Maine Coon cats require special care. The Maine Coon breed is prone to serious health conditions and because of this, those who own this type of feline should care for and monitor their cats accordingly. As one of the largest domestic breeds of cat--weighing in at anywhere from 4.54 to 8.16kg. on average--the Maine Coon requires daily routine attention to keep it healthy.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Slicker brush
- Healthy diet
- Cat toothpaste and toothbrush
Brush your Maine Coon's hair at least once a day. Maine Coons typically have long, thick hair that tangles and mats easily. Use a slicker brush to keep the knots at bay. Pay close attention to areas prone to matting such as the stomach and chest.
Monitor the way your Maine Coon walks and moves around. Maine Coons are prone to developing the orthopaedic condition hip dysplasia, in which their hip joints are abnormal. This condition can cause weakness, lameness and pain. Contact your veterinarian if your cat refuses to jump up on objects or walk up or down stairs, or if the cat seems to be in pain and not acting like itself, as these could be signs of hip dysplasia.
Watch your Maine Coon to ensure it is breathing and acting normally. Maine Coons can develop a serious heart disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Symptoms of this disease include panting, open-mouthed breathing, lack of appetite, weight loss, decreased activity, sudden inability to use one or more limbs, and lying or squatting down on its chest. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your cat's veterinarian immediately.
Feed your Maine Coon a healthy diet that is low in fat. Although it doesn't prevent hip dysplasia or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, keeping your Maine Coon at a healthy weight can lessen the burden these conditions place on your cat's body. For instance, hip dysplasia is more painful on a heavy cat than one that is a healthy weight, as there is less weight to carry on its hips. Additionally, excess weight is unhealthy for a heart.
Brush your Maine Coon's teeth as often as possible. Be sure to use a toothbrush and toothpaste that is made for cats. Bacteria on the teeth can spread under the gum line and enter your cat's blood stream. This bacteria can actually enter the heart and cause damage.
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