1. Start with your local animal shelter—but be prepared to wait. Your local animal shelter is likely to have lots of wonderful cats available for adoption—but chances are, they won’t be Maine Coons.
2. Find a Maine Coon rescue group. Rescue groups that specialize in re-homing Maine Coons welcome applications from qualified adopters. To find a group in your area, log onto the national Maine Coon Rescue website at www.mainecoonrescue.net. On the homepage, scroll down the left-hand side, and click on “Available Cats.” That link will take you to a map of the continental United States. Click on your state, and you’ll be led to the webpage for the Maine Coon rescue group in your area.
3. Go national. Another way to find a Maine Coon in need of a home is to log onto Petfinder at www.petfinder.com. Once you arrive on the homepage, you can create a quick pet search for available Maine Coons.
What to Look For in a Maine Coon
Although animal shelters and rescue groups try their best to match Maine Coons with the right parents, the adopters themselves need to take some steps to find the right cat for them. Dilara Parry, cat behavior and socialization program coordinator at the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), recommends that prospective adopters consider the following when searching for a Maine Coon or other cat to adopt:
• Know what you want. “Have an idea of what you’re looking for in a Maine Coon in terms of age, personality, medical needs and time commitment,” Parry suggests.
• Know what you’re getting into. “For Maine Coons and Maine Coon mixes, we emphasize the importance of keeping up on grooming and providing adequate playtime and mental stimulation,” Parry says. Bored cats are much more likely to get into trouble and this could be especially important with an intelligent, energetic Maine Coon.”
• Consider an older cat. An older Maine Coon may adjust more easily to a new home than a younger, more energetic kitty.
• Take your time. When you meet an individual Maine Coon at a shelter or in a rescue group foster home, don’t be hasty in deciding whether or not to adopt the animal. “Make sure to spend enough time getting to know the cat,” Parry says. “The Maine Coon’s looks may attract, but it’s the temperament and good match for your household that will sustain the relationship over the long term.”
Excerpt from the Popular Cats Series magabook Maine Coons with permission from its publisher, BowTie magazines, a division of BowTie Inc. Purchase Maine Coons here.