The Maine Coon cat is famous for being one of the largest in the world when it comes to domestic cats. It is a large, robust feline with a docile character. However, because of its peculiarities in terms of characteristics, personality or care, it will be essential to inform us in advance if our will is to adopt one. Known as the “gentle giant” cat, this feline is one of the most popular giant cat breeds.
In this breed sheet of ‘ Pets Feed’, we will share with you everything you need to know about the Maine coon cat, starting with its origins, going through its character and its care and ending with the frequent health problems of the breed, all these details are accompanied by photos of Maine coon.
Maine coon cat origin
The Maine coon is a breed endemic to the United States, especially the state of Maine. It is estimated that around 1850 long haired cats arrived from Europe and Asia, which mated with local short haired cats, which resulted in large, long haired and construction cats robust. Its ringed tail reminded that of raccoons, for this reason, it is known as “coon”, short for raccoon.
This breed was popular in rural areas and was common on farms in northeastern America. They were imported from the United Kingdom in 1980 and in 1982 they were recognized by FIFE. Later, in 1993, they were recognized by the GCCF. It is currently considered a popular pet around the world.
Characteristics of the Maine Coon cat
Without a doubt, one of the distinctive and most striking characteristics of this feline is its size. The Maine Coon is a powerful, robust and very strong cat, which leaves most domestic cat breeds far below their physical power. Its elongated and muscular body, its square and medium or large head, and a long hairy tail are distinguished by its physical composition.
On its rather square head, large deep eyes and large erect ears stand out, with long hairs which give it a very beautiful expression, and also something wild. The eyes can be any color, although light-eyed cats are generally preferred, but the color of the eyes of Maine Coon kittens is a matter of pure genetics.
The legs are also long and robust, muscular and prepared for any race or jump. If this animal is exercised correctly and gains muscle tone, it becomes an elegant but also majestic cat, light in its movements despite its size and size. Something he can achieve very easily thanks to his active energy and his constant desire to play and perform all kinds of activities.
The breed standard does not set limits on its size, although it is normal for it to double and almost in height for common and normal-sized cats, such as the American short-haired. As for the weight, it can also be very variable in proportion to its size, although the most common is that the specimens measure between 5 and 13 kilos, depending also on their sex and other variables.
The other defining characteristic of the Maine Coon cat is its fur, a long double-layer coat, very soft, dense in both its outer and inner layers. In areas such as the head, the ends of the legs or the shoulders are much shorter, and in other areas it exceeds the average length, such as the hind legs or the tail. The most common color in this cat is brown, but specimens can be found in all colors, except spot tones such as cinnamon.
- Cats weight: Females 4.5-7 kg, males: 7-13 kg
- Height at withers 25-45 cm, length from nose to tip of tail can reach 135 cm
- Life expectancy 12-15 years
Personality and character of the Maine Coon cat
The Maine Coon has a sweet character and is very playful and friendly. He likes human company and is a good pet. Perhaps because of its humble origin, this cat is used to sleeping outside and it is not uncommon to find it huddled in the strangest places. He enjoys the outdoors and hunting. The Maine Coon is distinguished by the pretty little twitter it emits.
We can define the character of Maine coon as friendly, playful and gentle. They are generally very sociable cats, who appreciate the company of their owners. However, to guarantee that a feline in the adult stage is balanced and sociable, special attention must be paid to the socialization of the cat in the kitten stage, which begins at 3 weeks of life and ends around 7 weeks of age. Until then, the kitten must remain with his mother and his brothers and sisters, which will allow him to know the feline language, the patterns of play or the inhibition of stings. At this stage, the maine coon kitten must also meet people and other animals to avoid possible fears in the adult stage.
They are also cats who will love to play and have fun at all stages, including during old age, similarly, they are considered as extremely intelligent felines, capable of recognizing very varied words and orders. As a peculiarity, we can talk about vocalization, and the Maine coon is a cat famous for its frequent howls, its twitter and its chatter. They are also fans of water and snow.
Owning a Maine Coon is recommended for dynamic families, familiar with cats, who may or may not include children. It is a very adaptable feline that you will appreciate in different environments, but especially in rural houses, where it can explore and manifest its instinctive behavior without limits. It is a particularly docile cat and, well socialized, does not generally present behavioral problems.
Maine Coon relationship with the owner and strangers
Oddly enough, but the devotion of the Maine Coon can be compared with the dog. This cat is peaceful and good-natured, get along well with children.
Maine Coons are inherent in self-entertainment, however, despite this quality, the animal also needs live communication. Therefore, the owner should devote at least half an hour of his time to the cat a day. Maine Coons are responsive to affection. These cats are alert but not shy. In a situation with strangers, they will prioritize observation over participation. These pets are highly trainable.
Cohabitation of cats with other animals
These cats get along well with other pets, but do not like rodents. Domestic predators will reach the latter in any case, even if the cage is far away.
Positive and negative qualities
The Maine Coon cat does not need much space, and the voice of these purrs also has its own peculiarity. Largely because of him, Maine Coons received the nickname “gentle giants”. These cats do not use the usual cat sounds. Rather, they emit a guttural murmur that leaves no owner indifferent.
Maine Coon is not an ordinary cat walking on its own. Unlike representatives of other breeds, these animals take into account the opinion of the owner and will never take revenge if he scolds them for something. Such a pet can be easily toilet trained.
The owner can often see the Maine Coon cat watching the view from the window or watching TV. This is due to the natural curiosity of the animal.
Maine Coon health
The Maine coon breed appears to have a high prevalence of a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It also shows a high prevalence of hip dysplasia. Ask the breeder about these aspects before deciding to buy.
It is advisable to visit the veterinarian every 6 or 12 months to carry out a general examination and to detect any health problems. In addition, the professional will guide us to properly follow the cat’s vaccination schedule, as well as the internal and external deworming that we must perform regularly. Preventive medicine is essential to ensure the good health of the cat. Likewise, we must be regularly aware of their behavior, their deposits or the possible expulsion of hairballs, which can be avoided with the use of malt for cats.
In summary, the most common Maine coon diseases are:
- Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Hip dysplasia
- Pectus excavatum
After good care and by applying the preventive medicine guidelines mentioned above, the life expectancy of the Maine coon is around 9 and 15 years.
When can a Maine Coon be neutered?
You can spray or castrate a cat at 9-12 months. Sometimes the Maine Coon’s body is formed as early as six months, and the doctor may prescribe spaying or castration during this period.
The Maine coon, like every cat, is unique and has its own food needs.
However, cats are carnivores and each cat must get 41 different specific nutrients in their food. The proportion of these nutrients will vary depending on age, lifestyle and general health.
It is therefore expected that an energetic growing kitten will need a different nutrient balance than that of a less active older cat.
It is necessary to pay attention to the amount of food necessary to maintain an ideal physical condition in accordance with the dietary guidelines and individual preferences regarding the type of food (wet or dry).
If you get a Maine Coon kitten from a breeder, it will give you a feeding schedule and it is important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same kitten food to avoid stomach upset. You can change the diet of a maine coon kitten, but this must be done very gradually, always ensuring that it does not develop digestive disorders and if this is the case, it is best to put it back to its original diet and discuss with the veterinarian before trying to change it again.
Older cats are not known to be picky eaters, but that does not mean that they can receive inferior food. It is best to feed a mature cat several times a day, making sure it is good quality food that meets all of its nutritional needs, which is especially important as cats get older. It is also essential to keep an eye on a cat’s weight, because if it starts to put too much on it, it can have a serious impact on its health and well-being in general. Like all other breeds, the Maine Coon needs easy access to fresh, clean water at all times.
Maine Coon cat care
Given its size, the Maine Coon does quite well with its hair, but does not stop needing frequent grooming to keep it in good condition. As with all cats, periodic vaccinations and pest control are recommended.
Although, like all cats, the Maine Coon generally spends long hours on personal grooming, due to its long coat, it will be advisable to devote a few hours weekly to brushing. This routine will help us keep her fur clean and beautiful, and it will also help us detect any dermis problems, pain or presence of parasites. You can use a card brush to comb it and, in the case of observing the knots, you must use a small cutter, specific for felines. In principle, we should not bathe it, because cats clean themselves, however, if our maine coon is used to kitten, we can also start a monthly bath routine, with the use of shampoo and conditioner specific to cats, that will help us maintain their flawless fur.
In order for our Maine Coon to express the natural behaviors of its species, we must provide it with a large sandbox where it can do your needs and cover the excrement, as well as several scrapers of different types in which it can sharpen its nails and perform typical marking behavior.
Finally, it will also be very important to pay attention to the environmental enrichment of the Maine Coon, a suitably adequate house, through feline structures, alleys, catnip, water fountains or canvas tunnels . Precisely because of its playful nature, the hours of play with the owner cannot be missed, in which we can use fishing rod type toys, food sales toys, the use of catnip or simple toys . Remember that a good play session should last between 20 and 40 minutes a day.
Mating Maine Coons
For mating, the Maine Coon must be one year old. If you start mating earlier, then you can cause serious harm to the health of the animal or get weak offspring. From about a year, the animal is considered quite adult, its instincts for mating begin to work. Mating Maine Coons with other cat breeds is prohibited.