Maine coon is one of the most popular cat breeds in the US. Also, they are one of the oldest natural cat breeds in the US. They are native to the state of Maine. However, how they originated remains a mystery. Several theories try to explain the origin of this amazing cat breed.
Maine Coon cats a very sociable, loyal, friendly, and very playful. They get along well with children and other pets. Since they are adapted to live on the east coast, they have a long multi-layered coat and large paws to help them walk on snow. Also, they have long ears with tufts and bushy tails.
How much are Maine Coon Cats
Maine coon prices range between 400 USD -1500 USD. They are expensive because only a few breeders breed Maine Coons. This is because caring for a Maine coon kitten is expensive. However, when buying a Maine Coon cat, ensure that they are healthy.
How to care for Maine Coon Cats
1.Feed your Maine coon a healthy and balanced diet
Maine Coon needs a high-quality diet to stay healthy. Due to their active nature and huge body, it is vital to ensure that the food you feed your Maine coon is well balanced with all the nutrients he needs. Usually, Maine coons are at a high risk of becoming obese if they are fed on a poor diet. Therefore, ensure that your kitty’s food is high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
However, if your cat has special dietary needs due to their medical condition, ensure that you stick to the diet prescribed by the veterinarian. When choosing your cat’s food, look for cat food that is enhanced with taurine. Taurine is an amino acid that cats require for healthy eyes and heart. Other essential nutrients to look for in your cat’s food include Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids and Vitamin E for healthy skin and coat.
When feeding your Maine Coon, ensure that you maintain a regular feeding schedule. Most cat food brands indicate on the packages the amount you should feed your cat daily relative to their weight. Feed the amount indicated in 2 portions, one in the morning and the other one in the evening. It is recommended to feed your Maine Coon again after twelve hours.
Free feeding is not recommended for Maine Coon cats or any other adult cat. This is because your cat may eat not because they are hungry but because they are bored. Thus, they may be at a high risk of becoming obese if they do not exercise regularly.
The best food for a Maine Coon should be high in proteins, moderate in healthy fats, and low in carbohydrates. High-quality protein sources include chicken, turkey, lamb, duck, rabbit, or fish. Proteins help your cat build and maintain healthy muscles. On the other hand, carbohydrates when taken in excess are stores as fats hence causing weight problems for your kitty. Also, look for food with no fillers such as soy and corn, and meat by-products.
2. Ensure there is a constant supply of clean water
Just like other cats, Maine Coons need a constant supply of clean drinking water at all time. Therefore, ensure that you clean your cat’s water bowls daily and put clean drinking water. Also, if you have more than one cat, ensure that there is a water bowl for every cat.
Water intake is essential for the cat’s body functions to work properly. Also, it helps prevent dehydration that would cause urinary problems and constipation.
3. Provide a large litter box for your Maine coon
Since Maine Coons are large cat breeds, provide a large litter tray where they can move around and do their business with ease. Also, the right size litter box will prevent litter scatters and litter box accidents.
Moreover, place the litter boxes in places where your cat can easily access them. However, avoid placing the litter box near their food or water bowl. Also, ensure you clean the litter box regularly since your cat may avoid using a smelly litter box.
4. Give your Maine coon enough daily exercises.
Maine Coons are muscular cats with a very high level of energy. Therefore, ensure that your cat exercises regularly to maintain healthy body weight. Ensure that you provide toys and enough space where they can play. However, if you are not at home all day, get your cat climbing trees since they love climbing. Also, you can take your Maine Coon for a walk on a harness.
5. Spend time and play with your Maine coon
Maine coons are enthusiastic about playing. Since they also love the company, spend time with him playing with interactive toys or playing fetch. Moreover, your kitty will get some exercise playing with you.
Additionally, playtime is a great bonding time for you and your cat. Also, if you are not at home throughout the day, get him toys that will stimulate his hunting skills. These toys may include a battery-operated mouse that they can chase around all day.
Read Also: How to Encourage Your Cat to Exercise
6. Vaccinate your Maine coon
Cat vaccinations are important. Maine Coons need shots against rabies, Feline Herpes Virus, and Feline Leukemia Virus. If your cat contracts any of the aforementioned diseases, they can be fatal to him.
Even if your cat is strictly an indoor cat, they will need the shots since they can still get exposed to the viruses. However, do not over-vaccinate your cat. Give your cat only the shots recommended by your vet.
7. Take your Maine coon for regular vet check-ups
Maine coons are susceptible to health conditions like hip dysplasia, spinal muscular atrophy, and kidney diseases. Therefore, it is important to take your Maine Coon to the vet at least twice a year for checkups. Checkups are important because if your cat has an underlying health condition, it will be treated before it progresses and becomes fatal.
Signs that your cat needs vet’s attention immediately
If your Maine coon exhibits any of the following symptoms, take him to the veterinarian immediately
- Breathing difficulties that are accompanied by wheezing
- Excessive drooling
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Excessive grooming especially on the area around their genital area
- Running nose with frequent sneezing and coughing
- Constantly hiding
- Inability to get up or move
- Loss of appetite
- An abrupt change in their behavior
8. Brush your Maine Coon’s coat regularly
Maine Coons have a thick coat that comprises three layers. The undercoat is soft and it is the layer next to the skin that keeps him warm. The middle coat has bristle-like hair that also helps in keeping them warm. Finally, the topcoat is thick and protects Maine coon from environmental elements. However, the Maine Coon’s coat has a silky feel and can get matted easily if not brushed regularly.
Therefore, to prevent your cat’s fur from getting tangled, brush him daily with a comb whose bristles reach the depth of the coat. It is important to get your users to the brushing. Therefore, start brushing your cat’s coat when they are still kittens. They will get used and will not resist your efforts to brush their coat. Brushing also helps in removing loose hairs from your kitty’s coat.
9. Bath your Maine coon when necessary
Maine Coons are very neat cat. They love grooming themselves a lot. However, their fur may become greasy and stringy. Then, you should bath them. Ensure that you use lukewarm water and cat shampoo and lather in. Bathe your kitty and rinse it thoroughly. Avoid splashing water on his face and in his ears. Once done, dry him with a clean towel to remove excess water and let him go. You can do it in a bathtub.
10. Trim your cat’s claws once in a while
Maine Coon’s claws are long, curved and hooked as an adaptation to hunting. However, these claws can become troublesome when left unkempt. They can stick in fabrics, curtains, and carpets. Thus, to prevent such damages, trim your cat’s nails once in a while.
If you are unable to do it, take him to the groomer’s and get his claws trimmed. However, if you are to do it at home, ensure that you get the right tools meant for cats to do it. Clipping your Maine Coon’s claws is also important to prevent the claws from tearing his paws.
11. Brush your Maine coon’s teeth regularly
Maintaining dental hygiene is as important to your cat as it is too human. If your cat’s teeth are not cleaned regularly, he is at a high risk of getting plaque, tooth decay, and other gum diseases. Therefore, it is important to maintain teeth cleaning routine for your Maine coon to promote dental health.
However, ensure that you use a brush and cat toothpaste to clean your kitty’s teeth. Additionally, you can give your Maine coon dry cat food once in a while. The act of chewing the dry kibbles helps in cleaning your furry baby’s teeth and prevents plaque buildup.
12. Clean your Maine coon’s ears weekly
Maine coon’s cats can get dirty and waxy. These make the perfect conditions for infection-causing bacteria to thrive. Ear infections are common to all cats. Therefore, you need to clean your Maine Coon’s ears one every week to prevent dirt build-up. However, if your cat has discharge coming from their ears, take them to the vet as it is a sign of ear infection.
13. Spay or neuter your Maine Coon
Spaying and neutering cats is a small procedure that has great benefits. Therefore, it is important to get your Maine Coon fixed while they are still young to prevent unwanted kittens. Many homeless cats are euthanized every year. Thus, prevent the problem of stray cats by getting your kitty spayed/neutered.
The procedure also has great health benefits. For instance, it prevents uterine infections in female cats and prostate problems in male cats. Also, it prevents some kinds of cancers. Therefore, your Maine Coon will live a long and healthy life.
Furthermore, spaying or neutering your Maine coon prevents some unwanted behaviors. When your cat is fixed, they will not go through the heat cycles which are characterized by urine spraying everywhere, excessive meowing, and yowling for female cats. After spaying your male cat, they will not try to escape to look for females which may get them into fights with other cats and get injured.
Common health issues affecting Maine Coon Cats
1.Spinal muscular atrophy
This condition manifests itself as a form of paralysis. Usually, it affects Maine coon kittens and they get difficult to use their rear legs. If you notice your kitten dragging their rear feet or walking with difficulty, take him to the vet immediately.
2. Heart problems
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is the most common heart problem affecting Maine coon cats. It is whereby the wall of the cat’s heart thickens. This can only be diagnosed through regular heart examinations by your veterinarian.
This is a condition whereby cysts form in the cat’s kidney hence destroying the organ. This condition is detectable through ultrasounds and DNA tests.
4. Hip dysplasia
This is a type of arthritis in your Maine Coon’s hips. Signs mostly include trouble walking or jumping. Therefore, if you notice that your cat is avoiding walking or jumping and is exhibiting signs of pain, take him to your veterinarian.
Maine Coon personalities and traits
Maine coons are the largest breed of domestic cats. Initially, they were outdoor cats but later become working cats that kept homes and barns free from rodents. Their head is large and their ears tall. Also, their chest is broad and are muscular with thick legs.
Additionally, their coat is heavy with a silky touch and drapes longer on the stomach and is the legs. However, the coat is short on the shoulders
Here are Maine Coon’s personality
1.They are very gentle
Maine coons are usually referred to as gentle giants. This is because of their large size and sweet-tempered. They are very loving especially to family members and other animals. Also, they adapt very easily to a new environment.
2. They chirp when excited
Maine coons are not very vocal cats. However, instead of meowing, they make chirping like sounds. They make short soft chirping-like sounds when they are excited. Thus, their sound is sweet and not annoying at all. Moreover, their voice is high just like a kitten’s which is very sweet.
3. They are excellent hunters
Initially, Maine coon was domesticated to catch rodents in homes and barns. This cat breed loves to hunt and chase toys around. Thus, ensure that you provide enough interactive toys for your Maine Coon and spend time playing with him. Furthermore, this cat breed is very friendly with children. However,when introducing a new cat to your household, do it gradually since they are dominant cats.
4. They are playful
Maine coon cats are cats full of energy. Thus, they are very playful, tolerant, and sociable. They love interacting and enjoys human company. Therefore, they are the perfect cat breed for households with small children.
5. They are the ‘dogs of the cats’ world’
Maine Coons have a loyal nature just like dogs. Also, just like dogs, your Maine coon is most likely to greet you at the door with their tails almost wagging his tail happily. Additionally, they will play fetch just like dogs. Therefore, if you are looking for an intelligent, loyal, loving, and playful and attention-loving cat for your household, the Maine Coon is the perfect breed for you.
6. They are anxious especially to strangers
Maine Coon is wary around strangers. They are untrusting and nervous around unfamiliar people. In some cases, they may run and hide. However, once they feel safe, they will come out of hiding. Never force your cat to face a situation that scares him. Let him feel safe and he will come out on his own.