1. HOW BIG WILL MY MAINE COON GROW?
Your male cat is going to be somewhere between 15-25lbs (generally). But females are smaller, they will weigh between 12-18lbs (generally).
Not everything about the size of a cat is weight-based. Some have dense bones and weigh like a brick!! Others can be tall and lanky and weigh less, but just as large.
Each cat is an individual, just like people. Cats inherit genetics and we hope for the best! We all want the biggest and most beautiful cat….and it has been my experience that every cat owner knows that HIS cat is certainly the BEST IN THE WHOLE WORLD!! And sometimes we even enter the cat shows to prove it!! However, no breeder can guarantee a size, but they can give you a good indication!
2. HOW TO SPOT A SCAMMER? --RED FLAGS
WOW! I am amazed at the stories I hear of the scammers. It is so sad.
Here are some ways to help you detect a scammer:
a) Price is not realistic. If it seems to good to be true, it probably is! Scammers *lure* you into their trap with low-discount prices! Amazing...Beautiful cats at a deep discount! This is a RED FLAG! It is so tempting and it works! A real Maine coon from a real breeder should cost somewhere between $1000 and $4000. Unfortunately, if it seems *cheap*, something is not right.
b) Look closely at the photos. Scammers are getting more clever with the photos, but usually the photos are not right. You may see one photo advertised repeatedly (one as a male and again as a female). Or different backgrounds for each cat (a breeder will snap photos of kittens with similar backgrounds). Are the litters separated or are all kittens lumped together? (breeders must keep things organized) Are the parents named (real breeders love their cats and will have photos of them).. Can you find multiple snapshots of the same kitten (real breeders take lots of pictures, look for progression of age and multiple angles VS scammers usually have 1 CUTE photo they copied from the internet)?
c) Website design…. Simple! Quickly thrown together!..… make note of misspelled words and/or sentences that don’t make sense! These things throw up RED FLAGS!
Check out their “about me” or “who we are” page. Scammers will have very little personal information about themselves (or may leave it off completely). If there are no details or something seems off/not right this is a RED FLAG.
d) LOTS and LOTS of kittens!.....this should be a give-away! Be careful of ANYONE who has LOTS and LOTS of kittens (and puppies also). Try to imagine what is going on. If this is true: are they getting the proper care? Socialization? What kind of environment can handle this sort of factory? Or is it a scam? RED FLAG...just think about the realistic scenario (not the kitten)
e) COMMUNICATION…… ~ I never accept payment until I have spoken to someone in person~ This protects ME & YOU. I will not sell a kitten to someone I have not met.....and as a buyer (with so many scammers) it is imperative for you to speak to someone over the phone before you send money. However, I have heard scammers will sometimes talk on the phone.
f) Video……If you are in doubt, ask for a video call! A scammer doesn't have the kitten so he can't produce it for a video call......this one is certain!
g) Tons of Testimonials……A SCAMMER'S #1 GOAL IS TO GAIN YOUR TRUST! Many scammer websites usually have TONS of testimonials. Okay, real breeders have testimonials too.
All of these things are not 100%--scammers copy real breeders and that is what makes it difficult. But being armed with these guidelines should throw up red flags.
SIMPLE WEBSITES…..CHEAP PRICES……TONS OF TESTIMONIALS……LOTS OF KITTENS…..PHOTOS AREN’T RIGHT
3. DO I REALLY NEED PAPERS FOR MY CAT?
The "simple answer is NO.....Anyone can take a kitten off the street without papers and breed it. But if you pay for an expensive cat, I will list the reasons below why you WANT papers:
(a) REPUTABLE BREEDER: Breeders who are serious about breeding Maine Coons and improving the breed will have the proper documentation. This assures buyers that they are following proper guidelines. Before you spend your money, please make sure your breeder is “certified” by one of the major registries TICA, FIFE, or CFA. Why? Because these registered Breeders know the breed standard. These breeders should be committed to improving the bloodlines of their cats and the breed
(b) KITTEN QUALITY: Often purchasing a cat is done over the phone and without seeing the cat and therefore, it is crucially important to know WHO you are buying from and WHAT kind of cat you will be getting. Registries such as TICA and CFA have rules and regulations that catteries must agree with in order to be certified.
(c) If you are buying a purebred cat WITHOUT papers, then unfortunately, the litter of your kitten was NOT registered. You cannot know if your cat is a purebred. I cannot say that it isn't, but you must ask yourself the question of why a proper main coon cattery would NOT register their kittens?
4. WHere is the WAITING LIST?
Why did BigTexCoons end the waiting list?
BigTexCoons had a "non-paying" waiting list. We had hundreds of waiting list names and only a few kittens. This was not practical at all.
BigTexCoons then switched to a "paying" waiting list. This posed one BIG problem! We could add + add + add limited only by customer interest. This could end up being years for the customer. NOBODY wants a kitten in a year or two or three!? So we imposed a 3 person limit to our waiting lists...(SEEMS LIKE A GOOD PLAN~RIGHT??)
BigTexCoons (me) loves people! I enjoy meeting people and making them happy by providing sweet loving kittens! My "short-list" created a problem for people who WANTED to be on a closed waiting list. I had a dripping faucet of these words "how do I get on the waiting list?" I was irritated, frustrated, and not enjoying my customers any more.
BigTexCoons decided to do things "the old fashioned way". IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A KITTEN WHEN I HAVE A KITTEN TO SELL ~ WE ARE A GOOD MATCH AND I HOPE WE CAN DO BUSINESS TOGETHER!
~interesting facts about waiting lists~
Some buyers wait years
No software (that I am aware of) CREATES a list (from: email, text, application, etc)
No software means the breeder creates a list by-hand (spiral notebook, Excel).
Long waiting lists do not affect the QUALITY of your kitten. But may affect your decision because you WAITED for so long (meaning: taking a kitten because it's your turn).
This is not meant to criticize a waiting list for other breeders. Obviously, there are PRO's to the waiting list!
This explanation is meant only for insight into why BIgTexCoons no longer offers a waiting list.
5. WHAT IS A SILVER MAINE COON?
A lesson in Genetics...... the Silver Maine Coon
Silver is the absence of color/pigment on the bottom the hair shaft (near the skin). On striped tabbies this gene ALSO affects the hairs in-between colored stripes. The gene that stops color from forming on the hair is represented genetically with the capital letter ” I “ (for inhibitor). Genetically it is dominant.
Not all cats carry an inhibitor (silver) gene. Parents who have no silver genetics cannot produce silver babies! I LOVE the silver color & it's effect so my male is a BLACK/silver. Because of the silver's "genetic dominance" many (most) of my kittens will exhibit the silver.
If the father is silver, & silver is dominant, why will not ALL of my kittens be silver?
Because they're are not genetically homogeneous. Charting the Gene looks like this: "II" (silver dominant) .."Ii" (silver dominant).. "ii" (not silver)
Cats come in only 2 patterns: SOLID pattern (recessive) or STRIPE pattern (dominant)! A striped kitten showing silver is called a "silver". A solid kitten showing silver is called a "SMOKE".
A SMOKE kitten appears solid at birth because it is a solid cat with the silver gene. In smokes (solids), the "silver" is the undercoat and the undercoat will grow as the kitten matures (until about age 3). Newborn kittens aren't born with the undercoat fur yet. Immediately after birth we cannot tell, but genetically we can guess about 75% probability (from the parents).
A STRIPED kitten will show silver at birth. A stripe requires 2 colors (think candy cane). Luckily, the silver effects 1 of the stripe colors. So we have Black/silver, or Blue/silver, red/silver and so on. The silver still effects the undercoat on striped kittens.
Silver kittens CHANGE as they mature. Maine coons grow until they are about 3 years old. The undercoat is missing at birth and continues fill-out and develop until your kitten is mature. Because the silver effects the undercoat, it's full effect will not be seen in small kittens! I have included a link (near this question #4) to help you see the dramatic change from newborn to about 6 months.
6. At what age should i spay/neuter my KITTEN?
Unfortunately, there is debate among veterinarians about the correct age. Waiting too long (1 year) to spay/neuter results in problems not easily overcome such as: territorial aggression, spraying (and other problems) so I will not include that option below.
The pros and cons of YOUNG vs "TEEN" given below and the study link below.
YOUNG AGE: (7-12 weeks)
pros: straightforward and uncomplicated. Kittens recover rapidly (faster than the 5-6month age) and are often up and playing 2 hours after surgery
cons: Many Veterinarians were not trained to perform surgery on infant kittens. Your veterinarian may feel more comfortable performing on the typical age kitten (5-6months). Many owners feel uncomfortable giving their “babies” surgery.
TYPICAL AGE: (5-6 months)
pros: Most Veterinarians have years of experience and feel very comfortable spaying/neutering a cat at this age.
cons: Possibly maturity has begun and undesirable behaviors have begun to develop in your teen cat: marking territory, breeding, aggression, heat cycles, territorial
Many breeders prefer to spay/neuter their kittens before they are placed with their new owners. I do not do that and you can choose the age for yourself. i hope this information helps you understand the options and the pro's & con's of each.
An interesting study reported on the CFA (Cat Fanciers Association) website if you are intersted to read: http://cfa.org/owners/catcare/spayneuter/earlyspayneuter.aspx