Maine Coon Cat Breed Profile
Maine Coon History
One of the oldest natural breeds in North America, regarded as a native of the state of Maine (in fact, the Maine Coon is the official Maine State Cat) A number of attractive legends surround its origin. A wide spread (though biologically impossible) belief is that it originated from matings between semi -wild, domestic cats and raccoons. This myth, bolstered by the bushy tail and the most common colouring (a raccoon like brown tabby) led to the adoption of the name "Maine Coon." (originally only brown tabbies were as "Maine Shags.") Another popular theory is that the Maine sprang from the six pet cats which Marie Antoinette sent to Wiscasset, Maine when she was planning to escape from France during the French Revolution. Most breeders today believe that the breed originated in matings between pre-existing shorthaired domestic cats and overseas longhairs (perhaps Angora types introduced by New England seamen, or longhairs brought to America by Vikings).
Maine Coons were well established more than a century ago as a hardy, handsome breed of domestic cat, well equipped to survive the hostile New England winters. Nature is not soft-hearted. It selects the biggest, the brightest, the best fighters, the best hunters to breed successive generations. Planned breeding of Maine Coons are relatively recent. Since early breeding began Maine Coon breeders have sought to preserve the Maine Coon's "natural," rugged qualities. The ideal Maine Coon is a strong healthy cat.
Maine Coon Appearance
Maine Coons are a very large cat and it is not unusual for a male to weigh more than 9 kilos. The females weigh in at a little less. The Maine Coon has a long shaggy coat which is silky to feel. The Maine Coons coat is is water resistant and they are very easily groomed. Maine Coons have tufted ears and an extra long flowing tail.
Maine Coon Personality
Maine Coons are a loyal gentle cat. They are often known as the Gentle Giant of the cat world. They are a vocal breed with a variety of meows, chirps and trills. They are very sociable and get on well with children and other pets. They love to be part of the family and will join in most family activities.
The Maine Coon is well known for it's loving nature, friendly disposition and great intelligence. They can be easily trained to walk on a leash. They also have a love of water so don't be surprised if they join in the bath time activities in the household.
Maine Coon Colours
Maine Coon's come in a wide variety of colours including Brown, Red, Cream, Silver, Blue, Smoke, Black, White and dilutions of all these colours. They also come in different patterns like Tabby, Tortie, Torbie, Mackerel, Patch, Solid. These colours and patterns can be either with or with- out White. Eye colour also varies but green is most common with the occasional gold and odd eye colour sometimes showing up.
Interestingly, the breed closest to the Maine Coon is the Norwegian Forest Cat which, although geographically distant, evolved in much the same climate and lends credence to the theory that some of the cats responsible for developing the Maine Coon were brought over by the Vikings.