As my neighbor Carrie discovered after bringing home an adult Maine Coon show cat from a breeder, these Maine Coons make ideal pets. A show cat, or “working” cat is usually quite the tolerant creature, having become accustomed to being bathed and groomed, to traveling, waiting in a cage, and being held and examined for judging. The Maine Coon breed itself is friendly, playful, and companionable.
Carrie fell in love with Kramer’s easygoing disposition, not to mention his impressive size, beauty and intelligence. He is a pure white, light blue-eyed 20 pound male with that famous thick, shaggy, long haired Maine Coon coat. As Maine Coons are sometimes called, he is a “gentle giant.”
Maine Coon Show Cat Star Quality: It Runs in the Family
Kramer has been a show cat, as well as a stud cat for a private breeder, and his progeny are also premier pure white Maine Coon show cats who dazzle judges. In fact, preparing cats for show competitions is how Carrie met and grew attached to Kramer and his award-winning family. To Carrie the cats are irresistible, and she now has three generations of cats living with her: Kramer, 9 years old; Winifred, his daughter, 7 years old; J.R. his grandson, 5 years old; and, Diva Divine, his granddaughter, 3 years old. Carrie has boxes of awards, ribbons and plaques these stunning white show cats have won and are still winning. Kramer is retired, but Winnie, J.R. and Diva still compete.
Show Cats Are Cool Pets
These showy Maine Coons are the quintessential Cool Cats. As show cats, they have never been outside (on foot anyway), so they don’t clamor to run out the door. They like people, but are independent. They aren’t disturbed by dogs or children. They seem worldly wise, but above the fray. They are very comfortable with all the attention and adulation they receive. Kramer, who is as faithful as any dog, waits for Carrie at the door when she comes home from work, and hangs out with her whatever she is doing. He will even submit to joining one of his cat kids in a netted pink kitty buggy that Carrie pushes around the neighborhood. Only Kramer could manage to look dignified riding in a pink buggy.
Are Maine Coon Pet Cats More Trouble than Regular Cats?
Furkats.net, an Indiana cat breeders website, recommends regular baths for all cats, not just long haired Maine Coons. Bathing cats actually helps pet owners because it reduces the amount of hair in the house. Bathing helps pets because it reduces the amount of hair cats ingest during self-grooming.
The secret to a beautiful coat on a show cat (or any cat) is thorough rinsing between shampoo and conditioning. The Furkats site has detailed instructions for bathing a Maine Coon cat who is to be shown, and good tips for bathing household pet cats. One innovative method recommended is the use of a cotton ball to wash the kitty’s face, always folding the ears down so water doesn’t get in. Carrie does not recommend the use of laundry or dishwashing products on cats. There are professional de-greasing shampoos, fluffing shampoos and color-enhancing shampoos available on line at sites such as Cherrybrook.com. For a conditioning rinse, Carrie sometimes uses a cup of white vinegar in a gallon of water followed by rinsing,
Maine Coon cat owners need to ask the vet and/or the breeder for breed-specific cat foods, rather than buying generic brands. Some brands available in grocery stores are too high in carbohydrates and vegetable protein, as opposed to complete meat protein. Cats in the wild need meat, and so do domesticated, healthy pet and show cats.
How to Find a Maine Coon Cat
The Maine Coon’s characteristics have not only made it the second most popular show cat breed (after Persians), it has become a highly desirable household pet breed. Whether you want to show your Maine Coon or not, go to a cat show and talk to a breeder or two. The Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) website has a breeder referral service to check into, cat show schedules and classified ads for all kinds of kitty needs. Their CFA Maine Coon breed profile sums it up beautifully: “The Maine Coon is the native American long haired cat and was recognized as a specific breed in Maine where they were held in high regard for their mousing talent . . . The Maine Coon is well known for its loving nature, kindly disposition and great intelligence. .. we are now seeing large classes of these beauties in most cat shows and it is not unusual for a Maine Coon to be named “Best Cat.”