Maine Coon is a native cat of America and belongs to the Maine region. Established a century ago this handsome and tough domestic cat breed is very well equipped to survive the tough cold weather conditions of the North. The Maine Coon breeders have ensured that the natural rugged qualities of this cat breed are maintained. Maine Coon is loved by its owners due to their funny clown like behavior, loving and caring nature, strange habits and their ability and their enthusiasm towards helping people in any of their activities. It has the distinction of being the oldest natural cat breed in North America. Though these cats are highly people oriented they are not over dependent on them. Maine Coons are considered a national treasure and people love reading and listening about them. These cats are held in high esteem due to their ability to hunt down rats and competitions are held to reward the best Maine Coons.
History of Maine Coons
Regarded as a good barn cat the Maine Coons have attainted success and are recognized as a CFA finalist. With the introduction of various longhaired cat breeds the popularity of Maine Coon declined in the late 20th century in North America and these cats were even thought to be extinct in the 1950s, but the effort and dedication of the breeders helped the Maine Coons attain the championship status by the CFA in the year 1976.
Maine Coons are native to America and belong to the Maine region, though the origins of this cat breed is not well documented. Some believe that this breed is a raccoon or domestic cat hybrid and hence this name was given to this cat. This is a myth and was strengthened due to the bushy tail and common color pattern. The union of these breeds was impossible hence the story died its death. Some even say that the Vikings got this cat to America centuries before Christopher Columbus arrived. Travelers may have got longhaired cats that may have mated with the local shorthaired cat breeds resulting in Maine Coons. The first documented story about Maine Coons was published in the year 1861 about a black and white colored cat. The female Maine Coon was adjudged the best cat in 1895 at a cat show that was held in Madison Square Garden. The fifth cat that was registered by the CFA was a Maine Coon. After the advent of other long haired cat breed like the Persians and Siamese cats, the demand for Maine Coons nosedived.
Things started looking up in late 1960 after the Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association was formed in the year 1968. At present, these beautiful and large cats are one of the world’s most popular cats and are named as the official state cat of Maine all because of the continuous efforts of the Breeders who worked relentlessly to prevent this cat breed from going extinct.
Maine Coon Traits
One of the things that make this cat breed attractive is its head, shape of their body, and the texture of their coat. Their thick coat enables them to survive the cold weather conditions in the North. One of the unique features of their coat is that it is glossy, semi-longhair, water resistant, and heavy. The coat is maintenance free and fall smoothly over their body, though the hair is shorter on the neck and back region. Once a week grooming is enough for keeping their coat healthy and tangle free. The tail of Maine Coons is thick, long and bushy.
The other striking feature of these cats is their large eyes that is oval to round, and expressive. Maine Coons come in all traditional colors and color patterns. The brown tabby pattern is most commonly seen in these cat breeds and also includes the solid colors like red, white, black, all tabby colors and patterns, bi-color options like white and blue, red and white, and patterns like calico and tortoise shell. Maine Coons can come in almost all colors and patterns except Pointed. The color of these cats eyes range from golden to green.
The body of these cats is well proportioned that means it is muscular and broad chested. The legs are medium length, with large round paws with good covering of fur to serve as snow shoes during winters. The ears are large, tufted and wide at the base that tapers to the point. Males weigh 12 to 18 pounds while females weigh 10 to 14 pounds. These cats take time to mature almost three to four years.
Maine Coon Personality
Maine Coons are extremely affectionate and loving, one of the prime reasons for their popularity. They are intelligent, strong, possess a luxurious coat and are very devoted to their family. They are playful with their family, but can be reserved in front of new people or strangers. Maine Coons love water and their thick coat repels water and that is why these cats will not mind being soaked in water. They are extremely friendly with pets and children, which is just the opposite of how they look and appear. They love to play like kitten even if they reach adulthood. Male cats sometimes display silly behavior while females are more dignified Maine coons love the game of fetch and no pests will be safe inside the house if these cats are around. They will easily learn any tricks or play a game of puzzle.
Maine Coon Health and Care
Maine Coons are generally a healthy cat breed, but are more at the risk of developing hip dysplasia and kidney diseases. Despite their long hair these cats don’t need daily grooming, once week grooming is enough. Bathing can be as and when needed. Keep the dental hygiene of these cats clean to prevent dental problems. Keep these cats indoors to protect them from other animals and from being stolen.
Maine Coon Behavior
These cats are friendly with their family members and children. They like company of people, affable and good natured cats. Coons are happy to learn any tricks and are very smart. Males can sometimes behave silly.
Maine Coon with Children and Pets
The laid back and friendly Maine Coons are a perfect choice for families and children. They are dog friendly cats and love the attention of children who treat them with love. These cats are good for any first time cat owners.