The Maine Coon is a native New Englander, hailing from Maine, where he was a popular mouser, farm cat and, most likely, ship’s cat, at least as far back as the early 19th century. He is a natural breed and little is known of his origins. Some say the Vikings brought him to North America, centuries before Columbus sailed the ocean blue, others that he is the descendant of longhaired cats belonging to Marie Antoinette, sent to America in advance of the doomed queen, who had hoped to escape there. Sea captains may have brought back longhaired cats that then mated with local shorthaired cats. One thing is for sure: the Maine Coon is not the result of a mating between a cat and a raccoon, even if his brown tabby coat and furry ringed tail suggest that biological impossibility. The resemblance is, however, how the cats got their name; in fact, Maine Coons that didn’t have the brown tabby coat were called Maine Shags. The first published reference to a Maine Coon was in 1861, about a black and white cat named Captain Jenks of the Horse Marines. A female Maine Coon was named Best Cat in 1895 at a cat show held in Madison Square Garden. In Boston and New York, the home-grown felines were popular exhibits at cat shows, and when the Cat Fanciers Association was formed in 1908, the fifth cat registered was a Maine Coon named Molly Bond. But the invasion of glamourous Persian and exotic Siamese cats from England around the turn of the century spelled the end of the Maine Coon’s popularity for half a century. Things took a turn for the better in the 1960s, and the Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association was formed in 1968. Today the big, beautiful cats are among the world’s most popular. But what really counts, of course, is that they are the official state cat of Maine.

Life Span 9 – 15 years Other Names Maine

Size

This is a large cat. Most Maine Coons weigh 9 to 18 pounds (males are larger), and some tip the scales at 20 or more pounds. They don’t reach their full size until they are three to five years old.

Personality

Kid Friendliness 100% Affection Level 60%
Activity Level 80%

The good-natured and affable Maine Coon adapts well to many lifestyles and personalities. He likes being with people and has the habit of following them around, but he isn’t needy. He’s happy to receive attention when you direct it his way, but if you’re busy he’s satisfied to just supervise your doings. Close a door on him and he will wait patiently for you to realize the error of your ways and let him in. He’s not typically a lap cat, but he does like to be near you. He also retains his skill as a mouser. No rodents will be safe in a home where a Maine Coon resides. Even if you don’t have any mice for him to chase, he’ll keep his skills sharp by chasing toys and grabbing them with his big paws. A Maine Coon also enjoys playing fetch and will retrieve small balls, toys or wadded-up pieces of paper. He can climb as well as any cat but usually prefers to stay on ground level. That’s where his work is, after all. He’s also very smart and will happily learn tricks or play with puzzle toys that challenge his brain. Maine Coons usually enjoy a kittenish love of play well into adulthood. Males, especially, are prone to silly behavior. Females are more dignified, but they aren’t above a good game of chase. Not especially vocal, they make any requests in a soft chirp or trill.

Health

Both pedigreed cats and mixed-breed cats have varying incidences of health problems that may be genetic in nature. Problems that may affect the Maine Coon include the following:

  • Hip dysplasia, which in severe cases can cause lameness
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a form of heart disease that is inherited in Maine Coons. A DNA-based test is available to identify cats that carry one of the mutations that causes the disease.
  • Polycystic kidney disease, a slowly progressive heritable kidney disease that can result in renal failure.
  • Spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disorder that affects skeletal muscles of the trunk and limbs. A test is available to identify carriers and affected kittens.
SOURCESource
SHARE
Previous articleGerman Shepherd
Next articlePersian

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here