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Maine Coon Cat Care
The Maine Coon cat’s long, shaggy coat is silky and slightly oily, a helpful feature that makes the coat water-resistant, allowing it to repel rain and snow, keeping the cat warmer and drier in inclement weather. Though long, the coat doesn’t shed excessively as long as you thoroughly brush and comb the cat regularly, at least once weekly. Bathe occasionally to help the coat look and feel clean. Your Maine Coon probably won’t mind getting scrubbed down since most enjoy playing in water. Trim your Maine Coon’s nails weekly to every other week, and look inside their ears once a week, cleaning them with a pet-safe ear cleanser if they seem dirty. Any redness or excessive dirt in the ears is an indication that it’s time to schedule a veterinary visit.
Maine Coons are active without being hyper. They enjoy playing (many Maine Coons are reported to love games of fetch just like a dog). To keep your Maine Coon physically and mentally stimulated, engage him with playful toys like feather teasers or other favorite toys. Scratching is a natural behavior that is also mentally and physically enriching. To make sure your Maine Coon scratches in the right places (not the couch), set up approved scratching areas in your house with vertical scratchers (like tall posts or cat trees) as well as horizontal scratchers that lie flat on the ground (like cardboard or sisal scratchers).
Common Health Problems
Some purebred cats are more disposed to developing certain genetically linked health issues. Maine Coons are predisposed to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a disease of the heart), hip dysplasia, and spinal muscular atrophy (a genetic disease that causes degeneration of the spinal cord and atrophy of the muscles in the hind limbs). A genetic test is available for spinal muscular atrophy so breeders can avoid breeding affected cats or carriers. Responsible Maine Coon breeders have their adult cats screened for these and other health concerns prior to breeding them.
The Maine Coon is a solid and rugged cat, as is fit for a working cat. Although the Maine Coon is massive, it is always well proportioned and balanced. The Maine Coon has a muscular, long, rectangular body with a broad chest. It has large, round paws with tufts of hair sticking up from the toes. The head is slightly longer in length than width, with high cheekbones, a distinctive square muzzle and large, well-tufted ears. The Maine Coon cat coat is heavy and shaggy with a ruff on the chest. The breed comes in many different colors and patterns expect for chocolate, lavender and the Himalayan (pointed) pattern.
Diet and Nutrition
As with other heavily built breeds, it’s important to keep Maine Coon cats from becoming overweight, something that can easily happen if the cat is free fed (food kept in the bowl at all times) rather than fed measured meals twice a day. For all cats, staying lean is healthier. For Maine Coons, which are prone to hip dysplasia, staying lean can prevent the development or worsening of joint issues. For advice about what to feed or how much to feed daily, talk to your veterinarian or breeder.
Where to Adopt or Buy a Maine Coon Cat
The Maine Coon is one of the most popular pedigreed cat breed in the United States, and there are many excellent breeders from whom you can purchase a kitten. The Cat Fanciers Association and The International Cat Association both publish lists of Maine Coon cat breeders on their websites. If you are rescue-minded, you might also be able to find adult Maine Coon cats or Maine Coon mixes in animal shelters and breed-specific cat rescue groups.
The Maine Coon cat is friendly, kind, and steady in temperament, which makes them wonderful companions. Maine Coons are also quite trainable and sociable, and many have been certified as therapy cats, visiting with people in hospitals and senior care facilities. Maine Coons are affectionate and want to be close to you, but they are not overly clingy and generally aren’t lap cats. Maine Coons can be entertaining to watch as they engage in silly antics, and they tend to get into everything. The Maine Coon is slow to mature, with most not reaching their full growth until about 4 years of age.
Gentle and laid-back
Affectionate and entertaining
Gets along well with kids and other pets, including dogs
Not big on cuddling/not a lap cat
Coat requires weekly brushing and combing
Doesn’t do well when left alone for long periods of time
More Cat Breeds and Further Research
If you like the Maine Coon cat, you might also like these cat breeds:
· Norwegian Forest Cat
· Siberian Cat
· Turkish Van