I am new here, and found this forum trying to learn more about how kittens coats develop over time, especially "Maine Coon Type" domestic/ferrel kittens.
I live in rural Western New York. Many of our barn cats are what one might call "Maine Coon Type" cats - semi wild, silky haired, big footed, etc. No doubt that is because natural selection is still selecting for the same characteristics for the same purposes. It was interesting to me in looking for a kitten that the short haired cats in our local SPCA were all turned in and most of the long haired cats were trapped semi ferrel barncats or strays.
I spent some time selecting kittens as I wanted that rugged long hair type, and because I had cats like that for a long time and I really liked their personality - really smart, outgoing, but relaxed in a confident kind of way.
I wanted a classic Tabby like my "Sissy Cat" but chose the kittens I did because of their personality - so like my Patty and Sissy! They were described as long haired by the notice I answered, but I was alittle disappointed that they do not seem as obviously long haired as I think I remember my other cats being when they were the same age.
Mom was short haired "adopted ferrel" and Dad was described as "A huge long haired". Mom had had a long haired kitten before, reportedly. Her short haired daughter was on the premises and had kittens of her own. All were noticabley shorter haired than the kittens from the litter I chose mine from, and the litters, same age, could be picked out easily.
My other kitties lived to be 11 (Patty anyhow-Sissy I believe to have been stolen a few years earlier
) so my memory is quite fuzzy on how their coats developed, but I thought I remembered reading something and watching for their tails and neck ruffs to come in with the adult coats. SOOO....I was looking to find out if that is correct.
I registered here to ask if anyone can tell me how long haired cats of the Maine Coon Type develop as far as first and second coat (esp. tail and ruff) and this thread caught my eye as I have also seen cats listed on petfinder.com as "medium Haired". To my understanding (and I have studied coat genetics to some degree) Long and short hair is one specific gene loci with modifiers that effect how it "plays out". Thus technically there cannot be a "medium hair", only long hair lacking some of the modifiers that effect density, undercoat, and shoulder hair. In what I have read and seen cat genes parallel cavy very much insofar as hair type and structure (including the shoulder length, as it was one of the big hurdles in developing the texel and boucle [alpaca]').
SOOOOO, since mine look like medium haired *grin*
to me, I was hoping you could take a look at some pictures I put up just for you!!!! (don't you feel special). I tried to select pictures that show the hair, but that is harder for the "nearly black" Hermes (who has that scrawny look that I think all black and dark tortie kittens have - also hard to get a good picture of black hair) than his littermate Rocko, but they are close to the same except Hermes is slightly behind that Rocko who was the dominant kitten in the litter. So I had to show his big "poster kitty" sad eyes instead. http://www.geocities.com/vavs_soror/kitties.html
Okay, that was a long winded way to the real question. For those of you that have made it this far, thank you for you endurance and patience.
PAX et LVX