More Cat Care Information:

Maine Coon cats are one of the oldest and largest breeds in North America. With stories and myths about its origins and other characteristics, you may have read things about this breed that are untrue. Here are five questions frequently asked about this domestic cat.

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.

1. How big can they get? Maine Coons generally weigh between 9 to 18 pounds. The adult female weighs between 9 and 12 pounds, while the male typically weighs between 13 to 18 pounds. They are not fully mature until 3 to 5 years of age. When you consider another 2 to 3 inches of their long coats, it's not a surprise they look even bigger.

2. How much grooming do they need? With their bushy tail and long hair hind-quarters you might think they'd need a lot of grooming. Their coat naturally falls smoothly, and they do not need much grooming from their owners. A weekly grooming will keep their coats in healthy condition.

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. Do they have six toes? History shows that original Coon cats may have had extra toes (a trait called polydactyls meaning extra fingers or toes). Some think that this may have been a dominant in this breed to help them adapt to harsh weather conditions. This trait had almost vanished in Coons, as cat shows automatically disqualify any cats with this characteristic. Generally, these cats are not polydactyls.

4. Aren't they all brown in color? Many people think that Maine Coons are only brown; however, this couldn't be further from the truth. They come in a wide combination of colors and patterns. The only exception is they don't come pointed, like the Siamese.

5. How can I tell if my cat is a Maine Coon? Your cat may have similar characteristics to the Maine Coon cat, which is a native, long hair cat. Since this breed adapted to Maine's harsh, winter climate, it has large paws, a bushy tail, and a muscular body. The Maine Coon is a natural breed and hasn't been bred to extremes. It is often compared to the Norwegian Forest Cat, which evolved in a similar type climate. But looking for similarities will not give you a definitive answer. The only way you can tell if your cat is a true Maine Coon is to look at the cat's pedigree.

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).
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