Maine Coon: breed description, maintenance and care
The cat has more than one hundred years living side by side with a man in the same dwelling. These wild animals were domesticated, which subsequently led to the emergence of a large number of breeds. Among the diverse representatives of the cat family is to highlight Maine Coon, which is given a place of honor among the largest individuals living in the home.
History of origin
There are several common versions that relate to the appearance of a similar breed of cats. It is believed that big cats appeared in America in Maine, which formed the basis of their names. There are also versions that the distant ancestors of large cats are raccoons crossed with domestic cats. Researchers think of similar thoughts of the external features of the Maine Coon, such as an expressive and fluffy tail, coat color.
In some sources one can come across assumptions about the origin of giant cats from ancestors, which are considered to be lynx. On such thoughts push characteristic brushes on the ears. However, despite the fact that animals of this breed are distinguished by external similarities with other representatives of the wild nature, there is no scientific evidence that Maine Coon is the result of crossing such individuals with each other.
The official version regarding the origin of cats, which breeders adhere to, is the natural evolution of animals. As for the external characteristics, the Maine Coon cats acquired them due to the natural process of adaptation to the habitat conditions in the harsh climate.
In the process of domestication, animals initially settled with a man mainly on farms, where they were engaged in hunting for rodents, thereby protecting the harvest, for which they were valued by the owners. Subsequently, giant cats were noticed at agricultural fairs, which was the impetus for their resettlement throughout America. Then the breed became in demand around the world. Today, the demand for Maine Coon among breeders is enormous, with animals being raised as show cats and also pets, their role as security guards in farms has gradually faded into the background.
But before you get a pet so amazing in its characteristics of the breed, you should thoroughly examine the specifics of the animal, the description and its character.
Maine Coons are the largest of the cat breeds that have been domesticated by humans. In addition to the characteristic tassels on the ears, A mandatory feature of the appearance of cats is a wool collar that captures the neck and chest. Due to such a “frill”, animals practically do not visualize the overflow of the thoracic region into the neck.
The ears are rather wide, upright along the vertical, in the same plane there are brushes, their size does not have clear restrictions, therefore, for the most part will depend on the age of the animal. As a rule, closer to 3 months the kitten has already formed the final size of the ears.
These animals are also no less beautiful in the back. This attractiveness is due not only to the presence of a chic and long tail, but also to the “pants” that are formed due to the large amount of wool on the hind limbs.
Maine Coon looks very stern, and sometimes even menacing, due to a similar impression with eyebrows hanging massively over the eyes. However, this appearance is the perfect opposite of their character.
Despite the fact that cats and kittens will be distinguished by their size, they mature for quite some time. Usually, The weight of the cat varies in the range of 6-9 kilograms, but there are representatives of the breed with a weight that exceeds the mark of 10 kilograms. As for cats, their weight will be within 5-7 kilograms.
Adult animals at the withers grow to 20-50 centimeters, while the length of a cat with its tail can exceed 130-140 centimeters. The back line in cats is straight, the ribcage is wide, with a fairly developed muscular skeleton.
Individuals continue to increase their weight and increase in growth to the age of three.
The head of the cats has a massive chin with well distinguishable scouts, they are placed in the same plane with the tip of the nose. The cheekbones are visualized clearly even in the light of the animal's long hair.
The eyes of the Maine Coon are large, you can note their easy raskosos. Pupils can be painted in a green-yellow palette. Any shade in this range is considered normal. There are individuals with blue or multi-colored pupils, most often it is a cat.
There are also uniform standards regarding the color of individuals of this breed - cats can be red, white, black and gray, as well as marble, blue, tortoiseshell. The hair of animals is very thick, but silky to the touch, also in cats and cats there is an undercoat. It is noteworthy that its length will gradually increase towards the tail.
As a rule, large pets from the cat family live quite a long time - their average lifespan will be 15-20 years.
Character and behavior
Maine-coons perfectly catch mice, but this is not their only hunting skill, since the breed is notable for its outstanding hunting habits. These animals are distinguished by their high intelligence, so the owner of a big cat can be calm for the rest of their pets, such as hamsters, fish or parrots, Maine Coon will never touch them.
In addition, animals are not prone to stealing food from the table or the master plate,Oshki will never persevere, and beg for a treat for themselves, because they have a rather proud temper.
The big cat very rarely meows, her communication with the breeder and other animals can be called cooing, purring or rumbling. Pets very quickly capture intonations and emotions with which their owners communicate, therefore they are able to maintain a “dialogue”.
Among the features relating to the behavior of animals, it is worth highlighting their habit of rowing water. This also applies to your own bowl and the nearest space next to it. Watching this breed at home, you can see how the animal promptly clings to its food with the claws of the forelimbs, sending it into the mouth. Such actions have certain similarities with the way a person eats with the help of cutlery.
Despite their impressive size and powerful paws, the cats are notable for their good plasticity, easily lift small things from the floor, can open the doors of the cabinets on their own, and open the water.
For water at the Maine Coon special relationship. Unlike the rest of the feline, these animals love to swim and are not afraid to climb into the bath, sink or water containers. In addition, cats can watch the flowing water from the tap or shower with a spellbound look for a very long time, and in some cases they are happy to take water procedures with their owner.
The animal will not insist on playing or attention, if it sees that its owner is busy with something, cats also show great patience and endurance to younger members of the family, without showing any aggression.
Breeders of big cats point out that these animals behave very calmly in public places, so that you can safely take them with you if necessary. For such purposes, a special carrying is usually used.
Based on the habits of these animals, the best home for them will be private households in which the cat can walk in the fresh air or hunt. For owners of cats living in the apartment, it will be necessary to walk their pet in the yard on a harness.
However, with its calm temper, the Maine Coons are rather inquisitive, therefore the windows on the high floors should be kept closed.
Big cats are often called cat-dogs, as individuals are perfectly trainable, can perform simple commands. Compared with other members of the family, the Maine Coons sleep very little - on average, they spend 6-10 hours sleeping per day. As a rule, their inquisitive, playful and active temper of a cat retain until very old age, therefore even an adult cat, as well as a small one, will prefer an active passive rest.
Today there are two main types of animals of this breed:
- American type (aborigine);
The second type was formed much later, after the active distribution of animals throughout the world, when individuals got into somewhat changed living conditions, climatic features, etc. Sometimes it is quite difficult to attribute cats to a certain type, but for each of them certain external characteristics.
The American Maine Coon will have a more elongated muzzle and a low forehead, whereas a European will have a high forehead. It is the second type that has slightly slanted eyes, while the aborigine will have them rounded. In addition, the European type of wool will be slightly shorter.
Animals are also classified by breeders according to their color. This breed has only two genetic colors - black and red.
The remaining variations are comprehended by mixing the primary colors.
Patterns and patterns on animal hair are formed due to the distribution of pigment on the skin, which is reflected and transferred to the hair follicles. Genetic characteristics of the offspring relating to color may vary.
There is a certain classification of the Maine Coon color, which is recorded in the pedigree of the animal.
Strips, spots and patterns are called tabby, there may be several:
- brindle - characterized by the alternation of parallel light and dark stripes;
- spotted - stripes turn into bright spots on the sides;
- classical - a pattern with wavy stripes;
- ticked - the drawing is focused on the face, there are stripes of different shades on the body.
In the Maine Coon also found solid. This type of wool has a pattern, but rather blurred. Solid colors appeared due to artificial selection. Cats can be the following tones:
- the black;
Maine-coons of smoke color will have an uneven color with a certain overflow of shades. In this case, there are several variations of the color of the coat, depending on the color of the pile.
White spots can decorate the fur of cats, and the color is divided into the following types:
- the tuxedo;
- white buttons;
Also, there are multi-colored animals, they are characterized by an arbitrary location of spots and blotches.
Advantages and disadvantages
Each breed of animals has its own strengths and weaknesses. As for the Maine Coon, the advantages of these animals include the following qualities of individuals.
- Despite the harsh appearance, cats are distinguished by such features as tenderness and dedication towards a person. Also, a friendly attitude is manifested in relation to other pets that are present in the house.
- Big cats have developed intelligence.
- Pets very quickly adapt to new conditions, willingly learn new things.
- Maine-coons love to walk, and also behave well when walking on a harness.
- Large domestic cats will not assert themselves and dominate the society of their owners.Also, the Maine Coons rarely release their claws.
- Pets of this breed live long.
- Animals are willing to contact with children, which is important for most families.
Animals have some drawbacks:
- purebred animals stand out for their high cost;
- due to the long wool, when keeping an animal at home, it will take more time to clean;
- animals tolerate heat very poorly.
How to choose a kitten?
Make the purchase of such a pet should be exclusively in specialized nurseries or from professional breeders of this breed. Since only these options will allow to acquire a purebred animal, in addition, it will be possible to get competent advice on further care for Maine Coon.
It is recommended to choose kittens from 2 months of age, because during this period they will have milk teeth, in addition, all necessary vaccinations will be made to the pet.
It will also be right to wait for this age, as the kitten already has time to acquire some skills from the mother, including going to the tray.
When choosing a pet, you should follow these rules:
- the price of a purebred and purebred animal will always be high, therefore, proposals with a symbolic value for a kitten should not be considered;
- together with the new pet, the breeder must provide the veterinary passport as well as the metric and pedigree without fail to the new owner;
- if a Maine Coon is acquired as an exhibition animal, then special attention should be paid to the nursery where the kitten was raised, as well as its membership in any clubs;
- It is important to assess the state of health of the animal - a shiny coat and activity of individuals will be a good indicator.
Maintenance and care
Despite the fact that this breed of cats tolerates a harsh climate, the owner of large animals will need to pay them a lot of attention. The main nuance of the content is caring for Maine Coon. Since there is quite a lot of it, in addition, it stands out for its length, in order to prevent the cat's mats, it will need to be regularly combed out. A suitable comb is a comb with blunt teeth. Such procedures are recommended to be performed every other day. Long-haired breeds are also recommended to bathe with shampoo every 6 months.
Attentions require claws of an animal. As they grow you should cut the ends, avoiding the removal of the living part where the capillaries are located.
In the process of growing up, the kitten's teeth change, however, the care of the oral cavity of the animal is mandatory in any period. For these purposes, use a special toothpaste and brush.
Hygiene measures will also apply to the ears. Auricles are subject to regular inspection, when they are found in different types of pollution, they are cleaned with a damp cotton sponge. The use of sticks or matches with cotton should be discarded. The eyes of cats should be cleaned with a wet swab, using boiled water.
Big cats themselves stand out cleanliness, so they constantly lick their fur. To help the pet get rid of woolen lumps in the stomach, animals are sold specialized pastes to help cleanse the inside. Neglect of such agents can lead to constipation and cough in a cat. In addition, owners of Maine Coons are encouraged to grow at home "cat garden", which will help them cleanse the body.
Cats of any age will be interested in entertainment, in addition to spending time in the hands of the owner. For these purposes it is worth installing at home. kogtetochka, labyrinths and ladders, as well as shelves, sun beds and other interesting devices designed for active games of the pet. Otherwise, Maine Coon will use curtains, wardrobes and sofas as “sports equipment”.
Cat litter available special filler or sand, but the cleaning of the tray should be regular in the light of the large size and smell of feces of both the boy and the Maine Coon girl.
The issue of feeding cats should be approached thoroughly. The most correct way together with a veterinarian or breeder to individually select a dry food for Maine Coon. However, the animal will also actively and properly develop on natural food. In the feed of the superclass will already be present the necessary vitamins for the representative of the cat family. Choosing a different type of feeding, in the diet of a pet should include beef raw and boiled, chicken, turkey. From fatty meats should be abandoned.
Also, the animal should be given lean fish, dairy and dairy products, boiled eggs. It is possible to replenish the supply of necessary microelements by adding germinated seeds to the diet. Vegetables and cheese can also be given to pets. Maine Coon will need clean and fresh water.. For the selection of the optimal portions of food, you can be guided by a special plate, which will indicate the weight of the kitten and its approximate menu.
For mating, the optimal age is one and a half years. In the Maine Coon, usually 1 to 6 kittens are born in one litter per year. Cats have very developed maternal instincts, so they show amazing care for newborns. If the breeder, for whatever reason, does not want to breed cats, then the male individuals are castrated. To castrate an animal is best in the age of up to one year. Cats are sterilized.
Training and training
Since animals stand out for their mental abilities, even a breeder with minimal experience will be able to raise and train a pet. The Maine Coons can easily cope with the teams, they can be taught to bring various objects, give a paw and even meow at the command of the host. Training and education should be carried out with the mandatory promotion of the animal in the form of something edible.
Health and Diseases
Despite its size and endurance, cats of this breed in some cases suffer from some diseases. Among the most common illnesses worth highlighting:
- hip dysplasia;
- polycystic kidney disease.
As a rule, timely detection of the disease can improve the health of the animal, but the treatment of such ailments is very difficult. To prevent such situations, all kittens are subject to mandatory vaccination. Both adults and small animals need to regularly carry out the prevention of worms.
The feedback from the Maine Coon breeders is mostly positive. The owners of such cats separately note their friendly disposition and favorable attitude towards all family members, including the rest of the pets.
However, animals still remain leaders, so they value their space. These cats are very affectionate, willingly go on contact with children.
Interesting facts about Maine Coon, see below.