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Generally, your kitten will go home with you when they are around 12 to 16 weeks old. At that age, they have bonded with their mother and socialized with the breeder and other cats in the litter. What are some of the challenges and fun things to look forward to in these first few months?

Around four months of age, your kitten may start to lose his baby teeth. Just like human infants, his gums may be painful as his adult teeth develop. You can massage his gums with gauze to relieve pain, or give plastic drinking straws to help with teething. The straws are also fun for the kitten to play with. When they are young, kittens will quickly adapt to a dental care routine.

When you first bring your kitten home, it's smart to create separate space away from other family members and other animals. She will need some time to get used to the new environment, though outgoing kittens will soon poke their heads out and want to join the rest of the family. If you have older cats, you will start to see the kitten trying to figure out the social ranking order of the house. It's not unusual to see a kitten challenge the older, alpha cat, which will quickly let him know who's in charge with a swipe at the kitten's ears.

Depending on your other cats' personalities and their social position, you may find the other cats deferring to the kitten. Your kitten grows with big changes during this time. You may find your little, fluff ball growing stronger and more muscular.

While Maine Coon kittens are born about the same size as other breed, they mature slower than other breeds of cats. Adults don't reach maturity until they are 3 to 5 years of age. Your young cat may look like the same size as adult cats of other breeds. Keep in mind, your kitten is still a baby for the first eighteen months.

You'll need to find a quality cat food for your kitten and provide clean, fresh water. Maine Coon cats love to play with water, so keep an eye on the water level to determine whether the cat is actually drinking from the bowl or splashing around in it.

Kittens should continue to eat kitten food during this phase of growth. They need the additional nutrients for strong bones, healthy teeth, and strong muscles. Your kitten should be spayed or neutered between three to six months of age. Both female and male kittens, as young as four to five months old, can become sexually active.

Maine Coon cats are known for being affectionate and gentle. They are smart and can usually outwit closed doors or hidden treats. Female Coons are typically more reserved than males, but both love to follow their owners and lend “help” in household activities. You can also train your kitten to use a leash, if you're interested in having him as an outdoor cat or to enjoy outdoor “games” like hunting lizards.

Love and spoil your Maine Coon kitten, and he will provide unconditional love for many, many years to come!

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