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Maine Coon – The Ultimate Guide

Most Maine Coon cats will gladly jump into the water and enjoy an unexpected swim. Also, this breed is the largest of all the cat breeds. Read on and discover what makes them so unique.

Maine Coon personality is what makes Maine Coon exceptional and original – especially compared to other cat breeds. To some people petting the Maine Coon is the closest that they will ever come to petting a lion. But there is much more than the appearance that drew people to them.

Quick Facts

Real name: Maine Coon
Other names: Coon Cat, Maine Cat, Maine Shag, American Longhair, American Coon Cat, American Forest Cat
Nickname: Gentle giants
Origin: Maine
Breed type: Longhair
Weight: Males 13 to 18 lb (5.9 to 8.2 kg), females 8 to 12 lb (3.6 to 5.4 kg)
Height: 10 and 16 in (25 and 41 cm)
Lifespan: 9-13 years
Coat color: Black, Brown, White, Red, Cream, Blue, Silver, Golden, Tortoiseshell, Bluecream
Pattern: Bicolor, Tabby, Smoke, Shaded, Solid color, Tortoiseshell, Tricolor/Calico
Grooming needs: High
Tendency to shed: High
Coat length: Long

Maine Coon: History

The Maine Coon cat is one of the most famous cat breeds in the world. They are furriers, largest, and hardiest cats of all domesticated cat breeds. Little is known about this cat’s history, and we can even say that their origin is as much mysterious as their history.

Their origins are more theory and folk tales than real proven facts. But what we know for sure is that this breed stayed unmixed for hundreds of years. This is mainly due to a small number of other cats in the area and even a first-hand experience of known Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest.

This breed is known for having adapted to the strong and harsh winters of the state of Maine. Simply, the cold and the distance between human settlements in Maine helped this breed to stay, as we mentioned earlier, unmixed.

Sadly, we still don’t know how they got within the borders of Maine in the first place. But, so far Maine Coon cat is considered the only longhair breed native to the U.S.

Maine Coon: Physical Appearance

The Maine Coon is muscular and heavily boned cat with strong legs, followed by high cheek bones and a square muzzle. The most memorable trait about their appearance next to their size is the massive tail that they own. Their tail is furry and long, and it comes with a beautiful shaggy coat of fur. In general, they are mostly tabby in color.

Overall, this breed is medium to large, although males are always larger than females. Their body is long and rectangular, followed by the identically long tail. For this reason, this breed always seems significantly larger than it actually is.

The Maine Coon is originally an outdoor cat and the breed become more indoor type with the hunting of rodents. Therefore, people started keeping this breed in barns and homes to help them with rodents and they have been domesticated ever since.

Their head is always large with tall ears, while the coat is silky but heavy. An interesting characteristic is that the coat is shaggy and drapes are always longer on the stomach and behind the legs. The hair behind the legs in shorter over the shoulders.

Despite the size and her mystical history Maine Coon is gentle and extremely tempered. The Maine Coon loves being around the family and she is more than adaptable when it comes to the new environment. They love to be active so she can be quite loud when runs, but her soft and quiet voice will leave you speechless once you realize that this lion is truly a lamb.

Maine Coon: Personality

Maine Coons are called the ‘gentle giants’ with a reason. They are quite intelligent and they constantly show friendly traits. In addition, they also exhibit vivid habits that can be described as playful and curious.
They are a really outgoing type of cats and they do well both with elderly and children. They are kind of real people and an animal lover. On top of this, they are curious and that curiosity enables them to do well with various humans and pets. Don’t let their size fool you, they will be able to catch any mice in no time.

They enjoy hunting, so when they are not hunting or don’t have anything to hunt, they will spend a lot of time playing. Therefore, make sure that they always have a proper set of toys around them. After all, this breed is called ‘mousers’ and that’s with a reason.

Although they have a highly positive personality they will stand their ground when you get a new cat or a dog, just until your Maine Coon learn that you won’t replace her with your new pet. The Maine Coon will sit in your lap easily and often, regardless of their size.

They love warm snuggle. But what is more interesting is the fact that this cat won’t turn affection and petting by anyone. Adults, children, other pets, strangers, it all works for them, as long as they get their snuggles.

Cat Of The Dog World

The Maine Coon is often referred to as ‘the cat of the dog world’ due to their appearance. Because of their large size, they are considered to be equivalent to dogs within the feline world. Moreover, they have one more trait that’s more dog-like and it’s their loyalty to their owners.

The friendly Maine Coon will deeply love and be affectionate toward each family member, but they will their person, one family member that they will love more than the other. To that person, they will show extreme loyalty.

In most cases, that’s the person who takes the majority care of them. They are happy to be handled, which is probably why they have a loyal fan base. Moreover, this breed is great and amazing to have around.

Living With Maine Coon

Your Maine Coon will bring you a bunch of happy and enjoyable moments that you will cherish forever. However, to get those moments you should have proper surrounding that will make your feline feel comfortable and safe.

Monitor nutrition carefully, provide regular meals and avoid feeding your feline with any food that may be dangerous to her. Moreover, make sure that you don’t overdo with feeding, because this breed is prone to becoming overweight. Make sure that you provide real cat surrounding and that your cat has perches and cat trees or an adequate running room.

Bear in mind that Maine Coon is a large cat and she can easily knock things over without meaning to do so. That being said, avoid heavy and full-glass objects around the house. Better safe than sorry.

Maine Coon: Grooming

Yes, this breed will demand a significant amount of your time when it comes to grooming. After all, all that beauty can’t come without the high maintenance. Long hair can be easily matted so regular and proper grooming sessions should be an imperative. Opposite to the Persian’s coat, the Maine Coon has a soft-textured and glossy coat that is easy to maintain. However, this coat requires brushing once a week with proper grooming tools to keep that coat nice and neat.

Just like any other cat, your Maine Coon won’t be happy about grooming session, but you will be able to work around it. Your Maine Coon may even end up loving the grooming. There are certain steps that you can take to ensure grooming time between you and your feline to be more pleasurable.

  1. Start young – if you teach your cat to be handled from an early age you will make the grooming more enjoyable for both of you once she is an adult cat. Cats don’t let anyone touch their belly and hindquarters, even less brush them there. If you got her started young they will easily become habitual to it.
  2. Use the right brush – this sounds basic, but people tend to overlook this fact and use any brush. But that shouldn’t be the case because the wrong brush can scratch cat’s skin that can make your cat hate grooming forever. Use a soft bristle brush to keep hair un-matted and avoid any harm to the sensitive skin underneath. Brush your cat on regular level.
  3. Be persistent – this is one of the best tips when it comes to grooming your Maine Coon or any other breed. If you groom your cat often you will avoid messy hair and you will make your cat custom with this routine.
  4. Clipping the hair – your Maine Coon has a long hair and you need to pay attention to the fur on the paws. The fur on the paws can become too long and bother your cat. The most important thing here is to be gentle while dealing with the scissors. To help you with this, use a fine-tooth comb and hold it between the skin and the mat.
  5. Bathing – in general, cats shouldn’t be bath ever, because they are great with cleaning themselves. But, if your cat gets dirty and you can’t find any other way to clean her, you will have to bath her. If this happens, your Maine Coon won’t react to strange because they are somehow water-lovers and have high water tolerance. However, make sure that you use proper cat shampoo or kitty wipes.
  6. Claw Clipping – you can clip your cat’s claws with a special cat claw clipper that you can easily find at most pet supply stores and local pet shops. If you are not comfortable doing this you can take your cat to your veterinarian or he/she can recommend someone that can.

Having a Maine Coon may sound like a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it.

Maine Coon: Health

The Maine Coon is considered to be a healthy and hardy breed in general. However, just like any other cat breed, this breed can be prone to certain conditions such as hip dysplasia, polycystic kidney disease, spinal muscular atrophy, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Being prone to a certain condition doesn’t mean that your cat will develop that condition.

Being prone means that you need to take more about your cat and to do whatever is possible to prevent that condition. Luckily, some conditions are easy to prevent, while others demand heavy therapy and a significant amount of time until the cat is healthy again.

A professional Maine Coon breeder will perform screens for most common disorders in cats. This is one of the many reasons why you should opt for the professional breeder. As they grow older, their health goes down and they may experience minor or severe heart issues that may include:

  • Blue lips
  • Lower activity and appetite
  • Rapid breathing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lack of breath

Many believe that Maine Coon is a hardy cat that doesn’t get sick. However, the truth is far from that. Yes, they will manage to shake off some problems, while for some they will need your support and veterinarian’s guidelines.

Therefore, have regular vaccination, keep the parasites away and have frequent veterinarian visits and you can expect to have a strong, healthy, and happy feline for many years to come.

Maine Coon: Summary

There are many ways to identify a Maine Coon. The fastest way to do so is to look at her shaggy fur, tapered tail, and up-ears. Surprisingly, the Maine Coon is much more than just a big and fluffy cat, this cat is great with water and has a loyalty of a dog. Nothing is regular about this breed’s behavior and personality. Among all cat breeds, Maine Coons are the largest.

So, if you are looking for a cat that has a lion-like appearance, love for the water, and above all has a friendly demeanor and dog-like behavior Maine Coon just might be your next feline.