Everything You Need To Know Before Getting A Maine Coon


The Maine Coon is one of the most beautiful and affectionate felines in the world, growing up to 25 lbs in weight. They are an increasingly popular cat breed to own, especially in the U.S. and U.K.

Keep reading to discover everything you need to know before getting a Maine Coon.

Maine Coon cats are life and soul of the party. They are highly sociable felines that love spending time with their human owners. A hardy cat breed not prone to many health problems, this regal-looking cat displays dog-like traits e.g. follows owners around, and plays fetch.

The scientific name for Maine Coons is felis catus.

Maine Coons come in a multitude of colors, shades, and mixes, and have a rich history dating all the way back to the French Queen, Marie Antoinette.

Even with their massive size, they remain playful and loyal to their human family.

In the following sections, you will learn about the Maine Coon cat’s personality, cost, health, voice, trainable nature, etc.

Everything You Need To Know Before Getting A Maine Coon

What surprises a lot of people about Maine Coons is not just their gigantic size or mysterious origins, but just how dog-like their personality is.

Maine Coons are like any other feline in the cat kingdom – they play, chase, purr, and cuddle.

But, somewhat surprisingly, many owners have also been able to teach their Maine Coon cat how to fetch, like a dog!

Throughout this section, you not only learn more about these unusual cat breed behaviors but also how much they cost to buy and own, and whether they are the right type of cat for you.

Purchase Cost

How much do Maine Coon cats cost will depend on a lot of factors, such as:

  • Pedigree status of the feline
  • Maine Coon color
  • Their size
  • Whether they are a purebred, or mix Maine Coon
  • Health history
  • Vaccinations
  • Your country of residence

With limited access to such beautiful creatures, the price can often double or sometimes even triple in certain regions.

Below is the average cost of a Maine Coon kitten, by country:

  • United Kingdom: £450 – £2,500 GBP
  • United States: $400 – $2,000 USD
  • New Zealand: $500 – $1,600 NZD
  • Australia: $1,000 – $3,000 AUD
  • Africa: R7,500 – R40,000 ZAR
  • India: R15,000 – R50,000 INR

These are the average costs by country, but, where the cost truly varies is the qualifications of the breeder you are thinking of purchasing from.

As you would expect, breeders that are more qualified with a proven background in breeding award-winning, healthy pedigree Maine Coon cats, will charge more for their kittens.

If the large price tag is preventing you from owning a Maine Coon cat, consider purchasing a Maine Coon (likely of mixed breed) from a cat shelter or Maine Coon rescue center like these.

Cost Of Owning A Maine Coon

Whilst the purchase price of a Maine Coon kitten is high, you must never forget that the cost of owning a Maine Coon is also important to factor into your budget.

The average cost per month of owning a Maine Coon is roughly $50 to $475, depending upon the items you purchase, or the vet you visit.

Whether you need to buy more food, new toys, annual vaccinations, a larger cat tower, or have unexpected costly veterinary bills, all these costs have to be paid.

Please keep in mind, however, that this monthly cost does not include paying for:

  • Potential accidents
  • Vet checkups ($40 to $250 per annum)
  • Unwanted/wanted pregnancies
  • Viruses such as immunodeficiency viruses
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Yearly tick and flea treatment

In addition, should the following Maine Coon ongoing costs also not phase you, a beautiful Maine Coon might be a good fit for your family (sources 1,2,3,4,5):

  • Spay/Neuter: $40 – $500
  • Food and Water: $5-$10
  • Microchip: $40
  • Insurance: $25 to $50 per month
  • Teeth Clean: $150 – $500
  • Cat Tree: $45 to $380
  • Cat Scratcher: $4 to $50
  • Cat Bed: $20
  • Litter Box: $20
  • Litter Scoop: $10
  • Toys: $25 to $100
  • Cat Carrier: $30 to $50
  • Nail Clip and Brush: $15

Maine Coon Size

Maine Coons are one of the largest and oldest purebred cats.

The prices of these majestically long Maine Coons range between $450 to $2,500.

Often regarded as gentle giants, Maine Coons can grow anywhere up to 40 inches in length.

This cat breed grows slowly, reaching full size within 3-5 years of age. Their slow growth is vital for enabling these majestic felines’ frames to develop the bone and muscle needed for their large muscular build.

A “giant among giants,” Maine Coons are often crowned with Guinness World Records for the longest or largest domesticated cat in the world.

Below are the top 3 Guinness World record-holders:

Stewie

Stewie or Mymains Stewart Gilligan holds the title in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest cat of all time.

He measured 48.5 inches long from his nose to his tail, which was verified in 2020.

Stewie age eight died on February 4, 2008, of cancer.

Barivel

Barivel currently holds the title of the longest cat in the world, 47.2 inches long, or 3 ft. 11 inches.

The Guinness Book of World Records awarded Barivel the title on May 22, 2018.

Ludo

Ludo is a 46.6 inch long Maine Coon from the U.K.

He weighs around 34 pounds.

He previously held the title of longest Maine Coon in 2007.

Maine Coon Personality And Temperament

Maine Coon cats are not just your typical domesticated cat.

Whilst they are independent like most felines, they are also extremely loving, understanding, and patient with their family members.

You can rest assured that they will be incredibly loyal and protective of you, as long as you treat them well.

With naturally inquisitive and playful natures, they often become even more playful than your typical dog as time goes on.

Maine Coons have very dog-like characteristics and can be taught to fetch small items, like rolled-up paper, hair bands, or small balls.

These “unusual” characteristics may come from their mysterious origin, or maybe they just love following their owners around because they love you!

Maine Coons are naturally friendly with everyone. They are sociable creatures that want to be around you all the time.

They love company and are quite good with strangers, especially the male of the species. Female Maine Coons will be friendly to a stranger, but in general, tend to be more reserved and cautious.

If you have always wanted a cat that has the following traits, the Maine Coon is a perfect pet choice for your family:

  • Likes to cuddle
  • Does not mind getting wet
  • Is tolerant of children
  • Not distressed by busy and loud family life

This cat breed is also fantastic around other pets and is often considered to be one of the most laid-back cat breeds in the world.

Health

The average lifespan of a Maine Coon cat is 12 to 15 years.

It is important to note, however, that some reports indicate a Maine Coon can live up to 15 years or longer!

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest recorded Maine Coon cat was Corduroy. A 26-year-old Maine Coon who lived in Sister, Oregon. Corduroy was adopted in 1989 together with Batman, his brother, who lived to be a whopping 19 years of age.

While the Maine Coon cats are known as a hardy and strong cat breed, they can be predisposed to developing health issues common to larger cat breeds.

These health problems include:

  • Hip Dysplasia: This is an illness that causes arthritis. If not treated early, it can lead to paralysis. These are the signs to look out for.
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy: This is a hereditary genetic disease that induces posture and instability issues. More information here.
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease: A hereditary genetic illness where ulcers are formed in the kidneys. These are the warning signs of PKD.
  • Obesity: Overweight, too many fatty cells.
  • Stomatitis: This is inflammation in the mouth and gums. More details.
  • Periodontal Disease

Owners must therefore remain vigilant and treat all health conditions quickly since minor illnesses left untreated can lead to more serious illnesses.

As you can see, Maine Coon cats are prone to the genetic diseases shown above. Regular visits to your vet and early interventions help prolong their life expectancy.

Let’s take a closer look at these Maine Coon health problems, to give you a better idea of what each health issue is:

1. Hip Dysplasia

This is common in Maine Coon cats, especially purebred Maine Coons.

It involves the following:

  • The hip joints do not develop normally, resulting in dislocated ball and socket. Hip joint functions deteriorate gradually and lead to loss of hip joint functions
  • Causes arthritis.
  • More female Coons are affected than males. Studies show that this problem affects 18% of the Maine Coon population.
  • Hereditary: breeders must screen their breeding cats, even if there are no outward signs. When both breeding parents pass the gene to their offspring, this illness is passed to the next generations.
  • This illness can lead to paralysis

Early signs of hip dysplasia in cats include looseness of joints and hip joint pain.

Other symptoms include:

  • Reluctance to run, jump or climb.
  • Physically less active.
  • The cat moves with grating sounds.
  • Thigh muscle mass is reduced.

2. Spinal Muscular Atrophy

This hereditary genetic disease weakens muscular development. The cat often becomes unstable; its gait is unsteady.

There is a loss of motor neurons in the lower spinal cord of a cat. Muscles deteriorate in the hind limbs.

Spinal muscular atrophy is identified by increasing instability and abnormalities in posture. It is not fatal or painful.

Maine Coon kittens with this illness can lead normal lives since their mental functions are intact. But, they must be kept indoors because they need a higher level of care.

Symptoms:

  • A kitten’s rear sways when it walks.
  • The posture appears abnormal.
  • The kitten struggles when it jumps.
  • Progressive instability and weakness of muscles.

3. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

This cardiac illness among cats is known as feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

The common Maine Coon health problem occurs when the muscular walls surrounding a cats heart thicken and affect the heart’s efficiency.

Only certain cat breeds are affected with particular heart gene mutations.

Note, that many cats with this illness show no signs of being sick. This lack of symptoms should serve as a warning because HCM can cause sudden death.

Symptoms:

  • Blood clots in the cat’s heart
  • Thromboembolism
  • Acute pain in hind limbs or paralysis
  • Arrhythmia
  • Rapid heartbeat

4. Polycystic Kidney Disease

Ulcers form on the kidneys of a cat, a hereditary genetic disease.

Cats are born with cysts growing on their kidneys. These cysts increase in size, at different rates, during the cat’s lifespan.

The growth of most cysts is slow and not visible until a Maine Coon cat reaches seven years of age.

If any of the cysts become too large, this may result in kidney failure.

With polycystic kidney disease, cats need only one parent to be infected with the defective gene, to inherit this kidney disease.

Symptoms include:

  • Loss of weight
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Urinating frequently

5. Obesity

Some owners are not aware that Maine Coon cats reach full physical maturity between 3 to 5 years of age, rather than 2 years like other cat breeds.

Consequently, these owners overfeed their Maine Coon thinking that the cat has not reached the average Maine Coon size.

Obesity or being overweight can lead to arthritis, diabetes, and heart illness.

6. Dental Health Issues Among Maine Coons

Tooth loss in Maine Coon cats is common when there is a buildup of plaque over its teeth.

Owners must brush their Maine Coons’ teeth regularly to prevent the buildup of plaque, which causes tooth decay or gum disease.

Discover more about Maine Coon teeth in this awesome guide to Maine Coon Teeth.

7. Stomatitis

This affects both the male and females of the Maine Coon species.

A cat’s mouth and gums become painfully inflamed, and the cat will have painful mouth ulcers.

When your cat stops eating, ask your veterinarian to check them for signs of stomatitis.

Symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss is unexplained
  • Bad breath
  • Cat drops food from its mouth
  • Coat of fur becomes messy

8. Periodontal Disease

This Maine Coon health problem is also known as gum disease and is where the tissues around a cat’s teeth are inflamed.

The three stages of periodontal disease are:

  • Halitosis
  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis

Never underestimate the symptoms because periodontal disease can lead to heart valve and kidney conditions. The oral tissues with this disease also let oral bacteria into a cat’s bloodstream.

The condition can be prevented, when owners attend to the oral hygiene of their pet cats.

Family Friendly

Maine Coon cats are family-friendly since they are sweet, affectionate, gentle, and calm. They thrive in families with children.

They love having a good nap on your lap but rarely demand a lot of your time and attention.

The Maine Coon cat loves to be cuddled by its owner when held like a baby. However, be aware that your body heat may become too much for your cat. At this point, the cat will move to a cooler place.

A Maine Coons gentle and calm temperament makes them ideal with babies and children since they are not naturally aggressive felines.

The calm and laid-back temperament of a Maine Coon means they are not ruffled by a screaming baby laying beside them.

Whilst other cat breeds may hide from loud noises and chaotic activity inside the house, a Maine Coon will actively seek the action in the house out! So, expect to find them laying next to or playing with your children.

A Maine Coon forms strong social bonds with every member of the family. They are a very loyal cat breed.

Exercise

Outdoor cats naturally get exercise, whilst chasing a leaf, climbing a tree, or playing with a random stick they have found.

By comparison, an indoor Maine Coon must have roughly 20 to 30 minutes of daily exercise.

Without proper exercise, Maine Coons tend to become obese.

Whilst Maine Coons are known to be playful, they can also be quite lazy felines so make sure your indoor Maine Coon gets the exercise they need to stay fit and healthy.

Ways to Exercise A Maine Coon:

  • Walking: Maine Coons are intelligent and can be trained to walk on a leash and harness. A 30-minute stroll outside is a great way to exercise.
  • Get A Second Cat: Having two cats in the same household will stop your Maine Coon feeling lonely. The two can wrestle and chase each other.
  • Play: If taught whilst still a kitten, the Maine Coon will play fetch with you! Laser pointers and feather toys are two other ways to exercise your cat. These are my top 5 favorite Maine Coon cat toys.

Grooming

If you are not sure how often to groom your Maine Coon cat, make sure you keep reading.

1. Shedding

Maine Coon cats have two thick and dense undercoats and a guard coat.

Like other cat breeds, Maine Coon cats shed dead hair while natural oils are released into the skin.

A Maine Coons long hair, however, can become matted easily.

2. Shedding levels

The amount a cat’s fur sheds depends on the condition of its coat, and the time of year.

In addition, Maine Coon cats with fluffy coats tend to shed at a faster pace than Maine Coons with silky-textured, soft hair.

Ultimately, the Maine Coon’s genetics determine the level of shedding.

I often get asked, do Maine Coons like to be brushed? The simple answer is yes, most do.

In terms of how often should I brush my Maine Coon, plan to brush your pedigree cat a minimum of 2-3 times a week.

 3. Ways To Reduce Your Cat’s Shedding:

  • Grooming keeps your cat’s coat smooth and silky. It reduces hair shedding, whilst also removing dead hairs that are tangled with live hair.
  • Bathing your Maine Coon once a month removes dead hair.
  • Cat wipes help to keep a cat’s fur clean. When you stroke the fur, the motion removes excess hair.
  • Regular vet checkups will identify any health issues causing excessive hair shedding.
  • Check your cat is drinking enough water, to avoid dry skin and excess shedding.

How To Make Grooming Pleasurable For Your Maine Coon

The Maine Coon cat does not usually mind if you brush around its head or back. But, brushing around their belly or hind parts is another matter.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Start Young: Begin when your cat is young so it will get used to grooming. Never rush the process and always groom according to your cat’s pace.
  • Brushing Routine: Begin by putting a soft brush on the floor. Let your cat sniff and play with it to get to know the brush. Give a treat after grooming. When your Maine Coon sees that grooming comes with treats, they will be more willing to be groomed.
  • Soft Bristles: Using a brush with soft bristles is best and will not harm the skin underneath. A hard-bristle brush can scratch the cat’s sensitive skin.
  • Be Playful: Make your grooming sessions playful. If your Maine Coon is distressed at any point, stop grooming immediately to avoid causing them further distress.
  • Keep Your Routine: Regular grooming prevents the cat’s fur from becoming matted. It also enables your cat to get used to a routine.
  • Clip Cat’s Fur With Scissors: The fur on a cat’s paw may become long and bothersome to the cat. If so, carefully cut away matted fur, whilst being careful not to snip the cat’s skin.
  • Bathing: Bathing can help because the Maine Coon cat has a lot of furs. Bathing removes dirt and loosens dead fur. You can train your cat to tolerate the water.
  • Trim Claws: Trimming the cat’s claws is necessary if you own an indoor Maine Coon cat. Clip their claws with a special cat claw clipper.
  • Oral Hygiene: Brush your cat’s teeth regularly.

Sociable

Maine Coon cats are sociable, outgoing, and love the company of people.

While other cats usually prefer to look for a quiet corner to relax, a Maine Coon will go to their family, even if there is a lot of commotion!

Maine Coons are very comfortable with human company and are happy to interact with strangers.

In particular, the males of the breed are more sociable and will easily approach visitors, whereas female Maine Coons take longer to be at ease with strangers.

The Maine Coon is not just a one-person cat. They are very loyal to a particular person, but they are also friendly towards everyone.

Do Maine Coon Cats Get Lonely?

Maine Coon cats can get lonely if their social needs are not met.

If they are often alone, this may lead to problems of anxiety and depression.

Is It Ok For Maine Coons To Be Alone?

Maine Coon cats can be left alone, but not for a long time since they are sociable and prefer company.

They love human companionship and will interact well with other pets.

12 hours is the longest time these gentle giants should be left on their own. It is therefore important that owners consider their Maine Coons emotional and mental needs, and purchase a second cat if they are likely to be away from the house on a regular basis.

Here are some ways to keep your cat entertained whilst you are away from the home:

  • Give your Maine Coon a comfortable place to sleep.
  • Place a cat bed or shelf near the window, so that your cat can see outside.

Indoor / Outdoor Cat

Maine Coon cats were historically outdoor cats that roamed the forest hunting for food to eat. Their thick fur protected them from the harsh cold winters of Maine.

Today, however, Maine Coons are mainly indoor cats. The transition from outdoor to indoor cats has not been too challenging for these gentle giants, since Maine Coons have such a laid-back personality.

Many Maine Coon owners keep their cats indoors because of the outside dangers, and in compliance with their breeder’s contract.

Purchase contracts often require that newly owned Maine Coon kittens be kept indoors, 100% of the time due to the risk of being stolen or hurt if left to roam freely outside.

Maine Coons can be ideal indoor cats if you keep them happy inside your home. They can climb cat trees and sit on overhanging window ledges to watch the outside scenario.

Is It possible To Keep A Maine Coon Cat Indoors?

Yes, a Maine Coon cat can be kept indoors provided owners make some small adjustments.

Since the Maine Coon cat is large, you will need ample space for your cat to move around.

You might want to move your breakables to safe nooks too since a Maine Coon is strong and may knock these down by accident.

Maine Coon cats are very intelligent, therefore it is vital that you provide your cat with the mental and physical stimulation that it needs.

Safety

Outdoors has many dangers for your cat, one of which is traffic.

With stray dogs and catfights, your pet can also become prey to large animals.

The neighboring garden might not be safe, causing your pet to get accidentally poisoned.

Smaller dangers such as mosquito bites, fleas, dirty water, or mud in the cat’s fur can lead to infections.

Owners with a garden often want to let their Maine Coon free outside. They can cat-proof their garden. Attach specialized nets or block the boundary to keep their cat in their safe garden.

Purchase A Cat Tower

Maine Coon cats like to climb, therefore, buying a cat tree will provide them with plenty of fun and exercise.

A large cat tower encourages a Maine Coon to jump, climb, scratch, and play at multiple levels inside the home.

If you live in a small apartment and it is not possible for your Maine Coon to go outside, make sure that your cat has enough mental and physical exercise and stimulation.

Mental Stimulation

Your Maine Coon’s mental welfare and happiness are a priority.

If you keep your cat inside, the following factors need to be addressed:

  • Maine Coons need a lot of human interaction
  • They are very sociable
  • Cat toys provide mental stimulation to their brain
  • Bored cats can become destructive

Fascinated By Water

Unlike most cat breeds, a Maine Coon will actively seek out the water.

Their semi-water-resistant fur helps to keep them warm and enables them to play in water, swim, and take baths.

Signs your Maine Coon loves water:

  • Maine Coon joins you in the shower.
  • Cat plays with water in the shower tray.
  • The cat drinks water from a running tap.
  • The Maine Coon turns on the faucet and then plays with water.
  • The Maine Coon rubs itself against your wet legs when you leave the shower.
  • You may find your cat in the sink, whilst there is water in it.
  • Your cat does not resist being cleaned with a wet sponge, or cloth.
  • The Maine Coon likes to tip over glasses of water, then play in the wet mess.

Maine Coon Cat Voice

Maine Coon cats are very vocal felines that chirp, purr, or trill to express their emotions, desires, and feelings.

These vocalizations are a sign of your Maine Coons happiness and contentment. Or they are simply chirping to get your attention, maybe because they are hungry, thirsty, or distressed.

Maine Coons have a higher-pitched, soft voice that you may find delightful.

  • Chirping: A chirp is the Maine Coons trademark sound and distinguishes them from other cat breeds. A chirp is a short, high-pitched ”hello” sound that shows the cat is happy. It is bird-like in nature.
  • Trilling: A sound between a meow and a purr. When your Maine Coon chirps and purrs at the same time, it ends like a question. It often shows contentment. But, not every Maine Coon trills, so do not think that your Maine Coon is unhappy if it does not trill.
  • Howling: An upsetting and unwanted behavioral trait that some Maine Coons will make, mainly if they are unneutered and unspayed. The female Maine Coon cat howls when in heat. Males howl when they scent a female that is in heat.
  • Crying: Only usually heard when your cat misses you.
  • Hissing and Spitting: A sign that your Maine Coon faces a threat. That it wants to fight back. Be sure to check on this immediately, for your cat’s safety
  • Chattering: The feline sees something it wants to prey on but cannot get to it. It also shows excitement.

Trainable

A Maine Coon can be walked.

Walking your cat somewhere in the green outside will be good for them.

There are many things outside that your cat can explore e.g. new animals, trees to climb on, new smells, and grass to chew on. Getting to spend safe time outside is great for your cat’s mind and body.

Conclusion

After reading this article about everything you need to know before getting a Maine Coon, you likely now know almost as much as a cat specialist!!

There has never been a cat like the Maine Coon. An amazingly big and athletic but gentle, affectionate giant that is not afraid to get wet, play fetch, and is endearingly lovable.

Maine Coon Central

Hello! My name is Katrina Stewardson, and I’m a self-confessed CRAZY CAT LADY! I've been in love with the Maine Coon cat breed ever since we welcomed an adorable male Maine Coon kitten into our home 9 years ago. We called him 'Pippin', but he also goes by the name ‘Pipsteroo’! Our enormous, kind-hearted cat genuinely thinks he's a dog and has convinced me that cats are Man's True Best Friend!

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