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Seanan McGuire @seananmcguire
, 24 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Okay, so: I have three purebred, with papers, Maine Coon cats. Their names are Alice, Thomas, and Elsie. They're pretty awesome. Best cats I've ever had. I'm not shy about sharing that fact.
I talk about my cats a LOT, because they are among the most important things in my life. I talk about the cute things they do, how smart they are, how good they are for my mental health.
This sometimes leads to people saying "oh, I want a Maine Coon now!", which is awesome, they're a great, beautiful breed, and make wonderful companion animals. If you want a Maine Coon, you want a Maine Coon. No other type of cat is the same.
(And yes, cat breeds exist for the same reason dog breeds exist: it's not just looks. It's personalities, and energy levels, and known health problems, and size, and a dozen other factors. A Maine Coon is not a Siamese is not a Sphinx.)
(Also yes, for many, many people, the Domestic shorthair and Domestic longhair, aka, "we don't know but we love them anyway" will be the perfect breeds. It's all down to what you need/want from a cat.)
So let's talk about what wanting a Maine Coon means.
Maine Coons are big. The largest breed of domestic cat, in fact. Some Bengals can be larger, but Bengals are not always classed as fully domestic (depending on how recent the out-cross was), and the larger Bengals tend to be early generations.
When one of my cats gets sick, I am pilling twenty+ pounds of confused, unhappy predator. Cats don't know why you're torturing them. They just know you're not supposed to do that, and they lash out.
Thomas, who is the largest of my cats, can stand on his hind legs and turn doorknobs. Doors to the outside must be locked at all times.
Maine Coons eat a LOT, and they need high-quality cat food for joint and skeletal health, because again, BIG. People don't believe me when I tell them how big my cats are. MY CATS ARE HUGE.
The cost of feeding a Maine Coon is about twice the cost of feeding any other breed of cat, on a cat-by-cat basis.
Maine Coons are highly cats go. What this means is that you have a playful, inquisitive, smart, easily bored GIANT FUCKING RACCOON-CAT wandering through your home, doing as it will.
And when I say "easily bored," I mean it. Are you prepared to have a shaggy toddler interrupting you whenever it feels like it for ten to eighteen years? Because they don't outgrow it, and they're big enough to push the issue.
My working day is built around the virtual guarantee that my cats will come up and demand affection, which means holding them until my arms go numb. I lose up to two hours a day snugging the cats, because they don't understand "later."
This level of intelligence also makes Maine Coons prone to anxiety when there are disruptions in their world. I have to balance my travel against how much it will stress out my cats, just like I would if they were dogs.
People call Maine Coons "cats for dog people," and they're not far wrong. Maine Coons are cats, but they want their people and they want their pride-mates and they want things to stay exactly like they like them.
Maine Coons are triple-coated. They have a water-repellent top coat, a "standard" center coat, and a warm, highly absorbent layer of wooly, downy fur on the bottom.
This means:

1. They need brushing.
2. They need more brushing.
3. Don't stop brushing.
4. They are nature's tampons, and can absorb up to a gallon of water. Which they will do. Happily.
Alice and Thomas both enjoy joining me in the shower, and Alice likes floating serenely in the bath, her head on my hip, eyes closed, having her special hot tub time.
Ever try to wring a gallon of water out of the chirping swamp monster that has replaced your cat? IT IS NOT FUN I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT.
All cats come with the potential for medical costs, and Maine Coons are, on the whole, a very healthy, sturdy breed. But they do have their issues, including heart failure and hip dysplasia.
(I have been very fortunate: Alice and Thomas both have great hips and strong hearts, and Elsie is too young to fully assess but looks good so far. All their issues have been non-breed-specific.)
If you're looking for a low-maintenance pet, there are many options that could fit your lifestyle and needs. Cats should not be on that list. If you're looking for the classic "cat," which sometimes snuggles but isn't always in your business, please.
I am seriously asking you here, please.
I love the Maine Coon as a breed, and I love my Maine Coons as individuals. Maine Coons are magic.
But if you want an easy, low-impact cat, the Maine Coon is not for you.
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