If you are thinking about adopting a Maine Coon cat or kitten, you probably already know that these are gorgeous animals with lots of fur that generally grow a little larger than other types of cats. Fortunately, this breed has few health issues, but their large size and abundant fur can create problems. Here's what you need to do to keep your Maine Coon healthy:
Groom Your Maine Coon on a Regular Basis
Because Maine Coons are native to the state of Maine, they've evolved in cold conditions, which means they've got a thick undercoat designed to keep them warm in harsh winter weather. Maine Coons also have a top coat that's made up of very fine fur that sheds significantly during warm weather periods. Brushing your Maine Coon on a regular basis helps keep their coats from becoming matted and tangled. Maine Coons are also known to be heavy shedders, and a regular grooming routine helps keep this to a minimum. More importantly, grooming also has health benefits for Maine Coons. Because they have such a heavy coat of fur as well as longer-than-average fur, this breed is more susceptible than short-haired breeds to developing hairballs. Hairballs are formed as a result of loose hairs being ingested by cats during the grooming process, and regular brushing keeps loose hair levels down. Maine Coons are also renowned hunters, so if yours is going to be allowed outdoors, it will likely be venturing into nearby wooded areas that may provide habitat for ticks -- and keep in mind that ticks have been found in urban locations such as vacant lots and parks. Because of their thick fur, ticks on Maine Coons can be difficult to detect. Although many people suffer from the misconception that ticks are only really a problem for dogs, tick-borne diseases affect cats as well. Even if you use preventative flea and tick medication, you should always make a thorough check for ticks a regular part of the grooming process.
Be Mindful of Your Maine Coon's Weight
Maine Coons are naturally mellow, relaxed animals that normally don't have high activity levels once they reach maturity. For this reason, it's important to take precautions against obesity. Even though you've probably read about Maine Coons that weigh up to 30 pounds and more, this is far from the norm. Fortunately, Maine Coons also have a playful side, so take advantage of that by providing your pet with plenty of toys and opportunities to frolic. They love to chase things, and it's not at all uncommon for a Maine Coon to learn how to fetch.
For more information about taking care of your cat, contact a veterinary clinic such as Countryside Animal Hospital.