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Having a Maine Coon: All what you need to know.

Discover everything you need to know about the Maine Coon, an affectionate and playful cat breed.

Having a Maine Coon: All what you need to know.

Having a Maine Coon


Grooming

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If a Maine Coon’s coat is appropriately taken care of, this amazing cat has an appearance of an attractive wild animal. Besides, its coat is very functional and is capable to protect a cat from cold and heat. The coat of male and female cats is different in color and texture. Males have a brighter and richer coloring than females and their hair is wirer and thicker. Maine Coonsí hair tends to grow all the time. Since the Maine Coonís coat is perfectly developed, the problem of its change is particularly relevant. Moreover, the seasonal hair change is not only connected with the alteration of the day duration, but also with temperature variations. However, the variations affect the hair change to a lesser degree.

According to the general recommendations, it is better to start grooming with a large-toothed comb and then take care of the fine-toothed one. The long coat is released from small hairballs by means of short movements of the comb and fingers. It is important to notice these balls on time and remove them until they felt into large and untidy mats which are to be trimmed. The felted hair shouldnít be watered because water makes these balls tight, and it will be very difficult to tear them apart. In case the mats are too big, it is better to separate them into parts before grooming with single-sided shears, a wand, or a paper-cutting knife. After the ball is divided into several small locks, it may be trimmed. At the same time, this should be done very carefully, since it is very easy to damage the delicate catís skin. If it is impossible to groom the balls, it is necessary to trim them with shears.

In all cases, Maine Coons must undergo trimming under their tails because the hair in this area may hold feces und have an unkempt appearance. The main parts of a Maine Coonís body where the coat may be felted are a tummy, a chest, a lower part of neck, hind feet and areas behind ears. Sometimes, especially during the change of coat, the hairballs may form on a back, tail or arms, therefore these areas must be examined all the time.

Like other long-haired cats, Maine Coons should be groomed with a special metallic comb with blunted barbs in order not to injure their skin. The coat is always groomed from the head towards the tail, whereas the luxuriant back of the neck is groomed in the opposite direction.


Taking care of Eyes and Ears

Like any other healthy cat, a Maine Coon should not have any mucus in the corners of its eyes. The mucus may be a precursory symptom. The mucus discharge also appears when a cat chills its eyes. Maine Coons have it quite seldom because these animals perfectly adapt to the environment. If you have noticed the mucus production, it should immediately be removed from the corners of its eyes. For this purpose, the catís eyes are wiped with a cotton swab wetted in tea or a very weak solution of boric acid. This procedure must be repeated every day for prophylactic measures until the mucus stops being produced. It is not recommended to wet the cotton swabs in chamomile tea. This is because it can cause the hair around a Maine Coonís eyes to fall. If the mucus discharge of eyes is still produced after the measures mentioned above have been taken, a cat should be vetted.

Besides, it is important to care about the condition of your petís ears. Remember that Maine Coonís ears are very sensitive, and therefore, any excessive manipulations are undesirable. It is better to examine the catís ears and during the playtime, when a Maine Coon gets tired and can bear any painless manipulations.

External ears of Maine Coons are downcast from the interior. A healthy external ear is pink and clean. It is possible to notice an insignificant accumulation of earwax in its creases. If an internal surface of an ear is dirty,it is important to clean it with cotton buds. It is not worth using any preparations when cleaning ear pavilions. In this case, it is highly recommended to consult a vet.

Please, remember that using water or any other liquids for cleaning ears is strictly forbidden.

The ear pavilions should be cleaned very carefully. After finishing cleaning the ears from earwax production, it is necessary to spread a special antiseptic powder on their inner surface, which will serve as a prophylactic agent against the ear mites.


Caring about claws

Like all big cats, Maine Coons frequently sharpen their claws. Therefore, if you do not wish this cat with rather big and sharp claws to cause a significant damage to your furniture, it is highly important to have special facilities earmarked for this purpose, which can easily be bought at any pet shop. The scratching post may be set in the center of the room or near the wall. It is important to fix it firmly or thoroughly, otherwise a Maine Coon wil overturn it. Place the scratching post not far from the catís sleeping accommodation, and it will quickly learn to sharpen its claws. It is very important to start a kittenís habituation as early as possible. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to wean a mature cat from scratching furniture and wall paper.

But even if a Maine Coon successfully scratches the post, its claws still grind insufficiently. It is impossible to avoid the claw clipping in a town house. Please, exercise control over the length of your petís claws Too long claws can cause a lot of troubles for such an active cat as Maine Coon. It is important to pay attention to the fifth finger. The claw on this finger is hidden and doesnít touch the soil. Therefore, it grows very long and may start curving on the end. Sometimes the fifth claw may grow in the skin causing much pain to a Maine Coon. Cats usually try to take care of the length of their claws on their own and gnaw their edges in the event of any problems. But it is better for the owner to care about his favorite petís claws.

It is easy to regulate the claws length, especially if the claws are devoid of pigment and seem to be transparent. In this case, the red blood-vessels are seen in claws at sight check. If the length of the claw is normal, the vessels go till the end of the claw. In case you have noticed that the end of the claw is completely transparent at sight check or is painted in milk-white color, it means that the claw has grown again and the blood-vessels do not reach its edge. In this case, the catís claw edge should be cut accurately. At the same time, it is vitally important not to injure the blood-vessels, otherwise this will cause blood flow.

It is much more difficult to cut the pigmented claws of a Maine Coon. In this case, it is impossible to notice whether the blood-vessels reach the claw edges or not. In this context, the distance for claw clipping should be determined by practical consideration. It is better if the claws are cut with a little reserve. This will guarantee that you wonít blunder and touch the blood-vessel. If you have measured too much distance till the claw edge, it is better set the procedure aside for a couple of weeks until the recurrent clipping. When clipping pigmented claws, it is worth remembering that the claws on the hind feet are always shorter than on the arms.

It is better to habituate a Maine Coon to this procedure from the very early age. When you play with a kitten, take its paws from time to time and extend its claws, following closely that your pet is not afraid of this or doesnít feel uncomfortable. If you have noticed that it is worried and tries to break free talk to the kitten in a gentle and calm voice, ruffle its fur and sweep it up. If a kitten is still anxious and keeps bursting forth, mewing, stop trying for a while. It is possible to return to this procedure during the next playtime. If a Maine Coon is habituated to the claws clipping from a young age, it will stay calm during each regular claws cutting.

Since Maine Coon is rather large, it is better to clip its claws with an assistant. If a pet feels uneasy, wrap it into a closely woven fabric and swaddle it. While an assistant is holding a cat, the owner should clip the claws on each paw in sequence.

The cut is made accurately across the claw. Donít cut the claw aslant under any circumstances because there is a high risk of injuring blood vessels. After the clipping is successfully finished, the sharp edge of the should thoroughly be polished with a nail file or a small emery stick.

If you havenít calculated the distance properly while claws clipping and have injured the blood-vessel, the blood effusion should be stopped as soon as possible. For this purpose, a square of cloth should closely be pressed to the wound and powdered with talc.

After these procedures, the blood should stop or otherwise the paw must be applied with a compressive bandage and delivered to a vet as soon as possible.


Looking after teeth and gums

Maine Coonís teeth are very big and sharp but their management is not to be sniffed at. Healthy gums and teeth are very important for an animal especially at a young age. Maine Coons do not have diseases of an oral cavity, gingivitis and tartar deposit as often as the other breeds of cats have. Anyway, it is better to prevent a disease than take remedial actions. First of all, it is important to keep a good look-out for a catís diet, pay much attention to the types of food and its diversity. It is necessary to take good care that the pet gets solid food which cleans its teeth and develops and improves their bite.

It is desirable to habituate a Maine Coon to the teeth cleaning from an early age. For this purpose, put the kitten on your knees and slightly move its lips apart with one hand and clean its teeth in circular motions with the other. Until a Maine Coon is not accustomed to these procedures, it is better to clean its teeth with fingers and then apply a little baby tooth brush. The brush is watered and smeared with special catís tooth paste.

First of all, only several teeth are brushed, whereas the gums massage is executed in parallel with it. When a Maine Coon gets used to this procedure, you may clean the whole mouth cavity at once.


Bathing a Maine Coon

It is widely believed that cats cannot bear water, but this is not quite true. Some cats are comfortable with that.

An adult Maine Coon should regularly be bathed, and it is better to do it in the bathroom. Before Starting this difficult operation, it is necessary to properly equip the ‘work placeí.. Check the functionality of the door catch, otherwise you will have to take a wet and soapy cat out from somewhere under the sofa. Before washing, a cat must thoroughly be groomed, or the catís coat will hopelessly be felted, and even the most experienced groomer wonít fix this. Such tiny operations as cleaning ears, clipping claws and etc. must also be fulfilled beforehand.

You should fix the shower securely or set a rubber hose into the clutch in its absence which you are going to rinse you pet from. In order to rinse a Maine Coon from below, you can pour some little quantity of water in the bath so that it could approximately reach the catís knees.

While washing, you should use only special-purpose catís shampoos. A Maine Coon may be aired in different ways. It will be better if you habituate your little pet to the sound of a fan from an early age. Then the whole drying procedure will not take more than 10 minutes. If a cat is afraid of a fan, it is possible to use towels for its airing. Thus you have to prepare them in a sufficient quantity before washing because one towel is definitely not enough to dry out the whole coat of a Maine Coon.

A cat should be taken by the scruff of its neck and put into the bath in such a way that it takes back position to the owner. After that the water a little above the indoor temperature should be let from the shower. Remember that Maine Coons, like all other cats, have a very sensitive skin. Therefore, it is strictly prohibited to wash them with hot water!

While carrying the shower closer to a cat, you should douche its whole body carefully. Try not to water its head and donít let the high-pressure water stream. It is just enough to wet the catís hair gradually, entering deeper and deeper.

The Maine Coonís head should be washed just in case it is flea-infested. When struggling with fleas, the head should be wetted first of all. After that the neck should be wetted and densely soaped. Only after this procedure it is possible to begin washing the rest of the body, keeping an eye open that the foam from the neck is not washed away.

After applying shampoo, the catís body must be carefully massaged. The long coat of Maine Coons should thoroughly be wrung. Then it is necessary to let the soapy foam through it. Donít rub the coat under any conditions, because the long hair will inevitably become entangled, and it will be difficult to groom it.

After an accurate massage the catís body must be properly rinsed. Try to direct water from the head towards the hairline during the rinsing. You should also rinse thoroughly the tummy as well as the hidden areas under the tail and armpits, which usually remain unnoticed. Not until you make sure that the soapy foam is washed away from a cat, can it be taken out of the bath. Put a cat on the clean towel and wrap its body with another one trying not to snarl its hair. And only after that you can release your pet. Now air a Maine Coon delicately touching its coat. In no way should you rub the hair because the wet and long fur is easily snarled!

Well, following these easy recommendations, you will make your Maine Coon healthy, clean and happy! †


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