Maine Coon

Maine Coon

There are many wonderful stories about the origin of the Maine Coon cat.  One involves them being descended from Marie Antoinette’s Turkish Angora pet cats, who somehow ended up on the east coast of North America.  Another involves a Captain Coon, who’s ship cats supposedly mated with the feral cat population of New England, creating “Coon’s cats”.  One tall tale involves them being descended from raccoons, which doesn’t seem so crazy when you look at a Maine Coon, but is actually genetically impossible.  Another has their ancestors breeding with bobcats.  A more widely accepted theory is that Maine Coons are the American descendants of cats that traveled with the Vikings, as they resemble the Norwegian Forest Cat, who is believed to have been aboard Viking ships.

Whatever their origin story is, the Maine Coon is recognized as the native American longhaired cat, ideally built for the tough winters of the region they hail from.

The Maine Coon is a very large cat.  Big boned, with a long, rectangular body shape.  Males generally weigh between 15 and 25lbs, and they can be up to 40 inches long (tail included.)  Unlike most cat breeds, they mature slowly, and may not reach their full adult size until they are 3 or 4 years old.

Maine Coon Cats

Maine Coons are easily recognizable by their soft, longhaired coats.  Their fur is longer on their stomach and flanks, presumably as a protection against walking in the snow.  Many have the distinctive lion’s mane or ruff around their neck.  Their tails are extra fluffy and raccoon-like, and they have long tufts of fur growing in their ears and between their toes.  Despite all this hair, Maine Coons are a very low maintenance cat, requiring very little grooming compared to most long-haired breeds.  Their fur can be seasonal, thinning in the summer and thickening in the winter.

The Maine Coon has earned a reputation as a “gentle giant”.  An intelligent and loyal breed with a pleasant disposition.  Not clingy, but definitely affectionate.

Maine Coon Cat