The Gentle Giant

The Maine Coon Cat

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Breed Group:

Domestic.

Size:

Large. Chubby body.

Weight:

Middleweight Tom. From 8-18 lbs.

Exercise Needs:

Moderately active. Needs decent exercise.

Ability To Adapt:

High. Quickly adjusts to surroundings.

Health:

Very good. Minor health issues.

Average Lifespan:

From 9-15 years.

Need For Grooming:

Twice a week. Moderate shedding.

Compatibility:

Great with children & other pets.

Potential For Playfulness:

Ideal playmate.

Breed Group:

Domestic.

Size:

Large. Chubby body.

Weight:

Middleweight Tom. From 8-18 lbs.

Exercise Needs:

Moderately active. Needs decent exercise.

Ability To Adapt:

High. Quickly adjusts to surroundings.

Health:

Very good. Minor health issues.

Average Lifespan:

From 9-15 years.

Need For Grooming:

Twice a week. Moderate shedding.

Compatibility:

Great with children & other pets.

Potential For Playfulness:

Ideal playmate.

Breed Group:

Domestic.

Size:

Large. Chubby body.

Weight:

Middleweight Tom. From 8-18 lbs.

Exercise Needs:

Moderately active. Needs decent exercise.

Ability To Adapt:

High. Quickly adjusts to surroundings.

Health:

Very good. Minor health issues.

Average Lifespan:

From 9-15 years.

Need For Grooming:

Twice a week. Moderate shedding.

Compatibility:

Great with children & other pets.

Potential For Playfulness:

Ideal playmate.

The Maine Coon Cat is one of the largest breeds of domestic cats. They have muscular bodies, broad chests and long, bushy tails. These cats are famous for their size and their smooth, shaggy 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 his owner, without being too needy. This breed does 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 who does not like to be carried around!

Breed History

The Maine Coon Cat is a true New Englander, originating from the state of Maine. These cats were popular for their hunting skills and were kept as farm cats as well as 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 Cat 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 Maine Coon Cats have similar tabby coats and ringed tails, these two species are not related.

Maine Coon Cats were 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, the Maine Coon Cat 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.

Size Standards

Maine Coons are large cats, who don’t reach their full size until they are from three to five years old. The Maine Coon 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 it is wide, and a square muzzle. They have large, well-tufted ears which are wide at the base and big, eloquent eyes to complete the look. Their eyes can be green, gold or copper. However, white and bi-colored Maine Coons may have blue or odd-colored eyes.

Male Maine Coons weigh from 13-18 pounds. However, some males can weigh up to 20 pounds or more. Female cats are slightly smaller and usually, weigh from 8-12 pounds.

The Maine Coon is naturally built large, but 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.

Maine Coon Cat Personality Traits

This is a social and laid-back breed which likes to be close to their owners. These cats will 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 will also be content simply observing your daily activities.

This isn’t a typical lap cat and therefore doesn’t like to be carried around. These cats are excellent mousers and enjoy playing with mice toys. If you happen to have rodent issues, the Maine Coon Cat will eradicate the pests even better than an exterminator!

This is an intelligent cat who can learn tricks effortlessly and be taught to walk on a leash. The Maine Coon Cat also knows how to use it’s paws to grab toys. You can keep your cat entertained and exercised by throwing soft toy balls at him to chase after.

These cats usually stay playful and kitten-like way into their adult years. Male cats are more playful than the females, who are slightly more dignified.

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 an affectionate and independent cat who is easy to live with.

The Maine Coon is not an especially vocal breed. However, they will let their owners know of their presence through soft chirps and trills.

Adaptability

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 is a moderately active breed which 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.

Health and Potential Health Problems

Maine Coon Cats are considered to be relatively healthy cats. However, some health issues have been observed in this breed.

This doesn’t mean that your cat is going to definitely develop these problems. But it is always better to learn about potential issues before you bring your cat home.

  • Hip Dysplasia: This condition occurs when a part of the hip joint is abnormally developed. This causes a 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.

Lifespan

The Maine Coon has an average lifespan of 9-15 years. This breed is prone to some health issues, therefore only get your get from a reputable breeder.

To avoid long-term medical cost, test your cat for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy when it is still young. Moreover, monitor your cat’s calorie intake to prevent obesity and strain on the hips and joints.

Grooming Needs

These cats have soft and silky medium or long coats. The coat is shorter on their 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 Coon Cats are easy to maintain.

Use a stainless-steel comb to brush the coat twice a week. These cats shed moderately, but some can shed heavily during the shedding season. In these situations, use a dematting rake to remove all loose hair.

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 definitely needs a bath! Use a hairball prevention shampoo to reduce shedding and get your cat looking his best.

Maine Coon Cat Coat Colors

The smooth and shaggy-looking coat of the Maine Coon 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 bi-color, 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.

Compatibility with Children & Other Pets

The gentle and easy-going Maine Coon is a great choice for families with children. The Maine Coon is a patient breed, who will happily play chase with your child and retrieve mice toys for hours.

They get along with other cats and dogs as well, and will enjoy having their company.

This breed stays playful even in its adult years. Maine Coons are smart cats who like to play with puzzle toys, which stimulate their brains. Since this is a moderately active breed, make sure to spend at least 15 minutes a day playing with your cat.