Cat Breeds 101: The Maine Coon

Did you know that Maine Coons can come in any color?

Did you know that Maine Coons can come in any color?

Although cat breeds are less in quantity than dog breeds, they sure make up for it in glamour. One of the most popular and recognizable cat breeds is the Maine Coon. The Maine Coon is known for their intelligence, playfulness, but most of all, their size. The Maine Coon cat is the largest breed of domestic cats in the whole world. These cats have made a resurgence in popularity in the past few decades, and are sure to only continue being treasured for their elegant stature and dog-like nature.

The Maine Coon is a medium to long-haired cat. Their fur is soft and silky as opposed to coarse and appears lion-like around the ruff of the neck. They are best known for their brown and grey fur, however Maine Coons can be any color. They can be silver, cream, orange, brown, white; you name the color, and the Maine Coon has been spotted in it. What makes the Maine Coon distinct is their bushy tail, their large paws, their solid and strong bodies, and their above-average intelligence.

Maine Coons are known to act “dog-like” in their behavior, in the way that they are easily trained, tolerant, and good with children. They are very chatty with their owners, and tend to be playful for their whole lives. Maine Coons don’t reach their full growth potential until the age of 5 whereas other cats are usually fully grown by the time they are one year old. Male adult Maine Coons should weigh between 21 and 35 lbs. Females should weigh between 15 and 29 lbs. Their height is typically between 10 and 16 inches.

Maine Coons are known for their lion-like neck ruff.

Maine Coons are known for their lion-like neck ruff.

Nobody’s entirely sure of the origin of the Maine Coon. One story tells of Queen Marie Antoinette sending her Turkish Angora cats over to the United States just before she was killed. According to the tale, her cats ended up in Maine and proceeded to breed with other North American cat breeds, producing the Maine Coon. Another tale tells of the cats appearing on a boat owned by Captain Charles Coon. However, the most entertaining yet scientifically-inaccurate rumor is that Maine Coons are the descendants of a cat and a racoon. This could be an attempt at explaining the cats’ fluffy tails, but probably isn’t true.

One trait that is commonly found in Maine Coons is polydactylism, meaning that the cat is born with an extra toe. This can manifest as just one extra toe, or as more than one extra toes on each foot. This trait wasn’t accepted in cat shows as a breed standard, so it was being bred out until groups were formed to continue the reign of polydactyl Maine Coons.

Although each cat is different and behave differently, the Maine Coon is known to possess certain traits. They are regarded for their intelligence, as Maine Coons are known to be some of the most trainable cats. They may not want to plop down in your lap, but they will continue to be playful well into their old age. Maine Coons tend to be affectionate and good with dogs, children, and other cats.

Portrait Of Maine Coon Cat On Blue BackgroundSince the Maine Coon is such a large cat, they are prone to certain large-boned health problems. Hip dysplasia and feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are both commonly seen in Maine Coons. Besides these ailments, you can consider the Maine Coon just as healthy of a breed as any, with many physical benefits and a great personality. Responsible breeders will make sure to screen the animals that they breed in order to avoid these problems. They’ll need semi-regular grooming due to their medium-length coats, but are no more high-maintenance than any other feline.

If you are interested in inviting a Maine Coon into your life, there are a few ways to do so. There are listings of Maine Coon breeders online, and there are also many rescue organizations that specialize in Maine Coons. The breed is the third-most common breed in the United States and can be commonly found at animal shelters. The Maine Coon is an elegant and classic cat breed that is popular, proud, and pretty. You’ll know that big fluffy raccoon-like tail when you see it.