New Zealand Maine Coon Cat Club

If you are considering getting a Maine Coon kitten, you have come to the right place. The breeders listed on this website take the welfare of their breeding cats and kittens very seriously. If you have any questions send us a query via our contact page. All enquiries will be answered. 

Buying a Maine Coon Kitten


All breeding cats should have their hearts scanned by a veterinary cardiologist

All breeding cats should be clear for the MyBPC gene.

All breeding cats should have their hips tested and have no signs of hip dysplasia

Hearts should be scanned regularly not only once.

A clear heart scan at a young age does not mean the cat is clear of heart problems, as they can develop over time.

The entire pedigree should be looked at before assessing the risk of heart and hip problems. A cat with clear parents may still be carrying genes for problems if there are problems further back in the cat's pedigree.

the more testing there is in the breeding cats background the better and the older the cats are when tested for heart problems the better.

When you buy a kitten, you are adding a member to you family - one that will hopefully be with you for many many years. Although it might sound clinical, you should be doing all you can to ensure that the kitten you select will be what you want and not cause you any heartbreak by becoming ill or dying from preventable problems.

What to look for

Things to consider

  1. The breed characteristics
  2. The health of the cat
  3. The individual personality
  4. The training of the cat
  5. Gurarantees of health
  6. The breeder

1. Breed Characteristics

You can read all about the characteristics of Maine Coons on the breed info page.

2. Health

A very important consideration is the health of your kitten. See the health testing page for more details.

2a Hereditary diseases

Every breed of cat, even the domestic moggy has some hereditary disease assciated with it. Before buying a Maine Coon kitten, you should ask whether the cattery tests for diseases know to be in some Maine Coon lines. Most Maine Coon breeders test for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopahty (HCM) via ultrasound and Hip Dysplasia (HD) via x-ray. Some breeders do additional testing for Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) which is not thought to be a problem in Maine Coons.

Ask if the parents of the kittens have been tested and at what age. Breeders need to test their breeding cats regularly for HCM. One test does not mean the cat has a good heart, things can change over time.

Don't be afraid to ask to see documents that prove the cats have been tested. Ask if there have been any adverse test results in the background of the kitten; parents, grandparents, siblings. Don't just take it on face value if you are told that 'we test for health problems', get specific, ask which problems, and what the results were. Don't assume that because a website discusses health testing that it means the cats are actually tested.

If you are contacting different breeders ask what diseases are found in the breed. Be wary if the answer is 'none'. Ask other breeders and do research on the internet. There are often email or Facebook groups you can join to learn more about various breeds.

2b Acquired diseases

Feline AIDS and Feline Leukaemia are fatal diseases that can be passed to kittens via the mother. Ask if the catter is clear of these easly tested diseases. Most breeders will test for these. Ask if there has been any outbreaks of uppper respiratory diseases such as Herpes, Calici or Chlamydia. These cause runny eyes, sneesing and congestion and can affect the kittens long term health.

Corona virus is a virus found in up to 97% of breeding catteries and most rescue shelters. Corona virus is not fatal, but in 5-10% of kittens exposed to the virus it mutates to the fatal, untreatable disease FIP - Feline Infectious Peritonitis. Very very few catteries are Corona free, and although we are very stringent in our cleaning regime and about who we allow into our home environment, we cannot say we are 100% Corona free.

Giardia and Tritrichomonas are parasites commonly found in groups of animals and can be transmittted to humans. Kittens infected with these parasites in the critical early weeks of life can in the future develop untreatable, chronic sensitve stomach and irritable bowel.

3. Personality

Within a breed individuals have different personalities. When you visit the kittens you can get an idea of which kitten may suit you, but sometimes kittens are overwhelmed at first by strangers. Take the breeders advice, an ethical breeder will try to make sure you get the right kitten for you and your family. See if the breeder has a kitten purchase contract and if they will allow you to return the kitten if you find you don't get on with it. A shy kitten can blossom around people, once it gets to know and trust them. Don't forget going to a forever home is a big step for a little kitten, who all of a sudden doesn't have its brothers and sisters and mummy around them any more.

4. Training

The kitten should be litter box trained before it goes to its forever home. Try to make sure you buy from a cattery that raises the kittens in the home, rather than in an outside run or cage. House reared kittens usually make much more sociable and loving pets.

5. Guarantees of Health

Kittens should be sold with kitten purchase contracts, so you can see what the breeder guarantees. Some breeders will pay a part of vet bills with a time frame after purchase and refund or replace the kitten under certain circumstances. Read carefully to know what you are covered for. If there is no contract ask for health guarantees to be written down and signed and dated. A kitten purchase contract is a good thing, for both kitten buyer and breeder, as you know where you stand, and it tells you that the breeder cares for what happens to the kittens they are homing.

6. The Breeder

You will get a feel for the breeder when you communicate with them. Whether they care about the kittens or whether they just want to make a sale. Look for things like the type of food they feed their cats, what their contract covers, how they communicate with you, as well as what testing they do. A good breeder will show their cats to ensure they are breeding within the breed standard. Even if it doesn't worry you, if your kitten is show quality or not, the breeder should have knowledge of what makes up a true type Maine Coon. Visit if you can and ask to see all the cats, not just the kittens. Do they look healthy and well cared for and happy? Are they kept caged in poor conditions? Do they seem lethargic or have obvious signs of illness such as runny eyes or diarrhea?

Good luck with the search for the perfect kitten! Remember cats are not disposable items, they are a life time committment, easily up to 15-20 years. When you buy a kitten it is your responsibility for the rest of its life. Choose carefully now and be prepared to wait for the right kitten for you, don't rush.