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My husband and I dreamed about Maine Coon about 10 years old, but decided on it when there were already children and our own apartment. So we got a 3-month-old Elk. Since then, I've heard a lot of warnings that he will eat us, and questions about why he is so small, because they grow up the size of a lynx.
Now Elk is already 10 months old, and we have completely got used to each other. During this time I tested on myself all the main myths about Maine Coons and am ready to tell readers Bright Sidewhere the truth is and where not.
Not so big
Probably everyone saw photos from cat shows, where the Maine Coon owners stretch them all the way, and the animals seem huge. There are legends that cats of this breed grow to 15–25 kg. In fact, they are not as big as the breeders are trying to impress on us. They have a standard: males weigh from 5.9 to 8.2 kg (neutered - up to 12 kg), females - from 3.6 to 5.4 kg (sterilized - up to 7.5–8.5 kg).
For comparison: my parents purebred cat weighs a little more than 5 kg - just like a rather large Maine Coon female. Why then do the cats of this breed look so huge in the photo? Firstly, a good perspective: the animal’s head is closer to the camera than the owner’s head, and the body is elongated in full length - visually it turns out to be a real giant.
Secondly, Maine Coons are really larger than other domestic cats. They have a longer skeleton, developed muscles and very powerful legs. As a rule, this is noticeable already in childhood.
Maine Coons have their own diseases
These cats are adapted for life in harsh climates, therefore, they are often distinguished by good health and good life expectancy. According to data on life insurance for domestic cats in Sweden for 2003-2006, the average life expectancy of Maine Coons was about 12 and a half years, while more than 50% of the animals lived longer.
However, the breed has specific diseases. One of them is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. For Maine Coons, this is the result of autosomal dominant inheritance. The disease usually manifests itself in middle and old age. It can lead to pulmonary edema, sudden hind limb paralysis and death. Due to problems with cardiology, before castration or sterilization of Maine Coon, he needs to have an ECG and an ultrasound of the heart.
Another specific problem of the breed is spinal muscular atrophy. It manifests itself already in childhood: the back of the body sways in the kitten, when he walks, the animal cannot jump onto the furniture.
Maine Coons are also more likely than other breeds to suffer from hip dysplasia. This disease manifests itself already in old age - the animal begins to limp.
They are friendly but not tame.
Maine Coons are often called "affectionate giants" for their flexible and kind nature. Breeders claim that these cats are loyal to other pets and to children, and in relation to their owners are distinguished by dog devotion. Our pet does not release its claws and teeth, even when 10-month-old children pull its tail and mustache. Moreover, he himself goes to them and likes to fall asleep in their beds.
But the breeders are silent about the fact that Maine Coon does not like to be picked up and squeezed. These cats are affectionate only when they themselves want it. If you start to show attention, then a well-bred cat will just politely leave, and an ill-bred cat can even bite.
They are eternal kittens
Firstly, these cats are slowly growing up. They reach puberty in a year, and their growth ends at 3, and in some cases even at 5 years. And secondly, even after that, Maine Coons retain children's gaiety and spontaneity. Add to this the fact that with age they pump their ability to climb higher and higher.
Jump onto the dining table? Steal a flower from a vase? Throw the porcelain figurine from the rack? They can, they know how, they practice. Experienced mainkunovodi clean almost everything even from shelves located high.
These cats are very loud
Many owners of Maine Coons claim that these cats have a special structure of the vocal cords, and instead of meowing they make melodic sounds. This is not entirely true. These cats really can make melodious sounds. But screaming like a normal street cat in March, they are also experts. You may come across a very “talkative" pet, so lovers of silence should not be trusted by breeders.
They like to play with water.
Maine Coons love to play with water. Some experts believe that this trait came to them from distant ancestors - ship cats, who spent a long time at sea. Many owners claim that their pets ridiculously move their paws above the water, as if conjuring - in fact, cats "dig out" the water. It is believed that this habit remained at their genetic level from life in the wild, when it was necessary to clear puddles of branches and leaves.
Often, Maine Coons, "digging out" a drink, turn the bowl over and fill the floor. Someone dutifully wipes all this, someone - puts a bowl in a bathtub or sink, someone - puts a cat in a large bucket, which is unrealistic to turn over. When our pet sees a large container with water, he prefers to dip his paw into it and drink it “from the palm of his hand”.
They do not like loneliness
Maine Coons have a lot in common with dogs. They, as a rule, choose one owner and remain loyal to him for life. If your cat chose you from among all the family members, then you are very lucky, but there are drawbacks: it is unlikely to give you privacy in the toilet or shower. The doors in the room where you are should always be open.
These animals generally hate loneliness: even if you left the house for just a couple of hours, Maine Coon will meet you with violent screams. But cats of this breed can easily be trained in dog tricks. Our pet always comes to the call and knows how to bring aport. Some owners even boast that they taught their favorite team "sit".
These cats are finicky
Maine Coons love and know how to care for themselves. Sometimes it seems that they are obsessed with their appearance - they are so carefully licked. But cleanliness has a flip side: Maine-Coon is very difficult to please with the toilet. We had to sort through the fillers for a long time, until we found one that he liked. At this time, the cat wrote directly to the floor. And Maine Coon spoils not often, but at once a lot.
Even representatives of this breed are very concerned about their claws. In order not to scratch their loved ones, Maine Coons tear everything that catches your eye. Our skinned sofa upholstery, wallpaper and stools. A claw-brush will not help here - it will simply become another place for a “manicure” that does not cancel others. The only way to save furniture is to cut his claws.
They don’t necessarily have a brutal appearance
Maine Coons are believed to have a very severe appearance. And all because of the specific predatory incision of the eyes, the massive zone of the mustache and chin, which is called the "box". Some jokingly compare their pets with Ron Perlman.
In fact, this breed has 2 branches: European and American. And the brutal appearance is peculiar to the first. As well as large furry tassels on large ears. Americans have a more elegant face and small ears with neat tassels. Moreover, they have a thicker and silky coat.
Would you get Maine Coon? Or maybe you already have one? Tell us about your favorite.
What kind of beast is this? Breed history
Maine Coon cats are also called american raccoon cats. Their ancestors originally lived in North America and were first shown at an exhibition in the United States in 1869, and breed standards were set in 1983. Literally, the name of this breed can be translated as "Maine raccoon" because of its localization in the American state of Maine and its similarity to a raccoon.
Some time ago, Maine Coon cats were considered the largest, but the size of modern animals does not exceed the size of Persian.
INTERESTING! After these cats gained popularity, it was believed that they appeared by crossing cats and raccoons, then - Turkish Angora with striped short-haired. But in fact, the history of the breed indicates that the cat has long lived with the Indians of North America, was huge, and over time it only slightly changed in size.
It has been breeding this breed of cats in Russia for more than 10 years.
Maine Coon - characteristics of the breed
This cat is easy to distinguish from others, because the color of the raccoon cat really looks like a raccoon, but Maine Coon has a description of the breed in detail:
- these are big cats
- they have a thick, shaggy and silky to the touch coat,
- a small head relative to the body,
- high cheekbones, powerful chin and slightly square head,
- short nose
- wide-set, high ears, the cat has tassels on the ears,
IMPORTANT! The presence of brushes on the ears indicates the noble origin of the cat!
- an ear pointed at the ends and with tufts of wool inside,
- wide and slightly slanting eyes are often yellow-green,
- broad-chested muscular body,
- powerful legs of medium length,
- large round paws with tufts of wool between the fingers,
- long tail with a wide base and a blunt end, without kinks and covered with wool like an ostrich feather.
INTERESTING! Maine coon kittens almost do not differ from other similar breeds, and the main signs become noticeable in adulthood, so it is important to know how to distinguish Maine Coon.
What is Maine Coon's character, or is a cat a friend of man
By behavioral traits, these cats are very similar to Persian. In nature, they quickly moved from a wild state to a domestic one, which is why these are animals that are very attached to humans, and which at the same time have practically lost their survival skills. They are unlikely to want to catch mice or walk and live outside for days, although these instincts are genetically inherent in them. Maine Coon cats have a special relationship with humans. They have a gentle and calm character, as well as respect and trust in people. They do not tolerate separation well and will be happy about the arrival of the owner, which they will necessarily express in their behavior.
Maine coons are especially cautious and attentive with children: you don’t have to worry that the cat will bite or scribble a small child. They will patiently endure the games and "torture" of the baby.
INTERESTING! Maine Coon loyalty can be compared to dog loyalty.
The appearance of a raccoon cat (its appearance and the texture of its muzzle), in comparison with its character, makes it look like a certain aristocrat: majestic, wise and calm. Important manners will also appear in the fact that this cat will not ask for anything from the owner, will not drag food from the table or from someone else's bowl.
INTERESTING! Cats of this breed are very fond of water, so they can play in a bowl of water, touch the tap water or be extremely interested in the toilet.
Maine Coon - breed features
If your cat still has curiosity and “jumping” habits by nature, then funny situations will make you laugh to tears more than once: the large size of the cat does not allow it to deftly jump and move nimbly in space. And in adulthood, Maine Coons even become lazy and watch more than they act, but these cats always need communication, attention and events. Also, the main character traits include good memory, playfulness and excellent learning. They would consider learning to walk on the toilet or close the door behind them as a wonderful activity.
INTERESTING! Cats of this breed make interesting sounds, different from the meow of other cats. Their “voice” in intonation is very similar to a person’s conversation, possibly due to a long and deep affection for people.
Despite its striking personality, the Maine Coon cat breed is not as difficult to maintain as it might seem. Here are some suggestions:
- Comb the hair, paying particular attention to the tail, once every 7-10 days. The coat is thick, but silky, so it rarely tangles and, by the way, does not fly so much in the air.
- Clean the auricles once a week with a gauze swab dipped in vegetable oil, and if it is very dirty, treat it with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.
- Wipe the corners of the cat’s eyes with a damp cotton swab as they become dirty, so that her expressive eyes will not look messy.
- Bathe your Maine Coon as necessary, paying particular attention to the thick and beautiful coat and detergents for it.
What to feed such a cat
A special diet for raccoon cats is not required. One has only to remember that for a long time these cats are exclusively domestic, therefore they should be fed as thoroughbred. In other words, mice and sparrows should not be offered. Food should be rich in vitamins, be full and balanced. If you use dry food, then give it at the rate of 50 g per 3 kg of weight.
How much Maine Coons live
It is believed that in pedigree animals, the pedigree of which has been followed for several generations, life expectancy is reduced compared to outbred street animals. This can be explained by the fact that there is no "dilution" of genes, hereditary diseases are transmitted from generation to generation, and the likelihood of poor health is constantly increasing. This situation is partly true for the Maine Coon cat. But you should not be afraid of this, since the development of many "pedigree" sores can be avoided if you follow the cat correctly and during time.
Sometimes people who want to choose this breed believe that large cats live less by analogy with large dog breeds, but this statement is not true at all. The size of the cat does not affect life expectancy.
According to statistics from nurseries in the USA and Russia, on average Maine cats live up to 15 years, and some representatives live quietly up to 20 years.
In order for the cat to live a long and happy life, one should pay attention to some diseases that are most common among Maine Coons:
- joint diseases
- problems with the cardiovascular system,
- obesity in the absence of movement (they need to play more, climb and run, for example, on ladders),
- stomatitis, conjunctivitis, ear inflammation (due to poor hygiene),
- depressive states (if the animal is alone for a long time or without attention of the owner).
What are they
If you look at various photos of Maine Coon cats, you will notice a variety of colors of this variety:
- Solid colors (black, white, red).
- Blue color. It is very rare among breeders, so the price of a kitten of this color may be higher. Cats with such a fur are especially beautiful.
- Tortoiseshell. Combines, as a rule, 3 colors according to the principle of flaps on the shell.
- Marble. Different shades of 2 colors are combined according to the principle of interspersing one color into another.
The modern Maine Coon breed consists of two types: classic or American and European or extreme. The former have round eyes, a wide bone and thicker coat. The second - more impressive sizes and pronounced brushes on the ears.
Pros and cons of acquiring a raccoon cat
You will definitely like that Maine Coon:
- playful and affectionate
- get along well with children
- have good contact with other animals,
- have an interesting appearance,
- They can make funny sounds.
The following features may cause difficulties:
- require a lot of attention
- can scatter things while playing and spill water,
- have a large size,
- it is necessary to have a large area for maintenance,
- it takes a lot of feed
- high price when buying.
How to choose a Maine Coon kitten
Has a decision to purchase this breed been made? Read a lot about the breed? Have you decided whether it will be a cat or a cat? Then the Maine Coon kitten should be selected according to the following criteria:
- Price. As mentioned earlier, it cannot be too low. If a cat is given cheaply, then you should have doubts about the reliability of the breed.
- The presence of documents for the kitten and its parents, confirming the pedigree. If the purchase takes place in the nursery - the presence of a certificate for breeding animals.
- The age of the kitten. At least 12 weeks.
- Availability of necessary vaccinations.
- Appearance of a kitten:
- fluffy tail and large paws,
- large ears and the presence of brushes,
- beginning to form a “square” on the face,
- silky and shiny hair
- eyes and ears without discharge and suppuration,
- soft tummy
- lack of signs of the disease: sneezing, lameness, lethargy, shaking the head.
Buying a kitten is better in proven places. It is highly discouraged to choose it according to announcements or in the market if you want to have a purebred animal. It is better to arrange viewing in a special nursery, in a club or to look after a kitten at an exhibition where specialists can immediately evaluate the selected kitten.
Maine Coon purebred kittens stand from 20 to 100 thousand rubles. It depends on the color, age, pedigree and regalia of his parents.
In any case, the choice of such an interesting animal can be considered excellent! If you took into account all the pros, cons and features of the content of this breed, the new pet will be your faithful friend, and his habits will amuse you for many years.