The Maine Coon Cat Breed

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All About The Maine Coon Cat Breed

Maine Coon cat breed information, description, history and photos of cats and kittens.

All About The Maine Coon Cat. Maine Coon Breed Information, Description, History and Photos of Cats and Kittens. Known as the Gentle Giant of the cat world.

Maine Coon Cat Breed Overview

The Maine Coon is a solid, rugged cat and is America’s oldest, natural long-haired breed. Known as the Gentle Giant of the cat world, Maine Coons are extremely intelligent cats and show lots of dog like behaviors. The Maine Coon has a soft voice, ranging from a soft trill to a nearly-silent squeak.

Maine Coons have several physical adaptations for survival in harsh winter climates. Their dense water-resistant fur is longer and shaggier on their underside and rear. This gives extra protection when they are walking or sitting on top of wet surfaces of snow or ice.

Their long and bushy raccoon-like tail is resistant to sinking in snow. And it can be curled around their face and shoulders for warmth and protection from wind and snow. It can even be curled around their backside like an insulated seat cushion when sitting down on a snow or ice surface.

Large paws, and especially the extra-large paws of polydactyl Maine Coons, facilitate walking on snow and are often compared to snowshoes. Long tufts of fur growing between their toes help keep the toes warm and further aid walking on snow by giving the paws additional structure without significant extra weight. Heavily furred ears with extra long tufts of fur growing from inside help keep their ears warm.

Many Maine coons use their paws to eat food and drink water. This raccoon like habit, combined with the fact that a large brown tabby Maine coon somewhat resembles a raccoon, led to its name.

Maine Coon Pictures

Appearance of The Maine Coon

Maine Coon Cat is a very large breed of cat, and North America’s only native long haired breed. It is a muscular cat – medium to large in size, broad chested with a long body, heavy bones, and large round paws.

The Maine coon has a long, shaggy coat, large ears, a long square muzzle and a long, full plume of a tail.

The ears are large, wide at base, moderately pointed and well tufted with Lynx-like tipping.

The fur on a Maine Coon’s shoulders is short, gradually increasing in length along back and sides, ending in full britches and long, shaggy belly fur. The fur is soft but it has body, falls smoothly, and lies close to the body – with a slight undercoat. A big, full ruff around the neck is common.

Polydactyl Feet

Many of the original Maine Coon cats that inhabited the New England area possessed a trait known as polydactylism (having one or more extra toes on the feet). While some sources claim that trait is thought to have occurred in approximately 40% of the Maine Coon population in Maine at one time, little evidence has been given to substantiate this claim.

Polydactylism is rarely, if ever, seen in Maine Coons in the show ring since it is unacceptable by competition standards. The gene for polydactylism is a simple autosomal dominant gene, which has shown to pose no threat to the cat’s health. The trait was almost eradicated from the breed due to the fact that it was an automatic disqualifier in show rings. Private organizations and breeders were created in order to keep polydactylism in Maine Coons from disappearing. via wikipedia

Maine Coon Size

A full-grown Maine coon male weighs from 5 to 8 kg (12 to 18 lb). Females are somewhat smaller than males, and allowance should be made for the slow maturation of the breed.

Maine coons do not reach their full size until they are four or five years old. In 2010, the Guinness World Records accepted a male purebred Maine Coon called “Stewie” as the “Longest Cat”. He measured 48.5 in (123 cm) from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail!

Maine Coon Personality

The Maine Coon has a gentle, easy going disposition and this breeds affectionate nature makes it an ideal companion. As a pet they tend to be loyal to their owners and can sometimes choose just one family member to be their “special person”.

The Maine Coon cat likes being with people and has the habit of following them around, but he is not a needy kitty. He is happy to receive attention when you direct it his way. When you are otherwise occupied then this feline is happy to simply watch you.

The Maine Coon is not typically a lap cat, but he does like to be around his people. They will adapt well to many lifestyles and personalities, and make a great family cat.

Maine Coon Cats Are Suitable For:

Maine Coons are a very easy going breed and will fit in happily to almost any household. They love company so other pets are usually welcomed. Although Maine Coons are a very large breed, they adapt to living in small apartments as well as larger homes.

 

Maine Coon Colors and Patterns

Maine coons come in a wide range of colors. The most common Maine coon color is the brown tabby, which is brown with black stripes). The following colors are among those recognized by most registering associations, only lilac and chocolate are disallowed for pedigree.

  • White, black, blue, red, cream.
  • Silver (chinchilla & shaded), blue-silver (chinchilla & shaded), cameo (shell, shaded, & smoke), cream cameo (shell, shaded, & smoke), black smoke, blue smoke, shaded tortoiseshell, shaded blue tortie, shaded torbie, shaded blue torbie.
  • Silver tabby (all patterns), blue-silver tabby (all patterns), cameo tabby (all patterns), cream cameo tabby (all patterns).
  • Shaded brown or golden tabby (all patterns), red tabby (all patterns), cream tabby (all patterns), brown tabby (all patterns), blue tabby (all patterns).
  • Bi-colors (solids with white), Parti-colors – tortoiseshell, torbie (patched tabby), calico, blue cream, tabby with white and other colors with white.

Eye color can be shades of green, gold, or copper, though white cats may be blue or odd-eyed. There is no relationship between eye color and coat color.

Maine Coon Cat Pictures Showing Various Colors:


Maine Coon Cat Blue Tabby

Blue Tabby



Maine Coon Cat Red Shaded

Red Shaded



Maine Coon Cat Brown Tabby

Brown Tabby



Maine Coon Cat Brown Tabby And White

Brown Tabby And White



Maine Coon Cat Silver Tabby

Silver Tabby



Maine Coon Cat Red Tabby

Red Tabby


 

Care Of The Maine Coon Cat

Maine Coons are generally a healthy and hardy breed and have adapted to survive the New England climate. Health problems such as feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), hip dysplasia and Polycystic kidney disease (PKD), are seen in the breed. However, diligent screening methods by breeders helps to reduce the frequency of these health problems.

History of the Maine Coon Cat

Although the Maine Coon’s exact origins and date of introduction to the United States are unknown, many theories have been proposed. 

Some say the Vikings brought him to North America, centuries before Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Others thinkthe Maine Coon is the descendant of long haired cats that were owned by Marie Antoinette, and sent to America in advance of the doomed queen, when she hoped to escape.

Sea captains might have brought back long haired cats which mated with local short haired cats.

One thing is certain though – Maine Coons are not the offspring of a mating between a cat and a raccoon, as that is a biological impossibility. However, the resemblance is how the breed actually got it’s name.

The breed was popular in cat shows in the late 19th century, but its existence became threatened when long-haired breeds from overseas were introduced in the early 20th century.

The Maine Coon has since made a comeback and is now one of the most popular cat breeds in the world. The Maine Coon cat breed probably developed by natural selection in response to New England’s harsh climate.

Maine Coon Cat Standard

General
The Maine Coon is solid, rugged, and can endure a harsh climate. Particularly distinctive is its smooth, shaggy coat.
 
Body
Medium to large; muscular; broad-chested; body should be long to create a well-balanced rectangular appearance.
 
Head
Medium width and length; square muzzle and high cheekbones; chin firm; nose medium long, slightly concave in profile.
 
Ears
Large; well tufted; wide at base, tapering to appear pointed; set high and well apart.
 
Eyes
Large; wide set; slightly oblique setting with slant toward outer base of ear. Color should be shades of green, gold, or copper, but blue and odd-colored eyes are acceptable in white cats. No relationship between coat and eye colors.
 
Tail
Long; wide at base, and tapering; fur long and flowing.
 
Coat
Heavy and shaggy; silky with coat falling smoothly; shorter on shoulders and longer on stomach and britches; frontal ruff desirable.
 
Color
All colors and patterns except for the pointed colors and pattern that would indicate hybridization.
 
Disqualify
Delicate bone structure; undershot chin; crossed eyes; kinked tail; buttons; lockets; or spots.
 
Allowed Outcross
None.

Maine Coon Cat Rescues

Are you keen to be the proud owner of one of these gentle giants? Why not think about getting your new Maine Coon from a rescue group? Here are some where you can find more information

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