Maine Coon Kitten - photo by BerylM (Flickr) - I am in love!
This is a realistic look at the process of searching for free Maine Coon kittens And it is not intended to be critical of anyone. I notice that some people search for Maine Coon kittens that are "free". How does one obtain them? I would have thought that kittens that are purebred and pedigree Maine Coons, probably the most popular cat breed on the planet (certainly on the basis of this website's poll) are only for sale. And, in any case it costs about $10,000 to support and care for a companion cat, on average over the life of the cat, and possibly more for a Maine Coon according to the insurance companies. See these posts:
I don't want to be a damp blanket but we have to be realistic, surely? With realism we are more able to accept the responsibilities and start off on the right foot. What about the rescue centers? Do they hand over free Maine Coon kittens? Well, the cats I have adopted were rescue cats but they were in the street ready to be scooped up! I didn't need a rescue center. But how about purebred rescue centers or Petfinder. Before I do a search my gut feel is this:
- There are very few if any purebred Maine Coon kittens at rescue centers that specialize in purebred and/or Maine Coon purebred rescue. They are liable to be adults.
- There will be a handling fee.
- There will be the cost of traveling to the rescue center or if the center ships (unlikely), there will be that cost
Petfinder and Non-Specialist Rescue
Let's look. Well, I did a search for Maine Coon cats (young and baby) in Petfinder.com for Texas as a starter. The first overriding factor is that when shelters (an actual facility) or rescue (sometimes only managed through individual foster homes) advertise a "Maine Coon Cat", they most often mean a mixed breed cat with a substantial amount of Maine Coon cat in him or her. In other words these are not really Maine Coons, but they are just as good as purebreds and of equal value, needing the same care as purebred cat etc.
All my cats are true moggies with a whole host of genes in them. But if a person is searching for a Maine Coon (i.e. meaning a purebred cat) you'll be hard pressed to find one through the rescue network. And if you do succeed, can they prove the cat is purebred with registration paperwork? One of the best ways is through the cat clubs as they sometimes run welfare sections or Yahoo Groups.
The next point is that rescue organizations don't normally (if ever?) ship, which means travelling and they will insist only from neighboring States. That could mean a long round trip (say 300 miles). At a commercial rate of say 40p (in UK) or say 40 cents in the USA per mile that would amount to $120 in the USA and £120 in the UK. This takes into account, petrol (gas), depreciation and maintenance etc.
Then you have the cost of adoption from a rescue center, say $175. Total approx. $300. And the cat is not a Maine Coon kitten in the true sense.
Now, I am not knocking rescue work. It is great work and they need to charge, of course. In fact, this site supports Texas Maine Coon Rescue. Neither am I criticizing the people who search for free Maine Coon kittens. But they don't exist unless a neighbor has a Maine Coon and is breeding cats one way or another and she or he gives you a kitten. And that is rare too!
Specialist Purebred Rescue
Well, the first one I tried was Maine Coon Rescue who work with Petfinder.com (don't they all!). I have them listed on my associated website, Pictures of cats org blog, here: Maine Coon Cat Rescue. And I chose available cats in Texas which sent me to Petfinder. The only kittens, a couple (listed as babies, in fact) available were a Maine Coon mix. This is how they are listed: Maine Coon, Domestic Medium Hair (Mix). I then tried California and there were some young cats listed but all three were mixed Maine Coons. In short, no free Maine Coon kittens.
So, although I am sure there are some purebred Maine Coon cats and kittens, they are rare.
Maine Coon mixed are as good as Maine Coon pure so let's adopt them before we go to a breeder (I am not criticizing breeders please note). But lets be realistic about the costs at the beginning as it will lead to a life long commitment, which is what is required.
Free Maine Coon Kittens Photo: published under