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Frequently Asked Questions
Why are they called "Maine Coons"?
There are many different stories surrounding how the Maine Coon developed into a breed. Legend has it that Marie Antoinette sent her special cats over to the Americas ahead of her while she was preparing to flee for her life. Unfortunately for Ms Antoinette she never made it but they say her cats did which eventually evolved into the Maine Coon. Others say that they were originally working cats kept on supply ships for the new settlers. These cats found their way to New England and thrived there because of their size, shaggy coat, well tufted paws like snowshoes, tall ears, and strong square muzzles for hunting. People in New England thought that the cats were a cross between a domestic cat and a racoon because of the traditional brown tabby ringed tail, thus the "Coon". This we now know is not a possible cross but the name stuck. The "Maine" part is after the state of Maine and the Maine Coon is their official state cat which they are very proud of. You will still find very traditional looking "Maine Coon" type cats roaming wild in New England. The only recognized purebred Maine Coons are those that are registered with one of the major cat ancestry organizations like the Cat Fancier's Association (CFA), The American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA), The International Cat Association (TICA)or The Canadian Cat Association (CCA).
What does a Maine Coon cost?
The price of a Maine Coon cat or kitten varies widely from breeder to breeder. Depending on the area that you are looking in you can find kittens anywhere from $400 to $750 and sometimes more if the kitten is show quality. The lower cost kittens can be found if a breeder is trying to place a kitten that has some known health or temperament problem. Please be aware that there are people also selling "Maine Coons" of questionable heritage for quite a bit less than most reputable breeders can afford to sell their kittens. Make sure that the kitten you are buying has been registered with one of the major registering organizations and that the breeder is willing to give you papers for your kitten. There is a great deal of cost that goes into raising and showing purebred cats which is why the price seems so high. If you compare the price to that of purebred dogs from show homes the price is very similar. We currently charge $600 for our pet kittens and usually $200 to $400 for our altered older animals depending on age, sex, show quality, and health concerns.
Can I breed my new kitten?
Our policy is to only place breeding cats in approved catteries that show Maine Coons. We feel that breeding cats is a wonderful hobby but we do not want to encourage people to contribute to the pet overpopulation problem by breeding their pet animals. All of our kittens are sold with a spay/neuter contract and must be altered by the time that they are one year of age. An altered cat is a much happier member of the family and you will be happier with them. Unaltered male cats spend a great deal of their time calling and roaming plus have very smelly urine that they very happily spray on any surface that they can in order to attract females. Unaltered female cats can have heat cycles as often as every 10 days to two weeks if not bred and spend their time yowling loudly to attract a male. Females also sometimes spray while in heat and some of them spray all the time just like the males. You will be much happier if your new Maine Coon is spayed or neutered.
What about Declawing?
All of our pet kittens are raised with scratching posts from the time that they can walk. If you provide proper places to scratch your kitten will not scratch on your furniture. Declawing is a very painful, unnecessary surgery for your cat that removes the last joint on each toe. Cats scratch to mark their territory not to just to sharpen their claws. When you damage a cats ability to use that marking behavior you may unfortunately be encouraging them to mark their territory with urine and feces instead. Also cats that no longer have their front claw defense can become biters. We ask all of our kitten buyers to purchase scratching posts and inexpensive cardboard scratching pads and place them in the most frequently used rooms in your home. This will encourage your new cat to use these things to scratch on instead of your furniture. Give your new kitten a chance to keep its claws.
What about delivery or shipping?
Thessalon, Ontario, Canada is where we call home and it is a long way from almost everywhere (Thessalon is in Ontario 88km or 55 miles east of Sault Ste Marie, on the north shore of Lake Huron). We have had some success with shipping our kittens within Canada and it is usually fairly inexpensive. Shipping to the USA or overseas is possible but usually fairly expensive. If you are within the province of Ontario or the Midwest in the United States we would be happy to deliver your kitten to you when we will be in your area for a cat show or another reason. We travel quite a bit and we love to deliver our kittens to their new homes. We have also met new kitten buyers 1/2 way from our home to reduce travel time on both ends. Of course if you are within our area and would like to visit our cattery we would encourage you to do just that! Please call us in advance to schedule a time to come and see our babies.
Are there health problems with Maine Coons?
All cats, whether they are purebred or not are at risk for a variety of health problems. In addition every breed of cats has its own genetic health problems or a propensity toward specific health issues. Maine Coons do have a genetic heart condition called Hypertropic Cardiomyopathy. This condition can be fatal when left untreated and strikes fairly young cats. Maine Coons also have a problem with Hip Dysplasia which can be very debilitating. Any cat in our breeding program that shows signs of possible heart problems is evaluated and spayed or neutered if they have heart problems. In addition any cat that comes from parents that have heart problems will be screened. So far we have had no cat in our breeding program that has shown any signs of Hip Dysplasia but if they did we would use the same screening process as we do with hearts. Maine Coons also have problems with gingivitis which can be mild to severe and sometimes life threatening. We have had this condition in our cattery and our current policy is to only breed cats with healthy teeth and gums. We are also looking into what we feed our Maine Coons and how we vaccinate them in an attempt to reduce or eliminate the gingivitis problem.
Do you offer a health guarantee?
We guarantee that all of our kittens are healthy at the time of sale or that any known health problem is disclosed at the time of sale. All of our kittens have been vaccinated at least 3 times with a 3 way vaccine covering Calci, Rhino, and Panleuk. Depending on how old the kitten is or if it is being shipped the kitten may have had a Rabies vaccine and given a health certificate from my vet. We also offer a genetic guarantee for 5 years covering Hip Dysplasia and Hypertropic Cardiomyopathy. We will either refund the purchase price of the cat or we will replace the cat with a new healthy kitten. We can not guarantee that cats and kittens that we sell will never develop problems or die, that is unreasonable. We do our best to ensure that our cats and kittens will grow to healthy, ripe, old, ages. We want all of our kitten buyers to be happy with their new healthy members of the family.
Will my Maine Coon be happy indoors?
Yes!!!! All of our Maine Coon kittens are born inside, raised inside, and are never allowed outside. All of them are perfectly happy to never go outside. They never run for the door when it is open or try to bolt through when you are not expecting it. There have been times when some of our cats have gotten out by accident and most of the time the cats are terrified. One memorable escapee spent 5 weeks outside absolutely terrified before we finally had to TRAP her in order to get her back. This cat is a very friendly girl when she is inside but was very frightened by the great outdoors and would not let us get near her in order to catch her. I highly recommend that you keep your cats indoors only. There are just too many dangers that can result in serious injury or death if you allow your cat outside. If you feel that you must allow your Maine Coon kitten access to the outdoors train them to a leash and collar or build a very tall fence with a top barrier so they can not get out and always supervise their restricted outdoor activity. Please be aware that once your cat starts going out it will want to continue to go out regularly. It is best to just keep them inside unaware of what is outside where they will be happy and healthy.