Please find below a guest post from Gary:
I am the owner (or the human) of a 15 pound gray-silver Maine Coon girl: Chelle. If she was in a cat show circuit, she would be in the Blue Smoke color class. But she’s not, so just plain silver she is. I remember the first time I saw a Maine Coon. It was on the evening new, and the anchors were talking about a cat show going on in the city.
They introduced a cat as Knight, a 20-something pound male orange tabby Maine Coon, who could be seen at the show this weekend. I was smitten, went to that cat show, and a number of months later, I was the owner of 3 month old Maine Coon kitten. It was pretty quick!
Here are a couple of things I’ve learned from my experience jumping head-on into Maine Coon ownership as a beginner. Try not to judge me too hard, I am a first time pedigreed cat owner just trying my best.
Finding a Kitten For Sale
As a millennial, I make huge purchasing decisions (houses, cars, insurance) and restaurant plans through the same process: online reviews, Youtube, Facebook, and Google. It is no different for pets. I followed Knight on Facebook, then watched all the videos I could. I read owner blogs and breed guides. I also checked the eye-watering price of Maine Coons.
Then I contacted all the catteries here locally and learned they all had waiting lists on future litters. I followed suit. I then did an interview. After 4-6 months, I got a call that it was my turn. I was emailed some pictures of the kittens, picked one, and signed the sales contract.
I did not expect to have to be vetted by the breeder and I did not expect to wait so long. I know now both of things are standard for quality catteries. Don’t expect to call a place up and say “one Maine Coon kitten, please!” And if any operations promise that, it’s likely a scam or mill.
Vetting Your Cattery
A week later I went to the airport to pick up my new kitten who arrived from a neighboring island. I was lucky because Chelle is a social, goofy, and decent-sized Maine Coon. Breeders in Hawaii are a tight group and there were only a few reputable operations. They also referred interested parties to each other.
Your location may not be so simple. In your rush to have a new kitten, don’t forget to do due diligence. The best thing is to visit the cattery in-person and make a decision there. There you can gauge the cleanliness, meet the kittens and their parents, inspect the grounds, ask health related questions, and so much more.
Maine Coons are among the smartest cat breeds. You can train yours to walk on a leash outside, play fetch, and even do simple tricks. I thought it would be cool to try. Of course in reality, my cat is too good and lazy for that. No doubt she is intelligent. But what it really means in daily life is that I need to keep an eye on faucets, toilets, and bathtubs.
Why? Because she’s figured out how to work the tap in the kitchen and bathroom sinks to access flowing water! Another Maine Coon trait is an infatuation with water. This breed loves hypnotic moving water – they stare at it and bat it with their paw. My Chelle does not go swimming or try to join me in the shower like other Maine Coons, but she proves the water generalization to be true. So in my house… we leave the toilet seat down, and try to make the bathtub off limits!
Lots of sources said Maine Coons are an exceptional cat breed because of their unique personality. Instead of hiding in novel situations and with new people, Maine Coons are confident in charging forward and making a new friend. “Dog-like” was the term people used to describe Maine Coons. This is true.
In practical terms, it means every time I open the front door, my cat slips out the door. What’s she doing? Oh, just trying to find a neighbor’s door and go into their home like it ain’t no thing. She’s so trusting. Another one of her favorite things is to go outside and sit in the hallway and “greet” our neighbors as they come home. It’s endearing and I can’t even feign annoyance.
These were some embarrassing, enlightening, and wonderful moments from life with my Maine Coon. I hope they were entertaining. Now excuse me, she is pushing me to get back to work on her website Mainecoonhawaii.com!