While female Maine Coon cats are perfect and loyal companions, making for an excellent addition to every household, their pregnancy takes longer than most other felines, which can bring about anxiety.
If you are new to the world of breeding large cats, you will almost certainly be overwhelmed by the first Maine Coon pregnancy. So make sure to follow our guide, to support you through this new adventure.
A Maine Coon pregnancy lasts between 63 and 70 days. During this period your Maine Coon needs the healthiest diet, with a kitten formula mixed in. Towards the due date, your Maine Coon will also need a safe, sheltered, and clean space that is comfortable to give birth to her litter.
Keep reading to fully understand the signs of Maine Coon pregnancy and what you should do to help your cat during the potentially painful process.
Signs Of Maine Coon Pregnancy
Maine Coon cats are adorable family pets loved by their owners because of their sweet and gentle temperament.
These gentle giants are:
- Remarkably Intelligent
- Dog-Like Dispositions
While a Maine Coon’s ever-loving personality makes them great family pets, even for households with young children, it is worth noting that these majestic felines come with a premium price tag.
Therefore, as attractive as breeding lots of Maine Coon kittens sounds, it is important to take into consideration just how much time and money will need to be invested, should you decide to start breeding Maine Coon kittens, for sale.
If you are still interested in taking the huge risk that comes with breeding Maine Coon cats, it is vital that you know what happens when your cat gets pregnant.
Thus, since Maine Coon cats are one of the largest cat breeds in the world, the first thing you need to be aware of is that it can be hard to notice their pregnancy immediately, after mating.
Therefore, considering that a Maine Coon can become pregnant as young as four months, this guide will help you not to confuse your Maine Coons pregnancy for her large physical size.
If you are now wondering how you to know when your beloved Maine Coon cat is pregnant without a vet, take a look at these key signs and symptoms to watch out for. Keep in mind that Maine Coons will not show physical signs of pregnancy until they are a few weeks into their pregnancy:
1. Pink Swolen Nipples
One of the tell-tale signs of Maine Coon pregnancy is swollen and pink nipples.
At around three weeks of pregnancy, your Maine Coon nipples will become much larger and darken in color. This sign is usually called “pinking up” by veterinarians.
2. Swollen Belly
If you are a keen observer, after about a month of pregnancy, you will notice that your pregnant Maine Coon has started to develop a rounded, swollen abdomen, an indication that her kittens are growing.
Even if your cat is overweight, her abdomen will still be distinctively swollen and round.
3. Noticeable Weight Gain In A Few Weeks
Although weight gain is something gradual, pregnant cats usually gain weight at a higher rate.
On average, a pregnant Maine Coon will gain between two and four pounds, depending on the number of kittens.
4. Morning Sickness
Just like other females in the animal kingdom, a pregnant Maine Coon can go through a period of being sick occasionally. Your expecting cat might therefore vomit due to nausea.
However, considering that vomiting and nausea could be signs of other health problems, you should keep an eye on your beloved cat and contact a vet if vomiting becomes very frequent.
Here are the key Maine Coon health problems to look out for.
5. Increased Appetite
Increased appetite sounds obvious when talking about pregnancy.
In general, a pregnant Maine Coon’s appetite will increase by roughly 50% during the gestation period.
For this reason, make sure to give your pregnant Maine Coon high-quality cat food (like this) and provide her with extra food to keep herself and the unborn kittens healthy.
6. Nesting Behavior
When about to give birth, the pregnant cat will start to look for a quiet, safe spot where she can give birth.
Some felines will become territorial and fight over space or comfy things like blankets.
7. Increase In Affection
Maine Coon cats are known for being affectionate, but pregnant Maine Coons will start acting more maternal, become more clingy and affectionate towards their human family.
If you are a keen observer, you will notice your cat purring more often, following you around, and begging for cuddles than before.
Have you ever wondered why the Maine Coon cat breed is known for following their humans around the house? If you have, take a look at my article “Why Does My Maine Coon Follow Me?“.
8. Increased Sleep
Despite being a very energetic breed, pregnant Maine Coons often become lethargic and need a lot more rest to stay healthy. As such, increased sleep is a clear sign that your female Maine Coon is pregnant.
9. Veterinary Assistance
If you have a female Maine Coon cat that has never been spayed and displays some or all of these pregnancy signals, it is almost likely that she is pregnant.
All in all, considering that some of these signs can indicate other conditions, it will be best if you take the feline to the vet for a pregnancy confirmation.
Ultrasounds to confirm a pregnancy can be done as early as three weeks.
Early Signs A Cat Is Pregnant
Pregnant Maine Coon needs some special care.
Thus, if you suspect your unspayed Maine Coon cat is pregnant, a tour to your trusted veterinarian can help determine if your vet is pregnant, or not. This step is very important because the cat might be experiencing a false pregnancy (source 1).
Understanding the early signs of cat pregnancy can go a long way towards ensuring your Maine Coon has a safe and healthy pregnancy.
These are early signs that your Maine Coon cat is pregnant:
1. Cat’s Heat Cycle Stops Abruptly
Cats normally have a heat cycle every one to three weeks. This is easy to notice because heat cycles are accompanied by rolling on the floor and yowling.
Therefore, if your unspayed female Maine Coon’s heat cycles stop abruptly, it could be an early sign of pregnancy.
2. Vomiting And Nausea
Vomiting is one of the early signs of pregnancy.
Although not all Maine Coon have morning sickness, it is a common sign that a cat is pregnant.
3. Significant Changes In Appetite
A short period after conception a queen will often have a reduced appetite. This is nothing to worry about, and their appetite usually starts to increase again, by up to about 50%.
4. Changes To The Body
As early as three weeks in pregnancy, you should be able to see the nipple of a pregnant cat getting larger and pink.
5. Behavioral Changes
When your cat is expecting, it will likely be more content to stay indoors.
Your Maine Coon might also seek more of your attention.
At What Age Can A Maine Coon Get Pregnant?
Breeding Maine Coons successfully can be a rewarding experience, but only when bred at the right age. In this regard, breeders, therefore, need to know when do Maine Coons sexually mature.
If you are new to breeding and are wondering at what age do Maine Coon come into season, it is worth noting that Maine Coon cats reach sexual maturity as early as six months of age.
At this seeming early age, female Maine Coon cats will go into heat roughly every one to three weeks, meaning any unspayed female Maine Coon can get pregnant.
Whilst knowing that unspayed Maine Coon cats are ready for breeding as early as 6 months of age, it is a good idea to wait a bit longer before you intentionally breed your cats.
Generally, female cats are ready for breeding at around 18 to 24 months of age.
However, breeding a Maine Coon at this age is not recommended. Instead, it is advisable to delay breeding until your cat has fully developed. This is very important, especially since Maine Coons are well known for being a slow-growing cat breed where most Maine Coon cats take between three to five years to reach full size.
A female Maine Coon that becomes pregnant before she is fully grown can experience stunted growth and might be at a higher risk for dangerous pregnancy.
On the other hand, the maximum cat breeding age is about seven years old as aged cats are at high risk for having dangerous pregnancies and births (source 1).
How Long Are Maine Coons Pregnant?
Maine Coon cats are polyestrous, meaning they heat several times each year.
That said, an unspayed Maine Coon cat that has reached the ideal breeding age can be bred at any time during the active state of her heat stage.
After breeding your cat successfully, the next thing you need to ask yourself is how long are Maine Coon cats pregnant?
Typically, cats have a gestation period of 63 to 70 days, with many Maine Coon pregnancies lasting 68 days.
Throughout the gestation period, your cat will undergo some noticeable physical changes. For instance, around 30 days after mating, the cat’s belly will start getting noticeably large and round.
Here is a cat pregnancy timeline to help you understand what happens to your Maine Coon when they get pregnant:
Weeks 1 – 2
After mating, fertilization will occur within the first week, and the fertilized egg will implant into the feline’s uterus.
Once the fertilized egg implants into the uterus, the placenta forms, and embryos develop.
While your Maine Coon will not act any different during this period, her hormones will begin changing. She may start acting differently towards the end of the second week.
The kittens start to develop during the third week, beginning with the formation of their internal organs.
As your Maine Coon’s hormones increase, you may notice her nipples getting darker and enlarged. This is the first physical sign of a cat’s pregnancy.
This is the week when your Maine Coon shows more signs of pregnancy.
Your cat will likely suffer from morning sickness, and her body weight will start increasing significantly.
Weeks 5 – 6
The unborn kittens are now big enough for your vet to feel.
Your cat’s appetite will also explode, and you should notice her bigger size.
Remember to feed your Maine Coon high-quality cat food mixed with kitten formulas to help the unborn kittens develop correctly.
Weeks 7 – 8
Your Maine Coon cat will have a pregnant belly.
During this period, some cats may start nesting, so it is time to prepare the nesting box.
Contrary to expectations, her appetite can decrease because she has less stomach space.
The unborn kittens will be moving inside the belly, and their rolls plus kicks should be evident.
Weeks 9 -10
Your cat may act anxious and meow more often.
The cat will go into labor anytime within this period.
If you have a pregnant Maine Coon, you can expect the feline to give birth anywhere after the 63rd day into the term.
What To Do When Your Cat Is Pregnant
Breeding Maine Coons is by no means an easy task.
Pregnant Maine Coons need a lot of extra care to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy, plus birth.
Here is what you need to do when your treasured cat is pregnant:
- Provide Extra Food: During pregnancy, your cat’s appetite increases by about 50%. To ensure she stays safe and healthy, provide enough food for her increased appetite. You should also ensure you are feeding your pregnant cat with the best cat food, which is typically rich in proteins and low in carbohydrates.
- Safe Space: Providing a pregnant cat with a safe, isolated, and comfortable space is one of the best things you can do to support her wellbeing. While this can be virtually anywhere, your cat should feel secure in her environment.
- Keep In Contact With Your Vet: Dealing with a Maine Coon pregnancy can feel overwhelming, especially if you are breeding kittens for the first time. Whether you are a hobbyist or a seasoned breeder, make sure you take the pregnant cat to the vet for regular check-ups. This will help to ensure that the pregnancy is going smoothly.
Breeding Maine Coons is an expensive and time-consuming process. It also requires a lot of patience.
Before venturing into this business scheme, be ready to take it on as a full-time job, especially when your Maine Coon cat gets pregnant (source 1).
What To Do When Your Cat Is Giving Birth
As a breeder, it is your responsibility to help your pregnant Maine Coon stay calm as she nears her due date.
When approaching labor, your queen will search for a suitable place to give birth, ideally a quiet, clean, and warm spot.
To ensure your Maine Coon gives birth in a safe place (that you have chosen and prepared yourself), close all closet doors and block entries to any hidden areas immediately when you notice the first signs of cat labor.
If your queen does go into labor in an undesirable spot, do not move her as this could put her under undue stress.
When your Maine Coon is giving birth, keep an eye on the process and have an emergency vet to call should anything go wrong (source 1).
Maine Coon First Litter
While there are a whole lot of things that determine Maine Coon litter size, age is one of the key factors. Generally, younger queens give birth to smaller litters than aging queens.
A Maine Coons first litter will usually only produce 1 – 3 kittens, but future pregnancies are likely to result in anything up to 12 kittens per litter!
Health-wise, the health of kittens in the first litter as well as subsequent litters will depend on the genetics and health condition of their parents.
Genetic health problems can be transmitted from breeding parents to litter, but infections from bacteria, viruses, bacteria will more likely weaken the litter’s immune system. Make sure you screen your Maine Coon for genetic disorders or conditions, before breeding her.
To ensure larger and healthy kittens, it is advisable that you breed your Maine Coon once or twice a year (source 1,).
How Many Kittens Can A Maine Coon Have?
While predicting a Maine Coon litter size is difficult, the first litter is usually very small, with just one to three kittens.
The litter size will increase in subsequent pregnancies, potentially introducing up to 12 kittens into the world, from just one litter!
After the first litter, you can continue breeding until your Maine Coon reaches roughly seven years.
Maine Coon Pregnancy Calculator
Many breeders use pregnancy calculators to determine when their Maine Coon will give birth.
Whilst knowing that cat pregnancies take 63 to 70 days, a pregnancy calculator can help you determine a date range when your Maine Coon should deliver.
Most cat pregnancy calculators only need to know your cat’s date of first mating.
Importantly, please keep in mind that Maine Coon pregnancy calculators only give you an estimation, not an actual birth date (source 1).
Cat Pregnancy Test
Unlike humans, you can’t get a Maine Coon to pee on a stick to rest if she is pregnant. That’s why cat pregnancy test kits were invented!
Essentially, a cat pregnancy test is a kit used to test relaxin levels in serum. Although you can use this kit at home, the testing process requires some skills.
How To Start Breeding Maine Coons
These are the basic things you need to do before you can start breeding Maine Coons.
If you are breeding your cat for money, make sure you create a website so that potential Maine Coon buyers can find you.
After you have considered everything and are ready to try your hand in breeding Maine Coon cats, follow these steps:
1. Buy Your Maine Coons
You need to buy your breeding cats: a queen and a stud, Maine Coon male for breeding. Be prepared, as this is a very expensive stage in the process, especially because unspayed or non-neutered kittens cost more.
Here’s the complete guide to buying a Maine Coon, to help you on your journey.
To save on buying a male Maine Coon, why not consider hiring a male Maine Coon stud? This involves buying a Maine Coon queen and “renting” Maine Coon studs every time you want to breed.
Importantly, make sure you get all official registration papers for each Maine Coon you buy.
2. Obtain A License
Depending on where you live, you may or may not need a license before you can start breeding cats.
While you may not need a permit to breed less than three queens, it is always good to check with your local authority.
3. Get Certified
While registering with a breeding governing body is not an absolute must, it is worth considering.
Essentially, this is because certified breeders are considered far more reputable by potential Maine Coon buyers.
4. Genetic Testing
Maine Coons are prone to various genetic health problems.
For this reason, it is imperative for both parents to be tested for genetic conditions prior to breeding.
5. Health Check-Ups
Before breeding, your Maine Coons will need to be tested for other health conditions that can cause problems.
Your vet should determine if the queen and stud are fit for breeding.
Maine Coon In Heat Symptoms
Female Maine Coons will naturally go through a heat cycle, which indicates that they are capable of breeding.
There are several key indicators that a cat is in heat that all cat owners need to know; otherwise, they may start questioning their cat’s behavior.
Let’s have a look at some of these indicators:
- Spreading Scent: Your cat might start spraying urine and rubbing itself against other objects or people.
- Begs To Go Out: Some cats may scratch at the door and yowl to be let outside to meet with potential mates.
- Increased Vocalization: A Maine Coon cat in heat will produce more vocal noises like crying and howling loudly. Here are 10 other reasons your Maine Coon might cry though, which are not pregnancy related.
- Attention Seeking: Cats in heat try to cuddle up against you more frequently, to get your attention.
- Assumes A Mating Position: Cats in heat will at times lay down, positioning their belly close to the ground, lifting their backside, and holding their tail in the air.
Your Maine Coon may be in heat for about one week, and if you are not observant, you may fail to realize the above signs and delay them from reproducing.
While breeding Maine Coon cats is a rewarding experience, the actual Maine Coon pregnancy can be overwhelming.
Hopefully, this definitive post comprehensively covers all you might have wanted to know about breeding Maine Coon kittens.
Can Maine Coons Breed With Regular Cats?
Maine Coons can breed with other cat breeds without any problem. The resultant kitten is called Maine Coon mix if it has predominant Maine Coon features.
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