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.
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
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
Even as kittens, Maine Coons'
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.
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!
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.
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.
• 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.
Maine Coon cats around the Web:
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.