The Maine Coon is a popular cat breed that originated from the state of Maine, and is still the official state cat there. It is a massive cat that can reach a height of up to 26 inches and can grow in length up to 40 inches. Needless to say, keeping a Maine Coon in your house isn’t going to be easy. You will want to consider the size requirements of the animal before getting one.
The Maine Coon is a popular pet because the size isn’t the only thing that you have to worry about. In fact, this cat is actually quite popular because of its docile and sweet-natured temperament. It loves its owner, and is quite sociable. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss more about the Maine Coon and why it’s so popular.
The Standards Say Differently
You might have seen photos of some massive Maine Coon cats. However, you should know that in reality, these cats generally aren’t all that big. Only a few are able to reach the heights and the sizes that have been given above. In fact, according to the standards set by breeders, the Maine Coon usually weighs around 18 pounds tops as a male, whereas female cats can reach around 11 pounds.
If you create a comparison with a tabby cat, you will realize that the difference in sizes isn’t as much as has been touted. The Maine Coon size is big, but it’s not overly big to the point that you have to rethink your decision to bring one into your house. So why is it that most of the photos taken of these cats are so big?
Primarily, it has to do with the cat’s head and the angle at which the photos are taken. Furthermore, you should know that these cats have a pretty thick fur, which often gives them a shaggy appearance. Breeders are often able to find just the right angle to snap the photo of the Maine Coon. Secondly, there’s cognitive dissonance. There’s no doubt that these cats are bigger than the average domestic cat, and your brain often makes it seem bigger when it’s being held by someone.
There Are Specific Diseases
Despite being one of the healthiest breeds that has adapted to the harsh climate and has all the tools to survive the harsh winters of Maine, you should know that these cats have their own diseases too. The Maine Coon usually suffers from HCM, which is a genetic heart problem known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The disease usually rears its ugly head when the cat is in its middle or later ages.
This disease can lead to a pulmonary edema or it can lead to paralysis. Eventually, it can prevent the cat from breathing properly, and will lead to death. Needless to say, tests for HCM need to be conducted annually to ensure that the disease can be detected in its early stages.
These cats are often required to go through ECGs and heart checks, including an ultrasound, to determine whether they are healthy or not. More importantly, because of their big size, these cats are also likely to suffer from hip dysplasia. The chances of these cats developing hip dysplasia are higher than other breeds.
They Are Friendly Animals but They Aren’t Tame
One of the things that you should know about the Maine Coon cat is that they are incredibly friendly animals. However, it would be inaccurate to say that this breed has been fully tamed. Many people refer to them as tender giants, and they are incredibly gentle around their homeowners. They have a very kind and flexible nature, and are great to have around kids.
Some breeders will even say that these cats are as loyal as dogs and will stick with their owners. It’s never going to bite or scratch even if you play with it when it is not in the mood or when you try to pick it up. However, you should know that these cats don’t like to be handled all the time. This cat definitely doesn’t like to be hugged as much as other breeds.
These cats like to jump, and they reach maturity much faster than other cats. That is why you will often find your Maine Coon resting on taller surfaces, such as a kitchen table or a wall shelf that you have set up. They are also likely to steal flowers from vases or move from one place to another very quickly. If they don’t want to be near you, they are going to jump off.
They Like the Water
One of the funniest things that you should know about the Maine Coon is that this cat really likes the water. You should know that the Maine Coon actually likes playing with the water. When you compare the Maine Coon with other breeds that tend to actively run away from the water, this one definitely comes off as unique.
Basically, what these cats like to do is to “dig out” the water. This habit was formed at the genetic level in the cat’s ancestors, and still exists. In the wild, the cat would try to dig out the water to clear up the puddles or leaves and branches. That is why you might often see your cat digging into the water, especially in the bowl that you have kept out for the cat.
The good thing about this is the fact that cleaning and washing the cats is definitely not going to be a problem for you. When it comes to taking care of the animal and giving it a regular wash, the Maine Coon is definitely going to be up for it. Many people are apprehensive about how they are going to bathe such a big animal, but it definitely won’t be an issue.
They Are Very Social Animals
Another thing that you should know about this cat is that it definitely does not like to be alone. Leaving the Maine Coon all on its own is a bad idea, as the cat is likely to turn destructive. These cats love spending time with their owners and are going to give you a lot of attention, but they do expect it back.
If you are thinking of buying a cat that will be on its own and won’t bother you at all, getting a Maine Coon might not be a wise move. Unlike other breeds, the Maine Coon likes to spend as much time as possible with its owner. They aren’t going to jump on you; they will just sit beside you and observe you while you go about your day.
All in all, the Maine Coon is one of the best animals that you can keep around the house. They are loving and caring animals that really like their owners and are quite different from other cat breeds. If you want a fun cat that is going to keep you entertained and will love you, the Maine Coon is a great choice.