Archive for September, 2006

15 Things You Must Know Before Buying a Maine Coon Kitten

15 Things You Must Know Before Buying a Maine Coon Kitten

By Sarah Crosier

The only way to be 100% sure of getting a verified pure breed Maine Coon cat is to buy a pedigree kitten from a breeder. The breeder should be able to present a family tree of your cat’s pedigree and provide relevant certification.

A recommended place to start a search for a reputable breeder in your local area is the “Maine Coon Breed Fanciers Association” (www.mcbfa.org) Maine Coon kittens can be instantly recognizable by the long tufty ears and oversized paws, as seen in the classic longhaired American however there is a European strain of Maine Coon, (my own Maine Coon, King Henry comes from a German line) which has a shorter ruff around the neck, and often a fuller, squarer muzzle. The differences are not apparent until the cat is between 12 to 18 months.

In terms of identifying a “pure” pedigree Maine Coon, you’ll be relying quite heavily on information the breeder is presenting to you. If you have difficulty finding a reputable breeder, you could try and get a recommendation by talking to individuals at a Maine Coon event or an “all breeds” Cat show. It is essential you are happy with your breeder – if you are becoming a Maine Coon owner for the first time, you may need to rely on their expert advice.

You can expect to pay anywhere between $500 and $800 for a pure breed Maine Coon. With food, litter, vet bills and cat-sitters for holidays, Maine Coons can be a relatively expensive investment. All Maine Coon owners will agree that they are a truly wonderful breed and will repay you many times over.

IMPORTANT TIP: This could save a lot of heartache, trouble and expense later on; When buying an expensive pet, do not go for the kitten you feel sorry for and looks like it needs help. Any kittens with signs of withdrawal, low energy or general apathy, should really be avoided. Choose an independent, lively, energetic kitten. Pick out kittens that don’t necessarily come to you but are, however, interested in their surroundings.

It’s best to pick a local breeder and visit them in their home, when you’re first making your initial enquiries to check the kitten’s living conditions, health and welfare of all cats living in the same environment.

Although it sounds like common sense, have questions prepared that will help you to establish whether the breeder can be trusted.

Questions you’ll definitely want to ask:

1. How much experience does the breeder have? If you need assurance about the breeder’s ability/expertise ask to speak to someone who has recently purchased a Maine Coon from that breeder.

2. Who are the kittens’ parents and are they champions? Even if you don’t intend to show your cat, you’ll still want to find out about their pedigree. That’s what you are paying for. If this is just not important, you can sometimes find cheaper Maine Coons that are called “pet quality” meaning they do not meet the required physical standards for showing. This does not mean they are not perfectly healthy.

3. Does the stud live with the breeder? If not, can the breeder guarantee that the stud has not been subjected to any illnesses e.g. cat flu. Has the breeder bred the stud before?

4. Is there any known heredity illnesses in the ancestral line such as HCM (can cause heart failure) and hip problems?

5. Have any of the other cats suffered from any illnesses for e.g. have any recent litters suffered from any strain of cat flu?

6. If relevant to your situation, ask if the kitten is comfortable around other animals and children?

7. At what point, could the kittens leave their mother (I would be concerned if the breeder allowed the kitten to leave it’s mother if it is less than 12 weeks).

8. Will a vet check the kittens before leaving the breeder’s home? How many times? If the Maine Coon becomes ill after it has left the breeder, who is responsible for paying vet’s fees or could the kitten be returned to the breeder?

9. You’ll also want to find out how often the queen is impregnated; because a queen subjected to “too regular” pregnancies can be prone to producing weak or sickly kittens.

Other things you may want to check/do:

10. The living conditions of the stud and queens e.g. the cleanliness of the cages/rooms and the health/welfare of the cat etc.

11. Will the cats be litter trained before they move to their new homes?

12. Also, the environment where the mother and kittens are living. Are there toys, clean litter, warmth, food and water?

13. Check the eyes of the kitten to evaluate its health. Never purchase a kitten that has weeping eyes.

14. The breeder’s contract. Have a read of the written agreement before you commit yourself. Pay particular attention to areas of responsibility should the kitten become unwell soon after you’ve bought him/her.

15. You should book your new kitten in for an all round check with your own vet almost as soon as you’ve collected from the breeder. If there are any signs of problems, you’ll want to know within the first 24 hours.

On the whole, Maine Coon breeders are passionate about their cats and love what they do. There’s not a whole lot of money to be made in breeding Maine Coons, and it is very demanding work.

Unless, your gut feeling tells you otherwise, you can expect to be talking to breeders who are totally dedicated Maine Coon lovers.

Copyright 2006 Sarah Crosier

Sarah Crosier is a committed Maine Coon owner and enthusiast. She is the author of the 17 page report, “7 Essential Tips for Maine Coon Cat Owners”. A free copy of her report is available for immediate download by visiting: http://www.mainecooncompanion.com/info.html

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sarah_Crosier

Looking for a Cuddly Kitty? Try an Exotic Shorthair

Looking for a Cuddly Kitty? Try an Exotic Shorthair

By Grant Carroll

In the 1960’s, cat breeders wanted to create a breed that was like a Persian but with short hair. At first, it was met with much controversy as many Persian breeders were outraged at the thought. In time, however, Exotic Shorthairs came to be loved by cat fanciers. This breed took time to develop the desired characteristics, but today they are a robust and popular breed with distinct characteristics.

The Exotic Shorthair was created by crossing Persians with American, British and Burmese shorthairs. However, since 1968 the British and Burmese were not allowed to outcross. Many of the first hybrids from shorthairs and Persians didn’t have any good Persian qualities, but through the years careful selective breeding created today’s Exotics with wonderful Persian type and with the Persian’s mellow disposition. They are often said to have the appearance of teddy bears.

Exotic Shorthairs are a great choice for urban apartment dwellers as they are cats that enjoy the quiet life. They do have surges of energy that get spent by playing and romping like a kitten, but for the most part they enjoy sleeping when not occupied with anything else. They are known for being very sweet and loveable, so these “Persians in Pajamas” make perfect little companions.

Grant Carroll proud father of four dogs and co-owner of http://www.littlepamperedpets.com with Dog Clothes and Small Dog Sweaters.

Visit Elizabeth Austin Wholesale for Wholesale Dog Clothes and Wholesale Pet Supplies.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Grant_Carroll

62-151 Media Group – Directory Listing

We have just opened up for public submissions additions to our *NEW* and *FREE* Directory Listing … sponsored by our newest addition to the HART-Empire Network 62-151 Media Group.

All submissions are manually accepted and approved by a human being [by me .. HART (1-800-HART)], to avoid spam and splogs from appearing in the list.

We will be placing links in most of our sidebars, and invite anybody with a blog or website to come and include their site in our Free-For-All Directory Listing.

I should note that if you are using (the much superior i.m.o.) Internet Explorer v7 browser .. you will see the following in the sidebars..

Sadly to say .. if you are NOT using Internet Explorer and using FireFox browser .. you probably just see this instead ..

However, regardless of your view .. if you click on either graphic or the text link below .. you will be transported to our new Directory Listing!

62-151 Media Group – Directory Listing



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