Frequently Asked Questions
People keep asking us what to look for when buying a Maine Coon kitten. With so much contradicting information out there, an intensive search can become confusing and frustrating! This is why we created our FAQ page.
There are many good and responsible breeders out there. The trick is to find them. Breeders certainly don’t have to meet all the criteria below to be reputable, but we’re trying to give people “clues” on what to look for. Here they are:
- Breeder shows his/her cats on a regular basis CRUCIAL
- Breeder is at least registered with one registry CRUCIAL or several Associations DESIRABLE (preferably with MCBFA also)
- Breeder regularly tests for breed specific diseases (HCM, PKD, HD, also SMA in some lines) CRUCIAL
- Warning: If you want your kitten to live a long life, make sure to ask specifically what form of heart test the breeder uses and ask for written proof! The expensive Color Doppler Echocardiogram/ Ultrasound is presently the only fairly reliable form of HCM testing. If a breeder only does these so called “HCM gene test”, run the other way! Oh, and yes, there can definitely be hip and heart problems in all pedigrees of the Maine Coon breed.
- Facility pictures are openly shown on the homepage DESIRABLE
- Pictures and a bit about the breeder and his/her family is DESIRABLE you want to see and know about who you are potentially getting your kitten/cat from
- Some of the pictures of kittens/cats on a homepage show the background ( the actual living space)DESIRABLE
- Breeder openly displays registered names and pedigrees of his/her cats on homepage, not just the “call names”DESIRABLE
- Cats are not kept in cages, cat enclosures to allow them to be outside is fine CRUCIAL
- Facility is not overpopulated CRUCIAL
- Breeder lets you see ALL parts of their facility by appointment (or during pick-up of our kitten) DESIRABLE
- Health and hygiene in the facility are excellent CRUCIAL
- Majority of cats are friendly and outgoing CRUCIAL
- Facility is Veterinary inspected DESIRABLE
- Breeder takes part in a voluntary responsible breeding program (CFA and TICA offer these)DESIRABLE
- Kittens and cats appear healthy, with nice coats, clear eyes/noses and well nourished CRUCIAL
- Breeder is transparent about potential problems or weaknesses in certain lines (purebred doesn’t mean perfect, beware of “disease free or “free of genetic defects” catteries! You surely aren’t being told the truth!) CRUCIAL
- Matings are being done wisely, with knowledge of pedigrees CRUCIAL
- Breeder has responsible, true outcross program in place (note: an “unrelated” pedigree over 4 generations can in reality be very inbred!!) CRUCIAL
- Breeder makes a supplemented Raw meat mix part of the cats’/kittens’ diet and uses a high quality, grain/gluten/corn free cat food for them otherwise BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THIS IS ACTUALLY CRUCIAL
- Breeder has a controlled amount of litters throughout the year and enough loving homes lined up for the kittens CRUCIAL
- Breeder has experience, visible knowledge about the breed and also a real love (passion) for the breed and his/her own cats CRUCIAL
- Kittens are checked by a veterinarian before they leave the breeder CRUCIAL
- Breeder wants to get to know prospective buyer before selling a kitten CRUCIAL
- Breeder does early spaying/neutering or requires spaying/neutering before releasing the registration papers CRUCIAL
- Breeder has a written sales contract and health guarantee, asking you not to declaw the kitten or let the kitten go outside without supervision CRUCIAL
- Kittens are sold with registration papers, once proof of sterilization has taken place CRUCIAL
- Kittens are not released to their new homes under 12 weeks of age CRUCIAL
- Breeder never sells to pet stores CRUCIAL
- Breeder never sells out of a cage or out of their car at a cat show CRUCIAL
- Breeder does not give cheap “deals’ on a continuous basis. Proper quality care would not allow an unusually low price. Chances are you pay for what you get! CRUCIAL
- Breeder has at least a decade of breeding experience or is supervised by excellent mentors CRUCIAL
Don’t be fooled – backyard breeders and kitten mills can have very appealing webpages with great pictures. They often use the titles of ancestral cats and HCM/HD testing results of other Catteries to make themselves look reputable. Most of them have never lifted a finger to earn any of these titles, let alone tested any of their own breeding stock. A lot of them also don’t show their multiple breedings on the homepage. So make sure to ask LOTS of questions before committing to a purchase.
There are further things to consider when buying a Maine Coon kitten, but this list above gives you a pretty good indication about some important details. We have been in this for over 25 years and have learned to read between the lines when looking at webpages. Please contact us if you need advice before buying a kitten from a questionable place!
Maine Coon cats are known for their gentle and easygoing temperament. They are generally very affectionate, smart and social. Males and females can be equally loving. Despite of the information in some books from the pet store we find our Maine Coons to be LAP CATS. The average Maine Coon gets along well with other pets, including dogs. Most of them are excellent with children. It should be no problem keeping two cats of the same gender together, especially if they are spayed/neutered.
Size and body-shape varies, depending on the genetic bloodlines. Prairiebaby breeding females range between 12 and 18 pounds; our breeding males between 16 and 23 pounds. If a cat is whole (not spayed or neutered), it will most likely not reach its full weight due to restlessness during mating season. Also, often the lack of coat due to hormonal changes will make it look smaller. A spayed/neutered pet will almost always look bigger and can be several pounds heavier. A neutered male can easily go up to 18 and even up to 25 pounds. Maine Coons that weigh 30 pounds are simply a myth, unless the cat is heavily overweight. Remember that breeders and fishermen have a lot in common when it comes to size description.
It should be mentioned here also that unevenness in coat, the long bushy tail and also the rectangular body makes the Maine Coon look larger and heavier than it really is. Maine Coons don’t reach their full size and weight until they are 3 to 5 years old. We at PrairieBaby like big cats but we don’t breed mountain lions. Extremely long cats are often more prone to joint problems, and to us health is more important than looks.
As previously mentioned, Maine Coons are bred for their social and easygoing temperament. There should be no problem introducing a new kitten to a household with older pets. We gladly give advice on how to get your pets acquainted with a new kitten. The character of your pet is of course a deciding factor. Our kitten would definitely try very hard to be accepted by the existing pets.
Maine Coons are easy-care cats. Their coats usually don’t mat. Combing them with a narrow spaced metal comb once a week is sufficient. Maine Coons also love to be brushed with a slicker brush on a daily basis.It is not necessary to declaw a Maine Coon kitten. They are easily trainable to use a scratching post. Maine Coons are active and playful but not high strong. Keeping their claws short helps in the process of training them. If a cat is spayed/neutered bathing is not necessary but a bath once every few months with a mild oatmeal based shampoo will keep the coat nice and shiny and will give you the feeling to have a *nice clean cat* in case your bed is their bed. We recommend “Coconut Mink Oil” shampoo from Jerob. Bathing a Maine Coon is not hard at all because Maine Coons are easily handlable and the breeder gets them used to water at early age.
If you are allergic to cats we would not recommend adopting a Maine Coon kitten. Even though they don’t shed excessively they can cause a reaction. I am allergic to cats myself and find that the Maine Coon breed bothers me less than short haired cats. We do not sell kittens on a trial basis. We invite you to visit us and spend the day with our cats to find our if there is an allergic reaction.
We consider 12 to 16 weeks the proper age for a Maine Coon kitten to be ready for it’s new home. The Maine Coon is a slowly developing breed and needs this time with mom and siblings in order to become the gentle and easy going pet you read about in the magazines. A kitten at 12 weeks of age should be easy to handle and trusting to it’s owner. At times we keep a kitten even longer than 16 weeks.
Please note:As in-home hobby breeders, we are not open for casual visits. Buyers are welcome to pick up their kittens and can be given a tour during this time. We would kindly ask that people visit local cat shows to see purebred Maine Coons being shown and judged. Thank you.
Absolutely not! If a cat is spayed/neutered, being affectionate has nothing to do with gender. Both sexes of this lovely breed are equally loving in their temperament. Sometimes males appear more “goofy” or “clownlike”.
- We provide litter registrations for each litter we have.
- The ancestors of each kitten from our Cattery are tested for Heart (HCM), Hip (HD) and Kidney (PKD) problems also. We use Colordoppler Ultrasound for our HCM testing, not only the (completely unsifficient) gene test.
- After doing this for 23 plus years, We know 90 %of the cats in our pedigrees personally.
- We are a Vet inspected Cattery and are working hard to maintain the highest rating (100 %) for our TICA Outstanding Cattery Award.
- Our Cattery is Vet certified Felv/Fiv negative. We have done hundreds of Felv/Fiv tests over the past 20 years.
- Our kittens are raised by a stay home mom. This means that they are being handled frequently and accustomed to everyday noises in an average household, including noisy children.
- You will find us brag about the temperament of almost each kitten we offer. The reason for this is that we only keep cats for breeding with exceptionally loving and sound characters.
- We do not save on food costs. Frankly, our feeding program is the most expensive anyone could find.
The price for a Maine Coon pet kitten from a reputable breeder runs anywhere between $1200.00 and $ 1500. The price can depend on the geographical area of the breeder, the quality and colour of the kitten, the titles of the parents and health testing history of the bloodlines.
Yes. The Maine Coon cat is still one of the healthier breeds around. There have been problems with immune related diseases, hearts, kidneys and joints. Those problems can be greatly reduced if the breeder works with outcrossed pedigrees, avoids inbreeding and does the necessary testing on a regular basis. Please find out more about health on our Health Info page.
A reputable breeder only sells registered kittens with a sales contract and a written health guarantee. When inquiring about a kitten make sure to find out as much as possible about the age and health history of ancestors of the kitten you are buying. Ask for HCM (by ultrasound) and HD (and preferably PKD) testing of parents and stay away from litters where only some kittens in the litter survived or where kittens seem weak or sickly. Make sure that the breeder has a responsible outcross program in place and is not breeding just for show wins. A good breeder will want to get to know you first and will ask you questions about your family and living circumstances. He will be willing to answer all your questions. Make sure the breeder you purchase from does have some show and breeding experience, in order for you to get proper advice and experienced after- care.
Try to visit the cattery if at all possible because web pages don’t always reflect the true circumstances at the cattery, especially when it comes to hygiene. Make sure you are allowed access to all living quarters. If you can’t visit make sure to get references of people who have purchased kittens from the breeder and who have been to his home. Stay away from cheap backyard breeders who sometimes offer kittens at a very low price and sometimes without papers. Costs have to be cut somewhere. Most times it’s the food, health care and quality of breeding stock. You will most likely have to pay more in the long run for high vet bills or even loss of the animal.
Maine Coons come in all colors, the Brown tabbies being the most popular ones. Please go on our Previous Kittens page to find out more about colors.
The average age span in Maine Coon is no different than in other cats. It can run anywhere between 8 and 18 years of age. However, early deaths have been recorded due to various genetic and immune related diseases.
The Maine Coon cat is a slowly developing breed.Occasionally,Maine Coon cats can have long hair already by the time they reach 5 or 6 months of age. Generally, growing a full coat reaches into the second year of a Maine Coon’s development.The exact time frame is dependant on different bloodlines, but also on the individual genetic make-up of each kitten.Some of our breeding cats don’t even grow a plum tail and a ruff (mane)around their neck until they are spayed/neutered. Please be assured that all kittens on this page will get beautiful fluffy tails and ruffs when they get older, especially when they are altered.
It is up to you to provide plenty of love and attention, good nutrition (raw meat diet), exercise and veterinary care for your kitten. Declawing is not allowed and if the kitten goes outside it has to be either kept on a leash or in an outdoor enclosure. If nobody is home all day, kittens can only be adopted as a pair. If unforeseen circumstances require that you cannot keep the kitten any longer, we want to be notified and will try to assist in an adequate re-homing. You are required to send pictures and a yearly update on the development of our kitten. You are required to be home during most part of the day if you only have one cat.
Absolutely Not! We understand the desire to raise a litter of baby kittens. However, responsible breeding is so much more than putting two cats together. One has to carefully study pedigrees, genetics, health and the standard of the breed. There are far too many Maine Coon breeders around these days and many mistakes are being made which can be very harmful to the breed. In some countries it is almost comparable with a multi level market system. People buy Maine Coon cats, often right at the show hall, and right away sell offspring to breeders before even having the slightest clue about the breed. We call this “the blind leading the blind”.
If breeders don’t shy away from necessary costs, breeding is a very expensive and time consuming hobby. Also, if a breeder sells a breeding cat, this cat is carefully chosen. Pets sometimes don’t meet the standard perfectlyenough to be used for breeding. Not only conformation plays a crucial role, also the line combination and temperament of the cat. A breeding cat is much more expensive than a pet and if somebody wants to start a breeding program he/she should not try to save on the price for a good quality breeding cat. We strongly discourage people from breeding with a cat they have purchased with a non-breeding agreement. Doing such thing would be considered fraud.
We sell most of our cats already spayed/neutered for the protection of the breed and to prevent irresponsible breeding.
Help the Maine Coon Breed. Support Foundation Breeding!
Even though over a third of the Maine Coon breed was originally represented by Polydactyl cats, some associations in certain countries are still hesitant to allow for them to be shown in Championship class. A severe research error in the 80s had basically turned into an old wives tale, spreading misleading information about a healthy Polyfoot -confusing the cat fancy even now. Through a completely unjustified and partially political sanction, Polydactyl Maine Coons had been, over the past 3 decades, reduced to bare minimum. Instrumental in sanctions like this are usually a few individuals who typically seem to be pulling the strings in “holycat fancy”. Looking at the amazing boning of these beautiful cats, the true motivation factor was very much suspected to be fear of competition in the show ring. So much for history. We decided in 2000 to start a new Maine Coon Polydactyl foundation line here in Canada and proudly called it”The Masterweaver Line”. Over the past decade, we have poured a lot of passion into these cats – improving their weaknesses and enhancing their natural strengths.We started showing our Polydactyl Maine Coons in TICA “New”Traits in 2010 (It’s a very old trait!).Many TICA judges are enjoying their very showable temperament, their wonderful boning and their balanced type . The judges are also pleasantly surprised to find out that there is nothing wrong with Polydactyl Maine Coons at all. Past opposers, through their fear mongering, were simply creating a myth – a myth that has deprived our breed of a lot of valuable genetic material. Showing our “masterpieces” in TICA will not only have a positive reverse effect on an already too limited gene pool, but also serves as a perfect tool to educate a deserving public.
We encourage you to visit these great websites with tons of information on the topic:
There is an enormous difference between animal welfare organizations, which work for the humane treatment of animals, and animal rights organizations, which aim to completely end the use and ownership of animals.
Learn the truth: