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MAIN Arrow to Home LifeHome Life Arrow to PetsPets Arrow to Cats & KittensCats & Kittens Arrow to Maine CoonMaine Coon

Maine Coon catLike the American Shorthair, the Maine Coon's origins can be traced back to colonial days when domestic cats traveled with Pilgrims to the New World.

Only the strongest cats survived the brutal New England winters, where the environment and natural selection favored the Maine Coon's thick, long coat and muscular frame.

Soon the Maine Coon's bushy tail and raccoon-like banding gave rise to the story that the distinct breed was the result of a chance mating between cat and raccoon. Although that cat tale has since been proven to be a scientific impossibility, the Maine Coon remains firmly rooted in New England folklore.


Maine Coon cat behavior & personality

Curious, playful, regal and rugged, the Maine Coon's popularity is based not only on its large size and striking good looks but the friendly and close relationships it often maintains with its human and canine companions.


Even as kittens, Maine Coons'
exhibit swatting strength and agility.


Of all the domestic breeds, Maine Coons are less apt to be lap cats. Instead, they are more apt to follow you everywhere around the house, and exhibit a marked dog-like desire to stay with the pack while engaging in "trilling" (a combination purr and meow) conversations.

At mealtime, Maine Coons are not lone feeders, but prefer the close company of friends, and can often be seen taking food and even drinking water from their paws rather than from a bowl. Their nimble limbs also allow them to open water faucets, or to swat small objects around the floor with the dexterity of a soccer star. Of course, they also make for excellent mousers!


Care & Health

Maine Coons are one of the largest domestic breeds, and males can reach up to 20 pounds or more fully grown. Like most cats, they are adept at grooming but a simple weekly brushing will keep their long, thick coats in peak condition.

Generally long-lived, the Maine Coon can be prone to a life-threatening genetic mutation called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, in which the left ventricle in the heart swells and thickens. Medications & treatments are available to help stave off the disease's most debilitating effects and prolong life, although at present the condition is not curable.

Feline hip dysplasia is another other serious condition that may effect Maine Coons.


Maine coon cat fun facts - DID YOU KNOW?

Typical forehead "M" marking on a Maine Coon kitten
"M" is for Maine Coon.

• If you ever forget the name of the breed, just remember to look for a definitive "M" marking that appears on the foreheads of many Maine Coons.

• Due to their enormous popularity, Maine Coons are one of the most expensive cats to buy in pet shops and range in price to several hundred dollars and upward to $1,000.

• Maine Coons can be polydactyl -- meaning they can have six or more toes on their rather large paws.

• Often called the "Gentle Giants" of the cat world, Maine Coons do not reach their full size until at least 4 or 5 years of age.


More about Maine Coon cats around the Web:


The Maine Coon - Cat Breed FAQ - Check out detailed information on their history, temperament & behavior, care & training, general health tips, plus how to's on finding a breeder, with related resources.

Cat Fanciers' Association Maine Coon Profile - Find wonderful pictures and brief overview of the Maine Coon's standing at national cat shows.

10 Fascinating Facts about Maine Coon Cats - Check out interesting trivia and fun facts about the breed.

 

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