10 Things To Know Before Bringing Home Your Maine Coon Cat

Maine Coon Cat

10 Things To Know Before Bringing Home Your Maine Coon Cat

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Also known as the “gentle giant”, Maine Coon cats are very popular on the Internet and know to be wonderful pets. They are so popular that they are the most Goggled kitty cat in the USA. Their appreciative and kind nature makes them super socially acceptable by pet owners and even other pets. Maine Coon cats continue to be a cat breed that gets well-deserved attention and adopted into forever homes frequently. If you are considering adopting a new Maine Coon cat, you are in for a very special journey. To prepare you, this post is all about top ten things you should know before bringing home your Maine Coon cat.

How Big Does A Main Coon Cat Get?

There is no doubt; Maine Coon cats are huge, especially male cats. Their size is so big they are sometimes mistaken for larger wild animals such as bobcats. Take an average house cat for example and compare it to a typical male Maine Coon cat. You will immediately see the difference. A house cat might be 15” to 18” long where as a male Maine Coon is up to 40” long. That is over double the size and although each example might vary in size, you get the idea!

Maine Coon Cat

up to 40″ long

Average House Cat

15″ to 18″ long

But don’t let the size of this gentle giant scare you. Unlike a lion or tiger, this gentle giant’s size is much bigger then his bite. He would much rather sit in your lap and stare at your face while you shower him with attention. A Maine Coon cat is very affectionate and loves to show you how much he appreciates you.

Maine Coon cats look very much like the Norwegian Forest Cat breed. Their faces are very similar and the huskiness of their bodies with the fluffy fur looks the same. Norwegian cats are said to have been a popular way Viking ships kept mice at bay in the 1800’s. Having feisty felines accompany ships across the globe was a common practice for rat and mouse management, so it is very reasonable to think cats were being transported on Viking ships. When ships dock, kitty cats hopped off and took turned into typical tourists on a party line boat. They roamed the island and possibly mated with the island shorter haired kitty cats. Walla, the Maine Coon cat was born! And from there, multiplied.

Coat 

This cat was built for cold weather. The Maine Coon has a thick and luscious coat to keep her warm all winter long. Her tail is floofy and long, which she uses to wrap around her body for extra heat. The paws are big and have tufts, which act like snowshoes to carry her around cold climates.

Maine Coons are uber popular in Maine (very cold weather) and are reported to have evolved since adoption in the states from Maine; hence the name Maine Coon.

This also explains how she evolved into the furry feline Eskimo she is today. The coolest thing is, she is thought to be a breed of kitty that has evolved on her own. There has been very little human intervention involved. Her key attributes are from evolving to adjust to the environment she started.

Overall Health

Despite the Main Coon’s laid-back and sweet nature, this kitty was not able to escape a few health challenges commonly seen in this breed. The good news is, you can play a roll to help her minimize conditions by proactively managing her lifestyle.

Understanding common health issues can help you stay aware and navigate these challenges. Staying informed of what to watch for and also steps you can take to proactively avoid these possible conditions will help you both have have a wonderful and harmonious journey.

Maine Coons can live happy, vibrant lives and many live to be the ripe age of 15 with the average life span being 10 years old.

Hip Dysplasia

This is a condition rarely found in felines, although it is rather common in Maine Coon cats. In laymen terms, the ball and socket of the cat is misaligned. Since it is more common in Maine Coon cats than any other breed experts believe it could be a genetic disorder. Over time, the misaligned ball and socket gets worse and can be very painful for the cat. It is very important to proactively approach this condition by helping your Maine Coon stay physically active. If you adopt a Maine Coon at a young age, take advantage of the time you can avoid this condition by providing cat food low in carbohydrate. Obesity will worsen the condition so helping your cat stay physically active and normal weight will help her tremendously.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

This is a condition common in cats, especially the Maine Coon, Persian and Sphynx. Much like humans, these breeds may be more susceptible to getting this type of heart disease due to genetics, so an active lifestyle and proper diet will be key to prevention. Common symptoms your cat has Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is lethargy, panting and open mouth breathing. You should take your cat to the vet and have a thorough panel of tests done if you start to see your Maine Coon cat showing signs.

Obesity

Maine Coons are so big in height and width, when they get overweight it is much harder on their bodies than an average build. In addition to excess fat, their fur is very hardy and thick, carrying all the extra pounds around takes a toll on your feline’s organs. This is why it is so important to regularly exercise your Maine Coon. Feeding a healthy diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates is also important. Obesity is the one condition the owner has the most control over, so taking advantage of lifestyle management will help your cat’s over health.

Focusing on obesity prevention will also help to prevent the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Hip Dysplasia. Working with your vet to build goals and stick with healthy eating will pay off tremendously. During play exercise you will bond with your new Maine Coon making it fun for both you and your new feline.

Grooming

As a cat owner of a Maine Coon, you will want to be prepared to brush her regularly to help circulate her fur. Brushing your new Maine Coon 3-4 times a week should be expected. The best brush to use for her frequent grooms is a soft brush and a wire brush intermittently. This will provide her with optimal fur removal while also massaging her skin (with a softer bristle brush) and giving her a nice massage. 

You can even bathe her from time to time to help loosen fur and prevent matting. Some owners like to trim their fur especially if living in warmer clients. You can also check with a professional groomer in your area that can provide services monthly or bi-monthly and give you great maintenance tips to use in between visits.

Personality: Are Maine Coon Cats Aggressive?

Not only are Maine Cats known as the “gentle giant” they are very sweet natured and love to cuddle. For this reason, they make wonderful companions for almost any age loving cat owner. So no, Maine Coon cats are not typically aggressive.

Water Friendly

Most cats loathe water unless they can lap it up with their tongue. A Maine Coon on the other hand, might love a bathtub full of water! A good way to find out if your Maine Coon is one among many of this breed who likes to splash around is fill up your seek or bathtub with warm water. Splash your hand around and see how he reacts. You might be surprised to watch him jump right in and do a few laps around his newfound pool.

If you adopt this breed as a kitten, you can start him early in introducing him to water. This could be very helpful in your grooming practices as bathing a Maine Coon can prevent matting of the thick fur covering his massive body.

Costs

Since Maine Coon cats are so big, you should be prepared to pay more in food, toys, litter and even extra litter boxes. You literally have a mini lion in your home (who is much tamer than a real lion of course) so expect to need at least two times the supplies of an average house cat. A good way to address this issue before it becomes an issue is to speak with a loving Maine Cat owner who can brief you on her costs. Then input the monthly costs into your budget and see if it is appropriate for your situation.

Maine Coons are one of the most popular breeds in the catosphere for a reason; they are a very good addition to all types of homes. They like kids, enjoy their owners, get along with other cats and are very laid back. Doing research in advance will ensure a smooth transition of bringing your new Maine Coon cat home. 

Kritter Kommunity Contributor

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