What are Maine Coon Cats?
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.
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.
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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