Get to know the Maine Coon
All you need to know about the breed
While some felines can definitely be less than social, Maine Coons are highly people-oriented cats. Friendly, even. While not overly dependent – they won’t constantly pester you for attention – they still prefer to be where you are. And will change rooms when you do. Each and every time.
Not as vertically-oriented as some other breeds, a Maine Coon prefers to check out objects on the ground as opposed to climbing. And they develop slowly: Maine Coons don’t achieve full size until they are three to five years old. But their dispositions remain kittenish throughout their lives -- they stay playful and curious, investigating whatever activity their owners are involved in.
Maine Coons rarely meow. Instead, most have what can be characterised as a soft chirp or trill in a small, quiet voice which doesn't seem to fit their grand stature. Lion-maned around the neck, Maine Coons’ coats can be described as “all weather” as they are water-resistant. A fine soft undercoat is covered by a medium-length, flowing outer layer which, although silky, has a distinct bulk. It keeps the cat warm in cold weather, as does their bushy tail, which they wrap around them for extra insulation. Maine Coon cats can have a regal, at times feral, regard, but don’t let that fool you – they are generally very sweet-natured and loyal to their owners right back.
The Maine Coon is, unsurprisingly, not a great sportsman due to their size. But their peaceful character and patience make them excellent companions for children, as well as for the rest of the family. Easy to live with and quite sociable, fully grown Maine Coons generally get along well with dogs as well as other cats. All in all, a pretty ideal housemate!
2 facts about Maine Coons
Things to look out for
From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Maine Coon
As a large cat, the Maine Coon needs exercise to stay healthy
With their full size, the Maine Coon can have a tendency to hold onto extra weight as they get older. One way to help keep it under control is with regular play. For the Maine Coon, as with any big cat breed, chasing toys, even wadded up paper balls, and grabbing them with their large paws not only helps keep them in good health, it goes a long way towards keeping their ‘mousing’ skills sharp as well. Your vet can advise on playing with your Maine Coon to help your cat stay in great shape.
Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can be an issue
Generally healthy as a breed, the Maine Coon has certain predispositions to some diseases, the most serious of which is feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. A condition that involves thickening of the muscle of the heart, it can be genetic. But can also be related to a diet too low in amino acids like taurine. While the disease can result in significant cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, veterinarians suggest periodic chest X-rays and echocardiography (an ultrasound examination of the heart) for early detection of any issues.
Hip sensitivity can be run in the breed
Because of the Maine Coon’s full size and musculature, the breed can be sensitive at the level of the hips, where dysplasia can be triggered. Genetic, one study has shown that up to 51% of Maine Coon cats had radiographic evidence of hip dysplasia. No need to panic! A reputable breeder will be testing for this in prospective parents, not breeding carriers to carriers. And a healthy, well-rationed diet and regular checkups go a long way toward helping keep your cat in optimal good health.