The Maine Coon breed has become a favorite among cat owners. Known for their long, luxurious fur, their sweet personalities, and their impressive size, these gentle giants are sought out and celebrated among animal lovers around the world. But one thing that many wonder about Maine Coons is whether they lack the gracefulness of other feline breeds. Given their size and unusual body composition, are Maine Coons clumsy?
Maine Coons can be clumsy. This has to do with their size and physical makeup. It takes Maine Coons longer to grow into their bodies compared to other breeds. This can sometimes result in a bit of clumsiness. Excessive clumsiness could indicate an underlying condition and should be evaluated by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
As unusual as they are, Maine Coons have similar instincts to their smaller counterparts, wanting to jump to high places, play, cuddle, and pounce. We’ll explore these unique characteristics and what potential conditions your cat may have if they appear to be too clumsy.
Physical Traits Of A Maine Coon Cat
Maine Coons share many traits with other felines. They love to play, jump, sleep and stretch. They are highly intelligent, with a good sense of their surroundings and enjoyment of cat puzzle games.
It is precisely their commonality with other cats that may lead to the Maine Coon earning a reputation for being clumsy. For a while, they have much in common with their feline cousins, Maine Coons have a notable exception in their appearance: Their size.
Maine Coons are the largest domestic cat breed. They are similar in size to other cats when they are born, but can grow to be an average of 10 to 18 pounds and 10 to 16 inches long, with some growing much larger. .While other cat breeds reach their full size at approximately one year, it can take a Maine Coon three to five years to get to their full size. It is said that Maine Coons developed their physical traits in response to their climate.
Their long, water-resistant tails are made to be wrapped around their necks or buttocks to provide extra warmth, tufts of fur in their ears keep them from freezing, and their large feet function like snowshoes. Since Maine Coons grow into these bodies slowly, they can appear especially goofy in their early years. Their body parts do not all mature at the same time, and the feet can be the first to grow, which throws off their sense of distance and balance.
Maine Coons might be larger, but having been originally bred with smaller cats, possess all of the same instincts. Unaware of their size and destruction potential, they leap, pounce, roll, and play without any sense of their oversized state. As usual, this varies quite slightly from cat to cat, depending on the individual cat’s nature and personality. Since females are smaller, it’s possible to see more destructive tendencies in male Maine Coons. But hey, if you were wearing a fur coat and snowshoes, you might be a little bit clumsy too!
Does My Maine Coon Have Loss Of Balance Syndrome?
Excessive lack of coordination in your Maine Coon could be Loss of Balance Syndrome, also known as vestibular disease. This syndrome comes when the inner ear is damaged or infected. When this occurs, the cat may have trouble standing on all four legs or may fall over without reason.
They can also develop a head tilt, darting of the eyes, and vomiting. These signs can often appear very suddenly. While fairly common in general, it is more common in older cats. It is important to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible if they are demonstrating any of the above symptoms. The cat will be diagnosed based on your veterinarian’s evaluation.
If there are underlying conditions causing the disease, such as an infection or exposure to toxins, the vet will likely prescribe medication to eliminate the problem. If no specific conditions are causing the issue, the vet will focus on keeping your cat comfortable with fluid administration or medications.
Luckily, if the veterinarian’s instructions are carefully followed, the symptoms are usually gone after about two weeks and are unlikely to return.
What If My Cat Is Stumbling?
If your Maine Coon’s clumsiness goes beyond the occasional gaffe and causes them to stumble, medical attention should be sought. Tests like MRIs and CT scans could be in your cat’s future to determine the issue.
Vestibular disease could be one cause, as could other diseases. If you suspect any issues, it is important to get in touch with your vet or, in some cases, an emergency vet as soon as possible.
● Ataxia: Vestibular disease is a form of ataxia, a larger group of diseases encompassing the central nervous system. The other forms of ataxia affect the spinal cord and brain.
● Developmental Disorders: If you notice unusual clumsiness or movement in your Maine Coon kitten, it could be a developmental disorder affecting the cat’s growth. These problems occur if the mother has a viral infection during nursing.
● Poisoning or ingestion of toxins: Stumbling can signify that your cat has ingested something that is causing a chemical imbalance. This is an emergency and should be treated as such.
● Head injuries: Did clumsiness cause something to fall on your Maine Coon’s head? This can cause them to be unsteady on their feet.
● Issues with legs and feet: A Maine Coon can suffer an injury from clumsiness that can cause stumbling or awkward gait.
How To Support A Clumsy Cat
If your Maine Coon has a tendency to fall or is recovering from a disease that causes loss of balance, there are several ways you can support your furry friend and keep them safe.
● Keep them away from stairs and other hazardous areas. Keep doors to most rooms closed so you can keep your Maine Coon in one safe area. Try to eliminate as many temptations to jump as possible by keeping toys, treats, and food accessible when needed or put away when not in use. Try to make sure the cat avoids stairs by closing doors or using extra tall baby gates.
● Make sure food, water, and the litterbox are easily accessible for your cat. If you are trying to keep your Maine Coon away from stairs, keep their essentials all on the first floor and on the ground. Make sure the cat has adequate food and water at all times, so they don’t try to go counter surfing!
● Make sure your cat is getting a balanced diet. Nausea from the dizziness could affect your Maine Coon’s appetite. Make sure to check that the cat is eating properly and getting enough hydration. A wet-food diet high in amino acids and Vitamins B and D is best. Talk to your veterinarian about recommended foods for your Maine Coon to make sure they stay healthy, and what to do if the cat isn’t feeling well enough to eat.
● Make sure there is not an underlying cause. If excessive clumsiness is persistent, make sure your vet checks your Maine Coon for all potential causes.
● Stay on track with treatments. If your vet prescribes treatments for your cat’s balance problems, make sure to stick to them! It can be difficult to give medication to cats, so ask for advice on the best way to administer it so the cat gets a full dose. Always complete the course of medication, even if symptoms go away.
It’s important to keep an eye out for unusual behavior and potential diseases, but sometimes Maine Coons can be a little uncoordinated. Given their many positive qualities, it’s pretty easy to overlook this. If these felines strike your fancy, they’re definitely worth having as pets. Just remind them to look before they leap!