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Cat Health Questions


Most of these cat health questions should be brought to a vet's attention. Read on to of you are researching one of these concerns.


Breed A Brother And Sister Maine Coon?

By: Helen
(France)

Is it OK to mate a brother and sister?

Reply
Hi Helen,
Well, I'm not and never have been a breeder, but from what I understand the answer is a firm "no" it's not all right to breed a brother and sister Maine Coon to each other. I believe it would introduce a host of cat health questions.

Do breeders ever mate a half-brother and sister to each other? I'm not sure, though I think I have heard of this happening.

In general, when it comes to breeding and genetics, there is a reason breeders sometimes import a kitten from another part of the country or world to their cattery. It keeps the lines strong. It reduces the chance of a recessive genetically inherited disease or genetic deformity from showing up in future generations, which would certainly introduce cat health questions.

Maine Coon breeders generally 'get into' breeding kittens slowly. They develop a love for the breed, go to cat shows, and are often mentored by other more experienced breeders.

two maine coon kittens cuddlingBreeding Sibling Cats Like These Would Introduce Cat Health Questions

A litter of Maine Coon kittens should never result from an owner who just happens to have two kittens and would like to see what happens. There are a myriad of reasons that this needs to be left to the experienced hands of a Maine Coon Cat breeder.

There are breed traits and characteristics that need to be considered, health and temperament, and of course proper health screening for certain medical conditions.

Breeders sell their kittens with the understanding and agreement that they will be spayed and neutered by their new owners, that they are not breeding kitties.

This is my understanding, and I encourage those who are or have been purebred cat breeders to comment and shed some light on this question!

All The Best,
~Carrie

Comments:

Close line breeding
by: Helen

Breeding animals that are closely related is called "line" breeding. Its intention is to intensify genes. Problem is you can intensify bad genetic traits as well as the good. A varied gene pool yields more vigorous kittens and less chance of genetic disease, hence, you never breed two individuals from the same litter.

Good breeders will tell you the truth: there is no money to be made in breeding good cats. Good brood stock costs into the thousands of dollars, then there are the vet expenses, not to mention the potential loss of a queen.

Breeders with high standards breed in hopes of getting kittens closer to the breed standard, not money. They put a lot of study and research into what they do. Pride in producing an excellent cat is their reward.

Inbreeding
Cat mate with each other frequently. Unfortunately, like any other mammals, inbreeding can result in genetic anomalies, occasionally.



Maine Coon With Dry Skin

by: Brenda
(Lexington,NC)

My 6 year old cats coat is real dull looking and dry flaky skin, could you help me with this problem.

I love my cat and what what is best for her health. Thank you in advance.

Brenda
Lexington, NC

Reply:


Hi Brenda,

Dry skin and dull fur are not uncommon cat health questions. The first thing that comes to mind is nutrition, and secondly general health.

The condition of the coat is a visible indicator of what is going on internally with a cat. So I would mention it to your vet at the next checkup. If her dry skin and dull looking fur is a new or sudden development, make an appointment for her to be checked soon.

There are a variety of reasons for a cat to develop this condition, including bathing too often, obesity, diabetes, skin infections or allergies, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, and of course poor nutrition.

If all else is ruled out, perhaps she needs a change of food. The best cat food has few if any grains, no corn or wheat at all, and mostly real meat (no by-products).

Generic foods with poor quality ingredients (some low-fat foods fall in this category) will result in a lack-luster coat and other cat health questions.

If you are already feeding her premium food, try a supplement such as Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil Cat Food Supplement and allow about six weeks to see improvement.

Hope this helps!

All The Best,
Carrie


No Appetite

by: Cathie
(Rockledge, FL)

We adopted a shelter kitty, Rocky (Maine Coon about 3 yrs. old) last month. All shots were up to date and he appeared healthy.

Several days after we got him home, he started with discharge from his eyes. We took him to the vet for an overall check up. The vet said it was a cold and prescribed anti-biotic ointment. The eye situation cleared up in about a week. Now Rocky seems to have lost his appetite. This coincides with two things.

1. He seemed to be trying to cough up a hairball, with no results. 2. We put up our Christmas tree - the tree has tinsel on it (have not witnessed him eating or even being interested in the tinsel, so no evidence that he's eaten it, but...).

He has vomited several times since we've gotten him. The last time was about three days ago. He has been eating very small amounts of food and is still using his cat box every day, but his feces is small and hard. Thoughts?

Reply:
Hi Cathie,
I'm so sorry to hear that Rocky is having a tough time. This cat health question sounds pretty medical in nature, and beyond my scope. I can only guess at a couple of things.

The vomiting could be an indication that there is an ingredient in his food that doesn't agree with his system. Look for: corn meal, corn gluten meal, or wheat gluten on the package of his current food. These are notoriously hard to digest. It's worse for some cats than for others.

My suggestion would be to try giving him some canned food if you don't already. His hard stools could be an indication that he's not getting enough fluid. Cats fed dry kibble are more prone to fill up on it and forget to drink the extra water that they need to offset all that dry food. Canned food helps get some fluids in while filling him up.

maine coon cat care guideOur Guide Addresses Cat Health Questions

That's all I can really think of. Of course, keep in touch with your vet regarding any changes in Rocky.

Perhaps some others will have more thoughts,

All The Best,
~Carrie

Comments:

Cathie - no appetite
by: Judy

Hi Cathie
Have you tried giving 1/2 teaspoon of EXTRA VIRGIN olive oil once a day in your cat's food? It will help to make his coat glossy and help with possible hairballs. A friend of mine who has a 'chinny' started her non-eating cat on Orijen - a dried food. It has high protein content AND NO WHEAT OR CORN WHATSOEVER and her cat took to it at once. Also, is your cat drinking enough? Hope this helps.

RE: No appetite
by: Cathie

Thank you for your suggestions. Rocky is doing much better now and eating normally again. We ended up using Laxatone for hairballs, so I'm guessing that's what helped. Have also started giving him wet food every-other day. Thank you again for your posts. Cathie

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