Showing posts from December, 2023

The cat breed that is bigger than the Maine Coon

The claim in the title needs to be qualified with some extra words. Here they are. Today, there is a domestic cat breed that is bigger than the average Maine Coon and it has been the case for a while now.  I have to stress 'average' as there are some enormous Maine Coons, bred to extreme, often by Russian or Eastern European breeders which you might have seen on the internet if you are a Maine Coon afficionado. No domestic cat is larger than those giants. RELATED:  Woman claims she lives with the world's largest domestic cat (she does!!) F1 Savannah cat 'Magic' with Leone Stucki. Photo: Kathrin Stucki. This was the era when they owned A1 Savannahs. The average Maine Coon was the largest domestic cat breed on my calculation about 15 years ago. When I made that assessment the Savannah cat was not an accepted breed by TICA or the CFA. It is still unacceptable by the CFA. This can't be because it is a wild cat hybrid as the Bengal is accepted by the CFA and that br

Your Maine Coon hates being brushed? Try this.

A study found that there's a range of responses by Maine Coons to being brushed which is a necessity to avoid matting . Some might dislike the process or even hate it. One user on the social media website Reddit confirms this variability of acceptance in being brushed by saying that his/her cat hates it. My extra fluffy boy has never enjoyed being brushed, which has led to some truly awful matting over the years. We’ve gotten special brushes and combs to try to get them out, but he just isn’t having it. This led to matting. Matting is problematic for health. It is hard to know for sure why a Maine Coon might hate being brushed. Most cats of all breeds and non-breeds enjoy it to varying extents. But all cats are individuals as we know. And some cats might have been a little traumatized when they were brushed too hard perhaps when they were kittens or the 'wrong' brush was used as far as the cat was concerned. This is about preferences again. There are not a lot of options in

Attractive woman with extraordinarily long nails handles an extraordinarily large black Maine Coon cat who's extraordinarily chilled out

If you know Maine Coon cats you know that they are chilled out in front of the camera. You don't have to look far on the Internet to see videos of enormous Maine Coon cats looking super-chilled when being handled by their owner to show off the massive anatomy of these beautiful domestic cats.  It seems to be part of their character. It may be in part a result of the fact that these are purebred Maine Coon cats which have been created and raised by breeders who have a duty to ensure that their kittens are fully socialised to humans. These breeders appear to be doing a very good job to socialise their kittens. RELATED: Maine Coon cats have placid characters. Discuss . The cat in the video is two years old which is young but you can see he is enormous and I believe still growing!  You can see a tiny bit of "rust" (redness) in the coat which is not untypical of black cats. You can read about that condition on a page I wrote some time ago now [ link to article ].  When it is b

Maine Coon cat has a shorter lifespan than the Birman and the Norwegian Forest Cat

I'm able to access the full report by a group of scientists who looked at the mortality of life-insured Swedish cats both non-purebred and purebred. They compared the mortality rate for two periods of time, one more recent than the other (1999-2002 compared to 2003-2006). They published a chart showing the percentage of cats who died by the age of five, by the age of 7.5 years, by the age of 10 years and by the age of 12.5 years. RELATED:  Comparing Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest and Siberian Cats . Maine Coon In the earlier period, 41% of Maine Coon cats survived until 12.5 years of age and beyond. In the second more recent period, 54% of Maine Coon cats survived until 12.5 years of age. The increased lifespan is probably due to an increase in taking out an insurance premium (usually expensive). Birman For the Birman the percentages were 58% and 68% respectively. In other words, over the more recent period, 68% of Birman cats lived to 12.5 years of age and beyond, which as you can s

Time lapse video of dilute ginger tabby-and-white Maine Coon growing up

This is a very nice TikTok video of a ginger tabby-and-white Maine Coon cat growing up using time lapse photography. The cat is almost certain to be a boy because ginger tabbies are almost always male . At the beginning of the video you can see the photographer taking the first images. It's always nice to see a Maine Coon newborn grow up in a short video with time compressed tremendously. RELATED: Watch another ginger tabby growing up from another TikTok account . Time lapse Time-lapse photography is pretty straightforward. You take a series of still photographs over a long period of time. You put those photographs together to make a video using software. The kitten in the video is shown in 14 different photos taken over 225 days (about 7.5 months). Many modern SLR cameras have a time-lapse facility or you can buy an accessory to run time-lapse on your camera. It allows you to see things in a different light. Video note Note: Some TikTok users allow visitors to download their video

Maine Coons vary in their response to being brushed and might dislike it

Brushing a Maine Coon cat will elicit different responses and not always signs that they enjoy it. Image: MikeB using Canva. Like anyone else I believed that all Maine Coons would generally enjoy being brushed. It should be a pleasurable experience and a necessary experience as all the experts say that owners need to brush and keep matt-free their Maine Coon's coat. Just one of those added obligations for the Maine Coon owner. But scientists in one study say this about the Maine Coon behavioural response to being brushed: Withdrawal, passive interactions, aggressive behaviors, facial discomfort, and purring characterized brushing . Vocalizations were significantly more frequent during isolation and brushing than during waiting for food, but it is possible that the characteristics of the vocalizations in these two situations are different. Our principal finding is that cats showed different behavioural patterns in the three situations and, in particular, their behaviour during brus

Bilateral slipped capital femoral epiphysis in a female Maine Coon is rare

Lexie. Picture: Express. I've written about slipped capital femoral epiphysis before and about its prevalence in the Maine Coon cat breed and you can read those articles by clicking on links below if you wish. Interestingly I bumped into a recent article online on the Express newspaper online in which a veterinarian accepted a female Maine Coon cat patient with bilateral slipped capital femoral epiphysis and he said that it was the first time he had seen a female patient with that disease affecting both hind limbs in 30 years of being a veterinarian. Obviously it's a very rare condition when it's bilateral and it concerns the female Maine Coon. Maine Coons are 12 times more likely to develop "slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) How prevalent is slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) in Maine Coon cats ? The owner was unaware of what the health problem might have been. As it happens, the cat's owner and the cats became part of a Channel 4 television programme

The reason why the Maine Coon tail is long and flowing

You might ask a wider question rather than just looking at the beautiful Maine Coon cat and ask whether all small cats have similar tails. The answer is that they don't. And I'm talking about the wild cat species as well as the cat breeds and the moggies. I think this is 'Oscar' an Australia Maine Coon and what a tail. Perfect. Image assessed as being in the public domain on social media.  There is a variation among wild cat species in tail length which is due to evolutionary pressures such that, for example, the snow leopard has a beautifully long rope-like tail to aid balance while it chases prey (blue sheep) on 40° escarpments high up in the Himalayas while the American bobcat has a very short tail as has the lynx because they don't want their tails to drag in the snow ! That's the suggested reason and the underlying reason is always evolutionary pressures in order to boost survival. The typical domestic cat has a standard looking tail of medium length but t

Buying solid white Maine Coon kittens and the chances of deafness

This is a report in layman's terms of congenital sensorineural deafness (CSD) in white blue-eyed cats of various breeds including the Maine Coon cat. The word 'sensorineural' refers to the nervous system transmitting sound signals from the ears to the brain to perceive sound. CSD concerns a defect that a cat is born with affecting the nerves that transmit sound to the brain. It is the dominant white gene (W) which can damage the hearing of cats. RELATED:  Why are domestic cats white ? Good chance of suffering from CSD. Image now in the public domain. In all, 122 white purebred kittens and 61 coloured kittens between the ages of 6-21 weeks were examined. The occurrence of CSD in solid white kittens overall was 30.3% with deafness in both ears at 15.9% and deafness in one ear at 14.4% (unilateral). Deafness was more common in white kittens with blue irises. When the kitten had one blue iris the occurrence of deafness was at 44.4%. When both eyes had blue irises the occurrenc

Maine Coon sociability towards other cats and humans

This is a very short note based upon a study which I'm currently reading on the cat breeds. In one part of the study they assessed breed differences in respect of sociability towards cats, sociability towards humans and activity/playfulness. The Maine Coon performed as follows: Sociability towards cats: the Maine Coon is in the bottom four under this criteria. It is below average in terms of sociability towards other cats. How does one interpret that? On a strict sense one must be driven to the conclusion that Maine Coon cats are less likely to make friends or be friendly with other domestic cats in a multi-cat home. I don't see this trait having a big effect on caregiving. Another possibility is that this breed may be more hostile than average towards strange cats coming onto their home range. Sociability towards humans: the Maine Coon cat does slightly better under this heading as they are near the midpoint of all the breeds in terms of sociability towards humans but a litt

Maine Coons are "touch-sensitive" and can respond with owner-directed aggression

Nothing better than seeing a Maine Coon on a lead in a public place. Image: in the public domain as assessed. Please read the article careful to get the true meaning. Thanks. The headline to this article is based on a study I have used to prepare an article on cat breed personality ( click this to read that article ). It is a good study which also refers to previous studies. In it the scientists refer to the Maine Coon. I'll quote what they say about the Maine Coon: "In previous studies, Maine Coon [11,19,47] and Burmese [19] have been ranked among the breeds showing the most touch sensitivity/owner-directed aggression, and they also scored high in our study." The numbers are references to earlier studies. Ignore those. But what they say is interesting and I have not seen this kind of language before in describing the character of the Maine Coon. Before I discuss it I should say that anyone reading a scientific study should exercise a bit of caution because not all of wha

Note about Maine Coon polydactylism including patty-foot and mitten-paw

Mitten-paw and patty-foot. Image: MikeB based on images from the study mentioned in the article. Here's a short note with some information about polydactylism in Maine coon cats. Polydactyly definition: I think I might start off with a definition of polydactyly. It is usually defined in relation to humans where it means "a condition in which a baby is born with one or more extra fingers." It means, therefore, that a cat is born with more than the normal number of toes and it can affect both hind and forepaws but normally affects the forepaws. High prevalence : there is a high prevalence of polydactylism in Maine Coon cats. We don't have an exact percentage of Maine Coon cats that are polydactyly but it's probably around 40% or 4 in 10 cats have more than the usual number of toes. Variable appearance: what I mean here is that, in scientific language, the "phenotypic expression of polydactyly showed great variability". The word "phenotypic" mea

The prevalence of hip dysplasia in Maine Coons is very similar for all geographic regions

A study found that no matter where the Maine Coon was born they have a very similar chance of developing hip dysplasia. Here is the chart: What does this tell us? Well for me it tells us that around a quarter of Maine Coon cats develop hip dysplasia (Feline Hip Dysplasia - FHD) anywhere in the world. The same genetic problems exist in all these regions. The breeders are making the same errors in all countries. It is possible to stop the inheritance of FHD; you remove foundation breeding cats from the blood line if they carry the genetic mutation which produces offspring with the disease. But the breeders won't do it because it would change the cats' appearance detrimentally as per the breed guidelines (the standard). Here is a quote from the study mentioned which is: "Demographics of hip dysplasia in the Maine Coon cat". The overall prevalence of FHD was 24.9% (635/2548), and was slightly higher in males (279/1023 [27.3%]) than females (356/1525 [23.3%]) (P = 0.025).

Nice young guy is unexpectedly given a free Maine Coon kitten from a breeder

Trey is given a super Maine Coon kitten by breeders Mermazing Maine Coons. Screenshot from the video. Breeders 'Mermazing Maine Coons gifted a gorgeous Maine Coon kitten to a nice young man in this video on TikTok. It was unexpected. He really wanted a Maine Coon kitten and was prepared to pay in instalments. He had $300 but needed around $3,000. A lot more. He has been a good guy all his life and it has not been easy for him. The young man's name is Trey. He is a gentle guy it seems to me; ideal for cat caregiving. He'll understand his cat companion and be protective. His mother recently died of cancer we are told and Trey lost his Doberman recently too according to the news media reports. So it has been hard for him. The breeders must have been touched by his story and decided to be very generous and give him a beautiful smoke kitten.  I have a strong feeling as I am sure others do that he'll be an excellent care caregiver. I hope it works out for him and his cat. He

110 Maine Coon kittens and cats rescued from a breeder in Virginia, USA

NEWS AND COMMENT: this is not hot off the press but the numbers are astonishing. This was a very large operation by an American Maine Coon cat breeder. I would doubt that there are many if any as big in the US. At the time of the cats' rescue from this breeder there were 110 kittens and cats. They were all rescued with the assistance of a cat rescue organisation called Cat's Cradle in partnership with the Humane Society of the United States. Believed to be Executive Director Sherri Heishman of Cat's Cradle with one of the cats. Image: Cat's Cradle (believed).  Before the breeding facility was closed down they had received 50 Animal Welfare Act violations in just 12 months. The violations included a failure to provide veterinary care and adequate housing.  We don't have the name of the breeder which I think is unfortunate because it would be nice to know in case they restart! I don't know whether anything has been done to prevent them restarting but I hope it has

What can Maine Coon breeders do to minimize inherited diseases?

Maine Coon breeders can take several steps to minimise the incidence of inherited diseases such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), hip dysplasia and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). In my view, the quality of a Maine Coon cat breeder depends on how energetically they adopt the following strategies which I don't claim is a complete list. As a purchaser of a Maine Coon kitten I'd ask some pertinent questions when meeting the breeder as to how they deal with these aspects of their operation. Genetic testing: the competent and committed Maine Coon breeder will engage in genetic testing. They will in fact prioritise it to identify carriers of specific diseases. They want to know if there foundation cats are free of inherited diseases. If they carry the genetic mutations which create these diseases. And there are DNA tests available for the three diseases mentioned above. These are the major inherited diseases. Breeders will select breeding pairs that are free from these genetic mu

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