Maine Coon’s are lovely big cats that are very popular. But many people have always wondered and theorized on why they are so big in comparison to the average cat. Let me explain…
Why are Maine Coon Cats so big? The theory has it that it is because of the temperature of their natural habitat. It is believed that they are naturally bigger to reduce the rate at which it loses body heat. But this has never been proven or confirmed.
Now you know why people believe they are so big, let us now look at the effects of their size and how they are bred to this big size.
Maine coons (Click here to see the difference between the Maine Coon, Siberian & Norweigan Frest Cats) are one of the largest cats that you’ll find.
They are natives to the American state of Maine. They are also the state cat. Where they originated from is still a mystery to this day.
Maine coons, as you may or may not know, are quite expensive. You can easily expect to pay upwards of $1,200, or even more. The question is why are they so expensive? Could this be because they’re so big?
The reality is, it’s not their size that makes them so expensive, The real issue is the costs associated with breeding them. Let me explain…
Firstly, breeders have to feed the female Maine Coon and the kittens on high-quality food that is quite expensive. This is to make sure that they end up with the best kittens at the end of the process.
Not only this but they have to maintain the male cat who can also be quite difficult to deal with.
In particular, the male cat cannot be neutered, for obvious reasons, so he is likely to spray and mark his territory in the breeders’ house.
This will cost money to clean up and will make the room quite smelly. It’s actually quite inconvenient for the breeder. Unfortunately, these costs are passed on to you, the customer.
All of this maintenance, food and other related costs, which I will explain in more detail later on in the article, inflate the cost of these Maine Coon cats.
Breeding the Maine Coons to this size is a long process. It all starts off with handpicking the best male and female. This is to make sure that they have the best chance of delivering high-quality kittens.
They have to make sure that they have a female that has good teeth, genes (meaning they’ve got no parents that may have known health conditions) fur and snout.
If the breeder does not have a male Maine Coon to breed, they will have to pay for a high-quality male Maine Coon as well which is also adding to their expense but will ensure they get a big healthy kitten at the end.
Health checks will need to be done to ensure that both the male and female are in good health before breeding. After this due diligence, the breeder has to make sure that only the selected male and female spend time together. Just in case an un-vetted male tries to intervene, are you with me?
Bear in mind that these are not outdoor cats. So the majority of their time will be kept indoors. Again, this is to make sure that they kept to a high quality and reduce the chances of them mixing with bad company.
After this process, if the breeder is lucky and he believes that the female is now pregnant. He will have to take the female Maine Coon to the vet’s to verify the pregnancy.
Be mindful that there is a chance that when he gets this check, she may not actually be pregnant at this time. However, he will still be responsible for actually paying for this test.
Unfortunately for the breeder, this test may need to be done a few times before he actually has a successful pregnant female.
Once a pregnancy has been established the breeder then has to make sure that he feeds the pregnant female high-quality food. This food will keep her energy levels high.
This is important to have a successful and healthy pregnancy and healthy kittens.
Once the kittens are born the job does not end there. The breeder has to continue to feed the kitten, as well as the mother. This is to make sure that they are in good health.
Also, there is a chance that one of the kittens may actually be quite weak. If this is the case, as this is actually a valuable product for the breeder, they have to make sure that a kitten has immediate attention.
The best way to do this is to actually manually feeding the kitten. To make sure that they get all of the valuable nutrients that they need.
Finally, they will need to get documents to prove the health condition of the kittens. This is to make sure they sell well. This document will be passed on to the buyer.
An average cat, in comparison to a Maine Coon, is quite small. However, the Siberian cats, especially the females, are almost the same size as the Maine coons.
However, the male Maine Coon is slightly larger than the Siberian.
Yes, but let me give you an example of some of the sizes. So you can get an idea of the difference…
The male Maine Coon can grow up to 25 pounds in weight and 16 inches tall. Its actual length (snout to tail) can be up to 40 inches.
The female Maine Coon is slimmer than the male as you may expect. She grows up to 18 lbs in weight. However, the actual length is very similar to the male.
But, with regards to her actual height, she is a bit shorter than the male growing up to 16 inches.
Many people believe because Maine coons are so much bigger than the average cat they must eat loads and loads of food to maintain their size.
However, this is a big myth. They are just naturally big and in fact, obesity is a big problem for Maine coons. This could be partially due to the fact that a lot of keepers believe they need to overfeed them to maintain their size.
In reality, they need a good balance of protein, vitamins, and carbohydrates to keep them happy just like any other cat.
For a kitten, you’d expect them to consume anything from 30 to 45% of their intake as protein. As an adult, you can scale this back. They will have up to 40% protein.
Typically cats eat regularly with small amounts. Meaning, they don’t really have big hearty meals throughout the day. You can expect him to be eating up to 20 small meals during a day.
Each of these small meals could be anything as small as 25 to 30 calories each time. This is to help them Digest The Food correctly and keep them healthy.
To give you an idea of the type of food that they can consume, I’ll give you an example…
For example, a piece of dry cat Kibble may be about 3 calories. So, you can expect an average small meal for a cat to be about 10 to 15 pieces of this kibble.
However, bear in mind that you do still need to feed them other things such as meat and fish to keep their food balance correct. As well as other vitamins. But this needs to be fed to them in moderation obviously.
Another thing to consider, Maine Coon cats take a long time to reach their full maturity. Therefore, you should be feeding them kitten sized portions for at least the first 8 to 9 months.
You can expect a Maine Coon to live anywhere from 10 to 12 years. Obviously, this can fluctuate either way, depending on how well they are looked after.
There are some known health conditions for them but with constant screening, good maintenance and keeping up their health checks, you can help to reduce the risk of these problems.
If you are one of the many Main Coon cat lovers out there, maybe you have thought or wondered if you can get a black version. Is that even possible? Let me explain…
Can a Maine Coon be black? Yes, there are also different variations of black such as an all black coal type and smokey black variations that have traces of white on their undercoat. They are just as loving and popular as the other types.
Now that you know this is possible, let me explain how sunlight can affect their coat and health, what other types are available, how you can check that you have a genuine Main Coon and so much more.
No, not really. It can cause them to get overheated. In addition to this, it can cause their black fur coat to go a slightly brownish discoloration.
One thing I would advise, always have fresh water available. So that they can drink and cool herself down if required.
There are a number of different variations of the black Maine Coon. You can have the coal-colored variation. They have all black fur, think of this as the classic.
Then there is the smokey variation. This one can be deceiving. On the surface, they may appear to be totally black. But, when you look at their undercoat you will notice a white coloration on their fur.
Unless you have purchased your cat from an established and official breeder sometimes it is very difficult to find out if you actually have a Maine Coon or not.
You will find that many cat lovers mistakenly identify their cat as a Maine Coon. This is because it may have the distinctive shaggy fur but unfortunately there is a lot more to it than that, are you with me?
For that reason, to help you identify if you do genuinely have a Maine Coon, I will list some of the known traits so that you can see if your cat falls into all of these categories.
Maine coons have very strong bodies and fairly muscular in comparison to other cat breeds (click here to see a comparison between a Maine Coon, Siberian and Norwegian Cat breeds). They have an almost rectangular muscular frame. However, this is just one of the indications that you may have a Maine Coon.
One of the main traits of a Maine Coon is it’s really long shaggy fur. This is what gets some people confused. They see some shaggy fur, but later find out they have a mix-breed and not a genuine Maine Coon.
A true Maine Coon should have medium to long shaggy fur and this is quite distinctive. However, it’s not the only thing that confirms its breed.
Another distinctive trait for a Maine Coon is a long Maine. It has this around its neck. This is noticeable because it is usually longer than the other hairs around its body. In the winter time, you can expect this to get longer and thicker.
They generally have long thick furry tails. They usually carry this tail with great pride. They are usually always happy to display this to their rival cats.
Another distinctive trait of the Maine Coon is their large eyes. You can definitely notice these, especially when you compare them to other breeds such as a Siamese cat.
In addition to this, they have a lovely personality and very playful. You will often find that they love to bring you little presents that they may pick up from outside or within the house.
There are a couple of reasons why a black cat may have brownish looking fur, let me explain…
Firstly this could be because of the direct sunlight. The sun is quite powerful and can easily bleach her fur. With time it can start to fade and form into a kind of rusty looking brown color.
On a more serious note, there could be a potential underlying health condition. This could be diagnosed as a lack of enzyme tyrosine. This is responsible for providing melanin in the pigmentation of your cat.
This melanin is also what makes your cat’s fur black. Lack of melanin in the pigmentation of the cat will mean that your cat could be susceptible to being burnt by the sun. This is because melanin is a natural protection to the sun.
If you suspect that this could be the case then I highly advise that you should consult your vet to make sure.
How long does it take until a Maine Coon gets its Maine? They won’t grow a full Maine until it is at least a couple of years old. Also. you will probably notice that its tail (its bushy tail) usually doesn’t form until at least 5 months old.
They will grow for at least 4 or 5 years before reaching full size with a full set of fur.
Can a Maine Coon be black and white? Yes, they can be black and white. In fact, there are a number of different color variations.
Do Maine Coon Maine coons “Meow”? No. not really. They have a technique known as “Chirp and Trill”. Sonically is sounds like a combination of a Meow with a sprinkling of purring, are you with me?
Are Main Coons Aggressive? No, they are not generally aggressive. In fact, they make quite a good family pet. However, if they are agitated or have some underlying health issue they may be unexpectedly snappy with you.
Should you get a Male or Female Maine Coon? A female is good for most families. However, it depends on what you need it for. If you want to breed then you will need a male. However, if it’s just for a family pet you will find that the females are more well behaved.
How long can a Maine Coon cat live? You can expect them to live anywhere from 10-12 years according to Wikipedia. In general, they are quite strong cats that are expected to live long. The biggest threat is HCM which is a known heart condition for cats.
Do Maine Coon Cats like to cuddle? Yes, but not all the time. They are not the type of cat to be picked and cuddled all day, every day. In small doses, they do appreciate it. Don’t let me give you the impression that they won’t show love or interest, they will.
However, it will be in their own special way. You can still expect them to follow you around like a lost puppy.
Are Maine Coon Cats smart? Yes, they are smart. In fact, they are quite well known for being smart. This is one of the reasons why they are not known for having behavioral issues. Simply because when you train them they get it really quick and remember the boundaries.
Are Maine Coon cats good family pets? Yes, don’t let their big size frighten or concern you. Yes, they can be as big as 25 pounds in weight, but they are still well behaved and loveable. So, they are a great addition to the family.
Are Maine Coons lap cats? No, they are not really the type to be in your lap all day and night. As discussed earlier, this does not mean that they are not kind loving cats by any means. It just means that they have different ways of showing affection.