Every person I’ve met who has owned a Maine Coon has absolutely adored their cat. Now I am convinced that my mixed-breed cat is part Maine Coon because he has so many distinctive Maine Coon qualities. After reading so much about Maine Coon cats I wanted to write an overview of the breed for prospective pet owners.
A little bit of history first. The Maine Coon is a North American breed of cat and was originally recognized as a breed in Maine. That’s where the name comes from! Breed is defined as “A stock of animals or plants within a species having a distinctive appearance and typically having been developed by deliberate selection.” When Maine Coons were recognized as being a distinctive group in Maine, they were “developed by deliberate selection” by nature through natural selection. Maine Coons were working cats in Maine and were often a farmer’s good friend. They were expert mouse catchers and perfectly equipped to survive harsh New England winters and changing seasons. In the 1860s a group of farmers came together and held “Maine State Champion Coon Cat” cat shows. Farmers were proud to show off their skilled and loyal felines.
Today people breed Maine Coon cats for sale and for cat shows by mating Maine Coon cats exclusively. Or, like me, you may get lucky and find a loving stray or shelter Maine Coon who might not be 100% Maine Coon, but will certainly be just as loyal and loving.
Today Maine Coons are a terrific family pet with a desirable temperament. Maine Coons are loving, kind, loyal, smart, gentle, and social cats. Of course, this will vary depending on the personality of your unique cat, but these traits are common in the Maine Coon breed. Maine Coons often get along well with children and dogs. Maine Coons are also very chatty cats that like to meow and coo their opinions frequently.
Physically, Maine Coons are still built for harsh Maine winters. They are large cats, with the males weighing 12 to 15+ pounds and females weighing 9-12 pounds. Maine Coons have a long, rectangular body and a broad chest. They sometimes look even bigger than they are because of all their fur!
Maine Coon cats are long-haired and they do require dedicated fur maintenance (daily brushing or combing.) The fur on their sides and backs is long, sleek, and smooth. The fur on their stomachs, haunches, tail, and neck is much fluffier. Maine Coons look like tiny lions to me because they have a fluffy mane of fur that circles their necks, making them appear regal and large. Fur tufts are also usually found between the toes and on the ears. Long bushy tails are another feature of the Maine Coon. Another exceptional fact about the Maine Coon is that they do not reach full maturity until age 3 to 4.
Maine Coons are a gorgeous and friendly breed of cat that will make a wonderful addition to many families. They possess a great North American heritage too!
Photo Source: Cat Fanciers’ Association