I'm a princess- and I know it.
|Purred: Thu Aug 4, '11 6:30pm PST |
|Well, given the location where momma kitty got pregnant, I doubt Oliver's dad is purebred, but it certainly sounds like he's got some awesome genes, mol!
I'm not a cat breed expert (all of the info I've got is from cat magazines, cat shows, and books), but I can tell you about our experiences with Loki: we found him as a kitten under a car, so it never occurred to us that he could have any purebred blood...until he got older, and now we're convinced he's got a lot of Maine Coon in him.
Our first cue that something was amiss was when we came up with two different estimates of his age: one based on his size (which implied he was older) and the other based on other physical characteristics (which implied he was younger). The vet confirmed the younger age...meaning he was just a big boy. The really funny thing was that he started out with short hair! He didn't look at all like he would grow up into a longhaired cat.
He grew up into a monster: 16 pounds (actually not that big for a Maine Coon, mol). Also, he has...
1) A VERY long, fluffy tail. It's about as long as the rest of his body.
2) Large ears with small tufts on the points. It's actually not a breed standard for Maine Coons to have tufted ears: some have them, and some don't, so even if you're guy doesn't get tufted ears, it doesn't mean he can't have Maine Coon in him.
3) A long build. It's a bit difficult to describe, but he's just LONG: I had another large cat awhile ago, but he had a much more compact frame; Loki, on the other hand, is all spine, legs, and tail. When he stretches out, he looks like a giant fluffy ferret or something, and he can reach quite high when he stands on his back legs.
4) Long, silky fur. The silkiness isn't unique to Maine Coons, but it is important in ruling out some other long-haired breeds. It's convenient, too: he's doesn't require any grooming beyond what we'd give our shorthairs, and it never gets tangled.
5) Great big paws.
6) He rarely sheds, which is also both convenient and typical of Maine Coons.
7) He's NUTS. He doesn't have any great interest in water like your Oliver does, but he is definitely the most clownish and eccentric cat we've ever owned (which is apparently also quite typical of male Maine Coons).
8) He had a mild heart murmur when he was a kitten, which is apparently one of the very few conditions that commonly shows up in Maine Coons. (It fortunately disappeared in a matter of months, to our relief.)
9) He continued to grow and mature until he was around 3 years old. From what I've read, most cats reach maturity at around 1 year, but Maine Coons essentially remain kittens for a longer period of time. His personality also definitely underwent a shift at around 3-4 years, towards a more adult-like demeanor.
A few other things that I thought were just Loki's personality and not indicative of Maine Coon ancestry...
- Very grumpy when he doesn't get his way.
- Definitely dominant cat.
- Very vocal when he wants something.
- Acts big and tough, until he meets something new. He gets very unnerved by kittens, garden hoses (not the water part--just the hose), inanimate objects left on the back porch, and shoes left in unusual rooms.
- We call him the Sniffinator. He sniffs everything two or three times as long as the other cats, and seems able to detect smells that the other cats can't.
Also, I should note that there is one thing that makes a Maine Coon ancestry more likely than a lot of other cat breeds (such as Norwegian Forest Cats): they are a 'natural' breed. While some breeds were specifically developed from scratch, Maine Coons arose on their own to survive in the American northeast--that's why they're such a large, hearty, healthy breed. (That's not to say that humans haven't since bred them to enhance the traits we consider beautiful, of course.) What that means is that you're more likely to find Maine Coon blood in the common cat population.
Ultimately, of course, it doesn't matter if your Oliver's (or Loki's) dad was Jacque the Purebred or Thomas the Ally Cat. He'll be just as sweet and beautiful either way
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