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Felinexpress.com Home > Cat Breeds > Maine Coon Cat

Maine Coon Cat

Somali Cat Breed

src:wikipedia. A blue Somali cat

Appearance
The Maine Coon Cat is one of the larger cat breeds. The cat has a broad chest in a rectangular shape and comes equipped with a long luxurious coat. The coat is waterproof. The hair on the head of the Maine Coon is short. The body coat is longer and useful against the elements keeping the Maine Coon cat warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The tail is long and bushy. The Maine Coon cat comes in several patterns: mackerel tabby, classic tabby. Only the females are patterned in patches.

History
The first pedigreed cat to originate in the United States; Maine Coon cats were originally found living in the wild, surviving in the woods. Brought into barns by farmers too take advantage of their rodent- hunting prowess, Maine Coon cats and kittens soon found their way into mainstream America.  Many myths surround the beginnings of these gorgeous cats. Rumors that they once graced the halls of Marie Antoinette’s courtyard, or that they were a cross-breed of a raccoon and bobcat adds mystery to this cat’s beginnings. The one rumor that appears the most plausible is that the Maine Coon cats were brought over by early traders, leaving the ship once it docked to take off on adventures on their own.

Personality
Maine Coon cats are highly intelligent and active cats. They love to be the center of attention and they use their wide array of vocalizations to garner that attention. They trill, they chirp, they yowl, they purr and they rumble along with just their normal meowing.

Maine Coon cats love routine and even moving furniture in your home can be met with noisy feline disapproval. Some owners describe Maine Coons as “almost doglike.” Goofy and clumsy in a comical way, curious, and wanting to be in everyone’s business at all times. But anyone who owns a Maine Coon will attest that these are “awesome cats!”

Health-Genetic traits
HCM is prevalent in all cats.  HCM stands for Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy a fancy word for the thickening of the heart muscle. This disease slows the blood flow to the heart making the heart work overtime.

The symptoms of HCM can sneak up gradually or hit suddenly depending on how much damage has been done internally. Clots can form and break loose causing paralysis of the rear limbs or saddle thrombus. Commonly found in cats under five years old, there is currently no cure for HCM.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy- SMA is a disorder that affects the spinal neurons causing them to die off. Muscle weakness occurs; the kitten develops a funny sideways gait to its walk. They can appear clumsy, but in reality they are balancing on their toes to jump up on objects and losing their balance easily. Atrophy of the muscles soon follows. There is a genetic test that will let the owner know if the litter is fighting this genetic disorder. The kittens do not appear to be in pain, but they will be carriers of this disorder their entire life.

Hip Dysplasia- A hereditary disease that affects the hip joint causing the hip socket to slip during movement. The movement causes great pain for the cat, causing her to limit movement, appear fatigued and stiff when she does move. There is a test that reputable breeders can ask for from the vet,  to find out if their lines are susceptible to this painful disease.

Finding a Kitten
Do your homework before purchasing a Maine Coon kitten. Make sure the breeder is screening for the genetic disorders, and also testing for SMA.  Be aware that many animal shelters adopt out Maine Coon kittens without any papers to back the claim. Sometimes, if the cat has long hair, a long face and a large fluffy tail they pass as “Maine Coons.”  You can always contact Maine Coon Rescue in your area and adopt an older cat as well. 

You will pay more for a show kitten, versus a pet quality kitten or a retired breeder.  Prices vary, Pet kittens sell starting at $300.00 and go up.

Show kittens start at $1,500.00. Steer clear of kitty mills and find reputable breeders that have solid contracts, good health contracts and do not release the kitten at 5-6 weeks of age.

Entertainment Factor
Make no mistake about it, according to many owners, Maine Coon cats are a challenge to have in the home. They are into everything, and if there is a human project underway, they have to have a paw in it.

They love attention, and will try and stop people from leaving for work, will scratch at the bathroom door until let into the room. Carol, a Maine Coon breeder finally ended up installing a cat door in her bathroom door so her cats could come and go at will.

Maine Coon cats love to climb and jump. Sandie, who owns three Maine Coon Cats  says every time she starts fixing dinner, her Maine Coons jump on the counter to lend a hand! When she shoos them off, they end up intertwining between her legs and she has to watch her step or she will end up with dinner on the floor (this being her cats’ plan not hers).

When they sleep, they like to wrap their tail all the way around their body.

Mary Anne Miller is a free lance writer, website content provider and member of The Cat Writers’ Association.

  1. Korat
  2. Balinese
  3. Javanese
  4. Japanese Bobtail
  5. Somali
  6. Abyssinian
  7. Turkish Van
  8. Siamese
  9. Egyptian Mau
  10. Oriental Shorthair
  11. Tonkinese
  12. Bengal
  13. Norwegian Forest Cat
  14. Cornish Rex
  15. Siberian

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