Maine Coon cats are considered purebred cats, which is not something many people take into consideration when looking for a new cat or kitten. It’s common to hear discussion about the merits of a purebred dog, but it’s not often you hear anyone discussing their purebred cats. In fact, there are many people who have no idea not all cats are “pretty much” the same. For those who are looking into adopting or purchasing a purebred Maine Coon, you’re going to want to know what to ask breeders, where to look and what to know before you begin the process of making one of these lovely cats a part of your family. This comprehensive overview is going to provide you with the best culmination of information possible so that you don’t end up regretting your purchase or adoption down the road.
What to Look for in a Cattery
Did you even know it’s called a cattery? Well, it is. When someone breeds cats, it’s called a cattery and there are a number of things you must look for when purchasing a cat. The first is that the cattery is clean. We’re not talking about sparkling clean, as it would be nearly impossible to keep a building filled with cats spotless. What we mean is that the food and water bowls are clean, free of bugs or growth. Are the cats clean? Aside from cat toys and what’s likely some cat hair on the future and floors, is the place one that looks as if someone makes sure it’s straightened up and sanitized each day? Is it a place that smells like cats, but not in a disgusting way? A clean cattery is often the first sign that you’re choosing to purchase a cat that’s been raised correctly and well.
License and registration are very important when looking at a cattery. You’ll want to ensure that your breeder can provide proof that he or she is registered with either the CFA or TICA, both of which are reputable. A breeder that cannot provide this information might not be the best place from which to purchase a cat considering the fact that he or she might not have the kind of knowledge, supplies and background it takes to breed a cat of this nature.
Healthy cats are something else to look for. You will want to check the cattery to ensure all the cats look well-fed and healthy. Are they clean? Do they play together and interact well? Are they isolated or fearful of people? If they’re isolated, fearful or dirty, it’s often a sign that they’re not being properly cared for. This could cause problems in your household at a later date. A well-cared for cat is more likely to interact with you, form a bond with you and behave at home than a cat that’s skittish and nervous because of an improper upbringing.
Finally, it’s imperative that you find a cattery near your home. This is important simply because you need to find one that you can visit often and unexpectedly, one that doesn’t require a great deal of trouble to see and one that has a good word of mouth reputation. You typically will not get to take home a Maine Coon kitten for approximately 12 weeks after birth, which is another reason you want a cattery near your home. You don’t want to have to make frequent long-distance trips to see your cat and pick him or her up to bring home.
Questions to Ask your Breeder
Once you find a cattery that you feel meets the expectations you have, you’ll want to ask some questions to ensure that everything is how it should be in the cattery. One of the most important questions to ask is whether or not the breeder shows his or her cats. When a breeder raises purebred cats, the answer is almost always yes. This is a good way to ensure that your future cat is one that’s being correctly cared for. Breeders who show their cats must meet very strict standards, which means your kitten will likely meet the same very strict standards.
Another important question to ask is in regards to the veterinary practices of the cattery. For example, how often does a kitten see the vet once born, and for what? Additionally, is the breeder going to allow you to see the vet paperwork prior to choosing the cat you want? Does the breeder take care of certain kitten vet issues prior to adoption or are those your responsibility? Does the breeder have their kittens spayed or neutered?
Ask about health concerns. Your breeder should be happy to discuss these with you, and he or she should be very knowledgeable about each one. Maine Coon cats are prone to a few health issues such as hip dysplasia and something called HCM. Your breeder should discuss any issues he or she has had with the parent cats, and the breeder should be willing to let you see vet records from the parent cats as well.
Ask for references. This is not a trick question. You are spending a great deal of money on a cat that will hopefully live a long and healthy life in your home, and you should not be afraid to ask for the names and numbers of people who have already purchased cats from this breeder to get their take on things. Additionally, you shouldn’t be surprised if your breeder asks you for some references. This is to ensure that you’re not going to buy a cat and then neglect it or take it for granted. A good breeder wants to know where his or her cats are going, and it’s not uncommon for them to have some questions for you, too. Let the road go both ways here; if you expect a breeder to be open, honest and forthcoming with you, do the same for the breeder. It’s the best way to ensure that you’re taking home a cat that’s going to make your entire family happy.
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