Selecting a Maine Coon Cat
Your 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.