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Introducing Cats & Kittens To A New Home








These readers are introducing a new cat or kitten. The subjects range from breed compatability, how many to get, how to proceed with the integration.

Here are our archived questions and answers regariding identifying mixes. You may also enjoy reading our complete article on Introducing A New Kitten.

Just scroll down to read more about:

  • "Brody Needs A Playmate"
  • "Introducing a kitten"
  • "New Puppy -Introducing The Cat"
  • "Getting another Maine Coon?"
  • "Would A Maine Coon Integrate Well With My 3 Persian Exotics?"
  • "Best Breed Compatibilty For My Maine Coon"
  • "A Chihuahua to stay for 10 days possibly in 2011."
  • "Two cats better than one, no matter what?"
  • "Where should a new kitten to the home sleep??"
  • "Rescue cat"
  • "Four-Year Old Female Maine Coon & Wanting a Guinea Pig and Another Cat "
  • "Introducing Another Maine Coon Cat Into The Family"
  • "New Cat Compatability"
  • "Getting A New Kitten"
  • "Help With Adopting Out A Maine Coon"
  • "2 Maine Coon Kitties Or 1???"
  • "Two Kittens - Maine Coons"
  • "Want to adopt a 1 year old male Maine Coon from local shelter"
  • "Age Difference"
  • "Kitten Name"

Brody Needs A Playmate

by: D. Parker
(Texas)
Brody needs a playmate
Brody needs a playmate

I have a 1 year old neutered male Maine Coon cat. He is absolutely wonderful.

I would like to have a female Maine Coon mix kitten. I can't seem to find this mix anywhere.

Does anyone know where I could find one or is there a reason that these breeds are not mixed?

Reply:

Hi,
Brody is so handsome! I'm sure he'll have a blast with another cat in the house. They are so social.

To answer your question, purebred cats are not usually intentionally mixed. Mixes come about by accident, or cats are decided to be mixes when their owner thinks they look a whole lot like a Maine Coon.

I've stored your email address, because to publish it on the internet may open you up to some spam. If anyone here has info about a Maine Coon mix kitten needing a home & wants to make a connection, please contact me and we'll set it up :)

Thanks for sharing your Brody with us!
~Carrie

Comments:

Friend for your Maine Coon
by: Rose, Busters mom

I spend a lot of time at Pet Smarts and visit the SPCA occasionally. Pet Smart is where I found Buster and Sammy is from the SPCA. Both of my coons were at the SPCA and both went to Pet Smart after they were not adopted. I took Sammy to pet smart and he found Missy/Sweet pie/dumpnin bun. She is a mix. All you have to do is look for the biggest cat in the display ;)These are textbook coons. Why no one adopted them is cuz they were waiting for me.






Introducing A Kitten

by: Rachel
(New Zealand)
marmite

Hi there, I have a 3yr old female Maine Coon (Marmite) and am about to get a 13 week old Male silver Maine coon kitten from the same breeder -

I'm not sure how she's going to take to him (having never had to share her territory) -

Any tips on how best to introduce them?
Thanks.
Rachel :-)


Reply:


Hi Rachel,
Congratulations on your new little guy, you must be very excited!

We have a whole page about Introducing A New Kitten, & I can't think of much more to add.

Marmite looks like a great girl, with plenty of play left in her. I'm sure she'll do fine!

Let's see if other visitors have some tips and personal experiences to share, too!

All The Best,
~Carrie


Comments:

The way we do it...
by: Kim Sweet

Hello, and CONGRATS to the new family member. We now have 4 cats and this is how we have introduced each to each other.

When we have first brought the new family member home we have taken the new member to our room, you can sue any room in the house, and let them get use to our room and the smells of the different family members that way first.

Then after a couple of hours we open the door to one other family member at a time for a few minutes. About a day later we open the door to all freely to come and go as they please. We make sure that all our family members new and ... established get lots of attention.

The attention given is very important, don't let any of them feel less important or less loved than any other. I really feel that is the key to a happy multiple critter family home. When one of our family members have hissed or gotten out of line we have let them know we were not happy with their actions, given the one that got hissed ect at some love'ns to let them know its OK and then given the one that did wrong some attention too, Maybe not as much as normal but some to let them know we do love them too even though what they did was wrong.

Hope this helps... Good luck :)

The Gang
by: Juliet

Very exciting getting your 2nd Maine Coon - what will you call him?

I have 4 cats 2 Maine Coons and 2 non-pedigree. The MC's were introduced one year apart. I left the new arrivals in the carry box for 1/2 hour let the others sniff about then opened the door. Luckily for me they are ALL very easy going little things, there was the odd hiss and paw swipe but now they have all found their own pecking order. I put their feed bowls in a row from the start too..I found when it was breakfast time they were too excited about eating rather than see who was stood next to them :) Either I was very lucky or I have 4 very laid back dudes :) And it is true what they say isn't it one Maine Coon isn't enough x

Very Similar...
by: Kim Sweet

Yes that sounds very similar to how we have introduced our gang to each other. Right down to where we have placed their bowls... Now our Makani and Ivan (Maine Coon and MC mix)are inseparable. Autumn and Pewter, our two girls keep to themselves but they all get along even though we just adopted Pewter less than a month ago. Like I said I am a big believer in give'n the love'ns and attention to all the same. Give each their own time and then time with others as well...

It has worked for us I hope you find a way that works for you also.

Thanks
by: Rachel

Thanks for the advice guys - will certainly try a combination of those tips and let you know how it goes - am SUPER excited to get my 2nd Maine Coon - it definately is true that one isn't enough! :-)Will post a pic of the new guy when he arrives! x


New Puppy -Introducing Cat

by: Amarie
(DC)

We have a beloved 10-year old male Maine Coon mix who has lived with dogs before, but not in a couple years.

We brought home a puppy, and even in controlled interactions, the cat will eventually hiss and attack. I'm worried about the puppy's safety.

Help! Any suggestions? We're considering clipping the cat's nails, getting soft nails, or perhaps more isolation from each other.

Also, we're also not sure what to do with the cat after an attack. We've read that yelling escalates the situation, and that punishment doesn't work on cats. We ignore him, but he sits there grumpy, like the king of the living room.

Thank you!

Reply:

Hi Amarie,
Part of your cats problem is that this is an active puppy, not an older dog who just minds his own business.

How big is the puppy? If he is able to get up on the couch, able to reach the cat, you will have to be extra vigilant. Make sure your cat has a safe haven. He attacks because he thinks he's under attack.

The two best choices would be a tall cat tree, or a cat door that leads to your basement, garage, or even a bedroom.

The cat will be able to go to his safe place, so that should help. Also, yes absolutely clip his claws or use Soft Paws! The last thing you want is a large vet bill and/or a damaged eye! Here are the clippers exactly like the ones we use: Safari Professional Nail Trimmer. They are a good size to use on our medium sized dog, and even on the guinea pig. They've been in our house for many years.

Clipping his claws will probably be easier if you have a helper, and maybe even wrap him in a towel to get the job done.

If your puppy is small, and if the danger to your cat is only perceived, not real (meaning the puppy doesn't pounce) I would highly recommend the use of a water bottle.

Get a big one from the supermarket, because you can manipulate the spray to a small, targeted long reaching stream. Keep it handy and spray the cat when he is about to attack, just a little. Enough to distract him. Make sure he knows the spray is related to his attack, not to the puppy being in the area!

By doing this you are telling him his behavior is not justified. So make sure that's the case! The puppy should not be able to reach the cat, ever.

If they ever make friends, it will be when your puppy is older, and it will be on the cats terms.

Hope this helps some,
~Carrie


Comments:

addition
by: Amarie

Thanks, Carrie! We'll try the softpaws and water bottle. I'll report back on how it goes.

I should have added that our whole (finished) basement is the cat's safe haven. We have a gate for him with a cat door. Yet he sits at the top of the stairs and glares at the puppy.

The puppy is small so far, and has lots of energy, but leaves the cat alone and avoids him as much as possible.

Meanwhile, the cat will come sit right next to the location where I'm playing with the puppy, and then wait for the puppy to get to close and he hits her. This seems more like a jealosy thing, than feeling attacked. We're trying to give the cat lots of attention too.

Another Good Place of Refuge
by: Jessy

. . . is an ironing board, assuming the puppy isn't too large.

Carrie's suggestion of having a water bottle close at hand is a good one. Jealousy is probably indeed a factor, but so is the "generation gap."

Did you make the introduction gradual. If your house is set up to allow for this, it's usually a good way.

Years ago, I came for a
visit with my kitten. My mother had a rescue beagle. My kitten would tease the beagle into chasing her and then scoot underneath a sofa at the last moment, leaving the beagle to bang his nose on the edge of the sofa. She did it over and over and the beagle still didn't get it.

Gradual Introductio by: Amarie
The age difference makes sense. The cat has been around older dogs before.

We thought we made the introduction gradual--they have had plenty of good interactions--but we are returning to square one due to concerns about the bad interactions. We don't want it to escalate any further.

When the puppy is in her crate,the two are in the house just fine. The problem arises when the puppy is out of the crate.

The puppy is a lab, and quite submissive. She plays but does not pounce. She is very careful, and will turn directions if the cat is blocking her path.

For now, I'm taking the cat out of the room and putting him in his safe space when I let the puppy out. I will then start with short times together, with the puppy on a leash or under control. Many short interactions, then start to increase the amount of time as things go OK. If the cat acts out, I'll squirt him with water, and then scale back the amount of time they're spending together.

Any suggestions on how to improve this process are appreciated.



PAWSitive Passages!


PAWSitive Passages!

Getting Another Maine Coon?

by: Peter
(Australia)
phoebe

We have a 9 month old cat Phoebe, who is a gorgeous girl that is some what independant however she likes to be in our presence when we are at home. We work full time and worry that she is lonely during the day. Is there away to tell if a cat is lonely during that day?

We are thinking of getting a male kitten, is there a certain personality type that we should look for to match Phoebe? Any advice would be appreciated.
Thank You!

Reply:

Hi Peter,
Phoebe is so beautiful! As for your question, it's hard to say how she feels about being home alone. The only way to know for sure is to use a video camera!

Most cats are fine with it, and you mention that Phoebe is somewhat independent. But, Maine Coons are very social animals. Most owners find that when they add a second (or more), they cats develop a wonderful bond.

It's not as much a question of should you get another, as do you want to? If so, go for it! If she's home alone much of the day, she would surely enjoy a buddy. A boy or girl would be just fine.

As for personality type, it's hard to find a particular type with kittens. They are all pretty "moldable." Keep in mind that one will end up in the Alpha position. Usually, it's the boy. If you think Phoebe would want to be the boss, (or maybe the more submissive one) let your breeder know, and they will be more than happy to work with you on finding a personality match.

Thanks for sharing your girl with us!

All The Best,
~Carrie

Comments:

'Do it!'
by: Rachel

I also have a 3yr old Female Maine Coon (Marmite) and really wanted another one so brought 'Dave' into the family (a Silver Male Maine Coon kitten).

To my horror she appeared to hate him at first, and hissed and growled anytime he was near - most upsetting!! I never expected this as she was always so 'laid-back' but i guess the interruption to her 'territory' was too much! I have to say though, with perseverance and time they are now great friends and sleep and play together so although it was initially hard work, it is so rewarding now!

They were from the same breeder (3 yrs apart) but have the most distinctly different personalities! Marmite is very independant, and likes to be near you, but isn't one for much of a fuss - unless she chooses it! Dave is adorable - so cuddly and smoochy and a total lap cat at times, while also being independant too. They both have different funny 'quirks' which make them highly entertaining and i wouldn't be without either of them now. So I say 'go for it!'

It may not be all 'plain sailing' at first, but in time it will be the best decision you made! :-)

Another Cat?
by: Helen

I have had cats for more than 40 years, sometimes I worked, sometimes I didn't. There were times I only had a single housecat, at other times I had up to six.

Remember, cats live with you, not the other way round. They sleep up to 20 hours out of 24.

My personal advice is for you to enjoy Phoebe by herself for another year or two. She will bond more closely to you. You can always introduce a kitten later. She will have a "hissy" fit, but will get over it in a couple of weeks.

My big red male has a very distinct muzzle and big square whisker pads like your Phoebe. I love the look. She is so alert and "full of it." You've got a lovely kitten.

Another cat
by: Babbs

If you would like another cat I would do it soon before yours gets too territorial. I tried to introduce another to our Maine Coon and he just wouldn't adjust. He is fine with dogs, but not another cat. The only mistake I feel that I made when I bought Rio is that I didn't get two at the same time.
Barbara in Maine, USA


Would A Maine Coon Integrate Well With My 3 Persian Exotics,
Ages 4,5 and 6 ?

by: Joanne
(Boston MA)

I have 4 Persian Exotics and am about to lose the 7 year-old to FIP, about which my husband and I are devastated, and he is such a dog-like cat it will leave a gaping hole in our home. He is/was the alpha, and he is not only my husband's favorite, but honestly the first animal he's ever loved. How sad is that?!

While he can never be replaced as such, we are thinking of backfilling, if you will, not with another Exotic since that's too close for comfort and frankly feels disrespectful.(!)

What are thoughts as to how a Maine Coon kitten might integrate with existing cats, not kittens themselves but young enough to be playful still.

I appreciate your thoughts, both on the Maine Coon, and other breed sure to appeal to a man who is not an innate animal lover.

Thanks very much,
Joanne

Reply:

Hi Joanne,
I'm so sorry you are facing the loss of your boy. That is just so hard.

I think a Maine Coon kitten would certainly integrate well with your other cats. I have a couple of thoughts, though.

Your cats may re-sort their pecking order, to decide on a new alpha. I'm not sure how a little kitten who's just being introduced will do during that time. You might want to add a kitten well before or well after the changes occur.

And if a primary goal is to get a new cat that will bond with your husband, see what he thinks about the timing. Some people always have room, emotionally, for more, and others will feel a bit like they are "cheating on" the passed pet by loving a new one too soon.

As for the breed, Maine Coons are doglike, friendly and congenial. I can't think of a better fit. To guarantee this kind of personality you'll want to get your Maine Coon from a breeder.

Again, I'm sorry about your boy. Seven is young.

All The Best,
~Carrie

Comments:

Thanks very much
by: Joanne

We lost Nigel yesterday, hardest thing we've ever done but the right thing for him. SO SAD.

Agreed we aren't rushing into a new kitten lightly, but it's a matter of time and appreciate the insights on the Maine Coons, looking to ensure a friendly and vocal pet & companion.

I'm thinking/hoping my cats are still young enough to welcome a kitten, as i'm very aware that older cats do not welcome kittens and that's why it's advisable to get two instead of one. I'm also aware that a Maine Coon would dwarf my cats in size when full grown, so hoping that's okay?!

Reply
by: Heather

Hi
Sorry about your loss.
When I lost my beautiful girl at 18 1/2 years ago I got my first Maine Coon Sarah. The house was in upset over Bitty passing but I think that actually helped - Timmy my domestic (8) was particularly out of sorts and I think Sarah took his mind off it and he recovered just in time for my other 18 yr old to pass with a brain bleed.

He was much slower to recover from her passing without the distraction of a new house member. When Zack ( MC No 2) arrived 6 months later he seemed better again. Now I also have Boris ( MC 8 months ) and they all get on like a house on fire. I think the MC's mix well and they sleep together in all sorts of combinations.


Best Breed Compatibilty For My Maine Coon

by: Juan Cronje
(Cape Town, South Africa)
My Big Boy

We have a 1yr old male and he is the only pet. We are considering getting a second cat but want to ensure we get a breed that is compatible with the Maine Coon characteristics.

He is very dominant and displays extreme dominant behavior when confronted by other cats. Obviously we need to get a female but want to ensure we get a breed that is not too timid or strongly opposite.

Please advise which breeds to consider.

Reply:

Hi Juan,
Your boy looks very handsome! What is his name?

I'm not quite sure how to answer. On the one hand, you want a breed that is compatible with the Maine Coon characteristics, and on the other, you want a cat who will be compatible with your boy.

They are two different things! The Maine Coon personality traits are easy-going and laid-back. A typical male is not dominant, and gets along with most other pets. It's a common myth that they "should be" a rough and tough cat. Actually, it is actually written into the Maine Coon breed description that they are to have an "amiable" (or friendly) disposition.

So the best breed compatibility for a Maine Coon is any breed!

However, your boy has some dominance. And the bit about displaying "extreme dominant behavior when confronted by other cats" worries me. It is very possible that he does not want another cat in the house. That is normal for some cats. It's just the way they are.

In that case, it wouldn't matter what gender, breed or age cat you get. He will display this "extreme dominant behavior" which will create household stress, and possibly leave a new cat injured, definitely terrified.

The short answer to your question is that a well-bred Maine Coon or a Ragdoll would be the most easy going. And a Siamese might be likely to leave him on his own, yet stand up for herself if needed.

Also, kittens are the easiest to transition into a new home. She would not be threatening to him. I would definitely not recommend this, though, because she would also be very delicate and vulnerable. She could be damaged or worse if ever attacked, even once.

I would recommend a few "practice sessions" where you see if he could possibly accept the presence of another cat.

And since I'm not sure what the "extreme behavior" is, or how or when it was displayed, some of this may or may not apply to you.

So my advice is to proceed with caution! And have a back-up home planned out so that if it doesn't work, she won't go to a shelter and possibly be put down.

Getting Cats To Get Along

There is lots of info you may find interesting in a popular cat behavior e-book I've found. It has a section on making sure your cats get along, and a trick to getting your first cat to accept a new one.

It even has another section on how to keep peace in a multi-cat home. You can Click Here to read more about it.

Perhaps others with experience adding cats and having an aggressive cat will add their advice, too!

All The Best,
Carrie

Comments:

Further Clarification
by: Juan Cronje

Thanks Carrie, to give more info on the behaviour. It was displayed whilst at a cat hotel in which he immidiately stormed and stalked the cats he saw in the surrounding pens. At the same time he loved any passing dogs and wanted to play. He once escaped through the window (he is an indoor pet) and on site of another cat stormed. When placed with another male 9mnth his senior he took over the males sleeping quarters hehe. He is extremely well bred and bought from a well known breeder with excellent credentials. Hope this clarifies. Maybe I'm just over worried but better save than sorry. Juan


A Chihuahua to stay for 10 days possibly in 2011

by: Judy
(UK)

Carrie

Next summer we've offered to 'mind' Bono a Chihuahua for 10 days. If our offer is accepted, how should we prepare?

Buddy hasn't met Bono yet. Also at nearly 5 months Buddy's bigger. But, Buddy will have been neutered by then. I'm crossing my fingers Buddy's not all teeth and claw with the little dog. We'd welcome ideas & suggestions.

In the past, we've had ex-racing greyhounds (one at a time) with our ginger moggy Spats. But Spats could escape to the garden and pick fights with squirrels, young fox cubs and weasels etc : )

Judy
UK

Reply:

Hi Judy,
I would say they'll be fine. It's only 10 days, so they don't have to be friends or even get along. You can just keep them separated.

The key factor here is size. This little doggy won't be able to reach Buddy at all, even if he wants to! Buddy will want to keep his distance. Though, there is a chance he'll charge at the little guy. Our Alice decided once to "challenge" my mom's Golden Retriever. Poor dog got a scratch on his nose! She was younger then, and the cats want nothing to do with any dog now.

Just wait and see; if it happens, all you need to do is provide them each with their own space.
Carrie


Two cats better than one, no matter what?

by: L

I feel more comfortable asking this question here, since more "rational" cat people (e.g. my coworkers at the SPCA) think I'm crazy for even asking:

I have a young (1.5 yr) maine coon mix who is the most amazing laid back cat and I am obsessed with him. He is my baby boy - he follows me around chirping, helps me with all my tasks, and adores attention, constantly sleeping by my side or playing under my feet waiting to flop over for a tummy rub.

To put it simply, I feel absolutely awful every time I have to leave him when I go to work for more than 6 hours a day, which is about three times a week. Knowing how playful and attached to me he is, and having seen him wandering around the house looking bored and mewing when I can't give him my full attention, I have been thinking that getting him another young cat to play with would be great for him so he could have a buddy and some company when I am gone.

Here are the things that I worry about though:
1) I worry that he'll hate me for it because he'll have to share my attention.
2) I selfishly worry that because he'll resent me he'll stop lavishing love on me and stop being my baby boy - detach from me somehow.
3) I worry that he won't get along or bond with the cat (even though he seemed fine with other cats at the shelter, and is fine with my neighbors dog when he comes over to play). I don't want to make it worse.
4) Am I crazy? Everything I've read and heard is that if you have a friendly cat, that two are better then one - that it's good for them psychologically and physically.
5) On the other hand, maybe I am over-anthropomorphizing my cat's boredom level when he is alone. It might be that he just doesn't need a companion and can entertain myself when I am away.

As you can tell, this is serious (and possibly silly) source of anxiety for me, and I would really appreciate any insights any of you might have!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this...

Reply:

Hi,

Are Two better than One? It's a valid question!

I'll address your concerns one at a time. As for the first two, he won't resent you and he won't hate you. Cats can seem aloof, but they are not hard-wired with those qualities.

He'll love you no matter what you do. He may seem "off" during his adjustment, maybe even come around for less snuggling at first, but not out of resentment. And, that may not even happen. Maine Coons tend to speak up for their share of affections.

Personally, I've never had just one cat. At our house, Leo is particularly bonded to my husband (though spends a fair amount of time on my lap as well) Alice, on the other hand, is clearly my cat (although she visits with everyone in the family, too.) So I can relate to the personal bond you have and your concerns about "sharing."

If you had two cats, you'd have to make the time for both of them when you are home. So, don't just do it for your first cat, think about yourself, too!

Next, no you're not crazy! Here is my opinion: 6 hours a day, 3 times a week is not a whole lot of time for him to be alone. He probably just plays, explores, and sleeps during this time. You have nothing to feel guilty about. He sounds like a happy, healthy, well-adjusted cat who is nicely spoiled. If you are happy with the status-quo, then there is no need to change a thing.

But, if you can't stop thinking how nice it would be to find him a friend, if you want to, then go for it! Find another laid-back young cat or kitten to get the best chances at friendship. This is not guaranteed, unfortunately. After all your trouble, they may be best buds, they may not. (But I'm leaning toward the freindship route.)

They would both be fine with it, if you are too. The bottom line is that companionship is good for them, but he doesn't need one. He is doing just fine. And your bond would have to change a bit, just as it does when we add human children to a family. It's ultimately up to you! I hope this helps!


Carrie

Comments:

A tough transition but worth it...
It's been a little over a week since we got our new cat, and I'm amazed how quickly things have resolved.

The transition was actually hardest for me I think - when we brought the new kitty home, D was really aggressive towards him and very territorial even spraying the walls. He also stopped being snugly with me and talking to me and spent a lot of time sitting in the corner glaring. That really made me upset and I unfortunately transferred all of that disappointment to the new cat who I resented for destroying the bliss of our family. I was especially panicking that my bond with D, who was my best friend, would disappear. And I didn't feel like I could love this new cat in the same way. I had really been hoping they would get along like brothers and I was dismayed at the aggression.

Up until the last few days I continued to have heart palpitations at every hiss and swat - I wish I wasn't so anxious about everyone getting along - the process has been excruciating.

But, it has been so worth it. As I write, D is wrapped around little Otto, grooming his face while Otto purrs. And they have been chasing each other around all day. And D has been curling up next to me and begun chirping to me again. And I feel so much better about leaving them home while at work. So all's well that ends well!

Amazing!
by: Maine Coon Cat Nation

Hi,
I'm so, so happy to hear your adoption was a success!

It's a terrific example of how there can be aggression and difficulties at first, but wow, they are buddies already! I'm smiling ear to ear!

Thank you so much for the update on your two boys!


Carrie


Where should a new kitten to the home sleep??

Where should a new kitten sleep?

We are purchasing a kitten approx. 12 weeks old and want to know where he should sleep at night? We all sleep on the 2nd floor and so should there be an extra litter box upstairs too?

Reply:

Hi,
That's a good question. I think many people have their own way of doing it, and it depends on a couple of factors.

Do you have a large house, or a small apartment? If you live in a small home your new kitten would do fine right in the main living area, providing there aren't other pets or children around. But I do feel that a new little kitten would be more secure in a particular room with the door shut at first.

Speaking of pets or children, if they are home too you will definitely want to keep the kitten separate for the first few days.

Our page on introducing a new kitten has suggestions for acclimating a kitten to the home.

Whether you decide to do this in your own bedroom or another room is entirely up to you! It mainly depends on if you plan to let your cat have free reign of the home and come pounce on you at all hours when he's grown. Whatever you do now will set the stage for later.

Lots of people are okay with that, and find it sweet or bonding. If that sounds like you, then set up your kitten in your bedroom from day one. Yes, you'll want a litter box and food/water dishes right in the room (just for a little while.) As soon as he/she is accustomed to the house you can move the litter box to a more appropriate place. It may only be a day or two.

In our case, with young children and other pets, I knew our sleep was much too precious to lose. So I knew we wouldn't be 'co-sleeping' (although we do on special occasions and some weekends) so we set up the kittens in the laundry room with all their stuff.

We let them explore the room and get comfortable. I closed the door and visited them a lot in that room that first day. It really helped that we didn't overwhelm them with the whole house.

That first night, we picked them up and cuddled them on the couch during our evening shows. They purred and they were so sweet! Then off to bed in their 'room.'

After a few days they were bombing around the house like a couple of ruffians. And after a couple of weeks we introduced them to the daylight basement, then moved their stuff down there for nights.

We tried leaving them around the house when we were sleeping or gone, but they were so destructive! There was no shelf, at any height, that they didn't clean off at some point!

I would say you definitely should have a litter box on each floor. When your kitten is grown you can have just one, but for now it's better safe than sorry. The bathroom works well. Just make sure the door is left open whenever the room is not being used.

I wouldn't use the bathroom for kitten's room, though. Showers and faucets and people barging in would be scary.

One last thing we learned the hard way: Every member of the house must make a habit to keep the toilet lids closed at all times! :-)

Enjoy your new little one,
~Carrie


Rescue Cat

by: Heather Cummins
(Shropshire)

We recently collected what we were told was just a very large fluffy black male cat. We now think he is either a Maine Coon or maybe a cross with a Maine Coon. He is 3years old weighs 6kg has a very long fluffy tail, ruff around his neck,fur growing between his foot pads.

We were also told he had lived with other cats and dogs. However, he is hissing and spitting at our dog and other cat. At present we are keeping them separate, but they can see each other. It is early days, but do you have any advice on how to deal with this behavior please.

Reply:

Hi Heather,
You've done a wonderful thing by adopting your new boy. You're right, it is early days. This behavior is to be expected at first. Nearly all cats will growl, hiss, and spit at other cats they don't know, especially when placed in a new environment.

So far, you are on the right track by keeping them separate yet able to see each other.

My advice would be to give all your pets, but especially your new boy, tons of love. Try to get him to relax and let his guard down with you. As he begins to bond with you, he begin to trust you and his new home.

Also, see if you can "mix up the smells" for all the animals. This may mean bathing all in the same shampoo and washing all bedding. Or an easier approach is to switch out their bedding so they have to sleep in one another's scent. Or, switch the rooms they are in. Eventually, they will all smell the same to each other and that will make a huge difference - hopefully!

There are products made to help de-stress cats, too. They are sold online and in local pet stores. They can be sprays or plug-in diffusers. They don't work for everyone, but for those that do, they really love them. They work with pheromones to help relax and calm cats.

Also, even after they are able to mingle in the same room you can expect a few spats. They will need to work out between themselves who will back down and who will be the Alpha cat.

Best wishes with your family!
~Carrie


Four-Year Old Female Maine Coon
& Wanting a Guinea Pig and Another Cat

by: Colleen
(Texas)
rani
Rani

Maine Coon Nation,

I'm so happy to find your site! We have a four-year old female Maine Coon that we love very much, but she is a nervous cat.

We have 2 daughters 10 & 8. We are now interested in getting a guinea pig and another cat but are worried about how everyone will get along.

What do we do to help the process? How likely will it be that our existing cat will be unhappy and how likely is it that she will think of the guinea pig as prey?

I would really appreciate some advice.

Gratefully,
Colleen

Reply:

Hi Colleen,

Rani is a very pretty girl! It just so happens that we have a guinea pig at our house as well, so this is something I can answer with experience!

Getting another cat will rock her world much more than getting a guinea pig will. The piggy spends most of his time safe & sound in a cage. You'll want to get an igloo or other house that he can hide in. He will be spooked by the interest.

Yes, she very well may see the piggy as prey. I've seen YouTube videos of cats & guinea pigs as friends, but I wouldn't trust my guys. Mostly they are too lazy to do anything, but you never know. Make sure that the cage is always closed and the piggy is always supervised. One time, when I was holding our pig, Alice slowly reached up and tried to paw him! It was so slow it was funny! She just wanted to see what would happen.

As for introducing another cat, you might want to do that separately, so Rani doesn't feel replaced or overwhelmed. You'll want to do the introductions slowly, since she's timid.

With care, they could become great friends. You may want to consider a boy, for balance. Boys are pretty laid-back, too.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful girl!

Hopefully more cat lovers will chime in, too!

All The Best,
Carrie

Comments:

Adjusting to new households
My maine Coon could care less about other cats and guinea pigs. Go ahead and adopt.

G Pigs
by: Helen

I would be more concerned about the guinea pig causing allergies in the children. While they sleep all day, they are active all night running on their wheel (squeak, squeak, squeak). I found long-haired hampsters more fun than pigs.

My personal choice would be a lovely, lively 8 week old kitten.

Hope you find just what you are looking for.

nervous cat
You could buy a Feliway Plug In. It will help your existing cat and also chill her out a bit so that a new cat will not phase her.

Also ignore the new cat for a while. A kitten would be best I think for her to accept.

Clyde & Capone
Although it may sound impossible, I share my loft with infamous bank robber Clyde Barrow and ganster Al Capone. When I first brought Capone (my MCC) home to the loft, Clyde (the guinea pig) was living in large hutch, similar to that of a rabbit hutch.

I took a rabbit hutch liner (available at Tractor Supply Company) and fit a tray of plywood and trim around it. Then, I ran four corner poles and wrapped them with chicken wire. At the top, I framed it out, and trimmed a piece of plywood to fit on the top, and wedges underneath to make it impossible to push off.

This is also good because small children will need an adult's help to get the guinea pig out in a careful manner, observing the cat's behavior. Lastly, when Capone moved in, I took tongue and groove 7 inch siding and added a "guard rail" around the bottom to prevent Capone from being able to stand up and see eye-to-eye with the guinea pig. This also prevented him from cutting his paws on the chicken wire. Capone is very active and likes to grab around the guard rails of the cage and Clyde will sometimes gently bite his foot!

I have had them on the ground together and Capone regards him with polite interest. However, they are never to free roam unattended. By having a good boundary, they serve as good companions for each other. Our other cat, Leon (not a MCC) has never even noticed the guinea pig, and he is a big time hunter!


Introducing Another Maine Coon Cat Into The Family

by: Terry

I have a 7 yr old Maine Coon cat. He is a male. I have the lucky fortune of getting a 7 yr old female Maine Coon cat as well. Do you believe that they will mix well. Mine has been an only child.

Also have a problem with my cat throwing up hairballs. Have tried him on every food imaginable.

I brush him regularly but sometimes by not getting all the loose hair out it makes it worse. Could recommend something, maybe yet a different type of food that will help him.

I have also tried some sort of stuff you get from the vet. It is like a salmon flavored gel to put on his paws. This has not helped either.

Thanks
Terry

Reply:

Hi Terry,
I think you would be very happy with the addition of a new girl. My boy and girl are seven years old as well, and they are a nice compliment to each other.

I would recommend reading the related questions and answers on this page.

And for hairballs, that is a tough one. We do have a page all about cat hairballs, and more importantly a page all about hairball remedy options. It discusses hairball control cat food, fiber, home remedies, and has some links to high-quality products. Maybe you will find something you haven't yet tried.

I'm not sure I can suggest a different food, since you've tried many already. Hairball control cat food generally have a high fiber content, to move the hair through your cats system more quickly. If that's not doing the trick, you may want to go the lubricating route. Putting it on his paws may not be quite enough.

Many Maine Coon owners have found success using olive oil as a supplement to their cats diet. It lubricates and aids in a nice shiny coat. On another page, a visitor recommends olive oil. The cat owner who sent in the question found success with a product called Laxatone.

There are quite a few Hairball products to choose from on Amazon. Here is a link to some high-rated ones: Hairball Remedies.

You may also be interested in our similar visitor pages about coughing and hairballs.

All The Best,
(and let us know how it goes if you get a new girl in your home!)
Carrie


New Cat compatability

by: Marty
(Shipshewana, Indiana, USA)

We have a 18 month old female Maine Coon, she was our only cat, we recently got another young female domestic short hair, 10 weeks old, they seem to get along ok.

Sometimes the Maine Coon gets a little irritated when the young one wants to play and lets out a loud hissing sound and runs off.

Will they ever get to be friends?

Reply:

Hi Marty,
I think they will. If they are doing this well already, it's a sign that all will be well.

A little irritation when getting tackled or having your tail bitten is to be expected :)

Before you know it you'll find them sleeping together and grooming each other!

All The Best,
Carrie

Comments:

Soon to be best friends! by: Danielle
My coon Hunter HATED his buddy TOMMY when we first welcomed him into our home. TOMMY was about 4 months old when he joined the family and the behaviour your cat is displaying is COMPLETELY NORMAL!

The adjustment period is different for everyone, but it will probably be around a good solid month before you see the two of them really starting to bond.

The kitten needs to learn it's place in the pecking order and the laws of the land set by your older cat. Of course as the kitten gets older, it will test your other cat, but it's all about establishing territory.

One day you'll just turn around and the two of them will be wrestling together, grooming each other, sleeping together and it will seem like they've become BFF's overnight. Your new kitty has the advantage of learning proper feline behaviour from your older cat, and from my experience this usually forms a tighter bond than two young cats growing up together, as the older cat has already learned the rules of your house and has established itself and will teach the younger one for you.

When I've had two young cats raised together, they eventually started to test my rules and each other, and sometimes resulted in some serious squabbles. Having the situation you have, I've found that my cats never squabbled over anything and were absolutely content to be in each other's company! GOOD LUCK!


Getting A New Kitten

by: Lexi
(Alliston Ontario Canada)

Hello,
I have a question for you about cat names, one of our close friends are raising there stray cat in there garage and they figured out there cat was pregnant for a couple weeks.

I am getting a kitten In 4 weeks and it is a brown and black kitten with brown stripes on it's ribs and white liner around it's eyes... What should I name a unique cat like that??

Comments:

New Kitten!
by: Maine Coon Cat Nation
Hi Lexi,

A new kitten! How exciting! Oh, let me see. I just love names. I'm going to take some time to think about it. Is it a boy or a girl?

Maybe some of our visitors will have a suggestion?
Carrie

The most obvious ...
"Uni"

Name for Kitten
by: Maine Coon Cat Nation

Hi Again Lexi,

It sounds like your new kitten is a tabby. How about Tabitha for a girl? They white around the eyes sounds very unique. I don't know if a particular name comes to mind. Do they look like glasses? How about Spec? (short for spectacles).

You may want to choose a name based on personality, your interests, or just what sounds nice to you. We have quite a few kitten names in our Maine Coon Kittens section (just see the links on the upper left of this page.)

I know it's overwhelming at first, but it's also so much fun to choose the perfect name!

Enjoy your new little one! ~Carrie


Help With Adopting Out A Maine Coon

by: Jean
(Dedham Mass)

I have a semi feral colony of cats that I care for, at least four of them are Maine Coons. Two years ago I took 2 of them home to live with me.

Maxwell is a black and white Maine Coon, he is very very gentle, loves to sit on your lap, and he touches your face, and endlessly purrs.

Maxwell was part of the semi feral colony that I have been caring for. I ended up taking him home because he followed me all over the yard that he was living and he never wanted me to leave, he would follow me to my car.

Max has since adjusted to living in a home he trust other people, and everyone loves him. Max is a lap cat and he is very talkative. I would like to try and find a home for him, he would be wonderful for an older person for companionship.

Wondering why I would want to adopt him to someone else? I am very dedicated to my semi feral colony Max and his colony were being cared for by a senior citizen whose yard that they lived in, this senior passed away and I have been caring for this colony ever since.

I was also wondering if there are any Maine Coon cat lovers in my area they would just love this colony of them. You can pat them and they will trust you if you know their names.


2 Maine Coon Kitties Or 1???

I decided to get a Maine Coon Kitty. I had a boy in the past and he was awesome!! The breeder I am going to has twin red coon kitties that she does not want to separate.

Would I be better of getting 2 so they can keep each other company?

Reply:

Hi,
You can go either way. We brought home our Alice and Leo together, from the same litter. And, I'm so glad I did! They came from the same litter, and having each other made their transition so much easier. They are very bonded.

That said, many folks choose to get just one, and that works out just fine too! If your breeder has the two she'd like to keep together, and you are leaning toward getting siblings, you won't regret it.

They are so much fun when they tear the house apart :)

All The Best,
~Carrie

Comments:

I'd vote for two
by: Sharon

I have three Coons ages 3 (Marley), 10 (Elliot) and 13 (Arthur). When we got Elliot the integration took about 2 days and he and Arthur were best buds. Sadly this was not the case when we introduced Marley. Arthur was fine; Elliot was a basket case. It took an entire year of hell to integrate Elliot and Marley. We had to keep them apart when we were not around and Elliot got so stressed he started having issues like feline acne, diarrhea, and more. We feel it had more to do with Elliot's personality than his age. Marley survived just fine and learned how to read Elliot's mood and keep out of his way quickly. They still have issues sometimes but all of Elliot's stress symptoms are gone. Because of this we will not introduce another cat into the house until Elliot goes over the Rainbow Bridge and that, we hope, won't be for a very long time.

I vote two ...
by: Kim Sweet

I just adopted our third Maine Coon after losing MY King Lewie back in Nov, ( all four have profiles here). The first one was Ivan, that was a stinker and would not leave our older mix female alone. He wanted to play and she was not up for that at all. So we decided to adopted Makani that is only a month older then Ivan. The two of them became partners in crime and Autumn was safe again. Then about a week ago I ran across Taz on Craigs list thanks to a friend. Now the three boys, Makani, Ivan and Taz are like the three Amegos. Taz is only 12 weeks old now, and has been in 4 different homes already so I was happy to see Ivan and Makani take to him so well right off the bat.

We really enjoy wathcing them all play and chase eachother around the house and bond as brothers. We have been very lucky to run across our boys when we did and wouldn't change a thing.

HAVE FUN :)

Are You Sure?
Cats are only litter mates, not real twins. If the breeder was willing to take the price of one kitten and you take two, that is one thing. If she wants you to pay for both, I would question her motives about seperating them.
Helen

My experience with Maine Coons
by: JS

Two cats are always good for company for each other.

I found feline rescue remedy to work wonders with one of my Maine Coons that didn't like the other.

I have seen my Maine Coon cats shed there fur in the spring. I winter they have the big fur mane all around their neck and then come spring you will start to see patches of fur missing, then they look like they got a haircut. When the cold weather comes around it grows back.


Two Kittens - Maine Coons

by: Simon
(Slovenia)

I would like to buy two cats (Maine Coon) - one male and one female. They will be castrated.

Is it better if they are from the same litter or it is better if they are from different litters?

Thank you for your answer,
Simon

Reply:

Hi Simon,
Great choice to get two little ones! Seven years ago, we welcomed Alice and Leo into our family. They are siblings from the same litter, and it worked out beautifully.

We had Leo neutered and Alice spayed when they were about six months old. You are right, this is a must-do, especially when you have a girl and a boy.

Here are my thoughts:

Same litter: This is easier, when it's possible. The kittens are already bonded, and when they come home to you they will have the comfort of each other. It will make the transition even easier.

I think if you have this option, with a brother and sister from the same litter, you should go for it!

Different Litter: Yes, you can absolutely do this too, and be very successful. The kittens, being young and adaptable, will make friends very quickly.

If you have your heart set on a boy and a girl but you can't find both in the same litter, available at the same time, go ahead and mix-and-match!

Maine Coon kittens are fun, free-spirited, sweet and loving. You'll do great with whatever you choose.

All The Best,
~Carrie

Comments:

Two Kittens
Cat's don't follow human morals,if they like each other, they will bond.


Want to adopt a 1 year old male Maine Coon from local shelter

by: Roxanne
(Tucson, AZ)

I currently have 3 female spayed domestic shorthair cats at home. Maxie is 15 years old and Tracy and Ruby are 8 years old.

In November 2009, I lost my beautiful 21 year old calico Molly. All my cats have always been indoors as I live in Arizona and with the wild life here, it is not safe for a cat to be outdoors.

"Hank", the Maine Coon at the shelter came to them as a stray. I think he was more abandoned because he weighs 32 pounds! He is very lovable and I have visited him twice now.

His temperament seemed very sweet on my first visit. When I went by today, the shelter gave him a new neighbor in the kennel below (a male domestic shorthair), and he displayed some signs of aggression by hissing.

Would Hank be good mix with my 3 female cats?

I have read that they are really docile and compatible with other pets. Are there any tell tale signs I can look for on my next visit that will show me his personality?

I just love Hank, but want to make sure he will be a good fit.
Thanks!

Reply:

Hi Roxanne!
First, I'm sorry to hear about Molly. You must have had quite a bond with her. 21 years old, you are doing something right at your house :)

Hank sounds simply awesome! Wow, 32 pounds! You put a smile on my face right away when I saw this was about adoption! Totally cool name, too!

About the fit. First, since he is a boy and you have girls that's a good start. And, when he hissed at the new neighbor you mentioned that it was another male he had just met. It seems like that's an indicator that he was just uptight.

This is how I like to think about the behavior of shelter cats:

We have our beloved pets at home who we know so well. Loving, friendly, etc. But when we take them to the vet, they become totally different. We have to peel them out of their carrier, and they are just not themselves. They won't be themselves until they get back home.

I think it's the same with Hank. He just can't be himself, he can't let his guard down until he gets home! Poor guy doesn't understand what's going on!

I do think that, based on what you've shared, he'd fit in fine with Maxie, Tracy & Ruby. (I wish I could guarantee it!) It sounds like you are an experienced cat owner & you know how to introduce them slowly, etc. He'll be on guard at first, and shouldn't be exposed to the girls until he's really secure (purring all the time).

Everyone is spayed/neutered, so there really shouldn't be any competition. They may never be good friends, and might always be standoffish when they are physically close, but that's ok.

On your next visit, if Hank enjoys a snuggle and actually purrs for you, that means he has no problem letting his guard down. It's a clue into his nature.

Good luck, Maybe you can update us later on?

I so hope this works out for you!
Carrie

Comments:

Male Coon loved short-hair companion
I had three regular cats ranging from 3 to 10 years old when I adopted a black male Coon Cat. He got along great with two of my cats and tolerated the third. As soon as he saw my 10 year-old grey short hair, it was love at first sight and they lived a cozy life together.

If the Coon is male and friendly, there's a very good chance they will get along.


Age difference

by: Melanie
(Louisville, Ky)

I have 2 cats that are 16 years old and have special needs.

One is on thyroid medicine and iron drops and IV fluids for the kidneys. The other one in on kidney medicine and IV fluids.

Both are fairly active for their age. We also have 2 other cats that are 8 years old. They are in good health.

My main question is would kittens upset my older cats in a very negative way?

I know one will need extra attention because he is very spoiled, but the other one I worry he might strain himself keeping up with the kitten.

Reply:

Hi Melanie,
It sounds like you have a full, and happy house! How lucky for your kitties that they have someone so attentive to look after them in their golden years, keeping them as healthy as possible.

As for how they would react, or interact with new kittens, I think no one is better than you to make that guess.

If he is fairly active and you are worried about him straining himself, you could either make plans to keep them separate, get older kittens or young cats, or wait.

In my opinion, I would think that he would enjoy a young playmate and instinct would tell him when it's time to slow down. Plus, you mentioned "kittens" so if you got two, they would entertain each other. But this is just a guess, as I don't personally know your kitties!

I hope everything works out,
Carrie

Comments:

Range Wars
I found that even with a large house, five cats were too much. Even four cats were pushing it. Thing is, cats need a lot of territory, out of all proportion to the space they take up, and you could get spraying, even with spayed female cats. We did.

Re the issue of age differences: I had one kitten who simply refused to be disliked. Who, me? You must be kidding! How could anybody dislike cute little me? She eventually wore the older cat down.


Kitten Name

by: Syd
(Florida)
kitten
this is the kitten we are getting..

Hi, We are getiing a maine coon kitty in a few weeks!! We already have all the toys and cat trees and etc....

But the only thing that we dont have is the NAME! We want the name to start with an M because she is a tabby and has a big M on her forehead!!

Sincerley,
Sydney

P.S. we want it to mean something like happy or beatiful..... and more.........

thank you!!

Reply:

Hi Syd,
What a gorgeous girl! I can see why you want a name that speaks of her beauty!

Let's see, M names. I like M names, they roll off the tongue. (My son & dog both have M names)

For "happy", how about Merry?

In Latin, the meaning for Margarita is pearl.

In Chinese Meili means beautiful and graceful.

Melina is a pretty Greek name derived from "meli", meaning "honey"

If she's your little lady, Marta is an Italian name meaning "lady, or mistress"

Also Italian, Milana comes from the root "mil" meaning "favor, grace"

Minerva was a Roman Goddess of wisdom, war and protection of the city

Mohana means "bewitching, infatuating, charming" in Sanskrit

Maybe one of these strikes your fancy? (It was fun thinking of names.) Thanks for sharing your new little girl, and best wishes with her!
Carrie

Comments:

Naming your new kitten
Your new kitty looks almost exactly like one of mine, the female gray one. I couldn't think of names either when I adopted her and her brother, so I asked my kids who are older to name them and I just kept those names....Zoey for the Girl, and Tyler for the Boy. Since they don't answer to their names for quite sometime, you might even want to wait to see what her personality is all about, and then maybe a good name will come into your mind.

Good luck and love that kitty with all your heart. My kittens enrich my life, and add so much to my daily happiness.

kitten name
by: Deb C

Misty...matches her fur.

Cat Name
Mia

Awwwww!
by: Kim

What a sweet baby!! Reminds me of my kitty at that age! What about Winnie!

Kitty Name
I would have to say it really depends on her personality i would probley call her macey the marvelous lol well i am not sure other wise at this time i just got one myself and his name is aries kinda like the horoscope lol










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