Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How to Adopt a Maine Coon Cat

Maine Coon Cats make lovely companions for people of all ages. They have long, silky hair and large, bright eyes. They are sweet tempered and loving, among the smartest of breeds, and would make a great addition to any home. However, before searching out breeders and purchasing a kitten, consider adopting a Maine Coon Cat who might not have anywhere else to go. Adopting a Maine Coon Cat, either an adult or a kitten, can be an enjoyable experience, but it important to know something about the breed first.

Maine Coon Cats are a naturally occurring breed whose origins are shrouded in mystery. However, in its modern incarnation, it can be considered to be a native of the state of Maine in the United States. There are some who believe that the Maine Coon Cat is a cross between raccoons and the cats first brought to Maine by European settlers, but this belief is entirely mistaken. Another common belief is that Maine Coon Cats come in only brown, and no other colors. In truth, there are many color variations available, each just as lovely as the next. If you are considering adopting a Maine Coon Cat, be aware that a variation in color does not mean that the cat in question isn't a Maine Coon Cat.

Since these cats are considered to be the largest of the domestic cats, a prospective owner of one of these beauties should expect that a Maine Coon Cat will stand quite tall compared to other domestic breeds. Their long coat will mat if they are totally neglected, but it does remain generally mat-free with minimal effort. A quick brushing once or twice a week is sufficient for most Maine Coon Cats. Their beautiful tails form a plume, and the ears are tufted and unique. Any cat without a full and lush tail may have been the victim of neglect or abuse. However, it is important to realize that kittens sometimes lack a full coat, as it can take up to three years for these cats to reach maturity.

There are Maine Coon rescue organizations all over the world, most notably in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. These can sometimes be found in your local paper, but are easier to locate with a quick internet search. Visit these rescue orgnanizations before you adopt a cat or kitten, and if you have to travel with your new companion, ensure you are complying with all regulations. Importing a cat into another country can be especially problematic, so check everything out before you attempt to board a plane wth your new friend, or you might find your cat thrown into quarantine or even confiscated.

Consider consulting Maine Coon Adoptions, which is a division of Preventing Euthanasia Through Rescue (PET Rescue). They specialize in the adoption of Maine Coon Cats, and have assisted many people in the purchase of their new best friend. Some cats here have registration papers, some do not, but they would all make loving companions. Though they do not ship their cats out of the state of California, they can provide much needed information for those wishing to adopt a Maine Coon Cat.

You can also check out your local animal shelter, but be wary and know what you’re looking for. Many animal shelters will label any large tabby as a Maine Coon Cat with no reason to do so. In fact, a Maine Coon Cat can be of many colors, including solids, tabbies, and particolors. Most shelter employees do not know the difference between any large cat and a Maine Coon, so check each cat out carefully before you consider adopting one which may not be a Maine Coon Cat.

Sometimes, breeders will have older cats or kittens that can be adopted at a reduced cost. Usually, these are cats who are too old to breed or kittens that have been returned for a variety of reasons. Regardless of where you find the Maine Coon Cat, you will want to ask many questions regarding its past, and certainly ask why that particular cat was returned to the breeder or brought to the adoption agency. The answers to these questions might influence your decision to adopt, and will certainly prove useful in getting to know your new family member.

When you do eventually find the right Maine Coon Cat for you, you’ll need to take it home. The cat should be transported in a carrier large enough for it to turn around and stand up. Purely for safety reasons. It’s never a good idea to transport a new cat, regardless of breed, without a carrier, because you simply do not know how the cat will react to the car. Remember that Maine Coon Cats are larger than other breeds, and so generally require a carrier designed for dogs, as cat carriers tend to be too small for Maine Coon Cats.

Once home, you should introduce the cat to its new surroundings gradually, as Maine Coon Cats can be rather shy. However, with a little patience, you will find that your new family member can bring you years of joy and happiness.

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