What are Maine Coon Cats?

photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cemaine/3454336554/sizes/m/in/photostream/
photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cemaine/3454336554/sizes/m/in/photostream/

A type of longhaired cat, a 'Maine Coon' is one of the oldest natural breeds in northern America. It is said to have originated in the state of Maine and is the official state cat there.

It was a popular breed during the 1800’s and in fact, the first cat to win the very first cat show in the US was a Maine Coon. Unfortunately, in the 1900s, the arrival of longhaired cats from overseas such as the Persian cats, affected the breed’s popularity and threatened its extinction. The breed suffered such a sharp decline that it was prematurely declared extinct in the 1950’s. The report, though, was considered premature and exaggerated. Through the dedication of Maine Coon breeders, clubs were organized and for the next few years, shows and exhibitions were hosted in attempts to bring back the popularity of the breed.

The succeeding decades saw the rise of popularity of the breed. Today, the Maine Coon cats are one of the most popular cat breeds in the world.


APPEARANCE

Generally, the Maine Coons are considered very handsome. The state of Maine and the whole area of New England generally are well known to have one of the harshest winters in the United States. Because of this, the cat developed a distinct appearance to adapt in the cold climate.

The coon cat's coat, which requires very little grooming, is long, soft and glossy, making it water-resistant. Because of these characteristics, the animal is protected against snow and wet. Its feet, which are big, padded and round, serve as its snowshoes. The tail, which the animal curls around itself when it’s asleep, is long and furry. This helps them further during harsh winter months. Its ears are also heavily furred both in the inside and its tips. Known as an excellent mouse hunter, big eyes and ears were developed.

The cats are also one of the largest of the domestic cats. Tall, big-boned and muscular, adult height reaches up to 16 inches and its length can be as long as 40 inches, including the tail. Its body is rectangular in shape. The cat can also have any colors that most cats have, though the Siamese pattern found in Siamese cats rarely occur.

The Maine Coons develop slowly, reaching its adult size in 4-5 years. The cat is known to have a very tiny and soft voice that does not seem fit for their body size. It is also known to meow very rarely.


BEHAVIOR

The Maine Coon cats possess above-average intelligence and are therefore easily trained. Maine Coons are also known as gentle giants. Despite its huge appearance, their behaviors are often described as “kittenish”. They like people very much and their favorite habit seems to be following their owners everywhere.

They are known to be very affectionate to their owners but very cautious to strangers. Their gentle nature makes them suitable pets if you have dogs and children. Though a people-oriented pet, the animal is not clingy and not known as a “lap cat”.


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Comments 6 comments

2besure profile image

2besure 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

I have Maine coons and they are adorable and lovable cats.


Stoneage2010 profile image

Stoneage2010 6 years ago Author

@2besure: yeah, they are. :)


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 4 years ago

We suspect that our 19-year-old cat, Katrina, is just a little smidgen Maine Coon. She has almost all the traits described except the size. She has never weighed more than 8 or 9 lbs. soaking wet, so she has been nicknamed "Baby Girl". She had tiny tufts on her ears when she was younger. Her eyes are enormous for her little face, which gives her a kitten look. Her very thick coat is too long to be short, and too short to be medium. She hardly ever meows, but when she does it comes out as a squeek. She is so smart! She is the most low-maintenance cat we've ever had. I can't think of any other breed with these qualifications. I know that she isn't long for this world, and we would like to have another beautiful animal like her.

Also, her face is flatter than a regular tabby, but it isn't a Persian flat. Is this a charactistic of the Maine Coon?

Good hub, and as a cat lover, I enjoyed it.


Stoneage2010 profile image

Stoneage2010 4 years ago Author

Hi Mizbejabbers :-)

Maine Coons are probably the most loyal and loving breed of cat you'll ever find. However, it is important to make sure they stay well groomed.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 4 years ago

Thanks, Stoneage, but is a full-blood MC suited for the South? I have read that their coats are very thick and warm. I guess if you kept one in an air conditioned house it wouldn't matter. We don't let our cats go outside anymore. We used to have a full-blood chow dog, and she was miserable outside except in cold weather is why I ask.


Stoneage2010 profile image

Stoneage2010 2 years ago Author

Hi MzBejabbers! As long as he's an indoor cat, and you keep the house at a steady comfort level with an AC/central air, he should be fine. Unlike a dog, he won't even have to be walked in the daytime during the hottest times. If the house gets a little hot and humid for the summer months you can always take him to the groomers to get him a good hair cut so it's about an inch in length, which is nice to do anyway once or twice a year to keep their fur nice. They seem to like it when their hair is short, all that padding they can't usually feel things as well, so they love to be rubbed and scratched when all that hair gets stripped away. I totally agree with keeping cats indoors. As long as you're comfortable your cat should be as well.

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