Cats can be fickle creatures. As they grow, they begin to sexually mature and then other behaviors may begin. It may be best to plan ahead when you adopt a Maine Coon Cat. Know the age of the cat and determine how long you have before they become sexually mature. There are steps that can be taken to prevent the cat from beginning the behavior of spraying.
What is spraying?
Spraying is what many consider a disgusting habit or behavior exhibited by a cat. As gorgeous as your maine coon cat is, even they will begin this behavior if they are not spayed or neutered before reaching sexual maturity.
When a feline sprays, it is not only odoriferous, it can be expensive. The cat will usually back into an area and raise its tail. Then they will ‘spray’ a small amount of urine on a horizontal surface. It is generally just a small amount. You will be able to tell there is some odd behavior happening because the cat does not squat as they normally would when urinating. You may be able to see the tail, which is held up high, as it twitches slightly.
Sometimes this is also called ‘marking’ their territory. This is simply explained as the cat is letting other animals know that the residence they are in belongs to the cat! No different than a human protecting their residence with signs of security, gates or guard dogs.
A Maine Coon cat will mature at a slower pace than many other breeds of cats. However, by the time the cats reach as young as 6 months, but average is 8 to 10 months, they have reached maturity. The spraying may begin then.Well before this six month stage is a good time to begin mentioning having the cat fixed. It is only a matter of weeks before the spraying begins.
So although your gorgeous Maine Coon cat matures slower, it will still start spraying unless you take action first. A scary fact that will help you to speak to your veterinarian quickly, is that wild felines, as well as other cats can spray up to 46 times in one hour! That is a whole lot of unwelcome odor. Depending on the surface the cat has sprayed, you may not be able to remove that odor from the wood, or the carpet.
Marking is almost the same as spraying, but with some slight differences. The Maine Coon may still use urine to mark an area. There are also scent glands in the feet and facial areas of a feline. They will rub against an object to state that they have been there, that it is their territory. Marking areas may also include depositing feces in different areas. This marking that felines do, is also known as a signal that the cat is sexually receptive at that time.
This makes it very important to have arranged an appointment with your veterinarian in regards to spaying or neutering your Maine Coon Cat. The thought of your Maine Coon having little ones is probably an ideal thought. However, if that is the route you choose to go, be sure to breed with another full breed Maine Coon. You want to keep your feline lineage clean. When a cat is sexually receptive, also known as in heat, they are not necessarily choosy about which breed of feline they are with.
Both the female and the male cats will mark their territory. However, the males are more likely to show this behavior. A male Maine Coon cat is more likely to spray then the female, and the spray has a stronger odor. It is often called, ‘Tom Cat odor’. This smell is very strong and pungent.
When a cat is spayed or neutered, the problem eases for the most part. After being spayed or neutered, the females that continue to spray are down to 5%. Males drop to 10% that will continue to spray. Spaying and neutering is not an end all to the spraying or marking of territory. It will lower the chances that your cat will do so.
What is Spaying and Neutering?
In the real world, we say that it is a manner of preventing pregnancy. This is the same in the animal kingdom also. There are many times that a cat owner will take the precaution of speaking with the veterinarian and arranging either a surgical sterilization or a surgical alternative.
For your female cat, the options are a complete feline hysterectomy or one where the fallopian tubes and ovaries are removed. When the uterus is left inside the cat, that is considered an ovariectomy. When the uterus, fallopian tubes and the ovaries are removed it is a complete hysterectomy. With either of these procedures, the female cat is then unable to conceive.
The male Maine Coon cat as well as other breeds can be neutered to prevent unwanted pregnancies in any females around him. An orchiectomy is performed to remove the testes from a male cat or dog. Not only does this prevent reproduction, it also helps to minimize those annoying habits that cats tend to have.
Spaying and neutering are important for all owners of cats, and dogs! Around the holidays, in the United States, for sure; many families opt to get the child or children a pet. Oftentimes this is a cat. The families are not prepared for the noises, the messes or the responsibility that comes with owning a cat. If they do not ensure that the cat is spayed or neutered, the sexual maturity will happen ultimately.
Along with the maturity comes the female cat whining and meowing for days on end because she is ‘in heat’ or sexually receptive at the time. It is during this time that the female is likely to begin spraying. She does so to let the male cats that are around, know that she is waiting for them.
At the same point of sexual maturity, the male will begin to act upset, and will begin spraying or dropping feces. The odor is enough to chase you out of the room. He likely smells or senses a female that is in heat near him. He may want to go out wandering in hopes of making himself happier.
When the newness and the fun of having a new pet wears off, the hassles begin. The fighting over whose cat it is starts, no one wants to clean up the catbox or even be responsible for feeding the cat. The chores tend to be ignored and the house begins to smell.
Rather than enforce chores, rather than making an appointment with a veterinarian to have the cat fixed, many, if not most families, drop the cat off on some farm road or give the cat away and the whole process with another family begins.
It is so important to give the cat a happy and long lasting life. Spaying or neutering is a one time event in the cat’s life. Humans need to take full responsibility first and foremost. Yes, plan for the kids to help, ultimately they stop caring.
When you begin to consider getting a cat for your family, be sure to sit and have a long talk with the family. There will be work involved. Also, rather than getting a kitten that is 8 weeks old and just old enough to leave the mother, consider adoption. Adopting a pet will give you and your family a slight advantage over a brand new kitten.
Most of the time the cat is already litter box trained. The Animal shelter has likely already given shots and deworming medicine. Depending on the age of the cat, they may already be fixed. Yes, adoption will cost a little money. The cats in the shelters waiting are so in need of loving families.
The new kittens need to be trained, taught and constantly watched. A slightly older cat, maybe you will be lucky to find a Maine Coon in the shelter, will be all trained. If you love the idea of a cat that loves attention, the Maine Coon is an ideal cat to consider. They love attention, yet like to be alone also. They are truly dedicated pets and will not hesitate to show love to you.
To locate a Maine Coon cat breeder, you can check with Maine Coon cat Clubs or National Clubs for Maine Coons. Your veterinarian may also have some suggestions. Maine Coon Cats can live a long and happy life as long as they are given the necessities in life. Love, shelter, food and more love. Of course a vet appointment to ensure that all things cat are healthy.
This means that you could have a sterilization procedure done on your Maine Coon to prevent pregnancy from a different breed. Just be sure to spay or neuter your Maine Coon, unless you intend to breed with another pure Maine Coon.