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Maine Coon – the intelligent “dog-like cat” from Harry Potter

17.02.2024 - Reading time: 8 minutes

Eine Main Coon liegt auf einem Bett

Do you want a cat that is intelligent and playful? Should it be loving and cuddly at the same time? Then the Maine Coon may be the right breed for you. Probably the most famous Maine Coon cat in the world is called Maximus. You may know him rather as “Mrs Norris”, as he accompanied the spiteful caretaker Argus Filch as a female cat in the well-known Harry Potter films.

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How much does a Maine Coon cost?

With all the special qualities of the Maine Coon, many wonder about the price. There is no one answer to this, as the price for a Maine Coon varies depending on whether it comes from a breeder or from a private seller. In general, you can expect a pedigree Maine Coon to cost between €500 and €1,000. A Maine Coon mix such as a Maine Coon & British Shorthair mix may deviate in price.

Buying a Maine Coon: What you have to consider

If you want to buy a Maine Coon, first make sure that the breeder or seller conveys a serious impression. If they willingly show you where and how their cats are kept, this is a good sign. The cats should live in a clean, hygienic environment and make a healthy, balanced impression. In addition, a reputable seller will not give away Maine Coon kittens that are younger than twelve weeks. If a breeder asks you questions, this is also a positive. Because a responsible Maine Coon breeder is interested in giving their animals into good hands.

Newsletter Maine Coon

Breed
Maine Coon
Origin
USA
Size
large to very large, length up to 120 centimetres, shoulder height up to 40 centimetres
Weight
Female 4.5 to 6 kilogram, male 5.5 to 9 kilogram
Physical build
robust, muscular, wide ribcage, elongated body, bushy tail
Body shape
The rounded wedge head looks slightly exotic due to the large, far apart and slightly slanted eyes in green or gold.
Eyes
green, golden, or copper-coloured, very large eyes
Fur and colour
semi-long fur, long fur on the stomach and rear legs, a soft undercoat that hardly mats, all colours are permitted except for golden
Fur care
brush and comb regularly
Special features
tendency towards health problems with kidneys, joints and heart on account of breed and size; strong need for movement
Character
gentle, social, playful, affectionate, intelligent

The four-legged film star shows what Maine Coons are famous for: Like a dog, it follows its master and even reports unruly students to him. Strange as it may seem, many Maine Coons even love to play fetch. For this reason and due to its strong attachment to people, the Maine Coon is also referred to as a “dog-like cat”. But a Maine Coon has far more special qualities to offer, such as its size or preference to interact with “its” people.

How big can a Maine Coon become?

In actual fact, the Maine Coon cat may be known for its particular size. For example, large individuals can reach a considerable length of up to 120 centimetres (measured from nose to tip of the tail). Impressive Maine Coons can also reach a shoulder height of over 40 centimetres. But these XXL Maine Coons are not the rule. Female Maine Coon cats are usually slightly smaller than the males. The final size and weight of a Maine Coon, of course, also depends on individual factors and the size of the parents.

Maine Coon: What is their life expectancy?

How old a Maine Coon becomes depends on many individual factors and cannot be predicted precisely. If kept healthy, Maine Coon cats can easily reach an age of 12 to 15 years. For a long life, it is generally important that an animal has a healthy, proper diet and is kept accordingly. It is also important that it receives appropriate veterinary care, for example, with the recommended vaccinations for cats, precautions against parasites and regular health check-ups with the vet. This means that illnesses can be detected and treated at an early stage.

Maine Coon: Character

Maine Coons are very attached to people and devoted. Maine Coons are sociable and friendly when interacting with fellow cats as well as dogs or children. They will be glad for playing sessions. If done with emphasis, you’ll often hear a type of cooing or crowing. The breed is also considered a good hunter. In the USA, it remains a “working cat” – chiefly as a mouse and rat catcher.

Maine Coon: Keeping and care

The Maine Coon is a lively cat that likes to hunt and play. This feline with a strong drive to be active is most happy when it can enjoy the outdoors. A Maine Coon’s size and weight pose certain demands on the equipment needed: they need lots of space in the home, a stable scratching post with sufficiently sized surfaces to lay on and a large litter tray. Coat care is also important: as a semi-longhaired cat the Maine Coon needs help to maintain a silky, groomed coat without matting in the undercoat, especially during shedding. For house cats that do not go outside, generally an occasional brushing should suffice, especially if the fur is less dense and shorter.

Can a Maine Coon be kept alone?

Due to the Maine Coon’s sociable, playful nature, it is not suitable for being kept alone all day. If, however, it has the option to go outdoors as it needs, it can go without its human companions for a few hours. A fellow furry friend is important for purely indoor cats that are alone during the day. This is generally the case for most cats, not just a Maine Coon. If you are unable to be with your cat during the day, it is also good to take enough time for playing and cuddling when you get home. For example, offer your Maine Coon cat intelligence games to meet its intellectual needs.

Colours of the Maine Coon cat

Maine Coon cats come in almost every coat and eye colour. According to the breeding standard, the colour of the eyes should be clear and match the fur: Black, white, red, blue or cream – only gold is not recognised. With the fur names too, everything is permitted except “ticked” (multicoloured brindling). Today, the first American showcat is approved with several associations. The requirements differ slightly – such as regarding the fur colour. But there are also characteristics which are the same in all, such as far apart eyes and large ears with a wide hairline.

Eine Main Coon steht auf einem Baumstamm

History of the Maine Coon cat

The origins of the Maine Coon are legendary: some stories claim that the Maine Coon is a hybrid of a cat and a racoon. Others believe that the cat originates from a breed of the former French Queen Marie Antoinette. In reality, little is known of the origin of the cat in the northwest of the United States. Its ancestors adapted to the climatic conditions there, which is why the Maine Coon is so robust. It has a semi-long, dense and water-repellent fur that also protects it against rough weather conditions. The breed has been systematically bred since the 1960s, with the FIFe (Fédération International Féline) recognising the Maine Coon as a standalone breed in 1983. Because regardless of how the Maine Coon came to be, it is a well-known and popular pedigree cat today.

What makes a Maine Coon cat so special?

Maine Coon cats are late developers, who usually have not fully grown until the age of three to four years. The average Maine Coon lives to be around 12.5 years, but 20-year-old “oldies” are not unheard of. Thanks to its fur and paws optimised for adventures in the snow, the Maine Coon cat defies wind and weather. Due to its origin, the house cat does not like things too warm. The Maine Coon displays special skill with its paws: It uses them to put food from the ground in its mouth. A magic trick perhaps? Perhaps it did learn something from Harry Potter – or is simply terribly clever.

Another feature of Maine Coon cats is that they meow a lot. Owners of these cats often report their Maine Coons properly “chatting” or “telling stories”. But why do Maine Coons meow so much? There is no scientific answer to that. It simply seems to be a lovely side of its social and communicative character.

Are certain illnesses typical for Maine Coon cats?

Like with many other pedigree animals, certain illnesses occur in Maine Coon cats on a frequent basis. These include a special form of heart disease known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). This involves the heart muscles becoming thicker and causes functional impairments in the heart. The precise cause of the disease is not known. Genetic factors clearly play a role.

Occasionally, Maine Coon cats (as a sign of overbreeding) are born with too many toes. Experts call this polydactyly. These cats should not be used for breeding purposes.

In addition, Maine Coons can experience problems in the movement apparatus, such as an insufficiently formed hip joint.

Another problem that can affect Maine Coons is kidney disease. For example, cysts (i.e. cavities filled with liquid) can form in the kidneys as part of one illness. As these cysts displace the actual kidney tissue, the kidneys gradually lose their function, resulting in kidney weakness.

To ensure that the Maine Coon has as long and healthy a life as possible, make sure that it is given a high-quality diet. This should correspond to its size and any associated higher nutrient requirement. If you are unsure what food is best suitable for your Maine Coon, then consult a vet. The age and activity of the cat plays a crucial role in its diet. Young Maine Coon kittens, for example, need different food to mature or old animals. Energy requirements may also change after having your pet neutered, meaning that a change in diet may be advisable. Regular health check-ups help you and your cat to detect and treat any health problems at any early stage.

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