Experience Needed: No experience, but research is beneficial.
Origin: 18th or 19th century England
Diet: Rat mix food with occasional fresh food. Also extra treats include 'yogi drops'!
Temperament: Extremely social creatures. Need to have more than one. Males are said to kill each other if not given enough room [although this never happened to me]. Males tend to be better lap pets, and calmer whereas females don't like to be pet as much, and have tons of energy.
Colors: Many different types of colouring, also available as hairless or rex.
Environment: Require a good amount of space, most cages that are sold are too small..we ended up converting a bookshelf into a rat cage. They need entertainment, and clean cage. Also bedding to make nests in, and a hide space for protection and sleeping area.
Family: They do best with older children as if disturbed they may feel threatened and nip. If a younger child has one as a pet, a parent should always supervise and be primary caretaker. They also have to have a very responsible owner, because they need their cage to be cleaned very often due to smell and because rats can easily develop upper respiratory infections.
Here is the rat that I had that was my favorite. He was a blue berkshire rat [colouring name], and his name was Bleu [pronounced 'blue'].
Type: Maine Coon Cat ( domestic cat breed) *photos at end*
Experience Needed: None, although a lot of patience and willingness to learn about the cat's personality are important.
Domesticated cat -- one of the only landrace domesticated felines that is considered native to North America.
High quality cat food (with as little /no grain as possible) supplemented with good quality meat.
Maine Coons are Large frame cats that are long and rectangular in shape. They start out small and can grow between 12-18 pounds for a healthy cat (Males tend to be on the larger end of that scale.)
Maine Coons have very thick, long coats that developed to help them survive the harsh winters of the North Eastern United States. While not extremely high maintenance Maine Coons do need their coats brushed and groomed regularly. (Most enjoy it). If you don't do it the fur will develop mats and cause the cat pain and it will be a hassle to get them taken care of professionally. So spend that 1/2 an hour a week (10 mins 3x a week) and brush em!
They love it, you get purrs--win-win situation!
Varies from Cat to Cat. Most Maine coons are bred for a sweet/ friendly temperament and general good health. The majority of Maine Coons are very intelligent and inquisitive. They are capable of developing new behaviors and habits when they want attention. They can be very talkative and they "chirp" and trill. They won't necessarily hang all over you but when they want love, they let you know.
If you have never had one before you will need to kitten-proof your home (but think of it more in the way of a toddler. Maine coons use their innate intelligence to get into all sorts of things (think they can't open that kitchen cabinet? Think again! Think they can't flush the toilet or figure out how to open a door? Hah! Think again!
(while you have a kitten allllllways keep the toilet seat cover down)
They'll keep you on your toes as little kittens and as adult cats they don't lose that urge to play either. Maine Coons will often get along well with Dogs and other cats if introduced properly.
Maine Coons come in a variety of colors including Solids (like black, white, etc.),Shaded (smoke), Tabbies--Mackerel or Patched (both with or without white), and Partial colors (like Calicos & Tortoiseshells).
Like many other cats Maine coons appreciate room to roam and explore and will appreciate areas indoors that they can climb and hide in. These cats grow long and play lots. They should never be declawed. They are best off as indoor cats since they are so friendly that it is easy for them to be stolen (although an enclosed run is ideal so they can get fresh air and be safe!).
Maine Coons are great cats for the individual or for the family. They can be lovely family cats but small children need to be schooled on the proper way to handle and treat them. Like other members of the cat family Maine Coons have a long memory and will not forget if they are mistreated by an individual. If you love them, play with them and treat them well Maine Coons are prone to follow you around and give you tons of affection.
If you plan on buying a Maine Coon be aware of the fact that you need to research your breeders and find one that you like the look of their cats as well as their breeding mentality. Different breeders cats can look very different and be aware that the best breeders are breeding for good health & temperament.
Maine Coon kittens are expensive -- going between $500-1000 but they're well worth it. Part of the high expense of the kittens (or grown cats) from a breeder is the fact that they are usually screened for diseases (or their dam & sire were) in an attempt to lessen the chances of congenital defects. Maine Coons are considered to be at a higher risk for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy ( a disease wherein the one of the muscles inside the heart (the myocardium) is thickened. They also run the risk of developing hip displaysia.
Many backyard breeders will offer Maine Coons (what many of them are offering are simply long haired domestic cats--which are still very lovable but do not necessarily have the same qualities as Maine Coons. If you are looking to rescue a Maine Coon (after all, older cats need a chance too!) here is a good link with information: http://www.mainecoonrescue.net/identify.html