How awesome are Maine Coons?

Chrysee HinshawChrysee Hinshaw Member Posts: 474
edited 5 September, 2009 in Choosing the Right Cat
My husband and I are closing on a house. Now, this would be my perfect excuse to finally get a dog, but probably not for the next year since I'd prefer to get a puppy in the summer so I'd have 3 months off for training and adjustment (oh the joys of working in education but not being a teacher :) ) We've discussed getting another cat and I sort of assumed it would be another Ragdoll and it didnt even occur to me to look at other breeds. And since I love big, fluffy, intelligent cats, Maine Coons seem like a good choice. Ragdolls love having friends, but I'm very familiar with them and notsomuch with other breeds. But there are so many Maine Coon owners here, so I'd appreciate your input.

Comments

  • Faye DufourFaye Dufour Destrehan, LA/New Orleans areaMember Posts: 4,648
    edited 8 July, 2009
    We'll let Harvey know you need info about Maine Coons, he is one himself, and his meowmy owns three others as well. Louie is part Maine Coon, and is a big lovebug. All we can tell you is that they require lots of brushing to keep their coats mat free. But since you already have a Ragdoll, know you are used to brushing long haired cats. Good Luck, The New Orleans Kitties
  • Chrysee HinshawChrysee Hinshaw Member Posts: 474
    edited 8 July, 2009
    lol Yes I am used to the brushing. And have also come to accept the inevitability of fur getting everywhere despite my best efforts :) Fortunately, the house we are buying has all hardwood floors throughout (with the exception of one finished carpeted room on the lower level) and I find it infinitely easier to keep hard surfaces clean of fur and hair over carpet.
  • Sandy NenningerSandy Nenninger PlainvilleMember Posts: 1,975
    edited 8 July, 2009
    Keep in mind that like Ragdolls, Maine Coons can have issues with Cardiomyopathy so when you look for a Maine Coon breeder, you would do best to find one that does the genetic testing on their breeding cats to be sure they don\'t carry the gene for it. All cats (even DSH) can get it but these 2 breeds have an identified gene and are just more likely to carry it and responsible breeders do the genetic test to be sure they are not passing it on to their babies. But I have heard that they have such great personalities. It\'s fun to add a little variety so enjoy your search! My Ragdoll is a fun change from my previously all Persian/Himalayan family.
  • Chrysee HinshawChrysee Hinshaw Member Posts: 474
    edited 8 July, 2009
    Oh yes, I only look into breeders who do various testing on their breeding cats and almost all offer 2-4 year guarantees for diseases like that. The only thing I have noted is it seems none of the Maine Coon catteries in my area (granted I've only looked up a couple, and there seem to be many in this state) practice early spay/neuter and I am not very eager to purchase a kitten that is not already altered.
  • Sandy NenningerSandy Nenninger PlainvilleMember Posts: 1,975
    edited 8 July, 2009
    That's good that you're being cautious. My best friend went out and bought a Himalayan for $100 from a newpaper ad even after all that I have tried to teach her about responsible breeders. But guarantees mean nothing if your heart is broken. My poor lost angel Dolly's breeder owes me a free kitten because she had a guarantee but I will never take one from her. Maggie's breeder tests everything and has a guarantee but she was not spayed. I have mixed emotions about that. Maggie's breeder felt that with the males, they may not reach their full size potential if they are neutered early. She is in genetics research at the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary school so it was curious to hear that since most of the things I have read say it causes no issues. I can not have my TICA papers until I prove that she is spayed though. I go through hell worrying on the day my cats are spayed so it might have been nice to have that taken care of for me but it's still fine that she's not. If I were you, I would stick with Ragdolls because you already know they are awesome and you already have a breeder you can trust. But I can see why you are interested in Maine Coons. They are beautiful too. A little variety is fun.
  • Chrysee HinshawChrysee Hinshaw Member Posts: 474
    edited 8 July, 2009
    I have heard from dog breeders that early spay/neuter can stunt growth, but I'm not sure if that's an issue in cats (or in dogs really, maybe they're wrong) I hate to say it, because I don't mean to worry you or suggest at all that not spaying is an option, but part of the reason I insisted on a Ragdoll breeder that desexed first was the moggie I had before Atrus died during her spay surgery at 6 months old due to anesthesia complications. Now, that is in no way common or exclusive to desexing (some cats die while having their teeth cleaned due to anesthesia complications as well, and some humans die during surgery for the same reason). It just makes me feel more at ease to buy a pet and then, besides vaccinations, they should not really need to see a vet for anything unless something is wrong. It's just for my paranoid peace of mind, not because it is a likely danger. But if it came down to buying from a breeder who desexes first or not, I would pick the one that did. Who knows, if I buy from Atrus's breeder again (who is quite good) I do get a "discount" for being a repeat adopter. Maine Coons seem to be just as much as Ragdolls, but I';d have to remember I'd need to pay for the desexing myself then. So, a second Ragdoll would be probably ~$300 cheaper overall but.... Who knows :)
  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 8 July, 2009
    Hey Artus! Would be glad to help you, what do you want to know? :D:D:D:D:D:D:D Got Bumpurr when he was 8 weeks old, he is now 2 yrs old, and 20 lbs. He fetches his toys, comes when you call him, he walks right in his carrier, I call him, and tell him, its time for medicinys, he comes running, gets on the counter, sits down, and pop the pill in his mouth, bam, we are done. He sits right in the sink, to be washed, sits on the counter to be blow dryed, just sits there, and the whole process for him, start to finish, is 3 hrs, he just sits there. Wherever you put him down, he just stays there. The vet and the techs just love him, he is such a very good boy, whatever you have to do with him. The judges love him, they put him on the table, he sits down, and surveys his little kingdom, their words. Being how big he is, they get him out of the cage, however they can, they kinda fold him up, he comes out sideways, sometimes upside down, just kinda like a slinky, he doesn't care. They called the costume class, at the Halloween show, while I was still in a Final. I rushed back to my bench, and shoved his clothes on him as fast as I could, and he had never had clothes on before. He just sat there, he just goes with the flow. I travel up to 7 hrs one way, to shows, he just sleeps the whole way. He is not afraid of the vacume cleaner, I can even vacume him with the attachments. When I brought the kittens home, he lay right down, and they tried to nurse him, and he let them. Never once, ever, hissed, growled, or swatted at them. All he wanted to do, was play with them, and as you can see from the pictures, he loves them, and they love him. You couldn't ask for a better cat. Maine Coons are know as the gentle giants, and he lives up to that, to a T. If your not set on a kitten, how about a young adult? Alot of breeders have what is called pet quality. What they deem not show quality, altho they come from quality parents, and they want to find them a good home. They come in all ages. If the Syracuse NY area, kinda central ny, take I- 90 all the way, is not too far, I can highly recommend a Maine Coon breeder. Has very very top quality show cats, takes excellent care of them, does the tests, and is very concerned about their health and that they get a very good home. I have MC contacts all over the east coast, I know the good ones, let me know. Here is a link on Maine Coons, let me know what I can help you with. http://www.cfa.org/breeds/profiles/maine.html And, the first show, held in Madison Square Garden, in 1895, was won by a Maine Coon, a female tabby, named Cosey. She won a silver collor, and it is on display at CFA. :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
  • Robin PinkhamRobin Pinkham BangorMember Posts: 1,601
    edited 8 July, 2009
    Cooncatulations on the new house !=D> Maine Coons are truly awesome cats, wonderful companions. Like any cat, each has his or her own personality of course. A Maine Coon could be a great companion to a Ragdoll, Bumpurr has offered some excellent info , he is an exceptional cat. Not all cats are quite as patient and laidback :) Loki and Maggie are littermates, at three they are about full grown, I hope.... Loki is sbout 20 pounds and actually slender, Maggie is a \"jumbo\" girl at 15 lbs(but not chubby-just a big cat). They are playful, smart, funny charming cats. Everyone who meets Loki wants a cat like him. He is confident , what people think of when they think of a Maine Coon. Maggie is more reserved, an endearing flirt. Our Maine Coons seem to have a sense of humor, they can be clown cats. I swear they do thngs to make us laugh. They greet us at the door when we come home, they like to be with us and \"help\' Like many Maines they are not lap cats, but rather sit beside you cats. They are truly gentle. I have awakened many a morning to find Loki gently holding my face in his paws, never scratching. His is rather heavy sitting on my chest though.... They play fetch, they open doors, they love to play with water, they eat with their paws. They love to be with people. Some Maine Coons are talkative, some not. Loki has the funniest high soft voice, so unexpected with his size. Maggie is a chatterbox when she wants something (like food) - I can actually carry on a \"conversation\" with her. Yes, Maine Coons are awesome, I can\'t imagine life without Loki and Maggie. The Pawpeds web site has some interesting Maine Coon history on it. You may want to check it out. http://www.pawpeds.com/MCO/mchs/ There are 2 looks for Maine Coons- the traditional Maine sweet look and a newer more feral ( some say mean) look. A few Maine breeders have attempted to bring back the more traditional look using foundation Maine Coons. Being from Maine, my personal preference is for a cat with Maine ancestry. If you check out various catteries you can see what look you prefer. As I am sure you know any color is possible , except pointed. I\'m sure Altrus will love a companion, be it a Maine Coon, another Ragdoll, or some other breed. Good luck with your search
  • Lilly KoonsLilly Koons LouisvilleMember Posts: 159
    edited 9 July, 2009
    Retired adult would be good too, they usually have spay/neuter before they get a new home and their price is really a fraction of what a kitten costs, plus you know their temperament since they is developed during 6-8 month age. Plus their usually 3-4 so any so their health is pretty good since most of them have been studs/queens. So they wouldn't want any issues to be passed so. I think that Main Coon be cool, I mean its nice mixing it up a little and not getting just one breed. I love all cats but I just have to make sure the ones I get fit my lifestyle, can't get a Persian if I don't want to brush daily. So good luck, I usually stick to rescue and shelter kitties since I see pure breeds, mixes and the domestic _____hairs a lot. All of them a pretty unique.
  • Gina GroneGina Grone Beatrice, NebraskaMember Posts: 217
    edited 9 July, 2009
    Rosita\'s mom: We have a cat in our shelter that came in as a stray someone was feeding. There is no doubt he is at least part Maine Coon and he is an incredible cat - both in personality and looks. If I didn\'t already have three naughty cats at home, I would have him with me. I can\'t believe he was a stray. Love them. But no moreso than I love my Heinz 57 shelter babies! : )
  • Debra PietrowskiDebra Pietrowski Sussex CountyMember Posts: 1,833
    edited 12 July, 2009
    I know a Maine Coon Breeder in NJ. CFA registered and Vice President of the Garden State Cat club, if you are interested gimme a hollar.
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 13 July, 2009
    I\'ve placed all but one of Leila\'s seven kittens, and can say that do your research (as I\'m sure you\'ve done) and find a good breeder. I myself am a novice breeder, and know that you can get relatively young but retired show cats, or cats who are a bit beyond the cute kitten stage, quite cheaply. However, your question is about Maine Coons, and not their price. If you look at my pages, you will find that I adopted Harvey because my brother in Maine had a naturally occuring Maine cat who was a total lovebug. I am not in Maine, I kive in Japan, and went to pet shops, found only inferior cats (as in, this cat may or may not have FIP), searched the Internet, and found Harvey. For the first year or so, he was autistic. I may be autistic myself, so this is not meant to be unkind. But during our year and a half campaign to make him a Regional (National) winner, he became extremely affectionate. Leila, his sister, is usually not there (really--I can\'t find her). Chibi is affectionate, but also not always really \"there.\" Since I got all three cats from the same breeder--who is NOT a bad breeder---it could be how they were brought up, or it could be genetic. The reason I wanted to become a breeder myself is that I wanted to produce affectionate cats. Breeding under foot is the key. Keeping your cat numbers down is another key (Currier is the only kitten left, and she has suddenly become very affectionate). We\'ve only had a single litter so far, but all the cats have been very affectionate. Of course, all the usual health concerns--vaccinations, etc., have been taken care of. The Maine Coon gene pool in Japan is small, partly because of new importing laws aimed against rabies (which we don\'t have). Japanese Maine Coons are generally smaller than American ones, and one American judge told me that he couldn\'t understand why Japanese Maine Coons tended to be so hostile. My advice? This is hardly new information, but find a good breeder. Check out the parents--it\'s said that the father cat is more important in determining the kittens\' personality, but I\'m not sure about that. However, you need to see both Momcat and Dadcat before you make a decision. It\'s taken me eight months to place my kittens (and I plan to keep the last one), but you will know when you have found the MC of your dreams, and until that time...just go to many breeders and make your decision.
  • Erika GonzalezErika Gonzalez Member Posts: 16
    edited 13 July, 2009
    Chelsea is a Maine Coon! She is awesome and so sweet! I got her from the local humane society, she had been there for over a year. She is an adult! She is a sweetheart!
  • JANE STUTFIELDJANE STUTFIELD BERKELEYMember Posts: 2,203
    edited 15 July, 2009
    Oliver is a Maine Coon mix - has all the attributes and personality of a Maine Coon but is smaller. He was adopted from my local humane society. He is a true gem - the sweetest, gentlest, most beautiful cat I've ever met (don't tell my others I said all that about Ollie). I would really like to recommend that you adopt your next cat or check to see if there is a Maine Coon rescue group in your area. There are so many that need homes and with a mixed breed you don't end up with so many of the health problems inherent in many of the the pure bred cats (& dogs). Most breeds have rescue groups so if you have your heart set on pure bred why not check that first. You could also check on petfinders.com and specify Maine Coon. Adoption saves lives and you can meet the most wonderful cats in your local shelter or through a local rescue group. I hope you find the cat of your dreams.
  • Chrysee HinshawChrysee Hinshaw Member Posts: 474
    edited 16 July, 2009
    I'm sorry, I probably should have been more clear. I know indigenous Maine Coons are common in the moggie population in the US, but I am interested in purchasing a pedigreed animal. I know how to identify a reputable breeder, since Atrus is from one. I suppose most purebred cats have very similar personalities anyway, and I guess Maine Coons and Ragdolls are more similar than most.
  • Robin PinkhamRobin Pinkham BangorMember Posts: 1,601
    edited 16 July, 2009
    Yes, I think there are some similarities in MC and Ragdoll personalities. Big ,smart , beautiful cats. After seeing your \"how awesome\" question, I could not help but look at Maggie and Loki and think to myself - \"they are very awesome\" .I feel blessed that they are part of our lives. As I said before I bet Atrus would get along well with a Maine Coon. I\'m sure they would teach each other things. And also by the way, Maine Coons are also described as acting a bit like a dog ( sans the barking!) so that might be a plus to you as well. They will play fetch and greet you at the door. =;
  • Chrysee HinshawChrysee Hinshaw Member Posts: 474
    edited 16 July, 2009
    Ragdolls are often described as similar to puppies, while Maine Coons are often compared to dogs. That makes me smile, because I know exactly what people mean when they say that and why there's a difference between the two. :) Hopefully we can look into getting Atrus a friend pretty soon, but either a Maine Coon or another Ragdoll would probably be a safe bet.
  • Sharon MurphySharon Murphy SurreyMember Posts: 1,652
    edited 17 July, 2009
    Sammie was a Maine Coon, but she had been abused before I got her, so was very timid for the first year or so that I had her. Once she settled in - I mean really settled in - she was so laid back and friendly. She loved tummy rubs and being brushed. My vet thought she might be a little brain damaged, though, due to her abuse, so I can't say how smart she might have been (Over and over again she ran into the coffee table while chasing Alaidh, who zipped under it easily, being a tiny little thing). Heidi, while I have no proof, shows all the signs of being a Maine Coon. She was trapped in Vancouver, but she is so Maine Coon-like, it's uncanny. She's big - 12 pounds at last weigh-in, has beautiful thick fur, has big snowshoe-like paws with extra toe floof on the bottom on and the top, and is just such a laid back girl. Loki's mum calls him a gentle giant, well, this could be used to describe Heidi, as well. She's big, gentle and loveable...and smart! She's got this dimwitted sweetness about her, but she's already learnt to shake a paw and high five! Yup. Maine Coons are awesome.
  • Elizabeth KElizabeth K ChicagoMember Posts: 11,036
    edited 4 September, 2009
    I've noticed that a lot of Maine Coon breeders do not believe in early spay/neuter. Actually the "care sheet" that Roxy's breeder gave us said DO NOT spay/neuter before 8 months old, that it should be done between 8-12 months for Maine Coons. As far as the breed, they are pretty awesome! They are great cats and I will definitely be getting another MC in the future. Roxy is very smart and of course gorgeous. I'm not sure about dog-like, I guess maybe compared to some other cat breeds. She rarely makes noise and when she does it is the typical high-pitched squeaky meow or chirrup. She is very confident and outgoing. She is not overly affectionate though and definitely not a lap-cat. She doesn't care for being picked up/carried either but that may be partly due to her upbringing and partly due to her size/length. In the "care sheet" from the breeder it also said you should not pick up a kitten unless they ask to so she probably did not get picked up much before we got her. I also say her size because when I do pick her up it is hard to balance her properly because she is so long-bodied that her center of balance is different than a "regular" cat and since she is still growing that changes. As far as grooming, if they have a "correct" coat there should not be a lot of grooming that needs to be done unless you're showing them. We rarely need to brush/groom Roxy except for under the ears and nail trimming (since she's polydactyl we have to keep the extra toes trimmed because they don't touch the ground.) She never gets tangles except tiny ones under her ears so we do brush that area regularly. When I was showing her I did bathe her before each show and blow dry/brush her out to make sure her coat looked its best.
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 5 September, 2009
    I agree with Roxy. For purebred MCs, the breed standard calls for "silky but shaggy." This means that the fur on the body is silky to the touch, although the tail fur is a bit coarser. The shaggy part refers to the fact that the fur on the lower torso is uneven in length. All my MC's have very silky fur and need very little grooming in daily life. The ones who go to shows get their show baths, and it's a good idea to give a MC the occasional bath anyway just to get rid of loose and dead hairs, but a metal comb is about all you need to keep your MC looking good. In fact, I haven't given Chibi a thorough grooming since she went back to my breeder's and got pregnant by his stud--that was April, and she still looks shiny and clean. I also have few problems with hair balls, although I must admit that I'm not the world's most enthusiastic vacuumer, and I do have a lot of cat hair lying around. But, oddly enough, it's Spike, the generic short haired moggie, who has the densest undercoat and sheds the most. MCs may show more variation than any other breed (except moggies, if you're willing to consider them a breed), in terms of size, color, fur quality and length (some MCs have fur that is quite short), and facial expression. Loki mentioned the two major "looks" for purebred MCs. The CFA look is sweeter and closer to that of indigenous MCs. TICA prefers the wild look, with exaggerated ears and ear tufts, and extremely pronounced muzzles. Personally, I prefer the CFA look, and thus am registered with the CFA and show my cats at CFA shows. I've read that MCs are popular because they are "easy to keep." (I'm translating from the Japanese here.) Certainly, my crew are not sloppily affectionate, but they show little or no fear when they go to the vet, when visitors come, or when being taken to cat shows, whether by taxi or by the Tokyo transit system. They are not nervous cats (except at cat shows--which is unusual for MCs). At the same time, my cats like their space--depending on the cat, they spend a certain amount of quality time (the amount is determined by the cat) with me every day, but they do not demand my attention at all hours, even though I know they are devoted to me, each in their own way. When I've visited other breeders' catteries, retired cats, females, and kittens are often roaming around, and will park themselves under your chair or on the table in front of you. As you know, to a certain degree, cats inherit their personality from their parents. Harvey, Leila, and Chibi both have the same mother and father; my newest, Elise, has different parents (same breeder, though), and seems markedly more affectionate. MCs all have individual personalities, but if you look at the Breed Specific Forums, MCs seem to have the most entries, which, one assumes, attests to their popularity. They're popular in Japan as well--Persians are the mainstay of cat shows here, but MCs are a close second. However, and this is a strange thing for a breeder to say, sometimes I wonder if MCs really deserve the cachet they seem to have. Obviously many do. But of my own MCs--the ones I got from my breeder--the only one I'm really close to is Harvey. I think I was more successful with Leila's first litter in raising affectionate kittens than my breeder was with Leila and Chibi (who is cheerful but doesn't necessarily want to be with me all the time)--partly because I am home more than he is, and partly because I raised my kittens under foot as much as possible after they were toilet-trained, and let them sleep with me. Hence Currier, the one kitten I kept, is a bit stand-offish like her mother Leila, but so loyal that she's always by my side. Now that I'm sleeping in the cat nursery with Chibi, who gave birth 2 weeks ago, Currier sleeps outside the door, every night. I once had a conversation with a well-known MC breeder and cat show judge who told me that, frankly, she's come to the conclusion that Japanese moggies are generally more intelligent and friendly than MCs. In my own case, some of my own moggies have been quite feral, but then, not all all of my MCs have turned out to be the lovely dovey cats of my dreams, either. I like big, long haired cats myself, and would love to have a Norwegian Forest Cat or a Siberian. I'd also like to try a demanding cat like a Siamese. But for the time being, I only have enough space and time for the cats I have (I'm also going to inherit my breeder's stud in a few months).
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