Nina Nandy

Gastroenterologist at The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

5 Interesting Facts About Maine Coons

5 Interesting Facts About Maine Coons

One of the most popular and oldest cat breeds in the United States is the Maine Coon. Supposedly the Maine Coon is native to the State of Maine but their origin story varies. One theory, that is a proven myth, is that Maine Coons are the byproduct of a wild cat and raccoon mating. Another theory suggests that the first Maine Coon can be traced back to one Marie Antoinette’s cats that was sent to America during the French Revolution. The last theory, and the most probable, suggests that Maine Coons originated from the breeding of short-haired domestic cats and longhair cats who belonged to Vikings or New England Seaman.

Although some of the theories may be questionable, there’s no question that Maine Coons are loved and adored by their owners. Their origination story is not the only thing thing that is interestring about these “dogs of the cat world“. Keep reading to find out five more interesting facts about Maine Coons.

1. Biggest Domestic Cat 

In the whole world, Maine Coons are one of the largest domestic cat breeds.Typically, Maine Coons mature slowly, most reach adulthood by 3 to 5 years. These felines have muscular legs, large paws, and can weigh up to 30 pounds! Part of their size is due to their furry, thick, and dense coat.

2. “Dogs of the Cat World” 

Compared to other cats, Maine Coons have a similar personality to dogs. Like dogs, the Maine Coon loves to socialize and interact with humans. Often they will see you off before you leave the house, and be at the door when you come home. Rather than hiding when visitors arrive, your Maine Coon will make it his duty to greet anyone. Maine Coons are wonderful companions for children and typically get along with most pets.

3. A Cat that Loves Water 

Seeing a cat that loves water is a rare sight to see, but not for the Maine Coon. A Maine Coon loves to play with and even swim in water. If you have a Maine Coon, chances are you have caught them playing in their water bowl or try to sneak into the shower.

4. Maine Coons Are Winter Ready 

Maine Coons are dressed to face cold winter climates. On top of their thick water-repellant coat, their tufted paws act as “snowshoes” and their fluffy tail can be wrapped around their body as additional warmth.

5. Maine Coons Are Colorful Felines 

When we think of Maine Coons, we often associate them with brown coloring, similar to a raccoon. However, Maine Coons can come in an assortment of colorings, including but not limited to, smoke, mackerel, cameo, cream, and tortoiseshell.


The Dangers of Feeding Your Cat a Vegan Diet

The Dangers of Feeding Your Cat a Vegan Diet

One concerning trend that is rising in the pet community is turning your carnivore cat vegan. While you can make the decision to lead a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, do not make the same choice for your cat. Even if you have good intentions behind feeding your cat a vegan diet, it will do more harm than good for your cat’s health.

If we look back at history, our cats’ ancestors primarily survived by hunting small animals, like rodents and birds, resulting in a meat-rich diet. Cats are considered an obligate carnivore, meaning they eat meat out of biological necessity. Similar to cats, other obligate carnivores include, dolphins, hawks, seals, lizards, snakes, and most amphibians

Since meat was the only source for sustenance, cats’ metabolism soon adapted. On the upside, these adaptions allowed cats’ bodies  harvest water from the kidneys of their prey, but on the downside, cats are often unable to breakdown human pharmaceuticals.

Two of the biggest differences in cats’ metabolism is that they require high quality of protein and a supply of Taurine to be healthy.

In a vegan diet you won’t find an animal or animal-derived ingredients, like eggs or milk. All bodies, animal and human, need protein to function. In a vegan diet you will find grains, pulses, beans and legumes, act as a protein substitute. However, these foods have low biological value when compared to the protein found in meat. These plant-based proteins, don’t contain all of the necessary amino acids. For humans, this isn’t a big deal.

As omnivores, human bodies use the plant-based proteins as building blocks and the create the missing amino acids. The same can’t be same for cats. They need protein that contains “high biological value”, in order to keep body functions like tissue growth, healing and repairing functionally properly.

If you feed your cat a vegan diet, they will most definitely become taurine deficient. Taurine is essential in maintaining your cats health.Taurine is responsible for platelet function, growing healthy bones, hair growth, healthy heart muscle and proper eyesight.

If a cat has a deficiency in Taurine it can lead to retinal disorders, blindness, dilated cardiomyopathy, skeletal deformities in kittens, and the inability to clot blood.

If you want the best for your cat, don’t feed them a vegan diet. Without a steady diet of high quality protein and Taurine, your cat’s health and wellbeing can be dramatically affected.

The Best (and the Worst) Places to Pet Your Cat

The Best (and the Worst) Places to Pet Your Cat

Cats are known for being particular when it comes to their likes and dislikes. As a cat owner, you may have already noticed their favorite spot to take a nap, if they prefer wet or dry food and most of all where they like to be pet. By now, you probably know what spots on your cat will make them purr over the spots that bring out the claws. Although all cats are different, there are a few places that all cats love to be scratched and rubbed.

A cat’s favorite place to be touched is where their scent glands are concentrated. You may have witnessed your cat rub their face against you or objects in your house. When you see a cat do this, they are leaving their scent to make their environment more familiar which in turn makes them feel safer and happier. With this in mind, the following places are four of the best spots that you can pet.

Base of the Chin 

Underneath your cat’s chin, gently rub your finger along the jawbone to where it connect to the skull. In this small area, you will find the majority of your cat’s scent glands, making it one of the purrr-fect places to be stroked.

Base of the Ears and Cheeks 

Similar to the base of the chin, the base of the ears and the cheeks contain many scent glands. While you pet this part of your cat, your cat may rub his head on you, this is called “bunting”.

Base of the Tail 

If you run your hand down your cat’s back, apply light pressure to the base of their tail. Scratching your cat in this spot will make them purr right away.

One spot that you should avoid petting, that all dogs love, but cats hate, is the belly. 

Unlike dogs, cats are not as secure as a predator. Cats are considered both predator and prey, and because of this, they are protective over their belly that contains all of their vital organs. Although you may think your belly rubs are harmless, to your cat they may trigger defensive mechanism involving their sharp claws.

Although these are the most popular “sweet spots” for cats, you will want to pay careful attention to how your cat is reacting. If you are petting a new cat for the first time, watch your cat’s reaction to decide whether or not you are in a good spot or not.

A Word From Nina Nandy’s Cat

Hi, my name is Lionel and I am a long haired tuxedo likely Maine Coon mix with giant kitten mittens and a big fluffy tail. I was a stray roaming the mean streets of Albuquerque until the age of one and a half when I was picked up by Animal Humane and neutered. My Nina Nandy Photohuman mommy, Nina Nandy, came in to meet me and though she was very sweet I was scared. Nina took me home and I was nervous because I had never lived inside before. She gave me lots of love and treats and toys but I would hide and one day I saw a way out and I ran away! I know she was very worried about me and put up flyers all over town and even went door to door looking for me. It took a few months and animal control picked me up and put me in the west side shelter and because I was microchipped Nina was able to find me again. Now I know to never run away again because I have the best life ever! I have all the cuddles, snuggles and treats a kitty could ever have and all the best toys! I particularly enjoy my giant black and white cat tree because it matches my colors, my window seat where I can catch all the sun I want, getting hair all over everything particularly clean laundry and generally being naughty. =^.^= Check out pictures, videos  and the latest antics of me, Lionel the snugglisest, most mischievous kitty in the world !