Maine Coon cat ideal weight and nutrition
A Female Maine Coon cat weighs 8-12 pounds (3.5-5.5 kg) and a male Maine Coon cat weighs more. They need an average of 400 kcal/ day, meaning 100 grams of dry food per day. This of course varies as per the cat’s weight and lifestyle.
A balanced and rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and fibers will help prevent most health problems. In the market there are now available meals specially designed for the Maine Coon cat, with adapted levels of magnesium, sodium, potassium, arginine, EPA and DHA, taurine, L-carnitine, and antioxidants (vitamins E and C and green tea and grape polyphenols) that support and maintain their cardiac (heart) function. Moreover they reinforce the barrier role of the skin and reveal the natural beauty and color of their coat. They also encourage a good oral-dental hygiene and support the joints of their powerful skeleton.
Maine Coon kittens care
When you introduce a kitten to your home let it find its own way out of the basket and allow it to explore one room at a time. Make sure that all doors and windows are shut, to prevent the kitten from escaping.
Maine Coon kittens are very often frightened by children or other pets that are new to them. Children should therefore be recommended to be quiet and wait for the kitten to adopt to the new environment, while other animals should be introduced later, gradually and one at a time. Remember that adult cats might attack to the baby cat, since they confront it as a competitor and therefore as an enemy.
Talk to your Maine Coon kitten and encourage it to play with a toy but do not overwhelm it with extreme attention.
Main Coon kittens need warmth, since they miss their mother and litter mates. If there is not some form of heating in the room at all times, buy a heated bed from a pet shop.
Maine Coon cat grooming
Although the Maine Coon cat is long-haired, its fur does not need to be groomed more than once a week. Use a brush with metal bristles, that also helps detangle hair as it works. The brushing movements need to be repetitive, however delicate. Special attention needs to be paid to the underarms and under the tail and tummy, areas where the fur may rub and knots occur more commonly. Work through the fur from head to tail to remove dead and loose hair. Be extra-gentle near her chest and belly to avoid injuring your Coon. Regular grooming will improve the blood circulation and help avoid many unpleasant and long-lasting infections and allergies.
However, be aware that Maine Coon cat coat sheds considerably during the seasonal change. Extra brushing is beneficial at this time to remove as much loose hair as possible before your Maine Coon swallows it and develops hairballs.
Tapeworms are parasites that live in the small intestine of cats. They will cause severe diarrhea, poor or extreme appetite, avitaminosis, lethargy, coughing and abdominal distention to your cat.
To find out more, check our tapeworm treatment guide.
When a cat grooms itself by licking its own fur, it will swallow some of its own hair. Most of the hair passes all the way through the digestive tract with no problems. But if some hair stays in the stomach, it can form a hair ball.
To find out more check our hair ball treatment guide.
Even clean cats can pick up fleas, especially during the summer months. They get fleas through the contact with infested pets or through the contact with fleas in the environment (e.g. from an infected bedding).
To find out more check our fleas prevention guide.
Maine Coon cat care
Their ears require a great deal of hygiene as they are prone to serious infections. Consult your vet on choosing the proper cat ear cleaning solution and use it to remove the excess of wax, debris and dead tissues.
Their teeth should be checked periodically and brushed with a special wipe to prevent teeth and gum diseases. In the market there are also a lot of cat toys, specially designed to remove food wastes and prevent teeth irritation.
A litter tray must be available at all times and kept in the same place. Solid matter and wet lumps should be removed from the tray frequently and the litter renewed when necessary. The tray should be washed and disinfected frequently. Rinse thoroughly after disinfecting and allow drying before use. The Main Coon cat is very fussy and will not use a dirty tray.
Never give a Maine Coon cat any drugs that have not been prescribed for it; many human drugs are poisonous to cats. Seek veterinary advice immediately if you suspect any form of poisoning.
Make sure that toys or parts of them cannot be swallowed. Plastic bags and rubber bands can be extremely dangerous, because they do not show up on an X-ray.
Maine Coon cat health and lifespan
The Maine Coon cat is generally healthy and has evolved to survive the New England climate. Its longevity range is 9-13 years.
The most severe threat is feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM),a disease that affects young to middle aged cats. It is is usually discovered during a routine annual health checkup, as the vet will hear a faster heart rate and perhaps congestion sounds in the lungs. The pulse also feels weak.
If left undiagnosed, the most common indication of HCM is pain, associated with blood clot formation in the aorta. HCM is treated with diuretics, such as furosemide, diltiazem, and nitroglycerine ointment. ACE inhibitors, can be beneficial, while some cats respond to essential fatty acid (EFA) supplements and the antioxidants selenium and vitamin E.
Another potential health problem is spinal muscular atrophy(SMA), another genetically inherited disease which causes the loss of the neurons in the spinal cord that activate the skeletal muscles of the trunk and limbs.
Hip dysplasia can also be seen in Maine Coon cat. Symptoms include swaying or waddling walk, and/or knock-kneed. Due to his difficulty in moving, your cat may appear to be lazy.
The condition begins as the cat is growing, caused when the hip joint develops improperly and results in a loose fitting and malformed ball-and-socket joint. Hip Dysplasia is aggravated by excessive use of the joint and it eventually develops into arthritis.
An X-ray is required to make a definite diagnosis.
Although the case is not curable, you can take measures at home to make your pet more comfortable. Keep the environment warm and dry, don't let your cat jump or exercise heavily, neither become overweight. In severe cases, you may consider joint surgery. Nonsurgical options include giving your cat painkillers whenever his pain becomes severe, acupuncture and gold bead implantation. The combined use of nutritional anti-oxidant supplements and glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate are very helpful in treating the condition and reducing joint pain.
Maine Coon cat legends
The Maria Antoinette legend
According to the legend, during the French Revolution Marie Antoinette commanded Captain Clough to smuggle her out of France to Maine.
The Captain had his ship loaded with the queen's luxurious furniture, clothing and jewelry and Marie Antoinette was a cat lover, Captain Clough took six of the queen's favorite long-haired cats on board.
But things went wrong and before Marie Antoinette made her escape, she was captured by the revolutionaries and thrown in prison to await execution. In fear of his own life, Captain Clough immediately set off with the cats to Maine.
On reaching Maine, the legend has it that the six long-haired kitties mated with local short-haired cats and produced the first litters of what was to become the Maine Coon cat breed.
The Captain Coon legend
An English Captain named Charles Coon gathered some dozens of long-haired cats to keep the rat population under control on board his ship. Whenever his ship dropped anchor at New England, the pack went ashore along with the captain. The seafaring long-haired cats of Captain Coon soon met with the local feral cat population and mating naturally occurred.
After the “maritime”cats had gone back to sea with Captain Coon, litters were produced with a proportion of long-haired kittens. Those hairy felines were referred to as Coon's cats.
The raccoons legend
According to the legend, the Maine Coon cat was the result of inter-breeding between raccoons and feral domestic cats. The certain inter-breeding of course is genetically impossible and the story is likely to have come about due to the brown tabby variety of America's native longhair having a fat ringed tail, in appearance similar to a raccoon's tail. In addition, Maine Coon cats often communicate with a chirpy trill, very similar to the sound of a young raccoon.
The Bobcats legend
According to the certain legend, the Main Coon cat came about through the mating of bobcats and domestic cats. Certainly, it is more likely for a bobcat to view a domestic feline as a potential lunch, rather than as a possible mating partner. However the fact that the Maine Coon cat has tufts on its ears and feet that are similar to the bobcats', caused this legend to spread.
Maine Coon cat history
The Maine Coon cat is well established more than a century ago as a hardy, handsome breed of domestic cat, well equipped to survive the hostile New England winters. The first written records concerning the certain breed take us back to 1861 and more specifically to a black and white cat named 'Captain Jenks of the Horse Marines' was shown in Boston and New York.
Then in late 1860s, some farmers of state of Maine held the Maine State Champion Coon Cats contest at the local Skowhegan Fair.
In 1865 a brown tabby Maine Coon cat named Cosie (Cosey) won the Best Cat silver collar and medal in the Madison Square Gardens Cat Show. Cosey was a female Maine Coon owned by Mrs. Fred Brown.
In 1895 twelve Maine Coon cats entered the cat show in Boston.
Unfortunately, their popularity as show cats declined in the 1900s, due the import of Persian cats. Although the Maine Coon remained a favorite cat in New England, the breed had to wait until the 1950's to regain its popularity in the cat shows.
Growing popularity of this breed cemented and in 1968 six breeders formed the Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association (MCBFA) to preserve and protect the breed. By 1980, all registries had recognized the Maine Coon cat and it was well on its way to regaining its former glory.
Today, Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association membership numbers over 1000 fanciers and 200 breeders.
Maine Coon cat personality
The Maine Coon cat is social and family-oriented creatures. It enjoys participating in family activities, especially those that involve water, such as gardening, bathing, shaving and washing up the dishes.
Loyal and friendly, the Maine Coon Cat is devoted to its human family, although it can be cautious, however not mean or shy with strangers. It also gets on well with children, other cats or even with dogs.
Although playful, it will not frazzle your nerves with ceaseless tearing around the house. Probably due to their working heritage, a Maine Coon cat knows when it is right to dig in and when to take it easy. It is neither lazy nor energy waster. Most enjoy a nice game early in the morning and again in the evening and the rest of the time they take it easy.
The Maine Coon cat is highly intelligent, too. Toys are an absolute must for their intellectuality demands active stimulation.
Most people agree that of the two sexes, a male Main Coon cat is more playful and jolly. The females seem more dignified, however more bonded to the whole family. On the other hand, males tend to choose a favorite and ignore the rest of the household, unless they feel they’re getting insufficient attention.
The Maine Coon cat is also famous for it unique mousing abilities, due not only to their quickness, but also to their vast paws.
It is not noisy like the Siamese cats, nor are they totally silent. They seldom produce a conventional “meow”, but have a unique vocabulary, similar to that of a raccoon, consisted of sweet cheeps, harsh purrs and weird trills.
Maine Coon cat breed standards
The Maine Coon cat is one of the largest cats. Its length can reach up to 40 inches (100 cm) including the tail and their weight up to 25 lb (11 kg) regarding females and 18 lb (18 kg) regarding males.
According to the Fédération Internationale Féline, a Maine Coon cat has a medium sized head with a square outline. Its profile shows a gently concave slope.
Its forehead is gently curved and their cheekbones are high and prominent.
Its face and nose are of medium length with a square outline of the muzzle. A distinct transition can be felt between the muzzle and the cheekbones.
The chin is firm and set in vertical alignment with the nose and the upper lip.
The ears are large, wide at the base and moderately pointed. Any lynx-tufts are desirable, while the tufts of hair in the ears should extend beyond the outer edges of the ears. The ears are placed high on the head with a very slight outward tilt. They should be set wide apart each other, with the width extending slightly in older Maine Coons. Their lower base should be set just slightly further back than the upper base.
The Maine Coon cat has large and slightly oval eyes, however not almond shaped. They are set wide apart and when wide open, they appear to be round. They are also set slightly slanted towards the outer base of the ear. All colors are permitted, however a clear eye color is more than desirable.
The male Maine Coon cat has a very strong muscled neck.
Both males and females possess a long body with a substantial bone structure. This should be hard muscled, powerful and large framed. Their chest should be broad, while all parts of the body should be in proportion to create a rectangular appearance.
The legs should be substantial and of medium length to form a rectangular with the body. The paws are large, round and well tufted.
The tail should be at least as long as the body (from the shoulder-blades to the base of the tail). It should be wide at the base, tapering to the tip, with full, flowing hair.
As for the Maine Coon cat coat, this is dense, short on the head, the shoulders and the legs, becoming gradually longer down the back and the sides and even longer and fuller on the hind legs and the belly. A frill is expected. Its texture is silky, while the coat has a distinct body, falling smoothly. The undercoat is soft and fine, covered by the coarse smooth outer-coat.
All coat color varieties are permitted for Maine Coon cat, including those with white. The only exception concerns the pointed patterns with chocolate, lilac, cinnamon and fawn.