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Have you ever heard of a cat that behaves like a dog? A cat with a long bushy tail more like a raccoon than a feline? A domestic cat that doesn't meow…

General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home
You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.
General Cat Care #2: Feeding
An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).

Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.

We're talking about Maine Coon cats. Although they share some features with other animals, such as their tufted ears (like a lynx), a ruff around their neck (like a lion), and a bushy tail (like a raccoon), they have several characteristics which are unlike any other cats. .

1- Their thick fur is unlike other cats. It is soft, silky, heavy, glossy, and water-resistant. Their ears are more heavily tufted inside and on the tips than other cats. These cats have adapted for harsh, outdoor weather. Their long hair protects them from the cold, while the shorter hair around their neck keeps them from being tangled in bushes. Their long tail is resistant to sinking in snow and can be wrapped around their backside or neck for extra warmth.

2- Larger than life. Although one of the largest breeds of domestic cats, the Maine Coon cat looks even larger because of its large boned, rectangular-build, and semi-long hair. There have been stories of these cats weighing 30 or more pounds. Typically, Coon cats weigh between 12 to 25 pounds.

General Cat Care #3: Grooming
Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs
General Cat Care #4: Handling
To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.
General Cat Care #5: Housing
Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.

3- Many original Coon cats had six toes (called polydactylism). These cats do have large paws, but the majority of the present-day cats do not have six toes. This trait almost disappeared because show rings disqualified cats with extra toes.

4- Named “Gentle Giants” for their affectionate behavior and large size. These cats are playful and silly even as they grow into adults, though they don't reach maturity until ages 3 to 5 years.

5- Their popularity has increased. In 1985, the state of Maine announced the Maine Coon as their official state cat. In the Cats Fancier's Association, the Maine Coon Cat is the second most popular cat.

6- They interact with behavior more commonly seen in dogs. They play fetch with their owners and prefer to chase objects on the ground rather than climb or jump to higher surfaces. They often follow family members around the house from room to room offering “help”. The cats can also be trained to accept a leash.

7- Their distinctive meow is more birdlike. Their musical chirp or trill is high and seemingly out of place for this large cat. They are talkative cats and often chirp to play with people, get attention, and to mate.

General Cat Care #6: Identification
If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.
General Cat Care #7: Litter Box
All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).
Updated: February 24, 2017 — 5:51 pm

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