9 facts about Maine Coon cats that breeders don’t talk about
My husband and I dreamed of having a Maine Coon cat for 10 years, but we dared to have it only when we had our own apartment and already had children. This is how the three-month-old Maine Coon, whom we call Mus, began to live with us. Since then I have heard many warnings that he will eat us, as well as many questions about why he is so small – other Maine Coons can grow to the size of a lynx.
Musa is now 10 months old and we are quite used to living with each other. During this time, I checked all the myths about Maine Coons and really want to tell Bright Side readers the whole truth and lies about this breed.
In fact, they are not that big.
Perhaps each of us has seen photographs from cat shows, where the happy owners of Maine Coons stretch them to their full height, which makes these animals look huge. Legend has it that these cats can weigh between 35 and 60 pounds. In fact, they are not as big as the breeders are trying to make us think. They have their own standard: 11-18 pounds for men (spayed can go up to 27 pounds) and 6.5-11 pounds for women (spayed can reach 17 pounds).
Compared to my parents’ tabby cat, it weighs a little over 11 pounds, as does the rather large Maine Coon cat. Then why do cats of this breed look so huge in their photos? First of all, the correct angle, when the head of the animal is closer to the camera than the head of the owner, and where his body looks long, makes the cat look like a giant.
Secondly, Maine Coons are really larger than other domestic cats. They have well-developed muscles and very strong legs. As a rule, these parameters can be seen even in kittens. Have you ever wondered why it is said that cats have nine live? Check it out now!
Maine Coons Cats have their own diseases.
These cats are adapted to life in harsh climatic conditions, therefore they often have good health and a long life expectancy. According to Swedish domestic cat life insurance data for 2003-2006, the average lifespan of Maine Coons was about 12 and a half years, with more than 50% of these animals living longer.
However, the breed has specific diseases. One of them is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This disease usually manifests itself in middle and old age. This can lead to pulmonary edema, sudden hind limb paralysis and death. Due to heart problems, they need to have an ECG and ultrasound of the heart before castration or sterilization.
Another specific problem for the breed is muscular atrophy of the spine. This can be seen even in kittens – the back of their body sways when walking, moreover, they cannot jump on furniture.
Maine Coons are also more likely to suffer from hip dysplasia than other breeds. This disease manifests itself in old age, and the animal begins to limp.
They are friendly but not tamed.
Maine Coons are often called “soft and gentle giants” for their flexible and kind nature. Breeders say these cats are loyal to other pets and children and, like dogs, are loyal to their owners. Our cat doesn’t bite or scratch when our 10 month olds try to play with him.
But breeders don’t tell you that Maine Coons don’t like being picked up or hugged. These cats are affectionate only when they want to.
First, these cats mature later than other cats. They reach sexual maturity at 1 year, and at 3, and in some cases at 5 years, they stop growing. Secondly, even having matured, Maine Coons preserve their childhood.
They also improve their jumping skills as they get older. This is why they can sometimes be found on the kitchen table, stealing a flower from a vase, or knocking a porcelain figurine off a shelf. Experienced Maine Coon owners remove all this even from the highest shelves.
These cats may be too loud.
Many Maine Coon owners claim that the vocal cords of these cats have a special structure and, instead of meowing, they make melodic sounds. This is not entirely true. These cats are really capable of making melodic sounds, but they also know how to meow like regular cats. You can get a very talkative Maine Coon, so don’t listen to breeders if you are someone who loves silence.
They like to play with water.
Some experts believe that this trait came to the Maine Coons from their distant ancestors – ship cats, who spent a long time at sea. Many owners claim that their pets are amusingly moving their paws in the water, as if doing some kind of magic – in fact, they are “digging” the water. It is believed that this habit remained at their genetic level from living in the wild, when it was necessary to clear puddles of branches and leaves.
Often, Maine Coons turn the bowl of water over and flood the floor, “digging” the water. Therefore, some owners put a large basket of water in the bathtub, which cannot be turned over.
Seeing a large bowl of water, our pet loves to lower its paw into it and drink from it, as we drink from our own hand.
They don’t like being alone.
Maine Coons have a lot in common with dogs. As a rule, they choose one owner and remain faithful to them for life. If your cat has chosen you from all the members of your family, you are in luck, but there are also disadvantages. They will likely keep you from isolating in the toilet or bathroom. The doors in the room you are in should always be open.
These animals mostly hate being alone. At the same time, cats of this breed can be taught some canine tricks. Our cat knows the command “Come on, come on!”. Some owners claim that they even taught their Maine Coons the Sit command.
These cats are choosy.
Maine Coons love and know how to take good care of themselves. Sometimes it can seem like they are obsessed with their appearance. There is also a downside to this feature – it is difficult to meet their needs when it comes to the cleanliness of their litter box. We had to try many different cat litter before we found one that he approved.
Moreover, representatives of this breed take great care of their nails. In order not to scratch loved ones, Maine Coons scratch everything around. The notebook will not help, because it will become another “manicure” stain, which does not necessarily prevent them from using others (chairs, wallpaper, sofa).
They don’t have to be brutal.
It is believed that Maine Coons have a very bright appearance. All because of the specific predatory cut of the eyes and the massive mustache and chin area, which is called the “box”. Some jokingly compare their pets to Ron Perlman.
In fact, this breed has 2 types: Eurocoons and American Long-haired. The brutal look is characteristic of Eurocoons. American Longhair cats have a sleeker muzzle and smaller ears with neat tassels. Their hair is also thicker and silkier.
Would you buy yourself a Maine Coon? Do you already have one? Please tell us about your pet.