Half and half cat
A half and half cat is a cat with characteristics of two different breeds. When the coat color is black and white or dark gray and white, it is classified as a Maine coon cat.
The term "half and half" refers to the cat having the coat color of a Maine coon cat.
The two major factors contributing to the coat color of the cat are the black gene and the white gene.
Maine Coons are bred to include the dark black coat color as well as the white spots that are the hallmark of the breed.
The early cat breeders developed the Maine Coon as a small, semi-long haired cat. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, in an effort to preserve the black fur from being lost in the more popular silver-color domestic cats, cats were allowed to show their "mink coat" by selecting for them. At the time, the cat breeder in New York City, John Jacob Astor IV, decided to promote the "Maine Coon" as a black, mink-coat cat. Astor chose the name "Maine" for the breed.
In 1895, the American Cat Association had established a breed standard for "Maine Coon Cats" stating that a half and half cat would have black fur on the head and a silver color body with black spots. The first half and half cat known as the Maine Coon was born on September 20, 1903, in the house of Mrs. H. M. White of New York City. She named the cat "Minnesot" after the state of Minnesota. Because Mr. Astor had a great interest in Minnesot, Mrs. White made this cat part of her breeding program. She showed Minnesot, and he passed several preliminary tests in the American Cat Association Standard.
The cat was accepted for breeding when the breed standard was revised to include "half and half." At that time, breeders were more concerned with the black spotting and black fur on the head than the size of the cat, so cats with a very long head but a short body were bred. A breeders' club formed in the 1890s, and cat shows were held in a few cities throughout the country. The first such show was held in 1908. These breeders also began to show F1 and F2 cats. Minnesot is considered to be the first F1 winner of the breed. Some of the early breeders have been acknowledged in the Maine Coon Stud Book, and their lineages are included in the current Stud Book. In 1928, cats were shown in four standard sizes and the first F2 cats were registered. That year, breeders formed the Min-o-Coon Club of America.
The Maine Coon is a companionable cat. It is affectionate and friendly, and enjoys playing with people, especially children. A Maine Coon will readily play with the family dog.
Maine Coons need to have regular veterinary care to prevent the development of joint problems. Cats with a family history of joint problems or with a medical condition that causes joint problems may require a special diet, such as Glucosamine.
Cats with poor eye health, an unstable or painful gait, a painful heart, and respiratory problems are more likely to have problems with joint issues, and a health test for joint problems can be done. Cats with joint problems may benefit from exercise and other joint care.
As with any cat, the healthiest Maine Coon is a well-cared for cat.
Like many other breeds of cat, a Maine Coon can have an underlying heart problem, which can be life-threatening or fatal. It is best for a Maine Coon to have its heart checked regularly, to prevent sudden cardiac arrest or heart failure.
Category:Cat breeds originating in the United States
Category:Companion animals of the United States