An Affectionate, Loyal Companion
Maine Coon - The Gentle Giant
By Kathryn Schwab - Last Updated on January 27th, 2021
What you Need to Know about the Maine Coon
The Maine Coon is a friendly, long-haired cat that is native to America. This breed was first recognized in Maine in the late 1800s where it became the official cat of the state. They are known for their large size, agility, friendliness, and intelligence.
Also, like the Norwegian Forest Cat, they are a very slow-maturing breed. They take five years to reach their full size. The Maine Coon cat breed has a variety of 30 or more colors, such as black, orange, and tabby to name a few.
Here you will learn all about this cat's appearance, personality, and history. So everything you need to know before you find your perfect Maine Coon for sale….
Appearance. What does a Maine Coon look like?
Maine Coon cats are famous for their beauty and size. They have a full coat, sharp tufty ears, large colorful eyes, and a long fluffy tail.
They have a large bone structure and size. In fact, males can weigh anywhere from 15 to 25 pounds, while females can weigh anywhere from 10 to 15 pounds. Their average length is 30 to 40 inches. Its body is solid and muscular to support its weight. The Maine Coon was the largest breed of domestic cat, until the introduction of the Savannah Cat in the mid-1980s.
Maine Coons are also well-adapted for the harsh winter climates of Maine. They have dense, water-resistant fur that is longer and shaggier on their underside. This is for extra protection when they are walking or sitting on top of wet surfaces or snow. Also, their long, bushy raccoon-like tail is resistant to sinking in the snow.
They have strong, solid legs and rounded paws. As they are very much a cold weather breed, their paws have plenty of tufted fur for those snowy, winter months.
Which cat is larger, the Norwegian Forest Cat or the Maine Coon?
While both are large-breed cats, the Maine Coon is the bigger of the two breeds. Males usually weigh between 15-25 pounds. In comparison, the Norwegian Forest Cat males weigh around 13-20 pounds.
What Color is a Maine Coon’s Fur?
The most common color of Maine Coon is the brown tabby pattern. Yet this breed can come in many other colors or patterns. For example, they come in solid colors that include black, red, or white, and all tabby colors and patterns.
Maine Coon cats can also come in hybridization colors. These may include smoke shades of blue, gray, and red. You can also find them in shaded silver, cream cameo, shell silver and other shades.
The Maine Coon Personality and Temperament: The Friendliest Cats Around
Maine Coons are “gentle giants,” and are very intelligent. This makes them easy to train and they are sometimes described as “dog-like”. They are cautious around strangers and loyal and affectionate to their owners.
Yet, they are independent and not “clingy” as some cats are. They have a gentle disposition and are very relaxed around dogs, other cats, and children.
Maine Coons are not generally known as “lap cats,” but they are always playful. Males are often the clowns and the females retain more dignity. This cat also loves to yowl, chatter, chirp, trill, and talk back to their owners.
You will also find that they have a fascination for water. They may get this trait from their ancestors who spent so much time aboard ships. So, don’t let it be a surprise if you have an unexpected guest join you when you’re washing dishes or in the shower.
Do Maine Coon cats like to snuggle?
100% yes. They are both affectionate and loving. They are not shy about showing their affection toward humans. While some are lap cats, others may prefer to sit nearby.
Can Maine Coons be dangerous?
The size of this breed, has led some that should know better to suggest that they are dangerous. But in reality they are so gentle natured that there is minimal chance of any trouble. Poor breeding can lead to behavioural problems, so only choose from a respected breeder.
Grooming a Maine Coon
While the Maine Coon does have long fur its upkeep is much easier than that of other long-haired breeds. They do need occasional grooming. Yet, because they love attention of any kind, grooming is an easy task.
Are Maine Coon cats high maintenance?
While this breed does have a famously furry coat, they are by no means high maintenance. You do not need to put in a lot of extra effort to keep a Maine Coon groomed and happy.
Do Maine Coon cats shed a lot?
Maine Coons do shed, but no more than any other furry cats. Each shed hair is longer and more noticeable but you can easily clean it up with a vacuum.
Are Maine Coon cats hypoallergenic?
All cats produce the protein that causes people to experience allergies. So, no cat is truly allergenic-free.
Studies do suggest that the Maine Coon’s long fur may limit the amount of protein that is able to spread across their fur. This makes this cat more hypoallergenic than other cats breeds.
In addition, female cats produce less of the protein that causes allergies, than male cats. This means that the female Maine Coon is more hypoallergenic than the male.
Health: Caring for Your Maine Coon
Cats can have varying health problems that may be genetic in nature. While not overly common, problems that may affect them include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a form of heart disease)
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Spinal muscular atrophy (a test is available to identify carriers and affected cats)
The Lifespan of a Maine Coon
On average, Maine Coon’s live into their late teens and longer. They are slow to mature and stay kitten-like for many years. This makes for an excellent family pet that can be part of the family for a very long time.
The Polydactyl Maine Coon
Another characteristic specific to Maine Coon is polydactylism. This means that they have extra toes. Early Maine Coons were mostly polydactyl, so it was an original trait of the breed. The polydactyl gene is a harmless genetic trait.
Feline History. Where does the Maine Coon come from?
The beginnings of the Maine Coon is full of intrigue, illicitness and imaginary tales. Of all people, it is Marie Antionette that some say helped this breed come into being.
When fearing for her life, she planned her escape from France. But she would not leave her beloved six cats behind. And while she lost her head, her cats made their escape. Their descendants then bred with other cats to become the Maine Coon.
Now this may be a tall tale! But whatever the truth, these cats almost certainly came over on ships to Maine, U.S.A from the east. They were most likely of Turkish or Angora cat breeds. They may even be descendants of cats brought by English explorers, or even Viking invaders of centuries earlier.
Only by the 19th century did this breed begin to gain in popularity as a breed in its own right. And it was not recognized officially until the 1960's. In the last half century the Maine Coon has cemented its status as a pawfect family cat.
Questions people often ask about Maine Coon kittens
+Can a Maine Coon be kept indoors?
+How big does a Maine Coon get?
+Will a Maine Coon destroy furniture?