The Maine Coon: Big Love For Cat Lovers

Not many cats can measure up to the Maine Coon. That's because the Maine Coon is one of the largest domestic cat breeds. But this cat has more than its extraordinary size that make its fans love the breed. If you've always had a strong desire to bring one home, read on to make sure you are well-suited to become a Maine Coon parent.

About the Maine Coon

Maine Coons are affectionate, gorgeous, and intelligent and have playful personalities. Because they can grow to be quite large, be trained to come when called, and be leash trained, they are almost like having a small dog. But these felines will definitely keep you on your toes.

Because of their size, and despite their typically friendly nature, they may intimidate any other non-Coon cats in the household. It's important to make any introductions between new kitties gradual and supervised until they become accustomed to each other.

Also due to their size, you will likely need extra large litter boxes and food and water bowls. Their luxuriant coat is beautiful but will require daily combing to prevent mats and excessive shedding on your furniture.

Health Issues

The Maine Coon is generally a healthy breed, but there are a few conditions that Maine Coon owners should be aware of. As with all long-haired cats, their grooming habits can lead to hairballs and even bowel obstruction, which makes frequent brushing imperative.

Because of their large size, they are more prone to hip dysplasia than other breeds. The extra weight on their hip joints can cause wear and tear on the femur and pelvic bones, causing pain and reduced mobility. Another condition that often can be attributed to the breed's size is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). This condition occurs when the heart muscle walls thicken. This causes the heart to work less efficiently and can lead to heart failure. Another problem is polycystic kidney disease (PKD), a genetic disorder that causes cysts to grow in the kidneys. Over time, PKD can lead to renal failure.

Because these health conditions can be hereditary, it's important that you purchase your kitty from a registered Maine Coon breeder. A reputable breeder will be aware of these conditions and only breed cats that have clean genetic lines. An experienced breeder will also make sure your new kitten has the necessary vaccinations and a health examination by a veterinarian and can recommend a proper diet for your new furry friend. This breed will provide a lifetime of friendship as long as you get started on the right paw.

Contact a registered Maine Coon breeder for more information.