The Gentle Giant!

If you are planning an addition of a Maine Coon to your family, you will be happy you did.

One of the oldest natural breeds in North America, Maine Coon is generally regarded as a native of the state of Maine. Maine Coon was developed basically as a ‘working cat’, being able to fend for himself in rough, woody terrain and under extreme climatic conditions. In just looking at a Maine Coon one can see the power she possesses. She is a tall and broad kitty, but with a heart of gold!

Looks that kill…

Woodle

Woodle

Here’s a cat with tall ears, broad chest, substantial boning, strong muscles, rectangular body and flowing tail. They have large eyes and ears, essential for detecting prey. They have a long silky shaggy coat, short over the head and long over the back. They have double coat – a soft undercoat and a weatherproof topcoat. They can be Tabbies as well as solid colours and also sometimes have white paws and chests.

Gentle giants…

Maine Coons have an amiable disposition that endears itself to all. For being such a large powerful cat, they are affectionate, loyal and gentle. They love giving head butts to show their affection. It is not uncommon to see breeding males interacting with kittens, grooming and cuddling them as their mothers would. Female Maine Coons make excellent mothers, giving their full attention to their kittens as they grow. The average litter of kittens is 4-5 but can be as large as 7-8. Kittens are playful, curious, funny and delightful. Kittens should stay with their mothers for 12-16 weeks. By that age they are able to function independently and will be a joy to their new home.

Grooming needs…

Grooming a Maine Coon involves a quick combing twice weekly with a Greyhound style stainless steel comb. They are relatively easy to bathe especially if started as kittens but it is not necessary.

Water animals…

One of the interesting things about the Maine Coon’s personality is their love of playing in water. They splash in their waterbowls, slap at running water from the tap and are intrigued by showers. One better be careful or you will have a Maine Coon in the shower with you!

Intelligence beyond words…

They are also adept at opening doors by turning the doorknobs with their front paws and then pushing the door open. One curious thing about Maine Coons is their fascination with watching things fall as they push it off a ledge, countertop or table. It is as if they make a study of the effects of gravity as the objects fall.

Healthy breed…

Being a natural breed, Maine Coons have relatively few health problems. If given proper veterinary care, they live long, healthy lives.

(Kim B Tomblin is TICA approved Allbreed Judge; President – Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association; Chairman -TICA Maine Coon Breed Committee and Breed Section; and Executive Vice President – Tomlin Mill Creek, Inc.)