Maine Coon is one of the largest domesticated and most commonly found cat breeds. People from America are quite familiar with this breed as they get to see this cat anywhere.
The Maine Coon cat breed is often referred to as ‘the gentle giant’ for its strong muscles and agile body. It is a very intelligent, gentle, loving, and playful cat and for these characteristics, this cat breed is often said to be dog-like breed. The existence of other long-haired cat breeds has always been a threat for this breed but it has maintained its position and standard till now.
History of The Maine Coon Cat
Nobody knows the exact origin of the Maine Coon cat breed and the date when it was introduced to America. The most acceptable story about this breed is that it came into existence when some traders and settlers came from Europe to America and brought a long-haired cat Angora along. They cross breed Angora with the domestic cats of America, and resultantly got this new cat breed, Maine Coon.
That is why it is strongly believed that the Maine Coon cat breed is a native and natural breed of North America.
Many hypothesis have been presented to prove this point. This cat breed has a close resemblance to the Siberian cats and the Norwegian forest cats, so it is also suggested by the hypothesis that the Maine Coon cat breed can be the descendant of any of these two cat breeds.
It has its roots in the North American state, Maine and it is the official cat of that state as well. This breed got famous in America through cat shows in the late 19th century. In the early 20th century, many new long-haired cat breeds got introduced to America and became a threat to the status of the Maine Coon breed and became a challenge for its existence. This cat breed made a successful comeback and became the most popular domesticated cat breed of the world.
The Physical Characteristics of The Maine Coon Cat
Height & Weight
The Maine Coon is a strong and tall cat breed. From head to tail, a Maine Coon cat is 38 inches long. Excluding tail, this cat breed stands out at 23 to 25 inches height.
This strong and muscular cat breed weighs as much as 13 to 18 pounds for males and 8 to 12 pounds for the females.
The Maine Coon cats can live up to 15 years of age.
The Appearance of Maine Coon Cat
The Maine Coon cat has a muscular and agile body that supports its weight. It has a rectangular body shape with a deep and broad chest. The head of a Maine Coon cat is medium wide and looks like a rectangle without pointed ends and has oval-shaped eyes.
Their ears are large, pointed, and wide. They have strong medium legs in proportion to the body and paws are large and covered with feathers to help walk in the snow. Their paws are also known as ‘snowshoes’.
The tail is a prominent feature of the Maine Coon cat’s body. They have a bushy long, 14 inches, furry tail. It helps them stay warm in cold regions and can be rolled and used as a seat on the snow.
The large expressive oval-shaped eyes of the Maine Coon cat have various colors. Copper, green, gold, and green-gold are common for their beautiful wide eyes. Only the solid white-colored Maine Coon cats can have blue and odd colors.
Coat and Stripes
The Maine Coon cats have a long or medium-haired coat. The texture of their coat is silky and soft that falls off smoothly at different parts of the body. The coat hair is short at their head and shoulders and is long and heavy at the stomach, back, and around the neck.
The brown tabby pattern is most common in the Maine Coon cats and it is thought that it is the only color available for this cat breed. Tortoiseshell and calico are other famous patterns for this cat breed.
The Maine Coon cats have a double coat. The undercoat has a light density. The coat changes with seasons and gets thinner in summer and thicker in winter. Their coat is waterproof and protects them from harsh weather conditions.
The Maine Coon cats are available in more than 70 different colors. They can have any color, whether solid or in combination like black, white, brown, red, white, blue, grey, etc.
Personality and Temperament of The Maine Coon Cat
The Maine Coon cats are highly intelligent and easy to train. They have a sweet and gentle nature that gave them the title of ‘gentle giants’. They are very affectionate and loving cats for the family members and become curious about the arrival of a stranger. This cat breed is very active, energetic, and playful and doesn’t like to sit in the lap.
The Maine Coon cats love water and can spend hours in the little pools. They are also good at swimming. This cat breed doesn’t have a meow sound like other cats. It communicates and expresses its feelings by howling, chirping, and trilling loud vocals.
The Main Coon cats are not demanding. They chase the family members and love to get their attention, but they do not get depressed if their owners are busy and do not pay attention to them. They enjoy their own company and other playful activities.
Maine Coon cats are the mousers and there can’t be any mouse where there is a Maine Coon. If there is no mouse, they keep chasing and grabbing the cat toys and teasers.
Health Problems of The Maine Coon Cat
The Main Coon cats generally enjoy a good and healthy life. However, this strong breed is prone to many health problems, many of which are genetic.
This is a common problem that occurs in dog breeds. The Maine Coon cats can also have this problem due to their strong build and weight. In this disease, the hip joints get affected and can cause arthritis and crippling lameness.
Polycystic Kidney Disease
This inherited disease forms various fluid-filled cysts in the kidneys and affect their functioning. This problem occurs right from the birth of the kittens.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy
This a genetically inherited disease that directly affects the neurons present in the spinal cord. This disease weakens the muscles and shortens the life span.
Nutrition of The Maine Coon Cat
The Maine Coon requires the same food as other cat breeds. The cat food can be wet or dry but a combination of both can be a better option to fulfill their nutritional needs.
The Maine Coon cats are slow in growth and maturity. This means that they would need kitten food until the 9th month.
Care of the Maine Coon Cat
This beautiful cat with various appearances can stay active and healthy with the love and care of the owner and other family members.
- The silky smooth coat of the Maine Coon cat is easy to groom and only needs weekly combing to get rid of dead hair and avoid hairballs. A stainless steel comb can help take off the dead hair.
- Use a cat brush to keep the dental hygiene maintained and brush its teeth once a week.
- Their nails grow fast and need weekly trimming to avoid scratching.
- This highly intelligent and super active cat breed needs puzzle games to stimulate their mental skills.
- These cats also love to play fetch and laser chasing.
- Use baby wipes to clean the fur and tail if something gets stuck in it.
- The Maine Coon cats like water and swimming. Arrange a small pool for them to enjoy in the water.
- Keep their litter box clean. It will help to keep their fur clean and the cat will not avoid using the litter box.
- Indoor cats can remain safe from accidents, fights with other pets, and from being stolen.
Friendliness of The Maine Coon Cat
The Maine Coon cats tend to be very friendly towards the family members, children, other pets, and cat-friendly dogs and love to play with them with their full potential all day. The arrival of a stranger can make a Maine Coon cat curious but they do not behave rudely with them.
A Maine Coon cat can be a super active, playful, and loving companion for you if you feel bad being alone and bored. A little care and love can make this loving cat a lifetime companion.