The Maine Coon cat
The Maine Coon cat Strain Really Is a naturally occurring breed whose roots have become part of American legend. Some still believe that the Maine Coon is the result of a mating between raccoons and cats local to New England. Then there are those who think that the Maine Coon is a descendant of the cats that had been sent to the United States from France by Marie Antoinette. Various cat fanciers also subscribe to the theory that a seaman named Coon introduced both Persian and Angora cats to New England and these cats bred freely with existing shorthairs.
The raccoon legend notwithstanding, the true origins of the Maine Coon cat are likely a combination of many theories. It’s for certain that older settlers brought the old ancestors of this Maine Coon into America. All these cats bred publicly, creating a strain that is strong, bright, and prolific. It is not likely that these cats are somewhat very popular in Maine than anywhere else. Instead, it is sensible to presume that the strain was initially promoted in Maine, hence the improvement of’ Maine’ to’Coon Cat.’
1.Maine Coon cat history
Maine Coons began appearing in official shows as early as the 1860s. They were very popular and frequent winners at just about any show they turned up at. In fact, in the 1895 Madison Square Garden Show, a brown tabby Maine Coon owned by E.N. Baker was accorded the honor of best cat. As kitty shows became increasingly more sophisticated and stolen cats gained popularity, howeverthe Maine Coon started to vanish away from shows, and eventually disappeared altogether.
Despite this, the Maine Coon continued to be a popular out cross for Persians in North America. From near days of cat elaborate in the U.S, registries accepted cats of unknown descent provided that they conformed to the standard of the breed. Since Persians were at the moment, virtually identical in type into the Maine Coon, any good color Coon Cat was quite acceptable in Persian breeding programs. The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) allowed longhairs to be simply Persian or Angora ‘type’ and not necessarily of a particular breed.
Along the years when the Maine Coon was in disfavor, proponents of this strain attempted to recover fame for its large and friendly kitty. These attempts were thwarted not just by the snobbery of other breeders but by the inability of their Coon cat-fanciers to come up with a frequent breed standard. There were some people that considered that Maine Coon cat breeds didn’t have eligible conformation and that the many colors of the breed might not be controlled through selective breeding. In the heads of many, this meant a true benchmark wasn’t able to be developed.
Throughout the decades, the idea that the Maine Coon cat was simply a longhaired version of the American Shorthair was hotly debated. Eventually, it was determined that Maine Coons had to be their own breed. They were not only larger and longer than the American Shorthair, but had different a different texture and coat quality than the Persian or Angora. In short, there were enough unique qualities to the Maine Coon to recognize it as a dis- tinct and beautiful breed.
2. Maine Coon Appearance
- The Maine Coon cat has a semi-long coat. This coat is water-resistant and incredibly heavy. Some say the cat is all fluff and no substance. Nonsense, of course.
- The hair is shorter on the back and neck, but much longer on the ruff, stomach, and britches of the cat. Despite its length, the coat is smooth and requires little maintenance.
- A weekly brushing does it. The bushy tail sets the Maine Coon apart from most other breeds. All in all, this is a stunning example of a feline.
(B) Body Shape
This large cat, which weighs in at up to eighteen or twenty pounds, comes in almost all colors and patterns, though the brown classic or mackerel tabby is the most common. All colors and patterns may have white markings. The eyes should be large, expressive, and range in color from gold to green. They should shine with an inner light and not be at all dull.
- Head: Its head is little longer in length than width and with medium width and with a squareness to the muzzle. Cheekbones high. Muzzle clearly square, muzzle length is medium, and blunt ended. It may give look of being a rectangle shape but not appear to be pointed or tapering. The Width and length of the muzzle consistent to the rest of the head and present a pleasant, balanced appearance. Its chin is in line with the upper lip and nose, strong, and firm.
- Eyes: maine coon cat eyes are awry putting with slant to outer bottom of ear. Eye-color maine may be colors of green, copper gold, or green-gold. Blue eyes or strange eyes are also come in white- or bicolor- (such as trucks ) patterned cats.
- Ears: Its ears appear well-tufted, large, and wide at bottom, tapering to appear pointed. Set approximately one ear’s width apart at the bottom; not flared.
- Legs and paws: Paws cat leg substantial, broad set, of average length, and in proportion to the body. Forelegs are upright and straight. Back legs are straight when watched from behind. Paws large, well-tufted and roundish.There are 5 toes in front; 4 in back.
- Tail: Long, broad at base, and tapering toward its ending .Tail Fur long and flowing.
- Colors: Any pattern or color maine coon cat coat with the exception of hybridization resulting appears in different colors as lavender, chocolate, the Himalayan pattern; the unpatterned agouti on the body (Abyssinian-type ticked tabby) or these combinations with white.
(C) Types of Maine Coon Cat
It is a mistake to assume that there is more than one “type” of Maine Coon, but they do come in every color and pattern, except lavender, chocolate, or pointed like a “Siamese.” All told, there are more than 60 possible color combinations.
For all coat types the eye color ranges across shades of green and gold, but in white cats it is possible to see blue or odd eyes (one blue eye, the other gold.)
- The solid coat colors include white, black, cream, blue (Maltese), and red. The breed standard calls for the shades to be uniform, with no variations or a suggestion of tabby markings.
- Black Maine Coons should not have any hint of “rust.” A “smoke” Maine Coon has a solid coat with a lighter undercoat that seems almost “faded.” You will see bi-colors like the popular black and white “tuxedo” cats, as well as particolors, known commonly as calicos.
- Tortoiseshell or “tortie” Maine Coons have a black base color with patches of cream and red, while a “tortie” has color stripes instead of patches.
- The tabby-coat is perhaps the best known of all the Maine Coon markings and can be present in all colors, with red being a particular favorite. Tabby means the kitten has stripes, like tiger stripes. There are two variations: mackerel and classic. Both have the famous M on the forehead. A mackerel tabby has stripes running down the body with a connecting stripe down the back, like a zebra.
3. The Characteristics of a Maine Coon Cat
- The Maine Coon Cat is also known as the American Longhair.
- The actual origins of the Main Coon Cat is actually not known, but there are many theories and myths about where they came from. The most common theory is that they descend from french cats that Marie Antoinette sent to Maine.
- Many think that the Maine Coon Cat is a cross of a cat and a raccoon, which is not possible to do.
- Female Maine Coon cats weight between 8 to 12 pounds and male Maine Coon cats can weigh up to 20 pounds. The Maine Coon Cat can get up to 40 inches in length.
- Maine Coon Cats are a very large breed of cat. They have a long saggy coat that feels silky when touched. Their coats are water resistant, have tufted ears, and long flowing tails.
- Cats mostly groom themselves, which results in hairballs. They enjoy water, so it would not be a bad idea to give them a bath when needed on occasion.
- The Maine Coon Cat comes in several different colors. The most common would be brown, cream, red, black and white. They come in several different patterns that they can come in also, like mackerel, tortie, taby, solid, patch, and torbie.
- Maine Coon Cats are very gentle cats. They are very sweet and friendly. They are built for living in cold temperatures outside, but its is best if they are inside. They are knowing for their loving nature.
- They can be trained to walk on a leash. The Maine Coon Cat’s are known as the gentle giant of the cat world. They also get along well with children, so they are a good family pet to have and love.
- With broad chests, rectangular bodies, solid musculature, and a big-boned frame, everything about a Maine Coon connotes size and substance. Add to the picture big ears and big tufted feet, and you have the perfect image of a gentle feline giant. They have a lifespan of 12-15 years.
They grow slowly, taking 3-4 years to reach full maturity. During that time their loving and sweet dispositions seem to mellow into affectionate adulthood. They exhibit great loyalty to their humans and are social cats, following their people from room to room and providing “assistance” and “supervision” for the current project at hand. They don’t just like human companionship; they actively seek it out.
4. Maine Coon Personality
There are few cats in the world more laid back than the Maine Coon. This breed will get along well with children and other pets. He’ll also show great affection and will play with people a great deal. It’s not unusual to see a Maine Coon playing with children, adults, or even dogs if he happens to be bored.
Despite all this, he is not too dependent and can’t really be described as a lap cat. When you’re home, expect him to hang around, but if you’re not he can entertain himself well enough. Though you may not like the activities he chooses, so a friend might not be a bad idea. Still, he’s not destructive and will generally behave himself. Most of the time, anyway.
Typically a quiet cat, expect the Maine Coon to communicate in soft thrills and little chirps. Pay attention to these sounds and he’ll speak more often. Ignore them and he’ll either ignore you or find another way to get your attention.
if you’re searching a large potent sturdy enough to play along side children and dogs, the Maine Coon cat may be the cat you are looking for. Expect your cat to romp through the home and to make a little noise doing so. He is among the heaviest of domestic cats, after all.
- Environment: A house with a secured outdoor enclosure will suit the Maine Coone. An added bonus would be one that contains a water feature!
- Vocality: They are known for their loud voice and multitude of sounds.
- Activity Level, Trainability, and Play Time Needed with Owners: This is a moderately active cat. They are intelligent and can be trained. They are very playful and look forward to games each day.
- Compatibility with Children and Other Pets: This cat is a popular choice for children. They are also very good with other pets.
5. The Maine Coon Sociality
The Maine Coon makes a really fantastic family cat. They aren’t lap cats perse, but they do want to be a part of whatever’s going on around the house in a supervisory capacity.
They not only get along well with children, but they do perfectly fine with other pets, including dogs. Maine Coons are no more difficult to acclimate in multi-cat households than any other breed.
In fact, Maine Coons are so easy-going, that in spite of their size, they may be the ones to be picked on in a feline territorial dispute. Don’t worry that he’ll use his size to his advantage. I did have a Maine Coon once that would get a rowdy younger cat to calm down by lying on him, but that’s about as much “aggression” as he ever managed.
If a Maine Coon cat doesn’t like what’s going on, he simply manages to be somewhere else. That being said, I am a firm believer that all children must be taught to deal respectfully and gently with animals. You shouldn’t rely on the cat to be the “responsible adult” in the situation. Any cat, regardless of breed and no matter how well-behaved, will react badly if it is being harassed or handled roughly.
In those situations, I frankly think it is the child that needs to be instructed in better behavior, not the cat. And, while we are speaking of cats being cats, I wouldn’t really trust any breed with the family parakeet or aquarium fish. In multi-species households, careful segregation should be the order of the day. Tightly-latched cages and secure aquarium lids make for good neighbors.
6. Health conditions of maine coons
Maine Coons are extremely hardy cats and they are not prone to a large number of illnesses. They can, however, develop both hip dysplasia and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In truth, though, these conditions can be present in cats of all breeds. Within a careful breeding program, incidences should be minimal.
- Just like any other cat, the Maine Coon Cat has the potential to run into health problems.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a form of heart disease, which thickens the heart muscle.
- Hip dysplasia is another common disease among cats, which is a defect to the hip socket, causing them to move slowly or not jump around.
- Another is spinal muscular atrophy, which is when spinal chord neurons die, which leads to degeneration and weak muscles. The disease doesn’t cause pain and they can live a normal life. You should take your Maine Coon Cat to the vet on a regular basis for check ups to make sure they haven’t gotten any of these diseases.
Routine Health Care for Your Pet
In truth, you are the real foundation of your pet’s health care program. Not only is it up to you to establish and maintain a working relationship with a qualified veterinarian, but you are also the one who will have the greatest sense of your cat’s overall state of well-being, due to familiarity and daily association.
Clearly, in choosing a vet, you want a doctor with experience treating Maine Coons. I am also a huge advocate of the feline-only practices that have been growing in popularity for the past 25 years. The clinics are much quieter, which keeps the cats calmer, and the vets engage in ongoing contin- uing education in advances specifically related to the treatment of companion felines.
Spaying or Neutering
Spaying and neutering is usually performed before six months of age, although some breeders pre- fer to wait until the cat is 10-12 months of age, in order to give as much benefit as possible from the hormones on the bone and joint development.
7. Daily care
(A) Grooming Your Maine Coon Cat
Although Maine Coons are not as hard to groom as other longhaired breeds, they do need to be brushed and occasionally bathed to keep their fur free of accumulations of oil, grit, and dander. A lot of these tasks are easily performed at home, but it’s only realistic to expect to require the periodic services of a professional groomer.
Professional groomers class cats in three temperamental ranges when it comes to accepting being handled and bathed.
- Shy cats find the grooming process frightening and must be reassured steadily and constantly. They don’t tend to be aggressive, but they do try very hard to escape the whole business.
- Compliant cats are totally agreeable to grooming and may even enjoy it. They’re not aggressive, are easy to handle, and put up no complaint whatsoever. Most Maine Coons fall into this category.
- Aggressive cats pretty much lose their minds. They can’t be groomed at home, and may even re- quire light tranquilization or actual sedation at the groomer’s or vet clinic. Clearly, the sooner a cat becomes used to being groomed, the more tolerant he’ll be throughout his life.
Maine Coons have silky fur that is not as prone to tangling and matting as that of a Persian. Comb your cat several times a week with a shedding comb to remove loose hair and minor mats and tangles.
Shedding combs have two sets of adjacent wire teeth with one set longer than the other. My favorites are made by Coastal Pet Safari which retail for less than $10 / £6.12.
You never want to allow any longhaired cat to develop mats that will block airflow to the skin and potentially cause itching and then infection from skin damage, due to scratching.
Don’t try to remove any mats that do form. Your pet’s skin is very fragile and easily wounded. Minor mats can be gently teased apart with your fingers, but you must never try to cut out a mat. The risk of injury is too great. Under those circumstances, the services of a professional groomer are absolutely required.
(B) Claw Clipping
Get kittens used to this at a young age. It’s not the clipping itself that feels weird to a kitten, it’s the exposing of the nail. So when you are cuddling your new kitten on your lap, play with the paws and expose the nails (without doing any clipping) so that this feels like a normal thing to do. Kittens’ claws should be clipped every week, adults every two weeks.
Steps of clipping:
- Place the cat in your lap and pick up one front paw.
- Use your thumb to gently apply pressure just behind the toes so the claws will extend.
- The curved tips are translucent, but the vascular “quick” at the base is pink.
- Be careful not to clip into this area. Not only would that cause your pet pain, but it would also result is excessive bleeding.
- Snip off the sharp points only and don’t forget the dewclaw on the side of the foot. I suggest following a philosophy of “less restraint.”
- Cats don’t like to feel trapped and held down. Just make sure the animal is secure in your lap. As you get more experienced with claw clipping, the chore will go quickly so the cat won’t really have time to get upset.
Buy a small pair of clippers designed for use with pets. I like the ones with handles, like those on pliers. The grip is better, more controlled, and the price is reasonable at around $10 / £6.
(C)The Tail Test for Bathing
If you’ve never given a cat a bath, and if you have no idea how your cat will react to being bathed, use the “tail test” to judge the animal’s tolerance. By dragging your pet’s tail through the water briefly, you will see whether he has an issue with being wet.
Provided your cat doesn’t go ballistic, you should be able to move forward with the bath without issue.
Use the same kind of preliminary testing if you plan on using a blow dryer. Start at the cat’s tail and try working up. If the cat thinks it’s being attacked by a “cat-eating monster” you’ll know it in a heartbeat.
(D) actual Bathing
- Always have everything you need on hand and nearby. Work with water that is lukewarm to slightly warm.
- Be careful not to allow water to get in the cat’s ears, eyes, or nose. If possible, gently place cotton balls in the ears to ensure they stay dry. Never pour water over the cat’s face.
- Clean that area with a warm washcloth, but don’t use soap. Cats’ eyes are extremely sensitive to chemical irritation.
When the animal is thoroughly wet, there are two stages to a proper bath for a long-haired cat: de- greasing and shampooing.
- Find a degreasing formula specifically designed for use with pets. The substance is a paste-like gel applied and rinsed as if it were a shampoo.
- Degreasers cost around $15 / £9.19 for 16 ounces / 454 grams.
- Pick a natural, scent-free shampoo that is hypoallergenic.
- Most of these products come in 16 ounce / 454 gram bottles or larger, retailing for $10 – $15 / £6.12 – £9.19.
- Work the shampoo into the fur gently. Don’t scrub, as this will lead to tangling. Always over-rinse so there’s no residue left in the fur, then drain all the water out of the tub and run your hands through the coat in straight motions to further remove the excess.
- Swaddle the cat in a soft dry towel. Use drying strokes following the natural direction of the fur. Don’t scrub!
- Blow-drying is typically the home grooming deal breaker. If your cat reacts poorly to the vacuum cleaner, don’t expect the blow dryer to go over well.
- If, however, your cat is compliant, blow in the direction of the fur while brushing in the same direction. Use the lowest setting possible. You may need help with the belly and legs.
Clipping and Trimming
If any clipping or trimming needs to be done, hire a professional. In areas that get very warm in the summer, you may opt to give your Maine Coon cat a “lion cut” for the animal’s comfort. The “cut” actually involves shaving the body, leaving cuffs on the feet and a mane at the neck.
(E) Litter Box Management
One reason cats are so popular as companions is the fact that they can live inside and take care of their elimination needs in a pan of sand or gravel.
Not only does kitty not have to be taken for walks outside, he’d have no part of such nonsense anyway. (That’s actually something of a myth. Many cats, Maine Coons included, will agreeably walk on a leash if the training is begun at an early age. Outfit your cat with a harness, rather than a collar, if you want to teach it to walk on a lead.)
(F) Litter Box Training
Your kitten should come to you litter box trained so that your primary responsibility is one of maintenance and reinforcing good habits. If, however, you do have to introduce a kitten to a litter box, the process goes something like this
- Fill a pan with sand or gravel litter.
- Put the kitten in the pan.
- Gently take its front paws and make a digging motion for a few strokes.
- The cat will take it from there. By nature cats are absolutely fastidious creatures. They come pre-programmed to dig, do their business, and cover. Show them where they have soft “dirt” to do that and the rest is pure instinct on their part.
(A) Schedules and Portions
Cats are pets that love to follow a systematic feeding habit which includes a routine diet, feeding time and period etc. They do not tend to share their food with other pets.
(D) Offer Wet and Dry Food
- Cats thrive on a well-balanced diet that contains a mix of both wet and dry food. It is a myth that there’s less litter box mess if wet foods are eliminated. Wet foods are a critical moisture source for cats and an important element of weight control.
- Any cat, including a Maine Coon cat, will start to pack on the pounds eating nothing but high calorie dry food. The breed is large anyway, so it’s easy to be fooled that your tubby tabby is perfectly normal. Even with a longhaired cat, you should be able to look at the body shape from above and see a slight indentation behind the ribs and just before the hips begin. If you can’t see or feel this indentation, your cat is getting too fat. It’s also helpful to weigh your pet periodically and to make note of the number.
- Sudden weight gain or loss is an indicator of potential illness. Just be careful to check the ingredients of any dry food, as some are excessively high in carbohydrates, which isn’t doing your cat an awful lot of good, to be honest.
- The positive with dry food, however, is that many people believe it helps clean the teeth, leading to less dental decay. Some vets, however, will disagree, saying there is no evidence for this. Other vets do believe it helps.
(D) Foods That are Toxic
Foods That are Toxic to Cats Clearly, human food is not good for keeping a cat at a normal weight, but there are also many things we eat that are toxic to felines. Do not ever give your cat:
- any form of alcohol including beer – grapes or raisins
- onions or chives
- raw eggs
- yeast dough
Note that, although raw eggs could be harmful for cats, I have often fed my Maine Coon cat left over scrambled eggs. Eggs are also in most kitten Glop recipes. Glop is often used to supplement kit- tens, older cats, and sick cats.
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