Maine Coon Kitten care

How to Care For Maine Coon Kittens

Cats Human Classroom

Kittens are always a handful to care for and Maine Coon kittens come with their unique challenges and rewards. Being a large cat with a thick coat, the Maine Coon needs specialized care from the time they are just a kitten. Though they can be a difficult breed to care for, with a little bit of time and care, they are a joy to have around.

Food

Maine Coon kittens expend more energy than their adult counterparts. You should ensure that you choose a cat food specifically made for kittens, as they require certain nutrients that aren’t available in adult cat food. Kittens also need food with high protein content, specifically, their food’s protein content should be 30% to 45%.

If your kitten is the only cat in your house, try to establish a free feed system. This allows them to eat about 20 small meals a day rather than eating all their daily calories once or twice a day. However, if your kitten shares an eating space with adult cats or one kitten hogs all the food, then free feeding them is not the healthiest option.

Growth

Regular Cat vs Maine Coon

Although an adult Maine Coon cat can grow up to be over 20 pounds, this is a rarity and those cats may be overweight. In reality, the Maine Coon size should not exceed 12 pounds for females and 18 pounds for males.

Many Maine Coon cats end up being overfed, due to their owners’ mistaken understanding of Maine Coon size. Cat obesity, while often an internet punchline, is a serious health issue. It causes diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and early death. Your veterinarian should be able to establish an appropriate diet plan for your cat if you think they are becoming overweight. A homemade diet could work as a good substitute for regular cat food, but remember to always consult with your breeder or a professional to ensure you all the nutritional needs of this gentle giant.

Grooming

A lot of cats dislike grooming if they are not properly acclimated to the process so it is important to start your entire grooming routine young. You should use treats, so your cat begins to associate grooming with reward. Begin by rewarding your kitten for letting you brush her once or twice and slowly move towards more sensitive areas.

You may be reluctant to groom a sensitive area, like your kitten’s paws or head, if they react poorly. Do not let this keep you from thoroughly grooming them. Whichever area you neglect to groom, is likely to become matted. While your cat may dislike having their paws brushed in the short term, it is much more pleasant for them than getting a haircut or having their mats brushed out.

In addition to proper fur care, you also need to take care of your cat’s dental hygiene. This may seem odd (only 11% of cat owners brush their cat’s teeth at least once a week.), but it is very important. More than half of cats over the age of 3 have a painful dental disease called periodontal disease, which is easily prevented through regular teeth brushing. It only takes a minute to brush your cats’ teeth and you only need to brush the outside of their teeth. Doing this three times a week will keep your cat’s teeth healthy and save them from a lot of pain in the future.

Bathing

Although most cat breeds can clean themselves, Maine coon breed cats cannot handle their coat themselves and need humans to step in. Like with grooming, you will need to train your Maine Coon to cooperate with bath time. Don’t wait until they need their first bath to take the plunge. Use treats to reward small steps until they are used to bath time ensuring you keep having such beautiful cats.

Before their bath, you need to set the stage. Make sure your bathtub or sink is equipped with a non-slip rubber mat. Wait until your cat Is calm to start bath time. Brush their hair and clip their nails before you start the bath.

Once your cat is in the bath, use a spray nozzle or cup to thoroughly soak your cat. Do not spray water directly into their eyes or ears. For their face, you can just use plain water or, for very dirty kitties, very diluted shampoo. Use a washcloth to wet their face avoiding their eyes and ears. For the rest of their body, mix one-part cat shampoo with five parts water and work the solution through their coat, making sure that you scrub their entire body including their legs, tail, and belly. Once they’re all scrubbed up, it’s time to rinse. Rinse until you can squeeze the water out of their fur on their legs and belly without any suds coming out.

After the bath, you can dry your kitten off with a towel and keep them warm away from any drafts. If they tolerate the noise you can use a hairdryer on a low heat setting. After drying off, you will need to brush their hair again to get out tangles acquired during the bath.

Enrichment

Kittens are growing physically and psychologically. Play-time will help your cat grow up happy and prevent future behavioral issues. Kittens, especially indoor kittens and kittens without other cat friends in the house, need humans to provide them with play and exercise.

You should spend at least 10 to 15 minutes a day playing with your kittens. Kittens will oftentimes initiate play and continue to play by themselves long after you’ve grown tired. You do not have to buy expensive cat toys to play with your kittens. Most kittens have a lot of fun chasing around a simple piece of string. Don’t let your kitten play with your hand as a toy. This will teach them that it is ok to scratch and bite you. If your kitten tries to wrestle with your hand or foot, carefully replace it with a wrestling toy.

Kittens have a lot of energy and will want to play more often than you can play with them. Try giving your kitten empty paper towel rolls, old boxes, and carpet scratching posts to keep them entertained while you are busy. If you notice your kitten is playing with something they are not supposed to (ex. curtains, toilet paper, shoelaces) try and replace it with an appropriate toy.

Veterinary Care

As a responsible pet owner, your veterinarian is an important resource and ally. Very young kittens under 4 months old, usually visit the about vet once a month. Older cats only need a checkup once a year. Your vet will provide your cat with all the necessary vaccinations and help treat any diseases that come up. Unless you plan to breed your cat, be sure to have it spayed or neutered, especially if your cat will be going outdoors. Parasites are common in cats so your vet may take a fecal sample from your kitten to check for worms.

Keep detailed records of your kitten’s veterinary care. Keep a journal with those records noting any subtle changes or concerns you have about your kitten’s health. While your vet is better able to interpret symptoms, they only see your cat for a few minutes once a year. They will not notice behavior changes, eating habits, or subtle mobility issues. Call your vet if suspect your kitten may have any health problems.

Maine Coons are a beautiful, personable breed of cats, but they do require a lot of care. Before getting one of these cute kittens, make sure you can commit a lot of time to training, grooming, and play. Providing your kitten with proper care will go a long way to ensure that both you and your furry friend are happy.

In case you feel that we miss some content or are still in doubt, here are some questions that may help you become the best Maine Coon owner.

FAQ

How to know if your Maine Coon is a purebred cat?

If you purchase a Coon cat it should be preferably from a certified Maine Coon breeder. If so, it is important to check for the documentation of your new feline companion and verify his or her ancestor’s pedigree. This applies in case you plan on taking your Maine Coon into a beauty contest or becoming yourself a reputable breeder.

Also, this is to ensure that you won’t get a similar cat from another breed such as the Norwegian forest cat, that has a big resemblance, or a Persian cat. This last breed is easier to distinguish even from a coon kitten since Persian cats have a flat face but both have long hair. 

Wichs are the colors or patterns of a Maine Coon cat?

There are many variants when it comes to the color of this longhaired cat, and it may change as the coon kitten grows into one of the solid colors or a pattern. The colors of a Maine cat go from grey, white, brown, black, cream, blue, and shades of blue-grey. Although the most common color description is a brown tabby, the color will remain uniform throughout their magnificent feline coat with other colors spread everywhere. Bottom line, it’s hard not to fall in love with a Maine coon kitty with his bushy tail.

How long does a Maine Coon cat live?

Cats, in general, are well-known to have longe periods of life unlike dogs, especially the big breed dogs. Even tho the Main Coon is a big cat breed they life spawn won’t vary as much as dogs wich ranges between 10 – 12.5 years, while there are reports that a Coon cat can live up to 15 and beyond. Even with these statistics, indifferently of your pet’s breed, cat’s dietary habits, the care you can provide them, and other factors make the difference so that you can provide the best quality life.

What are the most common diseases of a Maine Coon Cat?

The patellar luxation is one if not the most common disease for this particular breed and they may not even show signs of it. The most common form of heart disease in cats is the Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and the Coon cat is no exception. Other diseases worth mentioning are hip dysplasia, kidney disease, and spinal muscular atrophy. If you tend to have overweight pets, hepatic lipidosis becomes a huge risk factor to take into consideration.  In case of any doubt remember to contact your breeder or vet.

A Maine Coon cat is a good family pet?

While this beautiful feline of long hair is the biggest domestic cat, sometimes weighing up to 25 pounds, it remains as one of the best breeds to acquire as a family member. Not only they are very sociable, they thrive with children and other pets due to its playful nature and this beautiful cat is also seen as one of the smartest thus easier to train. This being said, there shouldn’t be a problem with cats of his own or different breed when it comes to sharing or using the litter box for example or if you wish to start a cattery filled with these cute kittens. With a pet from a Maine Coon cat breed, you can’t possibly go wrong.

Professor Whiskers
Latest posts by Professor Whiskers (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *