A – Z Glossary of Maine Coon Cat Terms
Welcome to the Maine Coon Cat Glossary
This glossary offers a comprehensive collection of terms and abbreviations related to Maine Coon cats and feline topics. Whether you’re an enthusiast or a new owner, explore this resource to expand your understanding of these majestic felines and the broader world of cat care.
Commonly used abbreviations and acronyms
- CFA – Cat Fanciers’ Association: A major cat registry organization that sets breed standards and organizes cat shows.
- TICA – The International Cat Association: Another prominent cat registry organization that recognizes and registers various cat breeds.
- ACFA – American Cat Fanciers Association: A cat registry and show association that focuses on promoting and registering pedigree cats.
- FIP – Feline Infectious Peritonitis: A viral disease that affects cats, including Maine Coons. It can be fatal in some cases.
- FIV – Feline Immunodeficiency Virus: A virus that weakens a cat’s immune system and can lead to various health issues.
- FeLV – Feline Leukemia Virus: A contagious virus that can lead to various health problems, including leukemia, in cats.
- PKD – Polycystic Kidney Disease: A genetic condition that can affect Maine Coon cats, leading to kidney cysts and potential health issues.
- HCM – Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: A heart disease that can affect Maine Coon cats and other breeds.
- OTRB – Over the Rainbow Bridge: A term used in the pet community to refer to the passing of a beloved pet.
- TNR – Trap-Neuter-Return: A humane method of controlling feral cat populations by trapping, neutering or spaying, and then returning them to their original location.
- Vet – Veterinarian: A healthcare professional who specializes in the medical care of animals, including cats.
- UTI – Urinary Tract Infection: A common health issue in cats that can cause discomfort and urinary problems.
- FIP – Feline Infectious Peritonitis: A viral disease that can affect cats, including Maine Coon cats. It can be fatal in some cases.
- FVRCP – Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia: A combination vaccine that helps protect cats from these common feline diseases.
- CRF – Chronic Renal Failure: A progressive kidney disease that can affect cats as they age.
- FIC – Feline Idiopathic Cystitis: A condition that causes inflammation in the urinary bladder and can lead to urinary issues in cats.
- OD – Outdoor/Outdoors: Refers to cats that are allowed to roam outside freely.
- ID – Indoor/Indoors: Refers to cats that are kept exclusively indoors for their safety and well-being.
- DMH – Domestic Medium Hair: A term used to describe cats with medium-length fur, including some Maine Coon mixes.
- DLH – Domestic Long Hair: A term used to describe cats with long fur, which can include Maine Coon mixes or other breeds.
- DSH – Domestic Short Hair: A term used to describe cats with short fur, which is the most common type of cat coat.
- Adaptability: Maine Coon cats are known for their adaptability to various environments and living conditions. They can thrive both indoors and outdoors and adjust well to different family dynamics.
- Affectionate: Maine Coons are famous for their affectionate nature. They enjoy cuddling, spending time with their human companions, and often form strong bonds with their families.
- Agouti: Agouti refers to the specific type of fur coloration commonly seen in Maine Coon cats. It’s characterized by individual hair strands having bands of alternating light and dark colors.
- Albinism: While not common, Maine Coon cats can occasionally exhibit albinism, a genetic condition resulting in a lack of pigmentation in their fur, skin, and eyes.
- Allergies: Some individuals may develop allergies to Maine Coon cats due to their fur. While Maine Coons are not hypoallergenic, regular grooming can help reduce allergenic proteins in their fur.
- Ailments: Common health issues or ailments that Maine Coon cats may be prone to, such as hip dysplasia or certain genetic conditions.
- American Longhair: Maine Coon cats are sometimes referred to as American Longhairs due to their luxurious, long coats.
- Backcrossing: Backcrossing is a breeding technique used to reintroduce certain traits or characteristics into a Maine Coon’s lineage by mating them with their close relatives.
Bigfoot of Cats
- Bigfoot of Cats: Maine Coon cats are often playfully referred to as the “Bigfoot of Cats” because of their large size, tufted ears, and impressive appearance.
- Bi-Color: Bi-color Maine Coons have fur colors concentrated mainly on their head, paws, and tail, with a white body.
- Breed: A breed is a specific group of domestic cats with shared characteristics, such as appearance, temperament, and genetic traits. The Maine Coon is a distinct breed known for its large size, tufted ears, and friendly nature.
- Breeder: A breeder is an individual or organization responsible for selectively breeding Maine Coon cats to maintain breed standards and produce healthy kittens.
- Brushing: Regular brushing is essential for Maine Coon cats to prevent matting and keep their long fur in good condition.
- Calico: Calico Maine Coons have a distinctive tricolor coat pattern, usually consisting of white, black, and orange patches.
- Caring: Maine Coon cats are known for their caring and nurturing behavior, especially toward their human family members.
- Cat Show: Maine Coon cats often participate in cat shows, where judges evaluate their appearance, temperament, and adherence to breed standards.
- Cattery: A cattery is a specialized facility or breeding establishment where cats, including Maine Coon cats, are raised, bred, and cared for by experienced breeders.
CFA (Cat Fanciers’ Association)
- CFA (Cat Fanciers’ Association): The CFA is a recognized cat registry organization that sets standards and rules for cat breeds, including Maine Coons.
- Characteristics: Maine Coon cats have distinctive characteristics, including their large size, tufted ears, bushy tails, and friendly personalities.
- Chirping: Maine Coons are known for making unique chirping or trilling sounds, often while observing birds or other prey.
- Claws: Maine Coon cats have sharp claws that they use for climbing and hunting. Regular trimming or providing scratching posts is essential to keep their claws in check.
- Coat: The Maine Coon’s coat is dense, water-resistant, and comes in various colors and patterns, making it one of their most distinctive features.
- Colorpoint: Colorpoint Maine Coons have a coloration pattern similar to Siamese cats, with darker fur on their extremities, such as ears, face, paws, and tail.
- Companion: Maine Coons are excellent companions and enjoy being around their human family members, providing companionship and comfort.
- Conservation: Maine Coon cats are sometimes associated with efforts to conserve and protect domestic cat breeds, preserving their unique genetic heritage.
- Coonie: A colloquial term for Maine Coon cats, often used affectionately by enthusiasts.
- Domesticate: To domesticate means to tame and adapt a wild species, like the cat, for human companionship and living in a human environment.
- Dwarfism: Dwarfism is a genetic condition that can occasionally affect Maine Coon cats, resulting in smaller stature and shorter legs compared to typical Maine Coons.
- Ears: Maine Coon cats are known for their large, tufted ears, which are an essential part of their distinctive appearance.
- Endangered: While not endangered themselves, Maine Coon cats can be involved in efforts to protect and conserve other endangered cat species.
- Energy Levels: Maine Coon cats have moderate to high energy levels, which can be managed through play and exercise.
- Environment: Providing a suitable environment for Maine Coon cats, whether indoors or outdoors, is crucial for their well-being.
- European Shorthair: Maine Coon cats share some similarities with European Shorthair cats, especially in terms of their history and robust build.
- Exercise: Maine Coon cats benefit from regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight and stay mentally stimulated.
- Family-Friendly: Maine Coon cats are known for being family-friendly and generally get along well with children and other pets.
- Feeding: Providing a balanced diet is essential for the health and well-being of Maine Coon cats.
- Feral: Feral cats are domestic cats that have reverted to a wild state, often living without human contact and surviving by hunting for food.
- Felidae: Felidae is the biological family of cats, including all domestic and wild cat species. Maine Coon cats belong to this family.
- Feline: Maine Coon cats are a beloved breed within the feline family and are known for their unique characteristics.
- Floof: “Floof” is a playful term used to describe the fluffy and voluminous fur of Maine Coon cats.
- Fur: The fur of Maine Coon cats is one of their most distinctive features, with a thick, insulating, and water-resistant coat.
- Furniture-Friendly: Providing scratching posts and toys can help keep Maine Coon cats from damaging furniture with their claws.
- Gait: Maine Coon cats have a distinctive and graceful gait that contributes to their overall elegance.
- Genetics: An explanation of how genetics play a role in determining the characteristics and traits of Maine Coon cats, including coat color and patterns.
- Gentle Giant: This term affectionately describes the Maine Coon’s large size combined with their gentle and friendly nature.
- Grooming: Regular grooming is necessary for Maine Coon cats to prevent matting and maintain the health of their coat.
- Health: Maintaining the health of Maine Coon cats includes regular vet visits, vaccinations, and a healthy diet.
- Hereditary: Some traits in Maine Coon cats, such as coat color and pattern, are hereditary and passed down through generations.
- History: Maine Coon cats have a rich history, with several myths and legends surrounding their origins.
- Hypoallergenic: Hypoallergenic refers to a quality in certain cat breeds or individual cats that produce fewer allergenic proteins in their saliva, urine, and skin oils. While no cat is entirely hypoallergenic, some people with allergies may find certain breeds, including Maine Coon cats, more tolerable.
- Indoor: Many Maine Coon owners choose to keep their cats indoors to protect them from outdoor hazards, such as traffic, predators, and diseases.
- Intelligence: Maine Coon cats are known for their intelligence and problem-solving abilities. They can quickly learn tricks and enjoy interactive toys and puzzles.
- Jaws: Maine Coon cats have strong jaws equipped with sharp teeth, which they use for chewing food and playing with toys.
- Kittens: Maine Coon kittens are adorable and grow quickly. They require special care, including regular feeding, socialization, and veterinary check-ups.
- Kneading: Maine Coon cats often exhibit kneading behavior, where they push their paws in and out against a soft surface, a comforting gesture that originates from kittenhood.
- Litter: Providing a clean litter box is essential for Maine Coon cats’ hygiene. They are generally good about using a litter box if it is kept clean.
- Longhair: Maine Coon cats have long, luxurious fur that requires regular grooming to prevent mats and tangles.
- Loyalty: Maine Coon cats are known for their loyalty to their human companions and often form strong bonds with their families.
Maine’s State Cat
- Maine’s State Cat: Maine Coon cats are the official state cat of Maine, where they are highly regarded and celebrated.
Maine Coon Mix
- Maine Coon Mix: Sometimes, Maine Coon cats are mixed with other breeds, resulting in unique and delightful hybrids.
- Mating: Mating among Maine Coon cats is a complex process involving courtship behaviors, vocalizations, and a distinct mating call.
- Meow: Maine Coon cats have a variety of vocalizations, including their characteristic meow, which they use to communicate with their owners.
- Mitted: Mitted Maine Coon cats have white paws, which contrast with the rest of their colored coat.
- Mixed-Breed: A mixed-breed cat, also known as a domestic shorthair or domestic longhair, is a cat that does not belong to a specific breed and may have a diverse genetic background resulting from mixed ancestry.
- Munchkin: Maine Coon cats can occasionally carry the Munchkin gene, resulting in shorter legs similar to the Munchkin breed.
- Natural Breed: Maine Coon cats are considered a natural breed, meaning their distinctive characteristics evolved naturally over time without human intervention.
- Neutering: Neutering or spaying Maine Coon cats is essential to control the cat population and prevent unwanted litters.
Norwegian Forest Cat
- Norwegian Forest Cat: Maine Coon cats are sometimes compared to the Norwegian Forest Cat due to their similar appearance and history.
- Obesity: Maine Coon cats are prone to obesity, so it’s crucial to monitor their diet and provide regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight.
- Offspring: Offspring are the young cats born to a Maine Coon cat or any other feline. They inherit traits from their parents and carry on the breed’s lineage.
- Outdoor: Some Maine Coon cats enjoy outdoor adventures, but their safety should be a top priority when letting them roam outside.
- Pedigree: A pedigree is a document or record that tracks the lineage and ancestry of a cat, confirming its purebred status and demonstrating its adherence to breed standards.
- Persian: The Persian cat is a separate breed known for its long, luxurious fur and distinctive flat face. It is different from the Maine Coon breed, which is characterized by its large size and tufted ears.
- Personality: Maine Coon cats are known for their friendly, playful, and sociable personalities, making them ideal companions for many households.
- Polydactyl: Polydactyl cats have extra toes on their paws, a genetic trait that can occur in Maine Coon cats, adding to their uniqueness.
- Prey Drive: Maine Coon cats often exhibit a strong prey drive, making them excellent hunters of small rodents and insects.
- Purebred: A purebred cat is one that belongs to a specific breed and has a documented pedigree, indicating that its lineage conforms to the breed standards without mixed ancestry.
- Purring: Maine Coon cats are known for their deep and soothing purrs, which they use to express contentment and relaxation.
- Queen: In cat breeding, a female Maine Coon used for breeding purposes is often referred to as a “queen.”
- Quirky: Maine Coon cats can have quirky and endearing habits, making them delightful companions for those who appreciate their unique personalities.
- Ragdoll: Ragdoll cats share some similarities with Maine Coon cats, such as their friendly nature and semi-long fur.
- Rescue: Many Maine Coon cats are available for adoption through rescue organizations, providing loving homes to cats in need.
- Responsible Breeding: Information about ethical and responsible breeding practices, including health testing and the importance of responsible breeders.
- Ruff: The fur around a Maine Coon’s neck is often called a “ruff,” and it adds to their majestic appearance.
- Russian Blue: Russian Blue cats are another breed occasionally compared to Maine Coons due to their striking blue-gray coat.
- Scratching: Providing scratching posts and pads is essential for Maine Coon cats to satisfy their natural scratching instincts and keep their claws healthy.
- Senior Cats: Information about caring for Maine Coon cats as they age, including dietary needs, health considerations, and maintaining their quality of life in their senior years.
- Shedding: Shedding is the natural process by which a cat’s old or damaged fur is replaced with new fur. Maine Coon cats, like many longhaired breeds, shed moderately, especially during seasonal changes.
- Siberian Cat: Siberian cats share some similarities with Maine Coon cats, including their friendly disposition and fluffy coats.
- Size: Maine Coon cats are one of the largest domestic cat breeds, with males often weighing between 13 to 18 pounds or more.
- Sociable: Maine Coon cats are highly sociable and enjoy interacting with their human family members and other pets.
- Spaying: Spaying is the surgical procedure used to neuter female cats by removing their ovaries and uterus. It is done to prevent reproduction and control the cat population.
- Spraying: Spraying is a behavior exhibited by some cats, particularly unneutered males, where they mark their territory by releasing a strong-smelling urine spray.
- Special Needs: Some Maine Coon cats may have special dietary or medical needs due to health conditions, so regular veterinary care is essential.
- Spot: Spots refer to distinct markings or patterns on a cat’s coat, such as leopard-like spots or dots. While Maine Coon cats are not typically associated with spots, some individual cats may have unique markings.
- Stalking: Maine Coon cats exhibit stalking behavior, a natural instinct they use for hunting and play.
- Super Cats: Maine Coon cats are sometimes affectionately referred to as “Super Cats” due to their remarkable size, strength, and unique characteristics.
- Tabby: Tabby refers to a common coat pattern in cats, characterized by stripes, swirls, or blotches on the fur. Maine Coon cats can have tabby coat patterns, often adding to their charm.
- Tail: The Maine Coon’s bushy tail is one of its most recognizable features, often used for balance and communication.
- Temperament: Maine Coon cats are known for their gentle and easygoing temperament, making them a beloved choice for families.
- Tom Cat: A tom cat is an unneutered male cat. They are known for their territorial behavior and may engage in roaming and mating.
- Tortoiseshell: Tortoiseshell is a distinctive coat pattern characterized by a mix of orange and black fur patches. Some Maine Coon cats can have tortoiseshell coloring.
- Toys: Providing toys and interactive playtime is essential for keeping Maine Coon cats mentally and physically stimulated.
- Traits: Maine Coon cats have a set of unique traits and characteristics that set them apart from other cat breeds, making them truly special.
- Unique: Every Maine Coon cat is unique, with its own personality, appearance, and quirks, making them cherished companions for cat lovers.
- Veterinarian: Regular visits to the veterinarian are crucial for maintaining the health and well-being of Maine Coon cats.
- Water-Loving: Some Maine Coon cats have a fascination with water and may enjoy playing with it or even swimming.
- Weight: Monitoring and maintaining a healthy weight is essential for the overall health of Maine Coon cats.
- Whiskers: Maine Coon cats have long, sensitive whiskers that help them navigate their environment and sense their surroundings.
- Wild Ancestry: Maine Coon cats are often thought to have wild ancestry due to their rugged appearance and hunting instincts.
Yearning for Attention
- Yearning for Attention: Maine Coon cats often yearn for attention from their owners and may follow them around the house, seeking companionship and interaction.
- Zoning Out: Maine Coon cats, like all cats, can have moments of relaxation where they appear to be “zoning out” and enjoying their own thoughts.
This extended glossary provides in-depth descriptions of Maine Coon cat-related terms, offering a comprehensive resource for those interested in this remarkable breed. Whether you’re a Maine Coon enthusiast or a new owner, these definitions can help you better understand and appreciate these magnificent cats.