Maine Coon Cat Travelling

Main coon catYour Maine Coon Cat will enjoy traveling more than any other breed of cat. These highly social animals love to see new things and new places – and they hate to be left behind in unfamiliar territory.

With that said. If you must travel without your Maine Coon, try to find someone who will come to stay at the cat’s home, instead of sending him to a kennel or to a relative’s home. You could also have someone simply come into feed him and take care of the litter box, but if you will be gone for long, your Maine Coon will become very lonely, and worry about what has happened to you. This is very stressful for him.

If you can take him with you, the first thing that you need is a carrier. Remember that Maine Coons grow to be very large, and carriers can be expensive. Therefore, purchase one for your kitten that will still accommodate him when he is fully grown. He should have room to stand up, turn around, and to stretch out to sleep.

These carriers are typically enclosed, as opposed to open type cages. Make sure that there is plenty of ventilation and that you position the carrier so that you can still see the cat inside. Also, when traveling by car, use the seat belt and strap the carrier in. This way, if you have an accident, the cat will be better protected. These carriers are very sturdy, but can still get tossed around the car, causing injury.

If traveling by train or air, call the airline or train depot well ahead of your departure date. Find out the protocol for checking your Maine Coon in. Also inquire about the carrier regulations, and make sure that your carrier will pass muster – otherwise, your Maine Coon isn’t getting on the plane or train!

Note that some airlines and railway companies will not transport pets. Make sure that you ask before making your reservations. Also note that many hotels do not allow pets. Again, make sure that you inquire before making a reservation. If you will be staying with a friend or relative, make sure that they know that you are bringing your Maine Coon, and ask if it is a problem. Make sure that the cat can be accommodated indoors.

Finally, make sure that you pack properly for your Maine Coon. He needs his bedding, his favorite toys, his food, his food and water bowls, a litter box, his brand of litter, and any medications that he regularly takes. He also needs his vaccination records, and the name and phone number of your veterinarian. He will also need a leash and harness.

If traveling by car, make sure that you stop and let him out on the leash and harness so that he can ‘stretch his legs’ a bit about every two to three hours. Have a water dish and bottled water handy as well for car trips. If your Maine Coon doesn’t travel well – and gets car sick – ask your veterinarian about the correct dosage of Dramamine.


Cat Carriers & Exhibition Cages


Polydactyl Maine Coon Cats

Polydactyl maine coone cat 7toesWhen it comes to polydactyl Maine Coon Cats, there is a great deal of debate. Many breeders try to breed them out, while others actually want polydactyls. Some shows will allow polydactyls, while others will either disqualify them, or give them lower scores. A polydactyl cat is a cat that has an extra toe on one or both front paws, and the back paws as well.

It is believed that the polydactyl trait in Maine Coons comes from breeding between American cats, and cats that came over from England in the 1600s. The polydactyl state exists through a dominant gene, and occurs 40 to 50 percent of the time. Note that polydactyl does not cause any pain or health problems for the cat.

Luckily, because some breeders do want polydactyls, and some don’t, determining whether a kitten will be polydactyl or not is easily decided. If you want a polydactyl, simply mate two polydactyls. If you don’t, mate two non-polys. You should know, however, that while a polydactyl is not a problem, you will need to clip the toenails more often to avoid injury and pain that could occur because there is an extra toe.

Any animal can be a polydactyl, but this is a trait that is very dominant among Maine Coons. Maine Coons originally were predominately polydactyl, right up until the breed standards were set by the various cat organizations, which deemed polydactyl to be a bad thing. Because there are no ill effects from polydactyl, it is clear that breeders breed it out simply to make the cats more suitable for showing.

Polydactyl Maine Coons have gone from being highly desired to being highly feared. At one time, sailors considered Polydactyls to be lucky. It is even said that nature intended these cats to have extra toes because it helps them to keep their balance on rocking ships. There was a time when Maine Coons were ‘working cats.’ Their job was to catch rodents on ships and at harbors.

The fear settled in during the time when people were being burned for suspected witchcraft. Everything was suspect then, and a cat with six toes was also destroyed – typically burned – because it was thought to either possess evil qualities, or to be used by humans for the purpose of witchcraft.



The debate, of course, still rages on. What many poly-dactyl supporters argue is that poly-dactyls in other breeds are accepted in shows, but it is only poly-dactyl Maine Coons that are discriminated against. Polydactyls are allowed to participate in certain divisions of a show, but never in championship divisions or purebred divisions.

There are those polydactyl supporters who are fighting to have the standard – and the rules – changed, so that polydactyls can fully participate. They are also working to make people realize that poly-dactyl is an integral part of the Maine Coon Cats heritage. Hopefully, with time, this will be recognized, and steps will be taken to preserve this heritage, and to make things a bit more fair on the show circuit.