Animal-World’s Featured Pet for this week is: The Maine Coon Cat!
Maine Coon Cats are notorious for being large, plush, and beautiful cats! I have been to a few cat shows where I have gotten to hold and pet these cats. Most of them have been quite lovable and their owners always give good reviews of them! Their personalities can vary depending on the individual cat (just like humans!), but in general, they are praised for being friendly cats. Words often used to describe them include mild-mannered, gentle, affectionate, easy-going, and pleasant.
The true background of the Maine Coon Cat is unknown. There are several theories on how it came to be, however. The most accepted theory is that house cats and Angora cats were bred together in the state of Maine. It is just a theory though, with no proof. Other less plausible theories include breeding between a house cat and an American Bobcat, that they are descended from Norwegian Forest Cats, that they are house cats which became semi-feral living outside and evolved into stockier bodies, and that they are house cats bred with raccoons (which is obviously impossible!). Other names these cats go by include the American Coon Cat, the American Forest Cat, and the American Longhair.
The most obvious feature of these cats is their size. They are huge! At least huge for house cats. They can be anywhere from 9 to 22 (or more) pounds. They have long, plush fur which needs moderate grooming care. They also have large tufted ears and a long, plumed, bushy tail. They have squeaky little voices and come in a variety of colors and patterns! Their “common” pattern is a tabby pattern. This cat can live to be over 13 years old as well.
The Maine Coon Cat is a very popular breed to show. They were actually the very first cats ever shown! In the early 1860′s people started showing Maine Coons in New England at the Skowhegan Fair. Shortly after this in 1871 was the first official cat show in London. They were shown successfully in the first American show as well, in 1895. In 1976 they were officially recognized as a breed by the Cat Fancier’s Association!
The care and feeding of these cats is similar to most house cats. They can be fed a regular, good quality cat food and should be provided with fresh water. They enjoy outdoors time, but it is not a necessity. They can be good indoor cats and/or apartment dwellers if given plenty of attention and room to explore and play. They should be groomed regularly to keep their long coat looking nice and mat-free, however they don’t need as much grooming as some other long-hair cats. Once a week should suffice for a Maine Coon Cat. They do shed a lot during hot summer months and may need more grooming during that time.
Health problems are few for these cats. They are generally healthy if taken well care of. This breed can suffer from Hip Dysplasia, however, especially if they are on the larger side. Other common cat diseases that can affect them are a heart condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) and Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), but these are not specific to the Maine Coon.
Generally you will have to pay to obtain a Maine Coon that is licensed. They can range anywhere from $200 to $1000 depending on the breeder, location, color, and other characteristics.
To read more on Maine Coon Cats, follow-up on the Maine Coon page!
Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.
Are you looking for a fluffy, friendly companion? Then consider the Maine Coon cat. He may look like a more aggressive breed of wild cat but he is more like a pussycat.
This cat is actually the second most popular breed in the United States. As its name implies, it is believed to be native to Maine. This cat has been roaming the area for at least a century. Its thick furry coat makes it well-equipped to last during the long Maine winters and also the weather in the rest of New England as well.
This cat may look menacing but he is as gentle as they come. They are quite playful and may even do some tricks if prompted. They love to play fetch with their owners and generally enjoy their company.
You may find that your Maine Coon never meets a stranger. They are easy-going with those they meet for the first time just like they have learned to be with their family. Some refer to them as “gentle giants” because of their size and their tendency for goofing off.
A Maine Coon is equally at home in a quiet house or an active one that has children. It is not a lap cat but will get in the habit of following you around the house. When they speak, their voice is a high chirping trill. They may use their “words” to coax you to play.
The Maine Coon is a large sized tabby cat. They are often brown or brown and white tabby. Some are even chocolate or lavender. It is not uncommon for males and females to grow to between 16 and 20 pounds on average.
Their long coat stands close to their body. Don’t forget their long bushy tail and large tufted ears. They are reminiscent of the appearance of a lynx cat.
The thick coat is made for withstanding the harsh weather but you need to take care when grooming him. Being too aggressive can hurt your cat. Their coat is actually easy to manage as long as you give it a good combing twice a week. This reduces the amount of shedding they do, as well as hairballs and matting.
What about a bath? This cat doesn’t mind it if you make it a regular part of the cleaning process from their kitten days.
If you start young, your Maine Coon can be taught to do a number of things. As we said, they love to fetch. They can also learn to stroll around outside on a leash for leisurely walks outside.
As with any cat, training them early can prevent behavioral problems like scratching and biting.
If you are looking for a new pet for your family, consider the second most popular cat breed in America, the Maine Coon.
Is your cat nipping at your house guests or worse, you? There could be several reasons behind your cats biting and scratching phase. Keep reading to find out what you can do about it.
Cats are quite self-sufficient animals. They make a great house pet for the person who doesn’t have a lot of time to spend with their pet but still wants a companion. Though they don’t need you around all the time, they still need training to keep them from displaying aggressive cat behavior.
A Few Cat Facts
Cats are most likely descended from more feral ancestors. They use their claws to survive. Cats, in the wild, need to know how to defend themselves and also find food.
Even though your cat is domesticated, they still have their instincts to serve them well. This means scratching and biting as a way of communicating as well as protecting themselves in fearful situations.
Cats may not realize that scratching or biting is hurting you. If they are doing this playfully (ouch!) then it is up to you to set them straight.
How to Deal with Aggressive Cat Behavior
When your cat is drawing blood from you on a regular basis, something definitely needs to be done. Here are some tips to help you understand your cat better and get them to stop hurting you, intentional or not.
1. Train your cat from the kitten stage – One thing that kids do is use their hands as instruments when they are playing with their cute little kitten. This is a big no-no. Never use your hands as toys. Cats are used to being aggressive with their toys at play time. Your hands will bear the brunt of this play once their claws grow and they get bigger. From a young age, teach them not to bite you through training techniques.
2. Trim their claws – This can avoid the bloodletting that you are currently experiencing. There is no need to remove their claws as it can be considered inhumane (by some people) and takes away your cat’s defensive tools.
3. Know your cat’s behavior – Cats may react differently if they feel threatened. Aggressive cat behavior could be due to a trauma they have experienced. Try to remove that threat by removing the person or object that reminds them of the trauma.
4. Discipline him like a baby – When cats discipline their kittens, they grab them by the scruff of the neck with their teeth. You don’t have to use your teeth but you can still grab them firmly behind their head and push them towards the ground so that they get the hint. At the same time, use the word “no” to help drive the point home.
5. Use a squirt bottle – This is one of the techniques that helps when training at the kitten stage. A firm squirt on the nose when they scratch or bite as well as using the word “no” will help break aggressive cat behavior habits in your cat.
Check out Animal-World’s Cat Care page for other cat care tips!
You often hear about people who have kittens they are giving away or kittens that are on display in the pet store, but what about adopting an older cat from a shelter? Here are some things you need to know.
The Cold Hard Facts
There are two types of shelters: regular animal shelters like the Humane Society, and kill shelters. We have all heard about the former. These are places where animals go when they lose their homes to due to disinterest or death of the owners. Some advertise on television and in flyers that there are cats that need a loving home available for adoptions.
Kill shelters are often referred to as “open admission” shelters. Unlike the Humane Society, these shelters take all strays that are picked up off the street. Because of this, many cats are not in the shape that they need to be to attract the eye of someone looking for a cat. And, when the shelter gets full, residents who have been there the longest are put to sleep. It is an almost guaranteed death if the animals have been there for several months or longer.
Finding a Shelter Cat
The good news is that you can find a shelter cat that needs adoption pretty easily. Finding one that is compatible for you and your needs might be a bit harder.
Search online. The internet is great for locating a shelter cat who needs a good home. If you are looking for a cat with specific qualifications (minimal dander, older cat, disabled, certain breed) you can save yourself a lot of legwork by letting your fingers do the walking first. And while it is a good idea to search online, it is not so good to buy your cat this way, sight unseen.
Visit a local animal shelter or pet store. Here, you can interact with the cats to see which one is best for you. If you have other animals in the home, they can also get a glimpse of their potential new companion before you bring them home. If the cat has any issues or you notice something about them, you can ask questions right then.
It may take a few visits to find the cat that you want. Don’t despair. Always bring a cat carrier with you so you have a way to house your new pet if you find him. And, have a veterinarian lined up who can examine your cat before you bring him home. Shelters or pet stores may have history on your cat so you will know what shots or treatments they have already had.
There are a few things you will need to have to adopt a shelter cat, so be prepared. First, you will be charged a fee. The fee amount depends on the age of the cat and if any services are performed for the cat before you take them home.
Secondly you will need proof of age and residence. They want to know that the cat is going to an actual home. Other information will be taken so they can follow up with you.
Receive post-adoption instructions. You may be given fact sheets telling you how to care for your pet and what you need to make them comfortable in their new home.
Adopting a shelter cat is a noble deed. You are saving a life so choose wisely.
Most people looking for new pets always go for the babies. They want puppies and kittens. But, there are several reasons that an older cat would make a great addition for your home.
Cats are quite self-sufficient creatures. They love affection but also crave time alone. Sounds like some humans that you know huh? It’s no wonder they get along with most people who adore them.
Unfortunately, kittens do grow up and become older cats. Older cats are not as desired as younger ones and often end up in shelters or worse, on the street. This increases the unwanted animal population. What usually happens then is that they are either killed on the street or euthanized in the shelter to make room for younger kittens that people might want to adopt.
Save a Cat’s Life
If you like cats and are looking for a pet, before looking at kittens, consider the older cat in your local animal shelter. They still have a lot to offer. In fact, here are five very good reasons for you to adopt one.
1. They are already housebroken – Even though cats are easy to train, it does take time to get them to use their litter box. With an older cat, the hard work is already done. Simply show them where the box is and they will take it from there.
2. They won’t end up back in the shelter – It’s a little known truth that many cats end their days in an animal shelter because their owners have died. There was no one else to care for them. Cats do live pretty long lives but if you are a younger couple and you adopt a seven or eight year old cat, chances are that you will outlive them. The same goes for an older couple who wants companionship.
3. Children can play with them – Kittens are cute but kids can be rough with them. An older cat can stand up to tough loving and come out a winner. Also, these cats are often socialized well so they don’t mind other pets in the home either.
4. Can entertain themselves – Many people avoid pets or get rid of their current pets because of the time commitment. Kittens do require a lot of time with their owners until they are older. Adult cats can enjoy quiet time without being destructive. They are perfect for singles or couples that are away from home a lot but love to be greeted at the door by an old friend.
5. Good for multi-cat families – Some older cats are stressed by kittens running around and over them all day. Introducing another cat about the same age as your first cat is a better match overall.
Considering a cat for your home? Why not adopt an older cat? They come with wisdom and a loving heart.
“Most people have owned a Tabby Cat at one point or another! Typically they have striped coats but can also have blotched, spotted or patchwork quilt patterns!”
Tabby Cats with stripes are the original pet cat coat designs!
The Tabby Cat is a well-known cat, with very familiar coat markings. There are actually five coat patterns for these cats. The striped Tabby Cat is the most popular and common type, called the Mackerel Tabby pattern. Other types include the Spotted Tabby, Ticked Tabby, Blotched Tabby, and Patched Tabby. The only striped coat pattern in domestic cats is actually the Mackerel Tabby pattern. Exotic Cats or wild cats also have members who have striped coats.
Tabby Cat markings have the classic dark and light banded hairs mixed with black hairs. These black hairs help create the tabby pattern by being clustered in “stripes” or clusters. The Mackerel Tabby has a light background with dark stripes on top. When stripes occur, they appear mostly vertical, thin, long and somewhat curved. The stomach and sides of the cat usually break the stripes into short bars… Read More
Cats are very independent pets. They mostly groom themselves and can also occupy themselves for hours with a toy. It will take a practiced eye to tell if they are sick.
You may think that your cat speaks to you in meows and purrs but it is a foreign language. There is no translation to let you know when they are in pain or not feeling well. So, how will you know if your cat is under the weather?
One way is to pay attention and listen. You are around your pet every day. From the time you get them home with a clean bill of health, take note of their usual behaviors. Vets can give you instruction and literature on normal cat activity and body functioning. Now, you are armed with the tools you need to identify when something is not right with your pet.
Signs of Sickness
For many cat owners, they don’t know that something is wrong until it is too late. This doesn’t have to be the case with you and your cat. Here are some signs that you can be on the lookout for.
1. Appetite – Your cat usually eats all of his food but now he is eating less. It could be that he doesn’t like a new food that you are offering. On the more serious side, he could have a digestive ailment that has changed his appetite. Use this measure. Grasp the skin between your cat’s shoulder blades. If it bounces back into place once you let go then he is well-hydrated. If not, your cat could be dehydrated. Offer him more water to drink each day.
2. Litter box business – This is kind of stinky but you might have to check the litter box droppings if you notice any changes in appetite. Think of it this way – you scoop out the droppings when you clean the litter box anyway. Next time, pay closer attention to the droppings. If your cat is eating more but eliminating less, that is a sign of possible illness. Also, if stools are loose or hard with traces of blood, this is another indicator that something is wrong. Check the color as well.
3. Eyes – The eyes have it. Cats have three lids: upper lid, lower lid and nictitating membrane. It’s much like a lizard where the third membrane comes across the eye and back as the other two close. You don’t normally see it because it closes so fast. If you can see halfway covering the eye, take him to the vet. Notice the normal coloring of your cat’s eyes. Any cloudiness to any area of the eyes could signal ulcers, cataracts or other problems.
4. Coat – Look for bald patches or a dull sheen to the coat. It could signal an allergic reaction, stress in your cat or a flea or other infection.
5. Ears – Take a look. Are they perky as usual? If there is a bluish or yellowish tint to them, it could signify a problem with oxygenation or liver damage.
Is your best friend feeling down? Use these guidelines to determine if you need to raise the alarm or just give your cat a little bit of loving.
Serval Cats as Pets
“Are you thinking of acquiring a wild cat as a pet? Serval Cats are considered one of the best exotic cats to own – and here are the basics of their care!”
The African Serval is not an overly large exotic cat species, and it has long ears!
Serval Cats, also known as African Servals originate from Africa. These are popular exotic pet cats because of having similar characteristics to typical house cats. They are very loving towards their human owners, however they have a much more wild side than domestic cats and act on their instincts much more strongly. Servals are relatively small for wild cats – ranging from 18 to 40 pounds, with males often being larger. They are larger than most domestic cats, but in comparison to the largest exotic wild cats, such as the Siberian Tiger which reaches 400 to 760 pounds, they are small.
Seven different small wild cats are kept as pets, however the African Serval is the most popular and the most distinctive in looks. Although they look similar to cheetahs they are actually a completely different cat species. The Serval has a reddish to yellowish brown coat with dark stripes and spots which makes it stand out. The Black Serval and Woodland Servaline are two Serval varieties whose patterns include significantly smaller spots. Servals bodies are long and lean with long back legs that are somewhat longer than their front legs. They also have narrow heads and long ears… Read More
Kittens are cute as buttons. But what if you could have a full grown cat that is still cute as a button? If that appeals to you, then you could be the owner of a Devon Rex in the near future.
If you’ve ever seen a Devon Rex kitten, then you know why they have such appeal. The first Devon Rex was found in England. It was the offspring of a tom cat and a straight haired calico cat. The owner of the calico noticed that one of the kittens had a short curly coat much like its father. It was surmised that the two cats were related since a curly coat is a recessive trait in the Devon Rex. For a recessive trait to be portrayed it has to be present in both parents.
It was believed to be related to the Cornish Rex but subsequent breeding proved otherwise. The first of this breed to hit America happened in the 1960s. It is now recognized as a breed by American cat associations.
This cat is loving, playful and gentle. It has a high activity level and would love the company of an active family with children. They are highly intelligent and curious. Wherever you are, they will want to tag along and see what you are doing.
If you like cats who love to be around you then you have found the right breed. This cat loves to drape across your shoulders and also command your lap. If you let them, they will sleep with you and then wake up in the morning to your hugs and cuddles.
They like active play. If you throw a toy they will retrieve it, ready for you to throw it again. To cut down on their energy, play time each day is essential.
The Devon Rex has a short curly coat. It is composed of three different hairs: guard, awn and down. The hairs on this breed can break off easily. It is not uncommon for them to develop bald patches. These bald spots are not a sign of alarm. The areas fill in when the next hair cycle rolls around. Very little brushing is needed to keep it in line. Simply use your hand to stroke him and he will be groomed.
Often called a “poodle cat” this breed gets a look or two. Besides the tight curly coat, they also have saucer size eyes and large ears that could double as satellite dishes. As kittens they are often thought of as alien cats or pixies. This cat is not prone to a lot of health problems in the breed.
If you don’t mind your cat crawling all over you then you won’t have a problem. Besides normal household rules for your pet, there aren’t any identifiable behavior problems.
Are you looking for an unusual cat that will shower you with love? Consider the “poodle cat” – the Devon Rex!
Cats are curious creatures. They are quite self-sufficient and loving as companions. But, bringing one home may mean some changes around the house to keep them safe. Here are a few guidelines for cat proofing your home.
Cats don’t require much but what they do need is some discipline. They can get into everything when you are not home if a few measures are not taken. Most of these are safety measures since you don’t want your new companion to hurt themselves. Some are for cosmetic reasons so your furniture doesn’t look like it has been through a shredder.
Many pet owners are stressed about the amount of money they have to put into repairs around their home but it can be avoided. Try these tips and tricks to keep a safe and happy cat home.
Finding a Happy Medium for you and your Cat
1. Discipline from the beginning – Kittens are cute but if you don’t teach them how to behave at this stage you could have a real problem when they grow into adult cats. The most effective way to teach is with a firm command word and/or a spray bottle. The spray bottle seems cruel but it is a tool that will get their attention when they persist in being disobedient.
2. Hiding cords – Cats like to bite and gnaw on things. If they have taken a shine to your electrical cords nip that behavior in the bud right away. You don’t want them to suffer the same fate as the cat in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation do you? Use empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls to cover cords and keep them together so that they are not easy prey for your cat. Cover them with contact paper or paint them so they blend in better with your room décor.
3. Blind cat – Curtains offer a great place for cats to hang and scratch. Avoid shredded draperies and instead use vertical blinds. Cats like to sit in windows and this way they can move between them without doing damage. Cut looped strings so your cat won’t get hung in them.
4. Bitter plants – Cats love to eat plants and spill the dirt everywhere. First of all many plants are toxic to cats if they chew on them. Know this list to avoid any plant that could be a danger. With other plants, apply a spray called bitter apple. It is non-toxic to the plant and cats don’t like the taste. You can also buy them some catnip plants that they can chew with delight if they want.
5. No dirt – To avoid dirt all over the floor, apply a mesh covering over the top of the plant to keep dirt from getting kicked out. You can still water and feed the plant as normal.
6. Scratching post – Cats like to scratch. Having a scratching post in the home can avoid them using your furniture. Try a post that uses a different texture material than your furniture. Posts can be vertical or horizontal.
Welcome your cat home and keep them welcome with a few tricks to keep them safe and your home in tiptop shape!