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With their large body size and distinctive lion-like mane, Maine Coons immediately stand out from your usual domestic cats. In fact, they are the biggest breed of cats to have been domesticated. Due to their finely honed hunting skills, this native of Maine was once much sought-after as a mouser.
How big can they get?
Aptly nicknamed the gentle giants, adult Maine Coon cats can weigh between 8-18 pounds, with males being larger than females. They can grow up to be around 48 inches in length and 10-16 inches in height. The growth phase, typically, lasts until they’re about four years old. The longest Maine Coon cat (as per Guinness World Records) was ‘Stewie’, measuring a whopping four feet!
What’s their personality like?
As mentioned above, Maine Coons are famous for their gentle and friendly disposition. They are loyal, affectionate, and intelligent, and will follow you around the house. They are easy to train and can be taught tricks as well as games such as fetch. Unlike most other cat species, they are fond of playing with water. Because of these and other traits, Maine Coons are often described as being dog-like. They are also quite chatty, and will not hesitate to speak their mind through a myriad of vocalizations.
Do they get along with children and dogs?
Because of their easy-going and affable nature, Maine Coons are great for families with kids and dogs. However, kids should be taught to be gentle and respectful while handling the cat. And if you have dogs, care should be taken to introduce the animals to each other gradually, and in a controlled and supervised environment.
Do they require a special diet?
While they do not require a special diet, Maine Coons, because of their size and energetic behavior, do require plenty of protein and nutrients. Ask the vet to prescribe a diet that’s appropriate for your Maine Coon.
Do they require special care?
Maine Coons have a dual coat: an overcoat made-up of guard hairs, and a soft silky undercoat. Because of the smoothness of their coat, a Maine Coon’s fur doesn’t get easily tangled. So a weekly grooming session will do the trick. Nail trimmings and baths can be provided as and when required. Proper dental hygiene should be followed to keep periodontal diseases at bay. Maine Coons can be especially finicky about their litter box. So their litter box should always be kept clean and spotless.
Are they prone to health issues?
Maine Coons have an average life expectancy of around 13 years. Though a strong and sturdy breed, they are vulnerable to a few diseases. Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is an inherited condition in Maine Coons. As is spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Medical tests can be done to detect if the kitten carries the genes responsible for said diseases. Other major health problems to watch out for are hip dysplasia and poly-cystic kidney disease. Don’t be intimated by the Maine Coon’s size and fearsome appearance. With their caring and affectionate ways, these big-hearted cats will win you over in no time.