So you’re thinking about getting a Maine Coon cat? Congratulations, it’s going to be a lovely time for you and your new best feline friend! I am an owner of a Maine Coon girl, who is napping on the floor next to me as I type this. She is an average sized female at 14 pounds with a happy, goofy personality. She strides around the house with her tail flipped up, confident, and is able to socialize with friends and family who come over. All in all, a healthy and wonderful example of the Maine Coon breed. Let me tell you some important things to know before getting a Maine Coon.
We start with something practical and realistic – money. The Maine Coon’s allure is obvious. You got their large size, long luxurious coat, the winning personality, just to name a few. They are a healthy and one hundred percent natural cat breed shown in cat shows all over the world. With a pedigree like that, you know they do not come cheap.
Expect the price of a Maine Coon from a cattery or breeder with a pedigree (with papers detailing their family line) starts at approximately $1000 and up. I paid $1300 for my girl, and I did it with pleasure.
And according to Maine Coon Hawaii, don’t forget the costs associated with daily life after bringing your kitten home. You must buy the essentials of wet and dry cat food, cat litter and a litter box. For pleasure, you need a cat tree, toys, and a scratching post. Maybe for sleeping, buy a cat bed or window perch to watch the world go by. Don’t forget about grooming tools like brushes, nail clippers, and shampoo. And of course, we can’t forget about the total costs of veterinary care and medication.
Look For a Proper Cattery
I mention above that I happily paid $1300 for my kitten. Why? Because it indicates she is from a quality breeder, who is interested in the cat’s welfare. And that is what produces happy and healthy kittens. Beware of places that offer cheap Maine Coon kittens. It may be a sign of a kitten mill.
Breeding cats is time consuming and expensive, and any proper operation incur tons of these costs. And on top of that, breeders put in love, sweat, and tears into their cats. And if the cattery shows their cats and wins awards, that reputation demands a high price, too.
Owning just 1 cat has expenses associated with food, litter, veterinary care, medication, toys, cat trees, beds, or a lot more. Now multiply this expense by whatever number of cats a cattery operation has. Add in intensive veterinary visits for pregnant cats and procedures for newborn kittens, and you have a costly operation. Average kitten litter size is between only 3-6, so breeders need to recoup their costs or pack it up.
Ensure You Are Fully Committed
This point only applies to new pet owners, but it has to be said. Make sure you are serious.
As the world changed in 2022 and into the foreseeable future, we were all forced to experience a lifestyle previously unknown. With the pandemic raging, one interesting side effect was the massive increased interest in everything pets. Humane Societies, pet shops, and places you could buy or adopt a pet were emptied!
Obviously this is a great thing, but I am now hearing stories where people are returning or abandoning pets because of the work involved. Remember you are caring for another living, breathing creature. Your new Maine Coon kitten has needs and you will be responsible for feeding, cleaning up the litter box, cleaning up hairballs, veterinarian bills, regular grooming and so on. Check that you and your household are ready. Lucky for dog owners, Maine Coons get along great with most dogs!
If you are looking at a purebred pedigreed cat, you likely have previous pet experience, but you might not. Like me, for example. My Maine Coon was my first real indoor only pet and I learned so much.
There Will Be Issues
This is related to the point above, but deserves expanding on. When caring for another living creature, problems arise. With a Maine Coon cat, it’s going to be probably health or behavior related. I will speak to the behavior part.
Your cat will likely go through periods of really picky eating, or not eating the cat food you buy. He will likely vomit up hairballs on basis you think is too frequent. Maybe there will be litter box problems. And you’re going to be cleaning litter or waste outside of the box. Waste may get stuck to your cats long fur and they might track it around the house. Your Maine Coon will occasionally bite or scratch you. Your furniture, carpet, and drapes will accumulate scratches. And this is perfectly fine and normal.
For health, I am not qualified to say too much. I will recommend talking to the breeder about the health of the breeding stud and queen and the family. If getting your cat from a good cattery, your chances of health issues decreases dramatically. As always, consult a veterinarian.
This article is not meant to scare anyone away from owning a Maine Coon. These are wonderful cats, able to live happily in many family situations. They are true companions and really value their humans. On top of those striking looks, they also possess one of the best personalities for a cat. You can even train them to play fetch or be walked outside on a leash and harness!
So go out and find a good cattery, visit it in person, do your research, and place your name on a list for future litter. Just keep in mind the facts above and you will be fine.
Gary H. writes for Mainecoonhawaii.com, a site dedicated to entertaining, useful guides on Maine Coons and other cat matters.