Wednesday, January 4, 2012

big cats

This is a Maine Coon, a large domestic breed of cat suitable for a famer who lives with a pack of wolves. Two are arriving here on Sunday, adopted from a home who needs to find a new place for their twenty and fifteen pound pets, Lilly and George.

I always hesitated getting housecats, worried the dogs would bother them. I had been warned when I got Jazz that he used to chase cats...but George and Lilly are huge, clawed, and Jazz is now 14 years old and can't get up the stairs easily. I'm not worried. Well, not about the cats anyway.

Get ready for thirty five pounds of feline Cold Antler!

70 Comments:

Blogger Sharon said...

I'm so excited for you! Maine C. cats are awesome! they have wonderful personalities and mine plays with tennis balls and fetches better than my dog does! they are very affectionate and social too. Can't wait to hear how they fit in!

January 4, 2012 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Indio said...

We adopted two cats that were abandoned last year and they have been a great addition to our homestead, though I'm not too keen on the vet bills. Since we don't have a rooster, one of the cats has decided she is in charge of protecting the chickens from marauding squirrels. She also keeps the chipmunks and mice out of my veg beds.

January 4, 2012 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Jenna, you're in for a treat! My husband and I have two cats who are part Maine Coon, and they are the sweetest pair of boys you ever met. I look forward to hearing about you new addition. :)

January 4, 2012 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger Lee Ann said...

Congrats!! Love Maine Coon cats - enjoy!!

January 4, 2012 at 9:52 AM  
OpenID smedette said...

Awww...My childhood cat was a Maine Coon. He hovered around 20lbs for most of his life and lived for almost 21 years. Was one of the coolest creatures I've ever known.

Good for you!

January 4, 2012 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Awesome Jenna!! We have a pair of Maine Coons and seriously,they're like dogs in big furry cat suits. They're unlike any other cat I've ever known, extremely smart, and the best mousers we've ever had! Enjoy!! And thanks for not doing away with comments :)

January 4, 2012 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Patsy said...

Maine Coons are beautiful and usually docial cats. Just be sure to get a good vacuum, you are going to need it for the hair. lol.

January 4, 2012 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger Patsy said...

Well I can't spell today, I meant docile. Sheesh. And just wanted to say, Gibson will be worn out at the end of the day playing with his new friends.

January 4, 2012 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

You'll enjoy having them take over rodent control for you - great move!

January 4, 2012 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Melanie J. said...

What perfect cats for a farm! Is June Carter still with us?

January 4, 2012 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger Robbie said...

Here at the Ranch we've got a 20 pounder Maine Coon Cat named Bob, who has more personality than all the other cats I know combined. He knows Dog-Fu if he needs it, but he likes dogs. The breed is super-nice, hilarious and are GREAT hunters. If you let them outdoors, though, sometimes they don't return. Lotsa wild in 'em...

January 4, 2012 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger phaedra96 said...

Wow! I am envious of you, Jenna. Two Maine Coons. Your life has just taken a turn--it will never be the same again. Ever. I hope you enjoy them. I swore I would never have a cat in the house...have two. Never have a dog in the house....at one point, had three. Have fun.

January 4, 2012 at 10:26 AM  
Blogger Glyndalyn said...

You will enjoy your cats, Jenna. About time you got two. Eventually they will probably be ok outside with access to the barn. Both of our cats were strays and are about 12 yrs. old. They are in excellent health and enjoy the cat loft in the barn, with access ramp, constructed by my husband.

January 4, 2012 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger Kristi C. said...

Very exciting! One of my last cats was a Maine Coon, and over his almost 20 year life span he usually topped 18 lbs. He was a treat, and more than a match for most any dog.

January 4, 2012 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

How fun! They're coming to a wonderful home. I grew up with cats and loved them.

January 4, 2012 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Catcoco said...

Maine Coons are great ! Congratulations ! I hope they do turn you - at least partly - into a cat person ;)

January 4, 2012 at 11:07 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Cute cat! it's so fluffy!

January 4, 2012 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger kandy Gray said...

the main coon down the street stalks my dog when we go for walks. i would not worry about your dogs. those things are huge! do watch for matting in their coats. my friend had one and let the matting get out of hand, and there is nothing more angry looking than a lion shaved main coon ;-)

January 4, 2012 at 11:20 AM  
OpenID barntalkblog said...

Although cats can be condescending, they have just as multifaceted personalities as dogs, if you look at it that way!
-Autumn

January 4, 2012 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger Bovey Belle said...

We had a beautiful golden (I'd call her palomino, being horsey!) Maine Coone who was given to us, but sadly she was only with us for 2 1/2 years before she was taken ill and pts. I look forward to hearing all about yours - Honey was the best cat ever and a real clever-clogs to boot!

January 4, 2012 at 11:37 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

Cats at Cold Antler, how awesome! I know you're not concerned about Jazz anymore, but if Annie or Gibson decides they look like fun fur toys, it's usually not hard to train a dog to leave the new family members alone. We've trained our dogs to stay away from the family cats, rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, and chickens, without much trouble, although they didn't lend that courtesy to anything outside the household. I think in some way they sensed that the new additons were part of the pack and not a free dinner or new play toy.

Good luck with the new additions I I'm sure they'll fit right in and become an integral part of the farm.

January 4, 2012 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger bree said...

Congratulations Jenna! I look forward to hearing about them here.

January 4, 2012 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger Meredith said...

I am so happy for you! My first two cats, my first pets ever, were two beautiful maine coon kittens. I was not able to have pets growing up so at 21, this was a special thing.
One of them is still with me and I am 34 now. And we have adopted another one, now three years old.
They are the most beautiful, affectionate and trusting of cats. And they can also hold their own against dogs - their size alone caused my two husky’s to give them a wide berth. Never had any problems.
What a great addition to cold Antler!

January 4, 2012 at 11:48 AM  
Blogger Cat said...

Should be lots of fun around your place! They are sweet and smart cats. Can't wait to hear all about them in future posts.

January 4, 2012 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Sylvia said...

We had 3 Sibes and as individuals they all learned to respect the cat. However, that said, lol if she ever walked in the middle of the 3 of them they would try and corner her. With 2 dogs she could control the situation, 3 got a bit much.

January 4, 2012 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I have a MC cat who is 12 years old, full of personality, and (in his younger days) a fine hunter. He loves dogs. Sounds like a great new addition for CAF!

January 4, 2012 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger The Weekend Homesteader said...

I love Maine Coons! Hopefully they will become good mousers for you!

January 4, 2012 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger alewyfe said...

Aw man, how awesome! I gave my kitty up when I moved in with my partner a few years ago and still miss his antics (shorthair tabby, but I always wanted a 'coon when I was a kid). My allergies were pretty bad at the time, and I was taking antihistamines and sudafed every day- not healthy... but there were mold problems at my last two apts. so maybe my system just couldn't handle the one-two punch? He lives with friends now at their bike shop so I can still visit him and know that he's super happy being the center of attention there- it was hard at the time though! I just spent a few days at my brother's house... they have three long-haired cats in addition to their wolf-pack of three pooches- husky-wolf mix, husky-chow-rottie mix, and whippet-terrier mix, aka, the white devil (this girl was in HEAVEN, can't wait to finish our house so we can get a dog). For once, minimal sneezing and sniffling- maybe my allergies have gotten better? I really miss having a mouser around. Traps are not as effective at all- works to catch 'em eventually, but you can't beat the deterrence that having a cat around provides. I have had bad reactions still at other cat friend's houses... I've heard that certain cats produce more dander than others... but still, last year at their house I had to take antihistamines, and only did once at my other brother's house (who also has two long-hairs). Anyone else have experience with overcoming cat allergies? I didn't have them when I was a kid... but our cats lived outdoors. Am I stuck with them, or can I tough it out till they go away (I tried that for 3-4 years with my kitty, but as I said, there were other irritants in my environment at the time).

January 4, 2012 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Joleen said...

I have a 22-pound black & white Maine Coon (Nicky) and he is the most amazing guy! He will play fetch for hours and snuggles and is a total sweetheart and very smart. You'll be happy with your new kitties, I'm sure. Good choice.

January 4, 2012 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Sprite said...

Awesome! The most hard-core cat around.

January 4, 2012 at 12:51 PM  
Blogger JeanineH said...

For the allergies yeah I spent a long time taking Seldane? daily for allergies, until they pulled it from the market, and then swapped around the others before settling on Reactine which I also took daily for a long time. IN the last 3 years though I've only been taking anything for allergies once every 6 months if that. I live with a cat again for 2 of those 3 years so I seem to have outdistanced my old allergies.

January 4, 2012 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger KellyV (Kelly the Fifth) said...

I have a part Maine coon. He has the most personality of any cat we have ever been companions with. He did get trapped once by a neighbor down the street who hates cats and we finally found him in kitty jail. What a relief to get our big boy back. Enjoy Jenna - they are wonderful cats.

January 4, 2012 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger The Finicky Farmer said...

Maine Coons are fabulous. And that one is a beaut! Also, their fur tends to be so soft and perfect for petting.

January 4, 2012 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Maine Coons are the best cats ever. My brother had one that we all still miss. You won't regret this.

January 4, 2012 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

Maine Coons are great.

We just had to put down our 16 year old cat (had him since he was a kitten) from chronic renal failure. At his largest he was 30 pounds and he was also polydactyl (7 toes on the front and 6 on each of the back). He wasn't a Maine Coon, but had many of the qualities. The people I got him from way back in '96 said they thought that the father of the kittens was part, or whole, M. Coon. Two-Tone didn't have the coloring or the coat, but had some of the other characteristics. He also kept every dog he met in check, including our old roommates' dog, a doberman/rottie mix - and every other animal he met (including humans). Dogs don't tend to mess with cats that big and confident. Congrats on getting "big cats." Beautiful.

January 4, 2012 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger Dartford Warbler said...

I have only heard good things about Maine Coons. You are in for a treat!

One of our "strays who stayed" is a Norwegian Forest cat. Another beautiful breed with great personalities.

January 4, 2012 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger peregrin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 4, 2012 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger peregrin said...

Lucky! Someday I'll have Maine Coon cats, too. :)

January 4, 2012 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

I have a Maine Coon who is an awesome hunter. I haven't used mouse traps for two years not to mention the squirrels, moles and voles he piles up. They are prone to matting but I just comb him every night while I watch the news. They do think they have to be involved in everything you do so don't be surprised when he walks on your keyboard or helps you take hay to the sheep.

January 4, 2012 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger Krista said...

My best friend had a MC when we were kids. They are amazing hunters. It wasn't unusual to see the MC walking down our street with a squirrel hanging out of her mouth.

January 4, 2012 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

I am NOT a cat person- but those guys look pretty cool.

January 4, 2012 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger pawsfurme said...

Congrats! A friend of mine has a half Maine Coon and he loves to pester you with a foam ball that he will repeatedly fetch...provided it was a good throw. He DOES have standards, you know. :)

January 4, 2012 at 3:13 PM  
OpenID roseandphoenix said...

Wow. I've always been emphatically NOT a cat person, but . . . you (collectively in the comments) have almost sold me on the Maine Coons. (The hunting reputation helps, as I currently have a mouse problem in my apartment.) Still, it'll have to wait for a bit, as I want to go travelling in a year and a half for an extended period, but now I know what to look for when I get to my One Day House.

January 4, 2012 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger Ms. Feldman said...

I was wondering why you didn't have any cats! Maine Coons are so wonderful, and you (& your wolf pack) are going to love them!

January 4, 2012 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger Lyssa said...

I think a farm needs cats, and these sound like just the thing to fit the bill...and they will keep Gibson on his toes too!

January 4, 2012 at 4:25 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Yay cats! I've got three myself and they are quite the loves.

The Natural Cat by Anitra Fraizer is a great resource for cat health. I've also heard good things about Dr. Pitcairn's books. It's always good to have some sort of reference on hand, I've found.

Welcome to the world of cat ownership! :)

January 4, 2012 at 6:16 PM  
Blogger georgie said...

There was a guy our area a few years ago who lived in his car with his MC. He would proudly take the cat on walks, using a long,thick rope as a leash. The cat was very alert and yet never pulled on the leash. Nothing escaped that cat's attention and the owner really loved the cat.
Excellent breed choice for Cold Antler!

January 4, 2012 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger Mindy said...

I have a Maine Coon. He's great - lives outside for the most part but when he comes in he's more affectionate than the dog. He catches mice inside and out and is a more than welcome addition to our farm. I'm sure your new cats will pull their weight and then some on Cold Antler.

January 4, 2012 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger SWEETHEARTS MOM said...

I have always wanted maine coons. They will help with your mouse problem.

January 4, 2012 at 8:51 PM  
Blogger Kara said...

So wonderful you're adopting cats from a friend! I'm sure they really appreciate it. It can be so hard to find a good home for cats.

I've wanted a maincoon for years, I do cat/dog and sometimes chicken rescue, so I end up with a lot of unadoptables. I have 5 cats- and not a single maincoon in the bunch! It's okay, the tabbys are cool too!

January 4, 2012 at 9:09 PM  
Blogger Kara said...

So wonderful you're adopting cats from a friend! I'm sure they really appreciate it. It can be so hard to find a good home for cats.

I've wanted a maincoon for years, I do cat/dog and sometimes chicken rescue, so I end up with a lot of unadoptables. I have 5 cats- and not a single maincoon in the bunch! It's okay, the tabbys are cool too!

January 4, 2012 at 9:09 PM  
Blogger TeresaNoelleRoberts said...

Fifteen pounds? What a cute little thing! (Both of my cats top 20 pounds, and they aren't Maine Coons, just seriously large beasts.) Seriously, though, that's one gorgeous cat. Congratulations on the new additions to Cold Antler.

January 4, 2012 at 9:20 PM  
Blogger Tie Dye Grrl said...

Our family has a goofy 22lb Maine Coon Named Spectacles. Hes such a sweet & playful cat who brings much joy to us & the 3 other kitties we have as well! Congrats on your furry family addition :)

January 4, 2012 at 9:37 PM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

Cats are the mostest wonderfullest creatures in the world to my way of thinking. I have 4 gold kitties that are the light and joy of my life. Good on you!

January 4, 2012 at 10:10 PM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

Cats are the mostest wonderfullest creatures in the world to my way of thinking. I have 4 gold kitties that are the light and joy of my life. Good on you!

January 4, 2012 at 10:10 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

Have fun with these!
Growing up a few Maine Coons travelled over from an older neighbor’s cat supply and adopted our barn as their home. Rex looked like a lynx—he really was as big as one and was more like a dog than a cat in his ways. He’d spend his day hanging out with the horses perched on their round bale of hay even while they ate. Then there was Ace who was just as big but black. Ace didn’t get along with my Mom’s favorite cat so we relocated him to a friend’s farm who lived 15 miles away one year. About a week after the relocation he showed up a few pounds lighter back in the barn having walked all the way back on his own and was very thrilled to see us all. He stayed with us the rest of his life after that. Ace used to follow us kids along with the dogs on trips to the fishing pond in the summer and tackle the bullheads we’d throw up to him. No kidding, out of all cats these have had the coolest, most unique personalities.

January 4, 2012 at 10:51 PM  
Blogger polly said...

Bravo - I agree with the list - you and the whole farm will love 'em! I'd love to help with any cat-related questions (health, temperament, shots, worming, etc) as you get adjusted. Biggest tip I can offer as a breeder (and since you're not squeamish!) is to find some time to look into raw food (google "raw meaty bones" to get started) - it prevents so many problems in the future if you can pull it off.

Note to the few commentors with allergies - I have several clients who have learned that a bath a month will keep things rolling along smoothly (yes - try to get a cat who's been bathed since kittenhood!) since it's the saliva that causes the problem.

Onward Cold Antler! YAY

January 4, 2012 at 11:49 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

Polly is right about the benefits of raw meat for your pets. Neutered male cats are prone to FUS but raw meat helps keep everything in proper balance. Feed a high quality, no corn, wheat or soy, dry food too.

January 5, 2012 at 6:02 AM  
Blogger mmgreenough said...

Congrats Jenna! I'm sure the dogs will adjust quickly. Enjoy your new compainions.

January 5, 2012 at 7:17 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

So glad for you! Cats are awesome pets! I've never understood when people are either dog or cat people. I've always had both and love them equally. You'll really like cold nights when the cats warm up the bed for you!

January 5, 2012 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

Enjoy! A suggestion, install a cat door to the basement or mudroom and put the litter box in there, it'll help keep the dogs from eating their poop..their dog sized poop.

January 5, 2012 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Alicia-Marie said...

I had a Maine Coon. He died in September from cancer. He had a great personality: independent and affectionate.

January 5, 2012 at 3:32 PM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

Nono...not cat poop--we always referred to those treats as tootsie rolls from the litterbox. Kept lunch down that-a-way.

January 5, 2012 at 9:48 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

My mom had two Maine Coon cats and they were her absolute favorites out of the many cats she owned. They got along quite well with Sam the 120 lb yellow lab, sometimes they actually snuggled up together.

January 5, 2012 at 11:25 PM  
Blogger meg said...

Had a wonderful, loving Maine Coon Cat. His name was Fred and could kick dog butt. He was fiercely loyal but had one flaw. When he was mad at me, he would go to the bathroom on my bed or in the tub. Hope that your new friends don't have that same issue!

January 6, 2012 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger meg said...

Had a wonderful, loving Maine Coon Cat. His name was Fred and could kick dog butt. He was fiercely loyal but had one flaw. When he was mad at me, he would go to the bathroom on my bed or in the tub. Hope that your new friends don't have that same issue!

January 6, 2012 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger rabbit said...

My mum's got a Maine coon (named 'Angus') and boy what a big personality, (and cat)! He's lovely though! Even without his front claws he still is more than capable of takin' care of business. Playful, too smart for his own good, likes water, and very lovely! I'm excited for you and your 'mittens' (my pet names for cats)! Keep us posted!

January 6, 2012 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger rabbit said...

My mum's got a Maine coon (named 'Angus') and boy what a big personality, (and cat)! He's lovely though! Even without his front claws he still is more than capable of takin' care of business. Playful, too smart for his own good, likes water, and very lovely! I'm excited for you and your 'mittens' (my pet names for cats)! Keep us posted!

January 6, 2012 at 10:30 PM  
Blogger Aurora said...

You'll love them. We adopted two, a bonded pair, two years ago. One is average size the other is a mini-Maine. They are highly intelligent and loving.

January 7, 2012 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Aurora said...

You'll love them. We adopted two, a bonded pair, two years ago. One is average size the other is a mini-Maine. They are highly intelligent and loving.

January 7, 2012 at 11:17 AM  

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