Get Pet Insurance for your Cat & Dog
Terms and conditions apply*
Maine Coon Cat Breed Characteristics & Information
Maine Coon cats are a large breed of domestic cats that originated in the United States, particularly in the state of Maine. They are known for being good pets who can adapt to different kinds of environments.
In this article, we will understand their personality, characteristics, health concerns, and care requirements.
What Defines Maine Coon Cats?
Maine Coon cats are not a mixture of different breeds but are a distinct breed, said to have probably descended from the Norwegian Forest and Siberian cats that were brought to America by European settlers.
Identifying them includes noticing their large size, tufted ears, and rectangular-shaped bodies. Maine coons are ideal for people who enjoy dogs but prefer cats. These big, gentle cats with silky fur love to stick close, just like a puppy.
What are the Characteristics of Maine Coon Cats?
Maine Coon cats have several distinctive features and characteristics which make them highly sought after among cat lovers. Their different characteristics include:
- Lifespan: Maine Coon cats have a relatively long lifespan, typically averaging around 12 to 15 years, but they may live up to 20 years with proper care.
- Height: They are considered one of the tallest cat breeds, with adult males reaching up to 16-18 inches high and females reaching up to 14-16 inches high.
- Colour: Maine Coons can come in a range of colours, including white, red, black, and variations of tabby such as brown, grey, smoke, and silver.
- Weight: Maine Coon males can weigh up to 10 kg while females can weigh around 16.8 kg making them one of the largest cat breeds around.
- Behaviour and Personality: They are very friendly and enjoy the company of their human family, but they also get along well with other household pets.
- Living Conditions: Maine Coons are not strictly indoor cats; they are usually content with indoor living as long as they get sufficient space and attention from their owners.
- Temperament: Maine Coon cats are generally calm and gentle. They are curious and intelligent, and they may have a sense of humour.
- Coat and Breed: Maine Coons are known for their long and silky coats that require regular grooming. They belong to Domesticated and Maine Coon groups.
How to Train Maine Coon Cats?
Maine Coon cats are relatively intelligent and can be trained easily like other pets, but they may need some specific training. Here are a few tips on how to train them:
- Clicker: To teach your Maine Coon with a clicker, start by giving treats every time it hears the click sound. When your cat connects the click to get a treat, you can then use the clicker to teach it different tricks.
- Teach them Tricks: They can learn a variety of tricks, including a handshake, jump, sit, high five, and rollover. These tricks can be taught using positive reinforcement techniques, such as giving a treat for every successful attempt.
- Discipline Training: As with any pet, it is important to teach your Maine Coon basic discipline training, such as not jumping onto countertops or chewing on furniture. Praise them when they behave well.
- Litter Box: Maine Coon cats are usually tidy and can be taught to use a litter box. They might need a bit of help at first to figure out where the box is and how to use it correctly.
What are the Health Problems with Maine Coon Cats?
Maine Coon cats might face specific health issues, so recognising the signs early can help owners prevent problems through timely action. Here are six common problems:
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: This is a genetic heart condition that is common in Maine Coon cats. Symptoms may include coughing, lethargy, and difficulty breathing.
- Hip Dysplasia: This is a condition in Maine Coon cats where the hip joint is malformed, resulting in pain and discomfort for the cat.
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy: This is a genetic disease that causes muscle weakness in the hind legs and can lead to paralysis of the legs.
- Arthritis: Arthritis can also affect Maine Coons. Symptoms may include stiffness when walking, limping, and difficulty jumping.
- Polycystic Kidney Disease: This is a hereditary disease that affects the kidney function of a Maine Coon cat, which can lead to kidney failure.
- Stomatitis: This is a condition where the Maine Coon cat’s gums become inflamed and painful. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss and other oral health problems.
How to Take Care of Maine Coon Cats?
Taking care of a Maine Coon cat requires some effort as they are a high-maintenance breed, but it is not necessarily difficult. Here are some tips to keep them healthy:
- Diet and Nutrition: Maine Coon cats enjoy eating chicken, fish, and dry, and wet cat food to stay active. Because they're big and full of energy, they require lots of protein for their playful nature.
- Feeding: Maine Coon cats typically require around 200-300 calories per day. Portion their meals based on age, weight, and activity level. Split their daily food into multiple small meals for balanced nutrition.
- Grooming: Maine Coons require regular grooming to keep their silky coat free of tangles and mats. Brushing should be done at least twice a week, but daily brushing is preferred. Also, check for fleas and ticks regularly.
- Exercise: Maine Coons are active cats and require regular exercise to stay in good shape. Provide them with toys and play with them regularly to keep them physically and mentally engaged.
- Bathing: Bathing your Maine Coon is not required very often, so frequency can be once a month or so, In case of dirt or mud over the coat. Maine Coons do not like water, so it is important to be gentle and use cat-friendly shampoos.
- Ear Care: Maine Coons may be prone to ear infections, so it is important to clean their ears regularly and observe any signs of infection, like odour or discharge. Use a vet-approved ear-cleaning solution.
Maine Coon cats are a wonderful breed of pet that combine elegance and affection in one package. They are friendly, loyal, and intelligent, making them a great option for households with children and pets. With some knowledge of their characteristics, training, and care, Maine Coon cats can be a joy to own and love for years to come.