Characteristics (Quick Facts)
Ability to Adapt:
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The Maine Coon Cat is the largest breed of domestic cats. They have muscular bodies, broad chests, and long, bushy tails. This breed is famous for its size and smooth, shaggy-looking coat.
The coat length varies from medium to long and comes in a range of different colors. Their ears and paws are well-tufted with fur, which helps them to stay warm in harsh Maine winters.
This is an affectionate, gentle, and people-oriented breed. The Maine Coon likes to be close to its owner, without being too needy. They love to play and can be easily trained to fetch toys.
The Maine Coon is a social and amiable cat, that gets along well with children and other pets. However, it is important to remember that this is a large cat which does not like to be carried around!
Where Did Maine Coon Cat Breed Originate?
The Maine Coon is a true New Englander, originating from the state of Maine. They were popular for their hunting skills and were kept as farm cats and served as a form of pest control on ships.
The Maine Coon is a natural breed, whose exact origin is unknown. However, a few theories surround their ancestry.
One of them states that it was the Vikings who brought these cats into North America many centuries ago. Another one suggests that the Maine Coon is a descendant of the long-haired cats belonging to Queen Marie Antoinette.
It is also said that sea captains brought long-haired cats onto the land. They then mated with the local cat population, creating the Maine Coon breed we know today.
Some people even believe that this breed is the result of a mating between a cat and a raccoon! However, this is impossible.
Even though they have similar tabby coats and ringed tails as raccoons, these two species are not related.
The breed was first mentioned in 1861. In 1895, a female Maine Coon named Cosey was awarded the title of Best Cat at a show held at Madison Square Garden.
Maine Coons have been popular house pets in the late 19th century and were often exhibited at cat shows. However, in the early 20th century, their popularity started to decline due to the introduction of Persian and Siamese Cats.
Things started to improve in 1950 when the Central Maine Cat Club was created. Today, this breed is recognized by all major cat organizations.
These gentle giants are among the world’s most popular cat breeds. The Maine Coon is also the official state cat of Maine.
What Does the Maine Coon Cat Look Like?
The Maine Coon is the largest cat breed, and easily recognizable due to its impressive size. It has a rectangular, muscular body, a broad chest, and medium-length legs.
They also have large, round paws and long furry tails. Maine Coons have a head which is slightly longer than its wide and a square muzzle. Their large, well-tufted ears which are wide at the base and big, eloquent eyes complete the look.
The eyes can be green, gold or copper. However, white, and bi-colored Maine Coons may have blue or odd-colored eyes. The shaggy looking medium-long coat comes in many different colors and rounds the breed’s appearance.
According to size standards, the Maine Coon should be large, although some cats can be medium in size. All parts of its long body should be in proportion and create a well-balanced rectangular appearance.
Maine Coon Cat Colors
The smooth and shaggy-looking coat of this breed comes in a variety of different colors. Most people think of Maine Coons as brown tabbies, but, in fact, these cats can sport a whole variety of different looks.
The coat can be found in colors which include black, red, or white and all tabby colors and patterns. Maine Coons also come in bicolor, such as blue and white or red and white, and patterns such as tortoiseshell and calico.
All colors and patterns except pointed (like the coat of a Siamese) are allowed in the breed’s standard.
Maine Coon Cat Personality Traits
This is a social and laid-back breed which likes to be close to its owners. They like to follow their people around the house, yet they aren’t overly clingy or attention-seeking.
The Maine Coon will love to receive your direct attention, but it will also be content to simply observe your daily activities.
Due to its impressive size, this isn’t a typical lap cat and therefore doesn’t like to be carried around.
They are excellent mousers and enjoy playing with mice toys. Hence, if you happen to have rodent issues, your Maine Coon will eradicate all pests better than a professional exterminator!
This is an intelligent cat who can learn tricks effortlessly and be trained to walk on a leash. The Maine Coon also knows how to use its paws to grab toys.
You can keep your cat entertained and exercised by throwing soft toy balls at him to chase after. They usually stay playful and kitten-like well into their adult years and are endless sources of fun for their owners.
Males are usually more playful and prone to silly behavior. Females, on the other hand, are more dignified, but won’t say no to an occasional game of fetch.
The good-natured and polite Maine Coon is a loyal cat, which won’t pester you for attention. Although they are happy to receive affection and attention, they will politely wait until you finish with all other commitments.
Thanks to its social and amiable personality, this breed gets along with everyone. However, they are most loyal to their family and tend to be cautious around strangers.
This is not a vocal breed. However, they will let their owners know of their presence through soft chirps and trills.
Maine Coon Cat Behavior
Nicknamed the ‘gentle giant‘, the Maine Coon is one of the friendliest cat breeds, and often the best choice for first-time cat owners.
Although behavioral issues are rarely seen in this breed, they can happen if a cat is neglected or left alone to fend for itself.
A Maine Coon may become aggressive if left alone for longer periods of time. So, if your cat is going to spend a lot of time alone, consider getting two cats from the start.
This way they will keep each other company, and you will prevent any behavioral problems from arising.
Are Maine Coon Cats Adaptable to New Surroundings?
The Maine Coon is a highly adaptable breed. These cats adjust well to many different lifestyles and personalities and can be ideal companions for both city and country living.
This moderately active cat likes to play. It is a good idea to invest in a cat teaser or other similar toys to get your cat moving and burning off those calories!
To keep your cat in great shape, play with him for at least 15 minutes every day. You can also get your cat a scratching post to encourage some stretching.
Does It Get Along with Children and Other Pets?
The gentle and easy-going Maine Coon is a great choice for families with children. It is a patient breed and will happily play chase with your child and retrieve mice toys for hours on end.
They get along with other cats and dogs as well and will enjoy having company.
This breed stays playful even in its adult years and they like to play with puzzle toys, which will stimulate their brains.
Since this is a moderately active breed, make sure to spend at least 15 minutes a day playing with your cat.
General Health and Potential Risks
Maine Coons are relatively healthy cats. However, some health issues have been observed in this breed. This doesn’t mean that your cat is going to develop any of these problems.
But it is always better to learn about potential issues before you bring a cat home.
- Hip Dysplasia: This condition occurs when a part of the hip joint is abnormally developed. This causes dislocation of the ball and socket. Symptoms include decreased activity, difficulty rising and the reluctance to run, jump or climb. Their large size and heavy bones put the Maine Coons at a high risk of this condition. Treatment differs and includes surgery for the most severe cases.
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: This is one of the most common heart diseases in cats. It causes a thickening of the ventricular wall of the heart. Many cats with this condition are asymptomatic. Abnormal heart sounds can be discovered during a routine vet check-up. A test for this condition is available and it is a good idea to make sure your cat has been tested.
- Polycystic Kidney Disease: This is an inherited disease which causes a cat to be born with cysts on his kidneys. As the cat grows, the cysts become larger and eventually result in kidney failure. Treatment for Polycystic Kidney Disease involves reducing the symptoms of kidney failure.
Maine Coon Cat Lifespan
The Maine Coon has an average lifespan of 9-15 years. This breed is prone to some health issues, therefore only get your cat from a reputable breeder.
To avoid long-term medical costs, test your cat for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy when it is still young. Moreover, monitor your cat’s calorie intake to prevent obesity and the strain it will cause on hips and joints.
Maine Coons have soft and silky medium or long coats. The coat is shorter on the head and shoulders and longer on the stomach and sides.
Some Maine Coons have lion-like ruffs around their necks, and all have fully plumed tails. Thanks to its silky texture, the long coat doesn’t mat and tangle easily.
Compared to other long-haired breeds, Maine Coons are easy to maintain. Use a stainless-steel comb to brush the coat twice a week.
The Maine Coon can be bathed from once in a few weeks to once in a few months. If your cat’s coat feels greasy, he needs a bath! Use a hairball prevention shampoo to reduce shedding and get your cat looking his best.
Maine Coon Cat Shedding
This breed sheds moderately all year round. However, some Maine Coons may shed heavily during the shedding season, and you’ll have to brush this cat more often.
In these situations, use a dematting rake to remove all loose hair. It will remove undercoat and dead hair without causing any irritation to the cat’s skin.
Breed Related FAQ
In this section, we answer frequently asked questions about the Maine Coon Cat. Read on to find out if this friendly breed is the right choice for you!
How Much is Maine Coon Cat Price?
The exact price of a Maine Coon kitten depends on a breeder and several other factors. Generally, you can expect to pay around $1200 for a pet quality Maine Coon.
On the other hand, show quality Maine Coons usually cost around $2000 and you may even end up paying more depending on bloodlines, coat color, and gender of a cat.
How Big Do Maine Coon Cats Get?
Male Maine Coons weigh from 13-18 pounds. However, some can weigh up to 20 pounds or more. Female cats are slightly smaller and usually, weigh from 8-12 pounds. Generally, Maine Coons don’t reach their full size until they are 3 to 5 years old.
While they are clearly large cats by nature, it is important to watch their weight as this breed is at a high risk of obesity. Because of their size, Maine Coons need to eat high-protein cat food. Keep your cat exercised and active to maintain it’s ideal weight.
Are Maine Coon Cats Good Pets?
The good-natured and gentle Maine Coons are a great choice for people of all ages and families with children or other pets. Although large, they are very patient and tolerant and make great pets in loving homes.
Do Maine Coon Cats Like to Cuddle?
While they do enjoy an occasional cuddle, Maine Coons aren’t really a cuddly cat breed.
Are Maine Coon Cats Protective?
The Maine Coon can be quite protective of its family or favorite human. Their high intelligence combined with superb survival instincts will kick in if your cat senses that you are in danger.