From time to time, Coonie lovers ask for product recommendations.
Toys, harnesses, cat doors, scratching posts, litter boxes and catnip are just some of the products our community members ask and share their opinions on here.
Here are our reader questions and answers regarding everyday products for Maine Coons. Just scroll down to read more about:
In Virginia we MUST have screens for the flying bugs even in daytime.
While we lived in England, for some fantastic reason, our unscreened windows were fine, no bugs! I worry for Maine Coons who live in England.
No screens mean they're able to go out whenever they want.
As for an outdoor run for a cat, even for my 1/2 Coonie Smokey Joe, chicken wire, any gage works well, stapled over a rectangular box shape frame made of 1" by 2"s, big enough for a M.C. to walk around and stretch, works perfectly.
You don't need a door. They don't dig except to eliminate then cover and it's too heavy for them to lift.
Big Cat Toys For Big Cats
Does anyone have suggestions for toys for bigger paws?
My big boy Lew loves the toy we have which is a circular tube thing with a ball that goes around in the tube.
Unfortunately he gets his big paws stuck in the openings or has trouble getting to the ball and gets frustrated.
I think I know which toy you are referring to: the Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy, right? It is pretty cool and very popular but I can see how big paws would have trouble with it!
Our cats favor anything they can chase. They like soft, floppy toys and they are obsessed with those mylar crinkly balls! And I mean obsessed. That reminds me, I need to get some more. They have a habit of getting lost under the furniture. Whenever we happen to find one it's Christmas all over again for the cats!
I think toys that Lew can chase, jump after, and manipulate with his big paws would work well.
Lets see what others have to say, too!
I have a cat door for access to our enclosed patio. I hope to get a Maine Coon one day. Would the average cat door be large enough for a Maine Coon? Thank you.
It should be fine. The only trouble I could think of would be when the cat door is rather small, and if you ended up with a big boy, as well. In that case you may end up replacing it.
All The Best,
Large Cat Door
I had a regular Cat door, that is, until I heard my growing Maine Coon shatter it as he got stuck while trying to get outside. I didn't realize that he grew to nearly 17 pounds in his second year of life.
The door that I have now has a square opening of 7" by 7". Thats should suffice if you have a male cat; which grows larger than the females.
Holy gosh, 17 lbs at two years! My 11-year-old DLH (I call her my "Miniature Maine Coon") weighs only 6 lbs!
Thanks for your replies. I'll take them as guidelines.
UK R.C. MOUSE ON DECENT WHEELS: Anyone in the UK seen a remote controlled mouse with wheels that would run on carpet. We want to keep Buddy alert and fit?
The one in Petsathome has very small wheels. I feel Buddy would be fitter IF I could find a RC mouse that would work on carpeted floors.
Buddy has his garden walks and upteen wand toys, his tunnel and me playing catch on the stairs. I throw little 'rubber' balls, he bats it straight back, or coaxes it down the stairs with his right paw - always his right paw. . I'M THE ONE WHO RETRIEVES IT. LOL So it's time I got my own back.
Thanks for your patience Carrie, I'm trying to learn how to upload the pics - I've 72 to choose from. Our elder son did it for me before. . . .
He's started to pick larger pieces of meat from his bowl, using his
. . . you've guessed. . . his right paw. Feed time can be a messy business now : (
We used to have a mouse on wheels. The cats didn't really take to it. They prefer softer, more "real" or interactive cat toys.
I've never seen one that would go on carpet. It would have to be pretty heavy-duty, and therefore not easy for a cat to grab and fling around.
You are very concerned about Buddy's fitness! What does your vet say? Most Maine Coon cats shouldn't need a lot of extra exercise beyond what a young frisky cat does anyway!
Do you have an interactive laser toy yet?
They are fun and cats just love them. The best part is that we don't have to run all over the house!
I would love new photos of Buddy, whenever you get to do it!
All The Best,
We have a Maine Coon cat, Mandy, 9 months old. We also have a loft with a railing, that she just decided she wants to lay on, between the rails.
The only problem is that she can sometimes go further out of the railing that we feel is safe. She has just started this & we have tried , in vain, to make her understand not to do this.
Does anyone have any suggestions? The loft is up at least 15 feet up from the 1st floor.
There is good news and bad news!
The good news is that you have a semi-ready outdoor cat enclosure! Mandy can go outside, watch the birds, feel the breeze, and still be safe.
The "bad" news is that it's not quite safe yet. But it's an easy fix. Just get some wire fencing at the hardware store, the same as what's used to enclose a garden. Roll it out and fix it securely.
15 feet is not so high that she won't stretch or even try to ease down if she sees something really tempting.
I once had a cat, Clyde, who loved to lounge on our second story balcony. It was far too high for a jump. But one day, as he stretched in his sleep, he actually slipped off (when laying flat he was able to go under the lower part of the rail)! He was fine, but it was a lesson in safeguarding!
Have fun with your project, I'm sure Mandy will! She's a lucky kitty.
I am writing again about the railing..I failed to say that it "inside" our home, upstairs..
You go up the stairs and there is the loft with the railing going all the way across the loft area, which is our TV & reading room..so when we go to watch TV, etc. there she is, since she always wants to be with us.
I have thought about putting mesh or something like that all the way across, etc. She has not responded to anything we've done. We are scared for her.
Thanks for your help.
Oh That Changes Things!
by: Maine Coon Cat Nation
That changes things a bit! In that case, there are child-safety products available. They are similar to mesh fencing, and made for the indoors.
Of course, she may soon be too big to fit through the railing anyway!
When I first got my Maine Coon, he would follow me off the property. To break him of this habit, whenever he followed me to the roadside, I'd make a whizzing sound like a weed-eater and sway my arms to and fro imitating the weed-eater. This scared him and eventually he stopped following me onto the road.
by: Judy - UK
(South East England)
Again I'm hoping your UK aficionados can help. Buddy has outgrown his kitten harness; so does anyone in the UK know of one that will fit a 5 month old male m.c. AND go on fitting till he's about year old? Buddy's 35" from his nose to tail.
I saw a photo of a cat wearing a harness in a cat Clicker Training book which appeared to be a bungie type with one simple metal figure of 8 which held the harness and lead. (Hope this makes sense).
We're going to have more snow again in south east England, so p'raps I'm jumping the gun. Though a cat Web site did point out that indoor cats who don't get to bask in the sun miss out on their vitamin D. What do you think Carrie?
Indoor cats live so long, and I've never heard of one becoming ill with anything related to vitamin D deficiency. In fact, I've yet to meet an indoor cat who doesn't bask in the windowsills and other sunny places a lot.
I wouldn't worry too much, but I'm not a vet and wouldn't presume to give medical advice :)
As for the harness, we'll see what others say! We used to have a harness (which has since been chewed by the puppy) similar to what you described. It was actually made for rabbits!
I don't know how big the UK lines of Coon Cats get, but my Coonie grew from 12 pounds at six months of age to 18 pounds at a year.
Now a year later he is 21 pounds. (And no, he is not fat, just big all over.) So, I'd say that a harness that fit him correctly now wouldn't fit right at a year. The proportions would be wrong. They don't just get heavier, but longer bodied too.
Helen and the big red man, Bezzer Buzzer
Judy, I forgot to mention the Vitamin D issue. If your kitty is getting sunlight at a window, then he gets Vitamin D.
Vitamin D gets into the body via the eye, not overall body exposure. Unless you live in an underground house, there is nothing to worry about.
Helen, from the sunny state of Texas
Is it safe to give catnip to my 9 year old Maine Coon cat? He LOVES it!
Sure! If you've been giving him catnip, and all is well with him, by all means continue with this treat!
There are a couple of situations where one would use catnip carefully, but they don't seem to apply to you. If a cat eats too much of it (instead of just rolling around in it or playing with it) he could get a stomach upset resulting in vomiting or diarrhea.
Very rarely, a cat is allergic to catnip. If that's the case they would have a seizure or pass out. That would be cause for alarm- and a visit to the vet.
Other cats may have a strong hallucinogenic reaction, similar to LSD in people. If a cat gets angry or mean that would be cause to discontinue.
For the vast majority of cats, including yours, catnip is a safe and really fun treat!
Calling Maine Coon owners in Southern England!
1) Hi, are you able to recommend a supplier or nationwide pet store for a Maine Coon scratch post? (Buddy weighs over 5 kg). He sits on his haunches and pulls at it intently.
2) Guess what Carrie? Buddy is curious about our kitten calendar. He sits and looks at it for a few minutes at a time, then stands up on his hind legs and gently touches the picture with a paw. Last night he exceeded himself by pulling the picture to one side, trying to look behind it :-)
A natural history (TV) programme said if an animal tries to look behind a mirror, it shows how intelligent it is! I wonder if a coloured picture of a kitten is the equivalent? The kitten isn't a Maine Coon either. What are your thoughts Carrie?
Hope your Maine weather is kind.
Best wishes & fingers crossed
Sounds like Buddy is doing well! Wow, he tried to look behind the calendar?!? He is smart!
Usually cats don't lock in on two dimensional images. Rarely do they care about mirrors, much less photos.
I look forward to responses from others in the UK regarding the cat scratching post...
All The Best,
ps- The weather is starting to let up :)
1. A couple of questions for our Maine coon Nation friends in the UK.
Having seen a deep litter tray on the web site - does anyone in the UK know of a similar tray being sold in England?
2. Has anyone (in the UK) built their own cat enclosure and, would you do things differently, given the opportunity?
Judy - UK
Good questions! Let's see what others have to say!
Litter trays from the UK
Hi I've got a great tray that's really deep so keeps everything inside. It's so deep my husband said our cats would need a ladder to get into it! Of course they don't because it's dropped lower at the front so they can get in easily. Go to www.thecatpetshop.co.uk Hope you manage to get one
To Denise re UK market
by: Judy UK
Thank you so for that purrrfect UK cat site - it's well worth a visit. It looks so tempting! Thanks Denise for taking the time to reply. Best Christmas wishes to you all - everywhere Judy - UK
I actually use a storage container instead of a traditional litter box. Its deep enough to keep the litter inside and large enough for Reuben to get in, turn around, dig, cover up....
I got a large one from www.zooplus.com and my Mainecoon has no problems with it!
My husband built an outdoor enclosure and it's been wonderful, all five of our cats have full use of the garden but are completely contained safely and have been for four years.
We have a seven foot wall around the garden, so he added some pool mesh/wire to the top bringing it out about five foot and two foot over the top of the wall, this held on place by wooden battons attached to the wall at the back and sides and string wire along the front to keep it rigid.
I don't like to keep my cats completely indoors and this has kept us all happy!
Is it usual for a Maine Coon kitten's coat to change colour? We're working on getting the best pics to show Buddy's colour changes in his face, tail, feet fur and right side.
He won't stay still long enough for us to photograph his different bits. We Buddy as a silver tabby, though his breeder emphasised he wasn't show or breeding quality. Is the colour change typical?
Secondly, I noticed US cat enclosures and runs can cost a thousand $ +. In the UK we could buy a cat 'kennel' and run which are 9' x 4', 1" x 1" galvanised mesh, 3' x 4' kennel, 6' x 4' run and 6' high = for £399.00 + 20% tax. Is that good Carrie? The temperature was a warm 14c this am. I realised we need to draw, buy and build or just buy, sooner rather than later.. . .
Thirdly, we'll have to put up mesh over certain windows and back door. Has anyone got a sure-fire way of covering exit points?
Best of all Carrie, Buddy is very vocal and chirrups to himself when playing ball on the stairs or when I'm using the computer.
He will sometimes answer when asked a question and always chirrups when told a firm 'no'. Watching birds while outside, Buddy gives a tiny squeak, while his tail lashes quickly from side to side.
I've tried to record Buddy, without success. Carrie, wouldn't it be magic to have sound on your site? s that possible?
The clever MC owners could record their cats and we all could compare their differences.
Well, yes, not unusual to see a color change as a kittens coat comes in. When they are little they are all fluff, then the darker "outer layer" comes in. We saw Leo darken up a bit & with Alice we had to wait & see if she was a Smoke or Solid.
I am also having the urge to get an outdoor cat enclosure. I looked into them when writing the pages about them, but haven't thoroughly "shopped them out" so I really don't know what's a good deal. Perhaps someone in your area will chime in? To me, that looks like a fair price for a run of that size.
They are pricey, though. I am considering building one of my own this spring with a flap through the basement window. If I do, I'll be sure to share it in detail!
As for covering exit points, we just use the screens that are already on our windows. The cats aren't destructive. They just sit there & take a sunbath.
It's great to hear that Buddy is displaying that tell-tale Maine Coon chirp. As for sound, well, I have looked into it. I sure could use some magic! Hehe. Some time soon I will have audio clips of chirping, purring, etc. That will be a new technical hurdle for me!
Looking forward to seeing Buddy's growth! I have a feeling he will be one majestic Maine Coon when he's full grown :-)
All The Best,
I had an all black Maine Coon whose fur began to show signs of deep golden brown. The vet told me that sunlight can effect a cat's hair colour.
Hi Carrie - Cat enclosures & Outdoor runs
Do have a look at this site. There are wonderful photos of splendid enclosures and, I believe there are photos of the sort of run you described in an email.
Looking at those gorgeous enclosures has given us ideas. Unfortunately for us in the UK no-one builds homes with basements unless they have a CASTLE! Can't think why, they must be so useful. I almost feel jealous.
It must be heartening to work so hard on your web site and it coming to fruition. Good job girl : )
We don't have pet days as you do. How do they come about please? As per your emails).
Bye for now
You're right, there are some amazing outdoor cat enclosures around. I've done a fair amount of research on them! I really hope we can get something up this year.
I have some ideas for building one. Of course, then I will worry about ticks. Alice and Leo are on Advantage, which works so well for fleas, but not ticks. Hmmm...
Pet days: I'm not sure how they originated, but you can read about them on various public sources. And by the way, tomorrow begins National Pet Month in the UK! Stay tuned for more on that :)
Thank you so much for the kind words about the site. It is wonderful and thrilling to see it grow. I think of it as not just mine, but all of ours :) This has become just the community I knew it could.
And I just love seeing all the wonderful cats and terrific people come together. We have some of the best people commenting here. So supportive, and the quality of communication can't be beat! So I thank you all :-)