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History Of The Maine Coon

Many legends have surrounded the Maine Coon breed. It has been said that the cat came about as a cross between domestic cats and the American lynx, or even between a cat and a racoon. The Maine Coon is a very large breed of cat with some males reaching a weight of 10 to 15 Kilograms. The true origins of the Maine Coon are somewhat unclear, but it is believed that the breed developed in a similar way to the Norwegian Forest Cat. Indeed, the two breeds may have originated from the same stock of cats brought to Maine by the Vikings. The Maine Coon is a very old and entirely natural breed with a long and weatherproof coat that developed to enable it to survive in rough and varying climates. It has been know in the US since the very start of the cat fancy.

The Maine Coon is a large semi-longhair cat. It is somewhat rectangular in appearance – a heavy and solidly build cat, which is musculare and powerful. The coat is full during the colder months, with a very large neck ruff and a heavy, water resistant coat on the body, together with a well-plumed tail. During the warmer months the Maine Coon loses most of its long coat and can almost look shorthaired, with just a slightly fluffy tail. The head is of medium length and square looking. The ears are large and pointed with tufts on the tips, while the eyes are round and set well apart. The legs are in proportion to the body and are thickset. The neck is substantial, with many Maine Coons being far to wide around the neck for any collar intended for pet cats to fit them. The tail is long.
An adult male Maine Coon can weigh as much as 10 to 15kg the females are much smaller.

The Maine Coon can best be described as a dog like cat. Not only are Maine Coons the size of a small dog but also it is a cat that loves to follow its owner around and will happily play-retrieving games. Maine Coons are a friendly and outgoing cat sometimes referred to as the "Gentle Giant" of the cat world.

Any colour or pattern is allowed, except for the pointed Himalayan pattern, Chocolate, or Lilac. The most popular colour is the Brown Tabby, as this colour gives the cat a very wild and natural look. Red, Silver, and Cream Tabbies are also popular in the US as are Tortoiseshells.
"Cat’s by Marianne Mays"


Hereditary disease in Maine Coons

This is generally a strong, healthy breed, but when purchasing a kitten you should require that the parents have (or the kitten itself has) been tested negative for:
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), a disease of the heart muscle resulting in the heart becoming unable to properly pump blood;

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), an autosomal recessive disorder. SMA is due to the death of spinal cord nerves that normally stimulate the skeletal muscles of the trunk and limbs. The loss of these nerves can lead to kittens developing a swaying in their gait, particularly in their hind quarters.
Spend lots of time talking to your kitten, and playing gently. Do not encourage biting or scratching games which won't be much fun when your baby is fully grown.

Discipline is best maintained by use of a water spray - a quick squirt when the kitten has jumped on the table or is otherwise misbehaving is quite effective and it is generally not necessary to repeat too many times to stop the behaviour. NEVER SMACK your kitten.

If you spend the time, it should be possible to teach your kitten to retrieve a small object, and even to play catch. I find a "slow-bowled" scrunched up piece of paper is usually deftly caught!