Telltale signs of a Maine Coon It's hard to determine if your sweet little ball of fluff is indeed a Maine Coon or just a domestic long haired cat. Other than the giant size of the Maine Coon, another well known trait of these beautiful cats are their giant ears with tufts at the tips. Maine Coons also have a long, silky, fluffy coat with a long bushy tail. Most Maine Coons love to wrap their glorious tail around themselves when lounging around. Another telltale sign you have a Maine Coon is their lion-like sleek mane. Most kittens will not grow their mane until they are 1 year old or older as Maine Coons are slow to develop. Please consider that Maine Coons are just like humans in relation to growth. They may have giant parent's but that doesn't mean that they too will be abnormally big in size.
Size of the Maine Coon Because of the size of the Maine Coon, their weight is dispersed throughout their large, long body frame and the average size of a male can be up to 25lbs (or more)! Lugo, a cat in Europe, is 35lbs and growing. Maine Coon body frames are generally long and have a square like body. They are not short and squat. Most people think they have a Maine Coon mix based on weight alone, however just because they weigh a lot does NOT make them a Maine Coon mix, it just makes them overweight ;)
Maine Coons are Great Family Pets Some people are intimidated by the large size of the Maine Coon and their prominent facial features and square jaw line. However they are wonderful family pets and love to be involved in what's going on in their household. Unlike other cats that run and hide when visitors come over, Maine Coons can be very nosey and inquisitive. People also get a good laugh if they come to visit us during treat time. Yes, our cat's know exactly when treat time is and remind me that they're desperately hungry (even though they always have kibble available to them at any time). A shrill "here kitty,kitty,kitty" sends them running to the kitchen every time for a plate full of Sheba canned food. We've tried every brand and flavor and they prefer the Sheba chicken flavor cut, not pate. Heaven forbid I offer them slimy, thick, pate. I get the stink eye and a tail flick from all of them if they get the wrong food ;)
How to find a Maine Coon for adoption You've done the research, maybe asked for permission from your spouse, and now it's time to find the perfect Maine Coon kitty to add to your family. But where do you start? Social media can be a wonderful tool to reach out to other people who have adopted Maine Coons from particular breeders. Unfortunately not all breeder's are looking out for the well-being of their kitties or for you. The best way to get to know what your breeder is all about is to ASK QUESTIONS! I am always curious why people are breeding a particular animal. If their response is simply to make money, do not use this breeder. Breeding takes up a considerable amount of time, space, energy, and money. Most of the money you make goes directly back into the animal and there is little to no profit being made.
I found a kitten, now what? Again, ask more questions. If you're adopting a kitten that you haven't physically met or seen, ask for recommendations from other's who have adopted from this breeder. Contact people that have adopted from them and ask if they would recommend this breeder. It sounds silly, but in order to adopt kittens with the features, size, and health tests I was looking for, I had to adopt from overseas. It is scary to adopt and send money to breeders, we've all heard of scams with puppies or other animals where money is sent but no animal is ever received. Now that I am older and wiser, I realize that most of what my parent's taught me as a kid is true. My dad used to say that "If is seems to good to be true, it usually is". If you see kittens for sale claiming to be purebred Maine Coons with vaccinations and papers, and the adoption fee seems very low, chances are they are NOT purebred Maine Coon cats. Again, ask for pedigrees. If you're able to visit your breeder and pick out the kitten in person that is your best chance at actually getting the kitten you picked out and ensuring your baby is housed in a clean, safe environment. Most breeders won't let you visit their cattery however, and in this case ask to see pictures or videos of where they are raised. If the pictures/video show signs of overcrowding, caging their cats, or sickly animals, I would not adopt from them. Also, ask to see pictures or videos of the kittens parent's. Ask what genetic testing has been done and ask for proof of the tests to be sure you are getting what you are paying for.
What genetic testing should I look for? Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (or HCM) is the most common form of heart disease among cats and is very prevalent in Maine Coons. Cats that have HCM will have thickening of the heart wall muscles which prevents normal heart function. This usually leads to heart failure. The progression of heart failure will either cause death suddenly because the heart cannot pump blood adequately, or from the effects of blood clots causing blockage of a blood vessel. Ask your breeder if they test their cats's for HCM. It is believed that most cases of HCM are genetic, and if one of the kittens parent's test positive for HCM it is very likely that the kitten(s) may be effected by the disease at some point during their life. It's worth it to ask questions and search for a perfect, healthy, kitten.
How Many Cats is too Many? We all know the "Crazy Cat Lady"... don't be her. Be a sane, cat loving person but no need to be crazy ;) I've personally googled "how many cat's can comfortably live in my home?" Honestly, there's no cut and dry answer to that. As long as you can provide shelter, food, litter, and veterinary care for all of your kitty's, it's really nobody's business how many cats (or hedgehogs) you have. If you're wondering why I mentioned hedgehogs, we are USDA licensed and breed those as well. I am a firm believer in taking care of whatever animal(s) you have. If your kitties have to be kept in a cage all day or don't receive human interaction, please do not adopt a living cat and get a stuffed animal instead!