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Unread 09-29-2006   #1 (permalink)
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Default This Is the Maine Coon Cat

Customer Review: Thorough, but slightly dated
"This is the Maine Coon Cat" by Sharyn Bass was published in 1983 and if you check its photographs against a recent Cat Fanciers' Association yearbook, you'll see slight differences between the Maine Coons that won ribbons twenty years ago, and those cats that strut their stuff on current breeders' websites, or in the CFA Yearbook. Since Sharyn Bass's book has quite a lot of information on showing Coonies, you need to be aware of changes to the breed standards (or judges' preferences) if you're planning to show your own cat. The CFA and the Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association (MCBFA) websites are probably the best places to research current Maine Coon breed standards. The chapter on "Health Care" is not specific to Maine Coons and is also a bit dated, for instance in its treatment of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). There is actually a vaccine for this disease now, although the extent of protection provided by it is debatable. An important omission in this book is a discussion of hereditary defects known to occasionally occur in Maine Coons. These include hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, cardiomyopathy and white-linked deafness. Two of my six Maine Coons have slight heart murmurs, and the vet informs me that the older of the two will have to start taking heart medication within the year. Bass presents good, general purpose information on feeding, caring for, and breeding cats. There are detailed instructions on how to construct a queening box, which we followed, although matters didn't quite work out according to the book. Our queen ignored the box and had her litter under our bedspread. One final quibble concerns Bass's photograph of a Maine Coon trying to use a litter box that was meant for smaller cats. His hindquarters and tail are hanging over the edge of the box, which negates the purpose of the whole thing, since deposits tend to end up on the floor. We learned this lesson the hard way, and now have super-sized boxes for our super-sized cats. Although "This is the Maine Coon Cat" is well-written and quite detailed, I'd recommend "That Yankee Cat" by Marilis Hornidge as the most interesting book written about Maine Coons. It's a hundred-and-one pages of sheer delight for those of us who are actually lucky enough to be owned by one of these big old, shaggy down-Easterners.
Customer Review: OK, but no real insight.
After I bought my "coon" I bought this book in hopesof finding out about this great and mysterious breed. The book reallydid not tell me anything that I didn't already know by researchingarticles on-line before I bought her. It did show pictures of alltypes of MC's that I never knew existed, but not what I wanted toknow. I wanted to know more about their quirkiness, etc. that makesthem so unique and fascinating. I actually find more info from otherowners on-line! But, for people who are just learning about MC's, thisbook is probably a good start.

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