If you’ve ever dreamt of having a lion as a pet, you might want to consider getting a Maine Coon cat instead. These majestic domesticated felines have long, striking fur that frames their face just like a big cat’s mane (and they’re far less ferocious). In addition to their glorious coats, they can grow to be up to four feet in length, making them the king (or queen) of your home. Photographer Robert Sijka took note of this majestic breed and decided to capture their big cat vibes in striking portraiture that showcases their budding beauty, from kittens to full-grown felines.
It comes as no surprise, but Sijka has two passions in life: photography and Maine Coon cats. The two, luckily, go hand in hand and are the result of a move to China he and his family made 14 years ago. “After a while,” he explains, “we started to miss the company of animals, they have always been in our lives. We fell in love with Maine Coons and my wife Izabella started a breeding program 8 years ago.”
After the first litter of kittens was born, Sijka knew they had to share the adorable creatures with the world. “I think my journey with photography started at this moment,” he recalled.“I decided that my pictures must be something special, just like Maine Coons are special. After several thousands of photos, I ended up with my current style and great pleasure from working with these amazing animals.”
It’s a challenge to photograph any animal, and cats provide an extra hurdle; they won’t sit still! Sijka has no magic formula, but rather he has two tried-and-true methods for capturing endearing images—lots of practice and much patience. There are plenty of opportunities for him to do so, especially since he and wife now have a cattery called OtiCami that houses 20 Maine Coon cats and kittens.
Sijka sells his work as prints, phone cases, blankets, and more in his online shop, the Felis Gallery.