One thing we have in common is our love for the Maine Coon breed. Maine Coon lovers know they are perfect cats!
But does that mean every home is perfect for a Coonie? What if a cat could choose their family? What would their requirements be?
Our homes wouldn't be complete without them. But maybe you know someone considering a Maine.
Here are 10 times folks should think twice before bringing home a Coonie:
#10: Traveling and/or Working Many Long Hours
Some jobs require employees to travel for days or weeks at a time. Some people are in a very busy phase of life where they are home for dinner and sleep and that's just about it.
Although many of us think of a cat as being solitary and independent, a Maine Coon is very much like a dog - they get lonely.
They love and miss their family. They need bonding time. They do not enjoy being left for extended periods. For folks who travel frequently, a Coonie won't be happy and might not even be safe when left alone for days.
These cats are beautiful, friendly and oh-so-tempting! But future families must be prepared for future health changes.
Yearly exams, flea control, and vaccinations are needed. And as a cat ages things do come up.
There might be a minor illness, infection, dental work (which can be life-threatening if ignored), and a variety of health issues do arise over time. Committing to a Maine Coon (or any pet) is committing to their medical care for life.
8: The Maine Coon Breed Should Never Be Declawed
This subject can be heated. Suffice it to say, when choosing a Maine Coon Cat, families enter into an agreement with their breeder.
For a number of known reasons, declawing is not something that should be done to any cat. Any future owner must be able to adhere to the breeder agreement.
Of note, this applies to all cats, not just the Maine Coon breed.
Every household is different! Maine Coons are notoriously wonderful with children, again displaying dog-like personalities.
For families with young, rambunctious or multiple small children it may be wise to wait a few years.
Kittens are delicate and prone to escape attempts. Then again, for families with considerate children a Maine Coon makes a wonderful addition. It's a personal situation!
Folks often ask if the Maine Coon breed hypoallergenic. The short answer is no. Cats produce a protein, called FEL-D1 - this protein is what people are allergic to.
For the most part this protein is found in the saliva and left on the cats fur during grooming time. But it can also be secreted from the skin and found in their urine.
Folks with allergies report tolerance to certain breeds, but the Maine Coon breed is not one of them.
When I was younger, I was at an open house for an apartment rental. A family showed up with their lovely, friendly dogs in the car.
The man asked the landlord if dogs were allowed, and quickly followed up his question with the statement that if not, no problem - he would get rid of them. How horrible!
Future Maine Coon owners who foresee upcoming moves should keep this in mind. A Maine Coon's family is his or her entire world. Depending on city and circumstance, perhaps waiting is a good idea.
#4: Other Pets
Maine Coons usually get along with other pets, as seen in this photo! They are very laid back cats. But there are occasions where another pet in the household is not as socialized.
Households with a boisterous dog or "grumpy" older cat might have difficulty introducing any new pets and finding harmony.
The Maine Coon coat isn't actually as high-maintenance as it looks. But, there is some upkeep.
Committing to this breed is committing to the time it takes to brush them regularly, perhaps bathe from time to time, remove mats and "dingleberries" (after litter box visits) occasionally, and be prepared for hairballs once in a while.
These things really don't happen very much, but they are a factor of Maine Coon life and to be expected.
Keeping a Maine Coon indoors is the only way to guarantee a long, happy and fulfilling life for them.
Some cats are lucky enough to have an enclosed yard, garden or patio. Others enjoy walks on a leash!
Breeders and veterinarians expect these beloved felines to be indoor cats.
Folks who are researching breeds and making a choice to get a Maine Coon should be aware in advance that this is part of the agreement they will enter into.
Any Maine Coon, unless specifically purchased with "breeding rights" from the breeder, must be spayed or neutered.
The reasons for this are varied. As with any cat or dog breed, knowledgeable breeders are the people who professionally, safely, and ethically breed Maine Coons.
In this way, the breed is preserved. There is so much more to it than having fluffy kittens.
Breeders ensure that future generations are beautiful, healthy, and well-tempered. Perfect examples of the Maine Coon breed we've all come to love!