There is much speculation about the history of the Maine Coon, with many theories in circulation. Some suggest that these cats were brought into existence when six Turkish Angora cats reached Maine aboard the ship of Marie Antoinette, who was attempting to flee France during the Revolution. Once on land, these Angora cats went on to breed with local short-haired cats and created the Maine Coon of today. Another theory credits the English seafarer, Captain Charles Coon, who took his long-haired cats with him when he sailed, which went on to breed with local cats whenever the ship anchored in New England. It is very probable that the Maine Coon evolved through the mating of cats introduced by early settlers, including Angoras and Domestic Shorthairs. Whatever the truth behind the breed’s development, it has become one of the most desired and widely recognised cats across the world.
The name ‘Maine Coon’ was adopted after the state of the breed’s origin, Maine, and after the early belief that the cat was in fact the result of crossing between domestic breeds and raccoons. Despite being genetically impossible, it would explain the cat’s original appearance, with its dark brown tabby coat, its long, feathered tail, and its overall wild look. The Maine Coon we recognise today still boasts its large frame, being one of the largest cat breeds out there, but with characteristics that are more refined. With a solid body that is heavily feathered, muscular legs, a broad chest and wide-spaced ears, the Maine Coon is easily recognisable. The most unique feature of the cat is its profuse tail which is used to better insulate it from the cold, by wrapping the tail around the body. The double coat is thick, becoming longer as it gets further towards the rear of the cat, and has a weatherproof topcoat that protects against wet weather and bleak climates. All coat colouring is permissible.
Described as the ‘clown of the cat world,’ the Maine Coon is a wonderfully animated, playful and exuberant cat, full of life and character. When it is not delighting in the little wonders in the home, it is enjoying a frolic and a cuddle with its family, content to sit in a lap or nestle in a warm space. Not only does the Maine Coon possess a relaxed and gentle disposition, it is also highly intelligent and can be trained to a good degree. Compatible with young children and other house pets, the breed is a great breed choice for families or a dedicated sole owner, ready to return its unceasing love and loyalty. On average, a healthy Maine Coon will weigh anything from 10-25 pounds, with a typical life expectancy of 12-15 years.
Although the Maine Coon is a relatively hardy breed, it is susceptible to various hereditary health complaints, ranging from mild cases of hip dysplasia, to more severe incidences of spinal muscular atrophy – a degenerative muscle condition – and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a common type of heart disease in cats.
Maine Coon's are wonderful pets. My Minnie fills the house with her personality. She has long silky fur that needs grooming every day. Some Maine Coons do not need as much grooming as this, but it's good to know that some do get matted fur if you don't groom them.
Minnie loves to go outside. She is an intelligent and she would get bored if she didn't have access to the garden. Minnie loves playing with fishing rod toys. She's enjoyed playing since she was a kitten. She is now 2 1/2 and she hasn't grown out of it.
Minnie likes to be up high. She likes to watch the world go by in the garden from the top of her cat tree. She likes to sleep on top of the wardrobe. Minnie is not keen on other cats. She does not like them to come into her garden and definitely not into the house. She is quite shy with people she doesn't know but is very friendly with me and other people that she knows well.
Owning a Maine Coon is best discribed as owning a very naughty toddler. Into everything and the word no means he gets it into his head that it is an item he must have. I have caught him trying to steal scissors..crochet hooks..nail varnish..nail files and any plastic wrapper he can get his hands on! He demands belly rubs by patting me then his belly...opens drawers to get his treats....silence means hes up to something naughty! He chatters away follows me about and even asks to watch tv! Own a Maine Coon and u will never be lonely
Maine Coons are high maintenance cats but well worth the effort. Leevine is deaf, so he's more of a challenge than a hearing cat but we've worked out how to overcome this. He is determined, stubborn, alpha, and demanding of attention but he's also funny, clever, loving, and highly intelligent.
They don't like being left alone for long, so if you're out a lot, it helps to get them another cat or even a dog for company. If you want to let them outdoors, be aware that they are very distinctive and will be a target for thieves. They are naturally friendly and will happily approach total strangers who appear friendly to them.
They like human company and will follow you around, always managing to be just under your feet. They seem to have a thing for feet as other Maine Coon owners I know all report their cats love to lie on their feet. They won't take kindly to being kept out of the bedroom and as they easily learn how to open doors, keeping them out is difficult.
They are highly intelligent and will learn things quickly. Leevine taught himself to fetch and quickly learned to obey a few hand signals in return for treats. Being deaf, he needs me to show him what I want in other ways, so the hand signals are the obvious choice.
They are expensive to feed, simply due to their size, and they can become enormous. Other cats finish their growing by around a year old, whereas Maine Coons don't finish growing until four or five years and can reach weights of over thirty pounds. The logistics of caring for the needs of a cat that large are substantial, from simple things other owners take for granted like buying a big enough pet carrier to take them to the vet, getting a big enough litter box, strong enough toys to withstand the punishment of daily play, etc.
They need daily grooming or their long fur gets knotty, their bum fur can get poopy and will need cleaning, their huge claws need clipping or you will be slashed to within an inch of your life, seriously, those things are scary. They thunder around the house like a herd of hippos so if you live in a flat as I do, pray your neighbours are easy going.
If you have what it takes to be a Maine Coon slave, you will be rewarded a thousand fold by a companion who will make every day a little more worth living.
I was adopted by Buddy the Maine Coon. He was 4 years old when he moved in with me when his former "owner" emigrated. He is now 14 years old, and quite good at getting his way - I can't resist his big eyes and the way he looks at me. He's an indoor cat and is always waiting for me at the door when I come home from work.