The largest of all the cat breeds, the Maine Coon cat has a powerful muscular body and substantial legs. The head has a squared-off muzzle and large ears held wide and tall. The coat is long and thick and consists of an undercoat covered by a substantial glossy, waterproof top coat. The hair on the head, neck and shoulders is shorter and increases in length down the back, sides and tail. The hair on the belly and breeches is full and shaggy. There is a ruff, which begins at the base of the ears and is heavier in males than females. The tail hair is long and flowing. The ears have tufted tips. The paws also have tufts forming a snowshoe effect. The Maine Coon cat breed has a variety of 30 or more colours. The eyes maybe green, gold or copper – in white cats it is possible to have blue or odd eyes.
The ancestors of the Maine Coon cat were longhaired coats brought in to the State of Maine, in America, by seafarers in the 1850s. These cats mated with the local shorthair cats. The offspring were big, strongly built cats with semi-long coats and brush-like tails that resembled the tail of the raccoon, hence the name Maine Coon. The cats developed thick dense coats to withstand the extreme Maine winters. Special shows were held for Maine Coon cats as early as the 1860s and the breed became very popular as pets. The Maine Coon cat was imported into the UK in the 1980s.
The Maine Coon is the largest breed of the domestic cat. On average, males weigh from 13 to 25 lb. Females are smaller, but still larger than the average female cat. They can take 4 to 5 years to reach full size.
Maine Coon cats have a sweet nature and are very playful and friendly. They enjoy human company and make good pets. Possibly because of their humble origins they are often found curled up in the strangest of places. They enjoy outdoor life and so need a chance to climb and simulate hunting. Maine Coon cats are noted for the delightful quiet chirping sound they make.
Although generally very healthy cats, like all breeds they have some inherent issues. The Maine Coon cat breed seem to have a high prevalence of a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It also has a high prevalence of hip dysplasia. Ask the breeder about both these conditions before you buy.
Every cat is unique and each has their own particular likes, dislikes, and needs when it comes to food. However, cats are carnivores and every cat must obtain 41 different and specific nutrients from their food. The proportion of these nutrients will vary depending on age, lifestyle and overall health, so it’s not surprising that a growing, energetic kitten needs a different balance of nutrients in her diet than a less active senior cat. Other considerations to bear in mind are feeding the right quantity of food to maintain ‘ideal body condition’ in accordance with feeding guidelines and catering to individual preference regarding wet or dry food recipes.
The Maine Coon breed is historically an outdoor type of cat. The kind that roamed snowy forests and travelled on transatlantic ships. But nowadays, most Maine Coon cats are kept indoors for their own safety. The reason behind this is that there are more dangers outside your home than there are indoors. Maine coons are a target for thieves and they are generally chilled, making them likely to get hit by a car. So unless you live in the outskirts with no strangers or vehicles, keep them inside. Keeping a Maine Coon cat inside can come with some challenges, but not one that can’t be managed. There are many ways to keep a Maine Coon cat happy inside the home, from cat trees to overhanging window ledges. When trained from young, Maine coons are the ideal cat to walk on a lead.
Considering its length, the Maine Coon cat breed deals with its coat quite well, however, it still needs frequent grooming to keep it in good condition. As with all cats, regular vaccination and parasite control is recommended.
While this breed tends to be excellent with kids, each cat has a different personality based on training and life experience. Please consult the adoption organisation, if you are adopting, for details on a specific cats character.