If you are on your way to becoming a Maine Coon owner, there are numerous questions to ask when buying a Maine Coon kitten.
The questions are meant to evaluate the breeder’s reputation and help you understand everything you need to know about raising a Maine Coon Cat.
Thankfully, reputable breeders are ever ready to answer your questions and offer advice to help you get a Maine Coon kitten that meets your requirements.
While many buyers focus on the price tag, you need to ask questions about parents’ and kittens’ health. Ask about kittens of past litter, the litters the queen has produced, veterinary checks, kitten vaccinations history, kittens socialization, the health of breeding cats, pedigree paperwork, and microchipping. Also, ask to see reviews.
Buying a Maine Coon kitten is a big responsibility, necessitating an in-depth understanding of how the Maine Coon kitten you are about to buy was taken care of. Maine Coons are hardy and healthy cats but always susceptible to genetic and hereditary diseases, which you also need to check.
If you are seriously considering buying a Maine Coon kitten, this guide will highlight various things you need to discuss with the breeder to ensure you are getting a healthy feline.
Questions To Ask When Buying A Maine Coon Kitten
Buying a Maine Coon is a serious decision that takes time, lengthy research, and a healthy gut instinct. That’s why buying a Maine Coon kitten can be a bit of a minefield.
Maine Coons are a friendly, furry, and incredibly intelligent cat breed chosen by many animal lovers because they are quite adaptable and seem to get along with most other pets.
They also have unique, lovable personalities plus super long and beautiful coats. For these reasons, Maine Coon Cats are one of the popular cat breeds and continue to enjoy ever-increasing popularity.
As one of the most sought-after cat breeds, Maine Coon kittens have premium price tags.
On average, a purebred Maine Coon Cat from a reputable breeder costs about $1000, and expenses do not stop here. Indeed, the higher initial cost hints at how maintenance costs can be high too.
If you are buying a Maine Coon kitten for the first time, it is worth noting that there are risks associated with buying these great family pets.
While Maine Coon kittens bring great joy to your family, thanks to their amusing and curious personalities, you don’t want to bring home a kitten you’re not equipped to take care of. That’s why you need to be ultra-careful when purchasing/adopting.
Asking the breeder as many questions as possible concerning the Kittens and their parents will help get insights into how they were cared for. Here is a list of approved registered Maine Coon Cat breeders in the USA, by state.
Considering that Maine Coon kittens tend to inherit some personality traits from parents, it is also good to meet the parents and see if you all vibe. Here are the most common Maine Coon personality traits.
With Maine Coons, there is always a risk of genetic and hereditary diseases. For this reason, before buying, even when dealing with a reputable breeder, make sure they tested the parents for:
- Hip Dysplasia (HD)
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
To wipe any doubts, you can further check parents’ health records for any issues that could be passed on to kittens like PKD and FIV.
A reputable breeder should allow you to go through the Maine Coon kitten’s health records and ask as many questions as possible about the kitten, the parents, and breeding conditions.
Asking questions will help get all the facts on your potential Maine Coon before taking it home. Questions can also scare off backyard breeders.
With all that in mind, here is what to look for when buying a Maine Coon kitten and the questions you should ask.
Kitten Vaccination History
Here are some key questions to ask your Maine Coon breeder about the kitten’s vaccination history:
- When was the kitten born?
- Has the kitten received vaccines?
- What vaccines has the kitten received?
- What vaccination and boosters will I take care of?
Purebred Maine Coon kittens are known for their massive price tags. See the latest Maine Coon kitten prices, here.
The price reflects the fact that reputable breeders pay for initial vaccines, register their kittens, and pay for genetic screening of their breeding cats.
Before buying a Maine Coon Kitten, you want to make sure that the feline has received the relevant vaccines (FVRCP and rabies) for their age.
Like other breeds, Maine Coon cats are vulnerable to bacterial and viral infections, which are preventable through vaccination, like:
In this regard, Maine Coon kittens are vaccinated at 9-12 weeks of age to protect against and lower the risk of contracting these illnesses (Source 1).
If your Maine Coon kitten is likely to come into contact with other cats or spend time outdoors, you should consider a kitten that has also received Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV).
By asking the breeder questions relating to the vaccination history of the Maine Coon kitten, you will get to understand how the feline is immune to potentially fatal diseases.
Beyond discussing the kitten’s vaccination history, the breeder should provide you with its vaccination records.
While different vets have varying opinions on what shots are necessary for a young Maine Coon kitten, the core vaccines are an absolute must. Getting a vaccination record will be handy when consulting your own vet as soon as you become the new owner.
That said, make sure the set of paper you get from the breeder includes a copy of a fully completed vaccination certificate.
Here are some important questions that you should ask your Maine Coon breeder, relating to the kitten’s veterinary checks:
- Has the kitten been seen by a veterinarian for a health check?
- Is the kitten having a clean bill of health records by a qualified veterinarian? Has it been examined and declared healthy by a vet?
- Has the kitten had health problems?
- Has the kitten been on any medication?
- Have the kittens been treated for worms?
- Does the kitten need any special health care?
- Has the kitten been dewormed?
Maine Coons are incredibly hardy and healthy cats. However, this doesn’t mean they are completely immune to health problems. These are the ‘Top 7 Maine Coon Health Problems‘ to be aware of.
For this reason, before buying a Maine Coon kitten, you also want to confirm the kitten has been tended to by a qualified veterinarian. You should be asking questions that unveil everything from the kitten’s diet to their living conditions.
Normally, Maine Coon kittens and adult cats are susceptible to obesity.
You want to know whether the kitten could have had obesity or other unpleasant health conditions due to overfeeding.
You should discuss with the breeder the food the kitten was eating and whether the Maine Coon was getting sufficient mental stimulation and physical activity it needs to stay happy and healthy.
All purebred Maine Coon kittens can potentially inherit health problems. For this reason, consider discussing the health of the kitten with the breeder. If the Maine Coon kitten has health issues, ask about potential medical bills and ensure they are settled before purchasing or adopting the Maine Coon.
Importantly, the Maine Coon kitten must have been examined and declared healthy by a qualified veterinarian before you can take it home. Like with vaccination, the breeder should provide you with the Kitten’s health records.
If you doubt the records you are getting from the breeder, request the phone number of the veterinarian who tended the Maine Coon kitten and verify its medical history.
Breeding Cat Screening
It is vital to know as much as you can about the breeding of Maine Coons.
Here are some questions you should be asking the breeder:
- Were the breeding cats screened for medical and health issues?
- What health problems were screens?
- Are there records showing screening was done?
- Is there a history of happy and healthy kittens from a certain pair of parents?
- How are the kittens in the previous litter?
- Is the kitten from the first litter?
While Maine Coon cats are generally healthy, they can inherit genetic diseases, which can shorten their life, decrease their mobility, or cause pain.
Reputable breeders usually have their breeding Maine Coon cats tested, and they will willingly share evidence of screening with buyers, sometimes even before buyers as for the screening results.
At the bare minimum, before breeding, the breeder should have the Maine Coons screened for:
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common heart disease in Maine Coon cats, and any Maine Coon identified with this hereditary problem should be removed from breeding programs.
Read more about this Maine Coon health problem in my article ‘Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy‘.
In this regard, any breeder claiming to have HCM-free lines is likely to be a backyard breeder and should be avoided.
Hip dysplasia is also another hereditary condition that must be screened. Whether mild or severe, the condition can be inherited and lead to lameness. That said, breeding Maine Coon Cats should be x-rayed and graded by a veterinary orthopedic specialist.
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a condition characterized by the death of spinal cord neurons that activate trunk and limb skeletal muscles, causes muscle weakness and degeneration when passed on to generation.
Although the condition is not known to cause pain, breeders need to screen breeding Maine Coon cats for the condition. A DNA test can help identify kittens that have inherited SMA from breeding cats (source 1).
Other genetic predispositions that need to be screened include:
Before buying, prioritize asking questions related to HCM, PKD, SMA, and HD. They are all hereditary medical and health conditions that no one would like their Maine Coon Cat to have.
Neutering and spaying are important aspects to consider when buying a Maine Coon kitten.
Make sure you ask these questions:
- What about spaying/neutering?
- Will the kitten be spayed/ neutered?
- Is there any adoption contract?
- Does the breeder’s contract include a health guarantee?
Unneutered Maine Coon males can be very difficult as indoor cats. So is with unspayed Maine Coon females. Your Maine Coon cat will exhibit unwanted behavior primarily because it senses the call of the wild.
This is one of the key reasons why most Maine Coon cat breeders neuter young kittens prior to leaving for their homes. Read my article ‘The Best Age To Neuter A Maine Coon Kitten‘ for more information.
Neutering is also advantageous in that it eliminates the chances of your Maine Coon Cat getting testicular cancer while lowering the risk of prostate issues.
On the other hand, spaying female Maine Coons can:
- Help prevent uterine infections
- Help prevent uterine cancers
- Reduce risk of breast cancer
A reputable breeder will have a comprehensive contract that you should review and sign before taking the kitten. It is pretty standard for an adoption contract to stipulate when neutering should take place.
Adoption contracts from reputable breeders will also include a health guarantee, which demonstrates the breeder’s desire to produce the healthiest Maine Coon cats. Notably, this guarantee is often contingent upon neutering, feeding program, and keeping the feline indoors, or as specified by the breeder.
Health Of Breeding Cats
Here are some key questions to ask the Maine Coon breeder, about the breeding cats:
- How often are the breeding cats examined for potential medical and health issues?
- When were the breeding cats checked lastly by a veterinarian?
- Did any of the breeding cats get sick during the breeding period?
Most Maine Coon breeders take great care of their breeding cats to ensure they produce the healthiest possible kittens. Besides screening them for health conditions that can be passed to kittens, breeders create livable and comfortable conditions for adult Maine Coons to breed.
All in all, before buying a Maine Coon kitten, you should not hesitate to ask about the health of breeding cats. Typically, the breeding cats should be vaccinated, healthy, and free of worms and parasites.
If the breeding male is from a different camp, the breeder should be in a position to prove that the male is healthy and free of illnesses.
It is also good to verify that the breeding cats did not have any infectious or congenital illnesses. And if they did, ask how the illnesses were remedied.
Some quick questions to ask are as follows:
- Is the kitten microchipped?
- Is microchipping necessary if Maine Coon kittens will stay indoors?
If you are new to keeping pets, microchipping is the act of implanting a microchip under the skin of a domestic animal, in this case, your Maine Coon kitten, as a means of identification.
The microchip is very small – about the size of a grain of rice – and is an identification tool containing a unique ID that you can use to identify your feline.
Microchipping can be handy in tracking your Maine Coon kitten should the feline get lost.
A majority of reputable Maine Coon breeders implant the microchip in the Maine Coon kittens before they leave for their homes. Therefore, before purchasing a kitten from any given breeder, make sure the feline has a microchip.
Also, make sure the microchip number is recorded on the microchip database registry along with your details and those of the kitten.
All registered purebred Maine Coon kittens will come with pedigree paperwork, to vouch for their pedigree status.
Here are some key questions to ask:
- Is the kitten a purebred Maine Coon?
- Does the kitten have paper?
All purebred Maine Coon cats should be registered and registration papers issued by the Maine Coon cats registry.
Usually, pedigree paperwork proves that a kitten is already registered with a governing Maine Coon cat body and has been bred by two active registered pedigree Maine Coon cats.
Responsible and reputable breeders with the wellbeing of their Maine Coons as their main concern in every way will have registered all the kittens. They will also provide pedigree paperwork upon request or even before the buyer requests.
Asking for pedigree paperwork is one of the best ways to keep backyard breeders ff.
Number Of Litters
It is important to learn about the number of litter that the breeding queens produce.
Here are some questions to ask your Maine Coon breeder, before buying a Maine Coon kitten:
- How many litters has the queen produced
- How many litters does the queen produce per year?
- How many kittens were there in the litter?
- Have the pair produced a litter before?
Are there photos of the kittens with the mother and the rest of the litter?
Whether you are a seasoned animal lover or are buying a Maine Coon kitten for the first time, the biggest mistake you can make is buying a kitten online. This is because you won’t prove the authenticity of what you are buying.
First off, a responsible cattery should only have their queen produce ONLY 1 litter per year or longer to avoid stressing the queen’s health. Of course, just like human beings, they need to rest between litters.
It will be best if your chosen breeder has evidence of how the breeding cats have been producing kittens. Reliable evidence will include dates, intervals, and photos of the mother(s) with litters.
Unless there are records of the rest of the kittens in the litter sold, the breeder should show you the mother with the litter and allow you to interact with them.
Meeting the entire litter will help ensure that the kitten’s heritage is healthy and hint at what characteristics they may have.
If any of the kittens in the litter appears sickly or nervous, you need to take a second thought before purchasing.
It is crucial for Maine Coon kittens to be socialized correctly, so make sure you ask these questions:
- Has the kitten been socialized?
- Has the kitten been around other cats?
- Has the kitten been around many people?
While Maine Coon cats are known to be loving and sociable creatures with fantastic easy-going personalities, a large part of their personalities depends on how they were socialized during the first few weeks of their life.
It goes without saying that Maine Coon kittens exposed to a wide variety of activities and stimulation are well prepared to be in the real world. That’s why you need to ask about how well the kitten has been socialized before making the purchase.
Typically, proper socialization consists of good experiences of the kitten with other kittens and people of different ages and sizes.
It will be better if the kitten has been in a setting with other pets like dogs and a variety of normal noises.
In an ideal world, there wouldn’t be any bad breeders (backyard Maine Coon breeders). But, sadly, people have different motivations and motives for breeding Maine Coons.
Even after asking questions about the kitten and how it was brought up, you still want to establish the breeder’s credibility.
To start with, a reputable Maine Coon cat breeder will comprehensively answer all your questions and get further to explain essential aspects you might not have asked. The breeder will even be keen to invite you into their home to view the kittens.
Far from engaging you and answering your questions, a reputable breeder should have positive reviews from previous customers. Most catteries have websites where they update everything concerning what their customers and prospects need to know, including positive and negative reviews by customers.
Reading the reviews will help you understand the cattery better.
Your chosen breeder should be accredited and registered with a recognized Maine Coon Cat breeder association. The two main associations are:
- Cat Fancier Association (CFA)
- The International Cat Association (TICA)
How To Identify A Maine Coon Kitten
The proliferation of backyard breeders makes it quite challenging to get a purebred Maine Coon kitten.
Thankfully, there are certain traits associated with Maine Coons that can help you identify a pedigree Maine Coon kitten.
Here are some key ways to tell if a kitten is a Maine Coon:
1. Body Style
One key physical feature that sets purebred Maine Coon kittens apart is their body shape.
Typically, Maine Coon kittens have rectangular, muscular-looking body shapes. They also have a broad chest and a long torso.
In addition, their bodies tend to be proportional, meaning any kitten whose body looks to have more emphasized parts is likely not to be a pedigree Maine Coon kitten.
Lastly, on body style, purebred Maine Coon kittens appear to be visually longer than “normal” cat breeds.
Read my full guide on ‘How To Identify A Maine Coon Kitten‘.
While Maine Coon cats are known to grow slowly, they remain to be among the world’s largest domesticated cat breeds.
Don’t let their slow growth rate fool you though. Purebred Maine Coon kittens will be visibly larger than average kittens of other breeds.
Learn more about how big a Maine Coon cat will grow, in my useful article.
3. Long Bushy Tail
Maine Coon kittens are easily identifiable thanks to their long bushy tails. Some kittens also have a black-colored ring near the end of the tail.
Are Maine Coons actually part raccoon? Find out by clicking here.
4. Large Ears
Just like adult Maine Coons, many pedigree Maine Coon kittens have large lynx-like ears, which you can easily identify.
Do all Maine Coon kittens have lynx tips though? Click here to find out!
That said, before making a purchase, check to see if the kitten you are considering has large ears tapering off to a point.
5. Large Paws
Another tell-tale sign of Maine Coon kittens is their highly noticeable sets of large paws.
In this regard, if the paws of the feline you are considering are of standard size, odds are, it is not a Maine Coon kitten.
There are also tufts of hair over the paws of Maine Coon kittens.
6. Long, Shaggy Fur
Maine Coon kittens can also be identified easily because they typically have luscious, thick fur.
Unlike adult Maine Coon with considerably long hair, kittens have medium-long, thick fur.
Still, on fur, purebred Maine Coon kittens have a ruff of hair around the neck, resembling the lion’s mane.
Although not easy for first-time owners to see, Maine Coon kittens have slightly rounded eyes.
Read my complete guide to Maine Coon Eyes, so you know what to look for in that adorable-looking kitten you are considering buying.
How To Choose A Maine Coon Kitten
When looking for a Maine Coon kitten, you want to make sure that you buy from a reputed and registered breeder. Here is a list of registered Maine Coon breeders.
Thankfully, many catteries have websites where they update customers and prospects when they have kittens ready for purchasing.
Open your browser and search for a Maine Coon kitten near me, and it will return relevant results. In the noisy internet space, you will have to identify a reputable breeder.
You can visit the breeding home for your chosen local breeder and ask them to produce accreditation credentials. Although it boils down to personal preference, the best local breeder will produce a registration certificate and other proofs should your request.
Is It Legal To Own A Maine Coon Cat?
It is legal to own a Maine Coon Cat in most parts of the world. While their large size doesn’t alter their status and mandate restrictions, it is imperative to consult with relevant authorities.
All in all, if there are already registered breeders in your area, it is a no-brainer that owning one is legal.
Read our complete guide ‘Are Maine Coon Cats Legal‘.
Guide To Owning A Maine Coon Cat
Taking a Maine Coon Cat is a big responsibility and caring for it requires commitment.
If you are a first-time owner, here are ways to care for your Maine Coon cat:
- Feed your Maine Coon nutritious food 2-4 times a day
- Supply your feline with clean, freshwater
- Groom and brush your Maine Coon cat 2-3 times a week
- Play with Maine Coon cat and give her enough exercise, preferably every day
- Spend time with your Maine Coon cat
- Visit the vet regularly and have your cat checked
- Neuter or Spay your cat
- Provide your Maine Coon cat with toys, scratching posts, and extra large cat tree for stimulations and exercising
- Trim your Maine Coon’s claws
- Brush your Maine Coon’s teeth
- Clean your Maine Coon’s ears and bathe her as needed
Things To Know Before Getting A Maine Coon
If you are a first-time owner, there are a few things you need to know about Maine Coon Cats before bringing one home.
Here is a slice of what you need to know:
- Two Maine Coons are better than one
- Maine Coons loves water
- Maine Coons are playful and love going walks – they have dog-like dispositions.
- Maine Coons can have health problems
- Maine Coons should be insured
- Maine Coons shed fur
- Maine Coons are vulnerable to dental problems
- Maine Coons are considerably large
While buying a Maine Coon kitten may sound overwhelming, it doesn’t need to be very difficult. The most important thing is to get a reputable breeder.
You can ask for a lead from a qualified vet because they are most likely to have vaccinated and examined kittens from various breeders.
Asking Maine Coon questions is vital when evaluating the credibility of a breeder and understanding how the kitten you are buying was brought up.
Hopefully, after reading this post, you get insights into questions to ask when buying a Maine Coon kitten.
Before you go, make sure you read my ‘Complete Guide To Buying A Maine Coon Cat‘.
Should I Get A Maine Coon Quiz?
There are many helpful quizzes online that will help you decide whether a Maine Coon kitten would be a good suit for your family.
Do Maine Coon Cats Shed Bad?
Although they are known to have very long, luscious, thick fur, Maine Coon Cats do not shed a lot.