popular because purchasers ignore health and are captivated by their appearance

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This is a slightly black, depressing article but the idea came to me a moment ago. The reason why the Maine Coon cat breed is in the top three most popular cat breeds in America and perhaps around the world is because the people who buy Maine Coon kittens from breeders are enamoured of the breed's appearance while apparently ignoring an aspect of this breed which is more important namely their health. And their health is not good. You might argue that this breed's health is dire. You might argue that it's shameful that such a handsome cat breed with such a fantastic history has been brought low through irresponsible and unethical breeding. I don't need to remind you about the health of this cat. But I will just touch on a few points. If you want to look into the health of this breed more, I would ask you to use the search facility at the top of the page. Or if you like click on this link because that will take you to the majority the articles about Maine Coon cat healt

Maine Coons are 12 times more likely to develop "slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE)

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A study discovered that Maine Coon cats are 12 times more likely to develop "slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE). So, what is it and is this important? Maine Coon cats are 12 times more likely to develop "slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE). Image: the study referred to (background). The overall image is by MikeB (Canva). It may interest Maine Coon cat owners and those who want to purchase a Maine Coon to know that this cat breed - in addition to inheriting a predisposition to hip dysplasia - also appears to inherit another hip joint condition which, as I understand it, can sometimes lead to hip dysplasia and this other condition is called slipped capital femoral epiphysis . It affects the hip joint. RELATED:  Infographic on hip dysplasia in Maine Coon cats . The study was published in 2016. It is online. You can read it if you wish by clicking on this link . The study was conducted in Austria. The interesting and perhaps disconcerting conclusion of the study, as me

Are Maine Coons easy cats?

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Maine Coon kittens should have good characters. Image: MikeB The question on Quora.com is asking whether Maine Coon cats are easy to get along with. I've got a couple of particular thoughts about that which might help but you won't get a clear-cut specific answer to that question if you understand Maine Coon cats well and the cat fancy well as I do. 1. They are all individuals The first issue is this: all domestic cats are individuals and so any breed specific traits have to be seen through the lens of their own personality and character and how their experiences have moulded them and how their inherited genetic have also moulded them (nurture and nature).  It is therefore difficult to state that all cats of one breed have a certain character because they don't. The individual character of each cat cuts across that question. The better question would be, when talking to a person who owns a Maine Coon cat to asked them if their Maine Coon is easy to get along with. And even

Negative screening for HCM in Maine Coon kittens does not rule out the disease

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In layperson's terms, we know that it's possible to screen Maine Coon breeding cats, foundation cats and the parents of kittens plus the kittens created at cat breeders for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in order to prevent the creation of Maine Coon cats who are predisposed to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and therefore to reassure purchasers of purebred Maine Coon cats that their purchase will not show signs of the disease quite soon after purchase and have a shortened lifespan as a consequence. By 'screening' I mean testing for a mutant gene that causes the disease. When a Maine Coon breeder says that they screen their cats and kittens for the disease that they sell to clients, should a negative test result totally reassure the client that their purchased kitten will not develop HCM? That is the $64,000 question. The answer to that question is clearly NO , sadly. My research clearly indicates that a Maine Coon cat screened as negative for HCM may still develop this

Is the Maine Coon kitten healthy (infographic)?

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This may help people who are in the process of adopting a Maine Coon kitten. It is an infographic which highlights the basic health factors to assess when buying a kitten. You should really visit the seller's home to assess the kitten before buying. This is going to be ruled out if you buy online and at a distance. You could, however, insist on a contract that states that you have the right to reject the kitten if it does not meet the standards as stated in the infographic although I would expect that to be very rarely demanded. CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO SEE IT LARGER IF YOU LIKE Buying a Maine Coon is about quality; the quality of the kitten, the services provided such as guarantees, the aftercare provided and above all the quality of the parents and the standard of the breeder. All these factors increase the cost of the kitten from under $1000 to something in the order of $5000. A big difference but if you can afford it, I'd go for the quality option as you are guaranteed to adop

The price of Maine Coon cats (a comprehensive discussion)

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Pedigree of a Maine Coon. A very important document. Image: Sassy Koons. I have just been doing a spot of research about the price of Maine Coon cats both in Britain and America. You are probably aware of this but the price varies tremendously. For example, a quick search of the Internet tells me that you can buy a Maine Coon cat for around US$500 in America but also, you will find breeders saying that they will charge their customers between US$3,500 and US$5,000 (and more).  Many authors on website state that the price of a Maine Coon is between about $800 and $1500. They are not providing the whole story. It can be confusing until you get to the bottom of it and realise that it is not actually confusing at all. Quality There is a good reason for this big price difference and I would not be tempted to go for the cheaper end of the market but focus on the more expensive end if you can afford it. And I think you should afford it if you have committed to buy a Maine Coon cat because you

Are Maine Coon cats stubborn?

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I am taking a simple philosophical approach to answering the question in the title. If you disagree, please comment. In order to answer the question properly, I think I have to start off with the definition of the word "stubborn" because I think we need to figure out whether this word only applies to people or to people AND cat!  I say this because sometimes we anthropomorphise (humanise) our cats and we expect them to behave like little humans because they are seen as members of the family. That's great and it's normal but we need to keep an eye on that aspect of our relationship. The word "stubborn" means: having or showing dogged determination not to change one's attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good arguments or reasons to do so. There are two elements to that definition (1) and unwillingness to change's mind and (2) in the face of good arguments or reasons. Taking number 2 first; this can't apply to Maine Coon cats b

Is there a specific cat food for Maine Coons to reduce shedding?

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The worst thing about the Maine Coons is their fur ! That's a result of a survey. What the result means is that with a Maine Coon cat you are going to get a lot of fur lying around the home which is entirely normal and which occurs for any domestic cat.  However, because the Maine Coon has a shaggy medium-longhaired coat and because this is a large cat, there's going to be more fur than normal and which is shed when the ambient light increases during the shedding season. Remember, it is the increase in ambient light not the increased heat which is the main trigger for a domestic cat to shed fur. Maine Coon cats are known for their luxurious long and thick fur under which, by the way, can be quite a rangy, slender but large domestic cat. I think it is fair to state that there may not be a specific high quality cat food exclusively designed for Maine Coons to reduce shedding. But you can still choose a high-quality cat food which promotes a healthy skin and coat which can help, i

Example of a contract for the purchase of a Maine Coon cat

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It might be useful for people who are considering purchasing a Maine Coon cat to take a look at this contract from a Maine Coon breeder in Florida, USA. It is probably not that untypical. It is quite a tough contract. And let's be clear, it is the seller, the breeder who draws up the contract and gives it to the buyer who must accept it. Normally in the case of contracts, or often, let's say, both parties agree to the contract and make amendments, if need be, to ensure that both parties agree the terms and conditions. But when you buy Maine Coon get you have to accept the terms and conditions of the breeder. They are imposed on you whether you like it or not. Florida Maine Coon breeders (2023) These are the key elements of this contract: The buyer has to ensure that their Maine Coon kitten is spayed or neutered at an age considered to be old enough by a veterinarian which would be 5-6 months of age according to the contract. The buyer has to provide written verification that th

Maine Coon price inflation due to popularity and other factors

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I have a feeling that the popularity of the Maine Coon over the past few years has forced up the price. I did a bit of quick research and found one breeder charging $2,200 for kittens and a visitor to this site paid $3,500. Here is their comment: Thank you too Michael. Agree about Mr Vivo hypothetical price. As for current USA prices... in March I paid 3.5K, the cheapest I found (later) was 2.7K, but I only researched the Florida breeders at the time. They might be cheaper in other states. - Ciprian M. Historically and for quite a long time the typical price, to the best of my knowledge was around $1,500. In fact, if you go back around 12 years the price was around $500! Note: Please tell me what you paid for your Maine Coon recently! Of course, there is general inflation over the years which results in higher prices. And inflation generally has been a big issue after the Covid pandemic but it is pretty clear to me that Maine Coon prices are rising faster than inflation.  As the price

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