A large domesticated cat breed, the Maine Coon is a large domesticated cat breed. It has a unique physical appearance as well as excellent hunting abilities. It is one of North America’s oldest native breeds. Several conflicting ideas have been proposed, the most credible being that it is closely related to the Norwegian Forest Cat and the Siberian.

A giant Maine coon cat siting on the floor
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The breed originated in the United States state of Maine, where it is the official state cat. The breed was prominent at cat exhibits in the late 1800s, but its survival was jeopardized when long-haired types from other countries were introduced in the early 1900s. Since then, the Maine Coon has made a resurgence and is now the world’s third most popular pedigreed cat breed.

The Maine coon, according to most researchers, is descended from foreign long-haired cats brought over by early American explorers in Maine. The native short-haired breeds mixed with the ship cats, resulting in the United States’ only native long-haired cat. There are several legends about how the Maine coon received its name, including one that relates the breed’s forebears to a sailor named Charles Coon and another that links the name to the cat’s bushy tail, which looks like a raccoon’s.

From the cold-weather-resistant coats that helped them survive severe New England winters to the high hunting drive that makes these lovely house cats outstanding mousers, the current Maine coon preserves many of the features of the breed’s early form.

Maine Coons have a number of physical modifications that help them survive in harsh winter environments. Their dense water-resistant fur is longer and shaggier on the underside and back for added protection when walking or sitting on wet snow or ice surfaces.

Body Description

A woman carrying white maine coon
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A pronounced ruff around the chest, powerful bone structure, rectangular body form, an uneven two-layered coat with longer guard hairs over a silky satin undercoat, and a long, bushy tail distinguish the Maine Coon. The gentle giant is its moniker. The chest is broad, and the body is robust and muscular, which is important for maintaining weight.

Maine Coons have a rectangular body shape and take a long time to physically mature; they usually don’t achieve full size until they’re three to five years old, whereas other cats take approximately a year. Males weigh between 6 and 8 kg on average, while females weigh between 4 and 6 kg.

The Maine Coon is a cat with long or medium fur. The coat is smooth and velvety, yet the texture varies depending on the coat color. The head and shoulders are shorter, while the stomach and flanks are longer, and some cats have a leonine ruff around their neck. Maine Coons can be any color, just as other cats.

Some breed standards do not tolerate colors that indicate crossbreeding, such as chocolate, lavender, the Siamese pointed patterns or the “ticked” patterns. Long tufts of fur sprouting between their toes keep them warm and help them walk on snow by adding structure to their paws without adding much weight. Ears that are heavily furred on the inside and have particularly long tufts of fur coming from within can remain warm more easily.

Behavior

Maine coons are loving and gregarious, but they don’t typically lap cats. Rather than being on top of you, this breed wants to be beside you. Many Maine Coons are fascinated by water, and some suggest that this behavioral trait stems from their forefathers, who spent much of their lives aboard ships.  Maine Coons are also noted for being extremely talkative. They are notable for yowling or howling frequently, as well as trilling, chirping, and other loud vocalizations.

They are known for being devoted to their families and for being cautious but not hostile toward strangers. They are also known for being independent and non-clingy. They’re known as the clowns of the cat world, according to the Maine Coon Cat Club. They’re not an aggressive breed, and they’ll let you pick them up, hold them, and love them. With youngsters, these animals are pleasant, caring, and patient.

Caring

Image of Maine coon cat head
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Maine coons have a thick, shaggy coat that needs to be brushed often to avoid becoming tangled or matted. The Maine coon will require weekly to monthly bathing and will need to be groomed on a regular basis. Their lengthy coats are normally silky smooth, but if they become greasy or stringy, it’s time to bathe them. They also require weekly combing to prevent tangles and mattes in their long hair and undercoat. These cats shed a lot, so brushing them often will help get rid of the loose hairs.

Health

Maine coons are generally well-behaved pets. However, there are some health risks to be aware of, as with any breed. Maine coons have a lifespan of 10–13 years and can acquire joint disorders such as arthritis or hip dysplasia due to their big stature.

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