Selecting a Maine Coon Cat

Maine Coon with tufts of fur behind his earsYour selection of a Maine Coon Cat depends largely on your future plans. If you just want one to love and to be a part of your family, but you have no intention of showing the cat, you really don’t have to pick one – it will pick you. If you will be showing the cat, however, there are certain things that you will look for.

In either case, it is vital that you work with a top breeder, as opposed to a backyard breeder. You want to be certain that the environment that the kitten has been raised in is conducive not only to good health, but also to the development of a good personality.

You should have lots of questions for the breeder – and the breeder, in turn, should also have lots of questions for you. A good breeder doesn’t allow their kittens to go to people that the breeder doesn’t think is suitable.

A good breeder will also guarantee the cat’s good health. This is because top breeders have their kittens checked by a veterinarian before they are sold. They will have had the kitten tested for Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). They will also know that the queen and stud were devoid of any genetic disorders that may have been passed onto the kittens.

You should check the kitten for good muscle tone by picking it up and holding it. Maine Coon Cats are considered to be hearty, healthy animals. If the kitten feels ‘weak’ or ‘frail’ it typically means that it does not have good muscle tone, and that it may not be very healthy. Also look for obvious signs of ill health, such as sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and ears that appear to be full of dirt.

The kitten’s fur should have a shaggy appearance, but the fur itself will feel smooth. There should be no signs of any bald patches. Look down to its skin, and make sure that the skin isn’t dry either. Also be on the lookout for fleas. If fleas exist, the breeder probably isn’t taking good care of the cats. The breeder should not only guarantee the kitten’s good health – they should also put it in writing in their agreement with you.

The kitten should be playful and sociable, but not all kittens are. Therefore, look at the personalities of the adult cats in the breeder’s possession. Are these cats sociable? If not, you may want to work with another breeder.

Maine Coon Cats should stay with the breeder and their mother until they are between ten and twelve weeks old. Most top breeders keep the kittens for twelve weeks. In the agreement, the breeder will most likely require that you have the kitten spayed or neutered within a certain time frame, and may even require you to agree that you will keep the kitten indoors. Top breeders typically stipulate that if you are unable to keep the cat for any reason, that you return it to them. You will not, however, be refunded.

Meeting the Needs of Your Maine Coon Cat

Black Maine Coon "Bing" playing with my scarfAs special as Maine Coon Cats are, they have very basic needs. You can easily meet those needs when you know what they are. Here is a list of the basics, and some ideas to help you provide them:

Food and Water – All animals need this. You should purchase ceramic or plastic food dishes. Do not free feed your Maine Coon, or he will become overweight very fast. Instead, only put food down for him three to four times per day, as recommended by your veterinarian. Also, feed him dry cat food, and try to purchase food specifically designed for the Maine Coon breed. Do not feed him human food.

A Litter Box – This is an obvious need. The truth is that your Maine Coon Cat, like other cats, will prefer to use a litter box, instead of doing his business directly on the floor. Your cat will want to dig a hole, do his business, and cover it up when he is finished. He’s very tidy that way. Select a litter box that is big enough for him – and small enough for him at the same time. Some kittens are too small to get into large litter boxes easily. Also, make sure that you choose a quality, clumping litter, and that you scoop the box daily, and change the litter completely once a week.

Maine Coon cat BanditToys – Purchase toys that are designed for cats. There are many items in your home that can be turned into toys as well – such as a paper bag scrunched into a balll. But your cat also needs toys that he can chew on and paw at, as well as toys that will entertain him and provide him with the exercise that he needs. Choose toys that will entertain him when you are busy with other things, as well as toys that you can enjoy together. Make sure the toys are safe.

 

 

A Place to Call His Own – As any cat owner knows, the cat owns the house, all of the items in the house, and all of the people in the house. It’s his. But, he also needs a special place, such as a bed of his own. This should be the area where you also keep his toys, so that he recognizes it as being ‘his place.’

Love and Attention – Your Maine Coon is extremely social. This means that he not only needs your love and care, he also needs your time and attention. You don’t have to constantly cater to him, but you do need to have a special time each day, where he has all of your attention.

He needs play time and quite time with you. Make sure that you talk to him – and listen when he talks back. It’s only a matter of time until he knows exactly what you are saying, and you know what he is saying, despite the fact that you speak two different languages. Let him know – everyday – that he is loved, and he will do the same for you.