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a "Closed" Breeder?
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Yes, we are a truly "CLOSED" small private home breeder which is essential for Illness and Disease Prevention. A "Closed" breeder does not take their cats out or bring other cats in ( i.e.: stud service, cat boarding, handling of breeding stock by visitors, etc). Naturally, an exception to this would be the introduction of new breeding stock which becomes necessary at times. When this becomes necessary, an effective quarantine period must be in place.
This eliminates any chance of contamination by bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites. Since domestic cats are susceptible to a variety of viral and bacterial diseases (some of which are zoonoses or zoonotic diseases, see below), this helps us to avoid the obvious risk of transmission and spread of infectious diseases. On occasion we find it necessary to introduce a new breeder from another cattery into our breeding program. However, to maintain the highest health standards of our cats, we select stock from catteries that share our health standards. Also, as a secondary precaution, we quarantine the cat for several weeks before incorporating with our existing cats. This eliminates any chance of contamination by bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.
Cats are an extremely sensitive animal and if their environment is a stressful one they can suffer from anxiety and stress. Our Controlled, Safe, and Sanitary Home Environment (with Excellent Air Quality) is kept as Stress Free as possible which prevents stress related illness and disease. An article printed in the BBC News entitled Cats Suffer Stress discusses how a study done by animal experts suggests that cats can suffer from stress-related illness like humans.
Causes of Stress for Cats: transport or traveling , a new home or new owner, a new family member or visitor, boarding, a new pet, including a kitten, environmental changes, new food, boredom, owner's absence
Whenever one of these situations arises, be prepared to give your cat lots of extra time and affection to assure her that she is still an important member of the household. Temporarily restricting her to one quiet room might keep her from being overwhelmed by new sensations. Place her favourite blankets and toys (along with her litter box and feeding dishes) in the room with her.
If the cause of your cat's stress is a new pet, introduce the newcomer to her gradually, first allowing her just to learn his scent (keep them in separate areas), then moving on to visual contact and lastly nose-to-nose. Keep their food dishes far apart, and if the new pet is a cat, provide separate litter boxes and keep them clean.
We are FeLV, FIV Negative, Ringworm and Parasite Free.
** Ringworm is of particular concern as it can transmit easily from cats to people! Ringworm seems to be more common in young cats less than one year old and longhaired cats. M.canis causes 70% of ringworm infections in dogs and 99% of infections in cats. 5% of dogs are considered carriers, and various studies from cats have set the carrier rate at anywhere between 4 - 20% of healthy stray cats culturing positive for M.canis.
Adequate Space & Hygiene are key elements required to maintaining a healthy, disease-free cattery environment. Our home is bright and spacious with plenty of large operable windows, totaling 1000 square feet of living space inside of our home. Our home is fully heated in winter and air conditioned in the summer to ensure the comfort of our family as well as the cats. The cattery floors and surfaces (shelves) are made of hard, nonporous materials (no carpets) which are easily washed and disinfected on a regular basis. We use a reliable veterinary/hospital grade disinfectant.
Zoonoses or zoonotic diseases can be transmitted directly or indirectly (via the environment) from animals to humans (eg: Ringworm). Children and immune compromised people are at greater risk of contracting a zoonotic disease. Young children often lack proper personal hygiene and tend to place their hands in their mouths. This permits the easy transmission of parasites and bacteria into their bodies.
Further Reading: "Zoonotic Diseases In Cats and Dogs" © Virginia Clemens DVM
We offer healthy, well bred kittens in a variety of colours. We strive to produce top quality, "typey" (with emphasis on feral look) kittens with excellent health, wonderful temperaments, and longevity. To accomplish this goal we carefully select quality breeding stock with exceptional type, beautiful expression, soundness in structure and temperament. We incorporate healthy breeding stock from various bloodlines and pedigrees with Champion to Supreme Grand Champions, Regional Winner, Imported, and Outcrossed Show Lines as well as New Foundation Bloodlines. This allows us to maintain an excellent quality, genetically diverse gene pool which is essential for health and longevity. To guide us in this endeavour, we follow the Maine Coon Breed Standards set out by the major cat registering bodies. Mariama cattery is CFA, and TICA registered.
Since we run a private in-home "closed" breeder, we are not open for casual visits. We regret that we cannot allow daily visitors. This would jeopardize the health and safety of our home as well as the integrity of our reputable breeding program. Pre-screened, pre-approved buyers are welcome to visit to pick up their kittens. However, keep in mind that we do not allow our kittens to meet their potential owners until eight weeks of age as by that time they will have built up their immunities. Most of our kittens are reserved by that time. The health and well-being of our kittens are of prime importance to us and we would appreciate your understanding.
We regret any inconvenience this may cause you. We understand that this may disappoint you if you were hoping for a "kitten to choose you". Generally, most people are looking for a kitten of a specific gender, colour or markings and reserve a kitten on those bases. Then when they get their kitten home they are quite happy with the temperaments. All of our kittens are pre-spoiled and well socialized. Their temperaments are generally gentle and easy-going. They are playful, loving, purring mush babies. Also keep in mind that this breed is homozygous and therefore temperament is fairly consistent and predictable in the adult cat. With mixed breeds and many other purebreds a kitten's adult temperament can be harder to predict.
Kittens generally will not show their true colours when they meet strangers for the first time. It takes time and love for them to bond to you, just like children. They are not like puppies and will not instantly interact with you until they get to know you. Many are reserved and distrusting of strangers when they first meet them and this is a natural instinct for young kittens. You have to plan on loving the kitten and respecting its unique personality, like you would a child - unconditionally. Then with continued socialization, proper training, and lots of loving care, everything usually works out.
Kittens (On Spay/Neuter Contract Only, No Exceptions): $ 900 - 1,000 (includes HST)
Exotic Colours (less plentiful and common): Solid Colors of Black, Blue, & Red; Bi-Colors; Smokes (undercoat is white with colored tips on the fur) in black & blue
Rare Colours (unusual): Solid White: Green/Gold Eyed, Odd-Eyed (one eye blue), Double Blue-Eyed
Adult Cats available occasionally please contacts us.
Polydactyls: We do not breed Polydactyl cats at this time.
Note: Although Polydactylism is considered a disqualifying fault by the major cat associations it doesn't appear to pose a problem for the cat in its primary manifestation. However, the Gene responsible for Polydactylism, appears to have a second manifestation (triphalangeal pollex-radial hypoplasia form of polydactyly) that affects limb development more adversely. Most Polydactyl cats have the form of pre-axial polydactyly with the extra digits being on the thumb side of the foot. The post-axial form causes extra digits on the little finger side of the front foot. This form is associated with radial hypoplasia, a condition which causes the radius (one of the two bones that make up the forearm) in the front leg to be missing or underdeveloped. A cat with triphalangeal pollices can produce kittens with radial hypoplasia. This severe deformity adversely affects a cats' movement and function.
Further Reading: Polydactyly and Related Traits © Solveig Pfleuger, MD, PhD, FACMG
To firmly reserve an available kitten, we require a non-refundable deposit of $200 ($208 if paying by paypal) with balance due once the kitten turns 6 weeks of age. All kittens going to pet homes are sold on strictly Non-Breeding, Spay/Neuter Contracts only. The registration paperwork will be forwarded to the new owner once we receive an original dated veterinary spay/neuter certificate for your kitten.
This deposit guarantees a kitten in the gender and colour of your choice.
For payment we accept Interac e-Transfer (previously E-mail Money Transfer) (recommended) and Canadian Postal Money Orders issued from Canada Post. Personal cheques, cashiers cheques, bank drafts, and cash are not accepted. Please mail Canadian Postal Money Order payments via Priority Mail or Express Mail with "signature requested". This is for traceability reasons. A Tracking Number will be provided and you will be required to e-mail this number to us. Credit cards and payment are also accepted through PAYPAL. Note: A paypal account is not required for payment with a credit card. If using Paypal there will be an extra processing fee of 4%.
Click on the "Interac e-Transfer" icon below right to be directed to an online demo. All that is required is access to online banking. It is safe and secure and very simple to do.
SAFE & SECURE PAYMENTS
Insurance Voucher: 6 weeks of
for your Kitten
*subject to substitution
What are the Costs of Shipping a kitten and is it Stressful on them?not required for payment with a credit card. If us
We are experienced shippers and do ship to approved homes when necessary. We will ship throughout Canada and to parts of the United States. We regret that we do not ship to other International locations at this time. There will be an extra cost of $250 - $300 for shipping if applicable. Two kittens can be shipped together for very little more than it costs to ship one kitten. If purchasing two kittens at the same time, shipping is $300 - $350 (a $200-250 savings). The shipping cost includes the following: air fare, shipping insurance, airline approved pet carrier, bedding, transportation to airport, and time involved in making shipping arrangements.
Before you ask, no, flying is not terribly stressful for kittens. In our experience, it is adult cats that may get upset about flying and travelling. Kittens are at a trusting, happy-go-lucky age and they expect everything to turn out well. The biggest stress for them is getting used to a new home and new human friends. That's an adjustment they must make whether they are shipped or not.Your pet will be insured. To date, we have had great success with the delivery of all of our kittens.
We ship Air Canada. Live animals are placed in the cargo hold of the airplane which is properly heated and pressurized as is the cabin.
Note: Shipping via Cargo is not available between these dates due to the holiday season: December 15, 2012 - January 11, 2013
Between November 1, 2012 - March 31, 2013, Shipping will be available to International Airports in Major Cities as those planes are heated. Shipments to smaller airports in smaller cities (aircrafts E75, E90, CRJ, CR7, BEH) will resume after that time.
When these Winter restrictions Cargo Hold Restrictions are in effect, it is still possible to fly to pick up your kitten at an International Airport in Major Cities and then transport it back home with you in the Cabin. Click on the links below to learn more.Passengers are required to register their pets in advance, as a maximum of two animals are allowed on the smaller Jazz planes, with four allowed on the larger Air Canada flights.
You can track your kitten by clicking here: http://www.aircanada.com/cargo/en/
Adopting two kittens (littermates) at the same time is a good idea, particularly for working families where a single kitten would otherwise be home alone for most of the day. Kittens raised together are already bonded and make wonderful playmates and companions. Also, if you do a lot of travelling (and do not normally take your pets with you) and/or spend a lot of time away from home, then two kittens can keep each other company when you are not around. Having the company of another kitten prevents your kitten from feeling bored, lonely, and insecure when you are away.
If you are planning to get a second cat in the future anyway, it is much easier to do it all at once, as kittens raised together are already good friends. With this being the case, you will not have to deal with the "introduction" period which can be stressful for some people including the cats. Constant supervision will be necessary during the adjustment period. Initially, the older cat may be resentful to the newcomer and there may be displays of aggression. When you adopt two kittens at the same time you avoid this situation altogether.
However, keep in mind that the costs for food, litter, supplies, daily upkeep, and veterinary care will be double. Two kittens growing up together are highly interactive and will definately keep you entertained with their cute little antics and games. It is definately worth the extra effort!
Maine Coons are known for their easy-going temperaments and their fondness of other animals, particularly dogs (when they are raised with them). It is so entertaining to watch our Maine Coons interactively playing with our dogs and many of our friends are amazed when they see this!! Our kittens are use to other pets as they are raised in a multi-pet household. They are use to dogs (shelties) and older cats, so should have no problem adjusting to a new home with existing dogs and cats. Keep in mind that there will be an adjustment period and that regular supervision will be necessary in the beginning.
Some breeds of dogs may not be tolerant of cats and this will make for a very stressful environment for a cat. In this case we do not recommend adopting a kitten. Perhaps adopting a puppy of the same breed you already own or another compatible breed would be a better choice than a kitten.
Most adult cats that are altered will eventually accept a new kitten. Some older cats welcome a kitten almost instantly, while others will need more time which is very natural. During the introductory period, you can expect a fair bit of hissing, spitting, growling, and pawing to go on. In time this behaviour will subside and disappear. It is most important that each pet is provided with their own bed, food and water dishes, and litterbox. As time goes on and they get to know each other, some of these items may be shared between them.
Click Here to read this article: Two Cats Can Live as "PURRR...FECTLY" as One
We have been feeding our cats and kittens Felidae Cat & Kitten Formula Moist and Dry, a premium, all natural food made with human grade ingredients (USA origin) for many years with wonderful results. Our kittens are started on Royal Canin Babycat 34 as its tiny sized kibble are more easily managed by smaller teeth and kittens are less likely to choke on it.
Felidae cat food is unaffected by the recent pet food recall, and you can feel secure and confident in feeding this food to your cats. The company has absolutely no association, past or present, with the recall-affected companies or facilities. Their products are free of wheat, corn, soy and none of their ingredients come from China.
You’ll see the difference that a natural diet can make: Fewer vet bills, Improved health, Increased energy, Shiny & healthy coat, A happy, healthy pet, Greater likelihood of a longer lifespan
"There is ample proof that today's pet dogs and cats do not thrive on cheap, corn-based pet foods. Dogs and cats are primarily meat eaters; to fill them up with grain-based processed dry foods that barely meet minimum daily nutrient requirements has proven to be a mistake. Soy is one of the top allergens - substances that cause allergic reactions. In the 1980s, Stuart Berger, M.D, labelled soy one of the seven top allergens - one of the "sinister seven." Reactions may include coughing, sneezing, runny nose, hives, diarrhoea, facial swelling, shortness of breath, a swollen tongue, difficulty swallowing, fainting, anaphylactic shock etc. (pets are allergic to soy too) ~ Dr. T.J. Dunn D.V.M
We do not feed a raw meat diet to our cats at this time as we feel the risks outweigh the benefits for families with children, seniors, or immune compromised members. Some research has shown that there may be benefits from feeding raw meat. However, like everything else, you have to weigh the risks against the benefits.
The practice of feeding raw meat-based diets to domestic cats may result in clinical toxoplasmosis, salmonellosis, and E. coli infections.These can present zoonotic disease risks. Zoonoses or zoonotic diseases can be transmitted directly or indirectly (via the environment) from animals to humans.
Toxoplasmosis is a parasite whose cysts live in the muscle of cattle, pigs and other creatures. If meat is not cooked enough the cysts live and can infect cats or humans exposed to them.
Salmonella and E. coli are bacterial infections. In most cases they are the result of food contamination by infected workers who handle the meat during processing.
Immune compromised individuals are at greater risk of developing serious illness than those with normal immune systems.
Healthy alternatives to feeding pets raw food is Felidae, or Life's Abundance all natural cat food. They are free from corn, wheat, dairy, by-products, artificial colors or flavors.
We recommend feeding a minimum of 50% moist food and preferably 100% moist food, especially for male cats and cats that do not like to drink much water.
There are those who object strongly to EAA, or Early Age Altering. These veterinarians and associations believe that EAA leads to an increased risk of fracture to long bones, obesity, a negative effect on overall growth, changes in behavior, and an increase in disease risk. They also feel that using anesthesia on kittens is too risky.
After giving this subject much thought, research and veterinary advice we decided not to participate in the early (pediatric) spay/ neutering of our kittens. There is significant evidence that suggests that pediatric spay/neuter can contribute to orthopaedic, health and behavioural problems in animals. We along with many veterinarians and breeders feel that spaying/neutering at around 6 months of age is best.
Excerpt From "Early Spay Neuter Considerations For The Canine Athlete" © 2005 Chris Zink DVM, PhD, DACVP
Excerpt From “Long-Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay/Neuter in Dogs” © 2007 Laura J. Sanborn, M.S.
Maine Coons that are spayed/neutered are much happier, more affectionate and responsive to their owners. As such they have no reason to misbehave as far as urinating, howling, and displaying aggression. Cats suffering from hormones are not happy cats.
Unspayed female cats may spray urine and are also very prone to pyometra (a disease of the uterus which can be deadly if left untreated). The best prevention is to have them spayed before six months of age.
Unneutered male cats are more active and need to find the companionship of female cats. If they are unable to meet this need, they tend to exhibit behavioural problems such as displays of aggression and territory spraying. Un-neutered cats have very foul smelling urine which can linger through your house. These cats also like to spray in the house (mark urine on vertical surfaces), and this can be one of the most frustrating behaviour problems to treat. The best prevention is to have them neutered before six months of age.
Altered cats have almost no shedding year round also, which is an added bonus.
All kittens going to pet homes are sold on strictly Non-Breeding, Spay/Neuter Contracts only. The registration paperwork will be forwarded to the new owner once we receive an original dated veterinary spay/neuter certificate for your kitten. No Exceptions.
What is a Maine Coon cat's temperament like? (Do male or female cats make better pets? Should I adopt a kitten or an adult cat?)
Maine Coon cats are known for their gentle and easygoing temperament. They are generally very affectionate, intelligent and social creatures. They are known for being loyal to their family and cautious—albeit not mean—around strangers, but are independent and not clingy. The Maine Coon is generally not known for being a "lap cat" but their gentle disposition makes the breed relaxed around dogs, other cats, and children. Despite the information in some of the literature we find many of our Maine Coons to be "lap cats." It should be no problem keeping two cats of the same or different gender together, once they are spayed/neutered.
Gender has little to do with temperament. Males and females can be equally loving. Once a cat is spayed/neutered, both sexes of this wonderful breed are equally loving and intelligent in their temperament.
Kittens are adorable and very endearing. However, they are extremely active and energetic. If one is looking to adopt a very affectionate or laid-back cat, adopting an adult cat might make a better choice. The personality of an adult is more well developed and set than it is in a kitten. Therefore you'll have a better idea of how affectionate and easy going the cat will be prior to adopting it. Kittens generally don't like to stop long enough for a good cuddle until they're exhausted and ready to drop. Adult cats tend to be more laid back and are not quite as energetic. Therefore they are more willing to curl up on your lap for some quality petting time. People that do not have the time nor the energy to devote to raising a kitten are good candidates for adult cat adoptions.
For more information on the Maine Coon Breed click here.
If you are severely allergic to cats we would not recommend adopting a Maine Coon kitten. Even though they don't shed excessively they can cause a reaction. One of our family members is allergic to cats and we find that the Maine Coon breed bothers them less than short haired cats. Spayed/Neutered Maine Coon cats tend to have almost no shedding year round.
Maine Coon cats come in many colours and patterns.
The most "Common Maine Coon Colors" and patterns are brown classic tabby, brown mackerel tabby, and brown patch tabby (females only).
Here are some of the most common patterns:
Tabby: A darker stripy pattern on a lighter background colour; most often brown, orange, blue, or cream. Nose and paw pad colours usually correspond to predominant coat colour, varying from pink to black.
Tortoiseshell or Calico: A patchy pattern made up of three or more distinct colours (usually black, orange, and cream/white). Tortie is short for tortoiseshell. Yes, the name comes from the tortoiseshell turtle. The primary color on most torties is black. The amount of red can vary from just a few toes to lots of obvious red. It is rare but some torties have more red than black. They used to be called "reverse torties".
"Torbie" is short for tortoiseshell-tabby. When you add tabby stripes a tortie becomes a torbie. They are also called patched tabbies since they are a tabby with patches of red or cream. Adding stripes also tends to make the red harder to see. Most torbies will have some red on their feet, even if you don't see it anywhere else.
Many people find the difference between torties and torbies rather confusing. Even on a solid color cat, you can often see stripes on reds and creams. The only way to be sure if you have a tortie or torbie is to ignore any stripes showing in the red or cream areas - just look to see if the black color is solid or has stripes!
Torties and torbies are very interesting! They tend to have what the cat fancy calls "Tortie-tude". More than any other color, these girls have an "opinion" on everything. They will tell you exactly what that opinion is! At the same time, they can be one of the sweetest cats you will ever own.
Every tortie has its own unique color pattern. Torties have been called Mother Nature's idea of abstract art.
The majority of tortoiseshell and calico cats are female. For very complicated genetic reasons, it takes two X chromosomes for a cat to be a tortoiseshell or calico cat. A male would have to possess two X and one Y chromosomes to be a calico cat. This can happen, but very rarely. According to a study at the College of Veterinary Medicine in Missouri, one out of 3,000 calico colored cats is male. This oddity occurs in humans, too. The males, in both cases, are usually sterile.
"Exotic Maine Coon Colors" are less plentiful and common, in solid colors of black, blue, & red; bi-colors; smokes (undercoat is white with colored tips on the fur) in black & blue; patch tabby girls (multicolored plus red & creamy patches of color); and/or with patterns of classic tabby (large marble swirls through fur with stripped legs/tail) or mackerel tabby (thin tiger stripes through fur with stripped legs/tail).
Rare Maine Coon Colours: Less plentiful and common, the solid white.
Solid colours: Include black, white, orange, blue or cream.
Bi-colour: Predominantly white with patches of one other colour.
Kittens are all born with blue eyes. During their first year, their eyes gradually change to their adult color . Their eyes usually become Green, Copper, Gold, or any combination of two of those colors. The outer half of the iris can be one color, and the inner half can be another. Although not very common, a few adult coloured cats will have Blue eyes. Solid white cats can also have Blue eyes as adults, or Odd eyes (each eye is a different colour).
SIZE is greatly exaggerated, as to the average Maine Coon size and should NOT be one of the main reasons for getting one! Maine Coons are one of the largest domestic breeds, sometimes weighing 25 pounds (exceptionally large). Maine Coons that weigh 30 pounds are simply a myth, unless the cat is heavily overweight. Weight should be fit and muscular, not fat. Maine Coon females are typically large, compared to other breeds, but smaller and lighter than Maine Coon males. On the average, male Maine Coon males weigh in at 13 to 18 pounds. The females range from 8 to 12 pounds, with 13 lbs or more being a very large female. Add to that two or three inches of winter coat, and people will swear that they're looking at one big cat. The height of adults can vary between 10 and 16 in (25 and 41 cm) and they can reach a length of up to 40 in (100 cm), including the tail, which can reach lengths of up to 14 in (36 cm) and is long, tapering, and heavily furred. Slow to develop, the Maine Coon takes 3 to 5 years to reach full size and weight. The heavy, shaggy, water-resistant coat, shorter on the shoulders and longer on the stomach, flanks, and tail, makes the cat appear even larger. If a cat is whole (not spayed or neutered), it will most likely not reach it's full weight due to restlessness during mating season. Also, often the lack of coat due to hormonal changes will make it look smaller. A spayed/neutered pet will almost always look bigger and can be several pounds heavier. A neutered male can easily go up to 18 and even up to 25 pounds.
Adult size is nearly impossible to predict. Smaller kittens can end up the largest and larger kittens can end up the smallest. Also, weight does not necessarily indicate large size as it is the length of the cat that is the more true indicator of its size. Many heavy weight cats are just plain overweight which is unhealthy! The breed's temperament and personality is what most people come to love once they have experienced the joy of owning a Maine Coon.
We at Mariama like big cats, however, soundness in structure, type, temperament and health are higher priorities for us. Keep in mind that extremely large and long cats are often more prone to joint and other health problems. Also, breeders whose main focus is on breeding for large size often produce Maine Coon cats severely lacking in type, such that they don't possess the "impressive" Maine Coon characteristics which distinguish this breed from all others. Nothing pleases us more than producing extremely "typey" kittens that are without a doubt, beautiful, true examples of the Maine Coon breed!
Maine Coons are low maintenance cats. The Maine Coon is a semi-longhaired, or medium-haired, cat. The coat is soft and silky, although texture may vary with coat color.They do an excellent job of cleaning and grooming themselves. Their silky and weather resistant coats are easy to care for and don't mat easily. The length is shorter on the head, neck, and shoulders and longer on the stomach and flanks. Minimal grooming is required for the breed, compared to other long-haired breeds, as their coat is mostly self-maintaining due to a light-density undercoat. The coat is subject to seasonal variation, with the fur being thicker in the winter and thinner during the summer.
The basic tool required to keep a Maine Coon's coat well groomed is a steel comb. A slicker brush is also helpful for removing the odd snarl or tangle and for removing dead undercoat. It is not really necessary to bath a cat that is spayed/neutered. However, bathing them a couple of times a year with an all natural shampoo will make their coat shiny and smell fresh and clean. This may be important to those of you that like to share your bed with your cat. It is not difficult to bath a Maine Coon as they are easy to handle and most of them don't mind the water especially if they are given baths from an early age.
Is the Lifespan of purebred cats like Maine Coons shorter than that of mixed-breed cats?
All Maine Coons are rather closely related as the genetic history of the breed tells us that their gene pool is relatively small and they are considered a relatively homozygous breed. Being aware of this we have selected cats from relatively uncommon bloodlines and have brought together cats that might not otherwise have had the opportunity to breed (both show, non-show and new foundation lines). This helps us to maintain as diverse a gene pool as possible.
In addition to the fact that we are a "closed" breeder, we also provide an ideal healthy environment for our cats. We do this by maintaining sanitary, stress-free facilities, excellent air quality, feeding premium quality foods, limiting vaccinations, and providing proper veterinary care and health testing when required.
In order to maintain genetic diversity and/or in attempts to improve the quality of their stock, a breeder will introduce new bloodlines from time to time. When this is done, new genetic material will bring about changes in a breeder's bloodlines, both good qualities and faults. This makes it really hard for a breeder to predict what they will produce until several more years of breedings have been done utilizing this new stock. So as you can see the best breeding programs are not stagnant, but rather changing in order to meet a reputable breeder's goal of improving his lines. Breeding is not an exact science. There are so many variables and unknowns when dealing with living creatures that have very complex genetic makeups. However, reputable breeders try their best to maintain quality, healthy stock with the goals of raising the healthiest kittens possible and improving the Maine Coon breed as a whole.
Feline Distemper (also known as Feline Panleukopenia, Feline Parvovirus or Feline Infectious Enteritis) and Canine Distemper are not the same disease; cats and dogs cannot contract distemper from each other. Canine Distemper Virus is a respiratory disease that only infects dogs. Dogs don't carry Feline Herpesvirus or Calicivirus, which are the major causes of feline upper respiratory disease. Feline distemper is not transmitted to humans.
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis virus is actually a herpes virus. It is in the family of the herpes viruses that make everything in people from cold sores to shingles to chicken pox to genital herpes but none of them are contagious to people or to other animals. It is just a cat herpes virus.
Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV or "Feline AIDS") are similar to the HIV/AIDS viruses in humans, but are strictly isolated to cats. Cats cannot catch AIDS; humans and dogs cannot catch FIV or FeLV.
Bordetella (Bordetella Bronchisepticaisis) is one of the bacteria involved in Cat Flu and Kennel Cough (Infectious Tracheobronchitis) in the dog. It is a highly contagious respiratory disease affecting dogs and cats, usually contracted in areas where a large number of pets are housed such as boarding facilities, grooming facilities, veterinary offices, dog parks, dog schools, and dog/cat shows. Vaccination against Bordetella Bronchiseptica is not 100% effective. There is always the chance that the strains of Bordetella may mutate from the strain involved in clinical disease, similar to what happens with the human influenza (flu) virus and this is why kennel cough may be diagnosed in some dogs despite a recent vaccination history. Just as in the case of the common cold, tracheobronchitis is not "cured" but must run its course. Many time antibiotics will be prescribed to prevent secondary infection, and sometimes cough suppressants will be prescribed to reduce excessive coughing, but these medications do not attack the disease itself. There have been reports of dogs and cats in the same household suffering from infection with Bordetella at the same time. However, there is no evidence that the infection can spread from cats to man. It is possible for people to spread the disease from cat to cat when handling them.
Rabies is a painful, fatal infection of the nervous system which affects warm-blooded animals including cats, dogs, and humans. An infected animal will be stiff or paralyzed and will not be able to swallow properly (causing the heavy drooling we associate with a "mad," or rabid, dog). It can affect any warm-blooded animal, including cats, dogs and humans. It is almost always fatal. Rabies can only transmitted by the bite or scratch of a rabid animal to another mammal.
Ringworm is a fungal Infection. It is not a worm at all but a fungus called Dermatophytes. Dermaphtytes means 'plants that live on the skin'. In the past, because of the circular lesions made by the fungi they were thought to be caused by worms, hence the name ringworm. Transmission can happen by direct contact with another infected animal or person. It can be passed from cats to dogs and visa versa and from pets to humans and from humans to pets.
To learn more about Ringworm read The Feline Advisory Bureau's article Tackling Ringworm in Cats and The Exotic Cat Club's article Feline Health - Ringworm.
Internal Parasites (Giardia, Roundworms, Hookworms, Toxoplasmosis), External Parasites (Fleas, Ticks) can infect humans and other animals. Therefore it is most important to have all of your pets routinely examined for internal and external parasites and dewormed regularly at the same time (approximately every three months). Fortunately, pet cats that are kept exclusively indoors will normally not come into contact with these parasites.
Coccidia are a small protozoan parasite that are commonly found in the intestinal tracts of kittens/cats. When everything is in balance, these organisms normally do not cause any problems and most kittens/cats develop a natural immunity to them. However, stress (eg: new home) plays a role in causing these organisms to multiply beyond a certain range, leading to the development of an intestinal infection called coccidiosis. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a healthy kitten/cat to arrive at its new home and develop diarrhea, vomitting, appetite loss, or dehydration, several days later leading to the diagnosis of coccidiosis necessitating treatment with a prescription. The coccidia species of cats do not infect dogs or humans.
Streptoccoccis is a general name for a variety of diseases caused by a group of bacteria called Streptococcus (strep-TOE-coccus). Streptococcus bacteria are common on the bodies of humans and animals along with numerous other types of bacteria, as part of the normal flora and do not cause disease. When the bacteria enters cuts, abrasions, other wounds or when the immune system becomes weakened, disease may occur. There are many different species and strains of Streptococcus, so a wide range of disease signs may be seen. Infection may be mild to severely fatal. "Strep" bacteria can cause wound infections, absecesses, respiratory infection, and other illness. In dogs and cats skin, wound or joint infections, pneumonia, or mastitis may be seen. Occasionally, "strep" causes a severe and fatal condition called toxic shock syndrome. It has a quick, progressive onset; most affected animals will die. Signs may include coughing, vomiting, extreme weakness, stiffness, muscle tremors, seizures, intense pain, and possibly bleeding from the nose or bloody diarrhea. Since "strep" organisms are normally found on animals, it is difficult to prevent infections. Reducing stress, cleaning wounds, and practicing good hygiene will help minimize disease. Animals or people known to have a strep infection should be avoided. When working with affected animals gloves should be worn and hands washed thoroughly afterwards.
Necrotiizing Fasciitis is a rare life-threatening manifestation of a streptococcal infection reported mainly in humans and dogs. According to the Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science at the University of Conneticut, necrotizing fasciitis has been reported only twice in cats. Necrotizing fasciitis is commonly known as the "flesh eating bacteria." This bacterial infection affects the skin and the tissue that covers the muscles. It is usually caused by haemolytic Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylocococcus aureus bacteria as well as other types of bacteria found naturally in a cat's body. It is a progressive disease that quickly kills the skin and underlying tissue. Infection spreads rapidly and can lead to a systemic infection and toxic shock syndrome; death occurs if not treated quickly. Treatment requires a strong antibiotic and surgical removal of the dead tissue.
Dog/Cat Bites can infect other animals and humans. Bites can cause infection due to the bacteria from the animal's mouth getting into the wound. This type of infection can cause damage to bones and soft tissue in both humans and other animals. Therefore, animal bite wounds should be attended to immediately by a physician or veterinarian when it involves other pets.
Besides keeping your kitten/cat strictly indoors or accompanied on a leash when outdoors, we recommend that new kitten owners consider Microchipping. Microchipping offers a permanent means of identification and peace of mind.
The major reason many lost pets are not reunited with their owners is because they are unidentifiable. It is an unfortunate fact that approximately only 4 % of cats and 14% of dogs are returned safely back to their owners when lost. Anywhere from 30 to 60% of lost pets in shelters are euthanized because they cannot be properly identified and returned to their owners. Less than 25% of all animals that enter animal shelters are adopted by new owners. Microchipping is really the only way to permanently identify your pet. All animals that are brought into an animal welfare organization or veterinary clinic are routinely scanned for a microchip. Therefore, microchipping is truly one of the best measures a pet owner can take to ensure that their pet will be returned to them in the unfortunate event that it is lost.
More information on microchipping can be found at 24 Pet Watch.
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"I love cats because I enjoy my home and little by little, they become its visible soul." ~ Jean Cocteau
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are our opinions based on our experience and research. We are not veterinarians, nor do we claim to have any medical training or to be an expert in feline health issues. As reputable breeders we feel it is our responsibility to continuously educate ourselves about all facets of breeding Maine Coons. In addition to our many years of breeding experience, this knowledge helps us to maintain quality, healthy breeding stock with the goals of raising the healthiest kittens possible and improving the Maine Coon breed as a whole.
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