While its origins are a little mysterious, the first reference to a Maine Coon was in 1861 in – yes, you guessed it – the U.S. state of Maine. It’s believed to have been popular as a ship’s cat, handy for eliminating the rodent population. In fact, rumour has it that Captain Charles Coon kept big cats aboard his ships, hence the reference to his name.
Now, fully domesticated, the Maine Coon is a good-natured cat that adapts well to many situations. She is not typically a lap cat. (And let’s face it, who has a lap big enough?) That said, she does enjoy attention and likes being around people – on her terms of course.
Larger than life
As the largest domestic cat breed, the Maine Coon can grow to a whopping 120cm, from nose to tail. The average weight for males is 5.9 to 8.2kg with females weighing in at 3.6 to 5.4kg. Unlike other breeds, they don’t reach their full adult size until they’re four or five years old.
Maine Coon care
Like every cat, the Maine Coon needs a balanced diet, best sourced from commercially produced cat food. A combination of wet and dry food tends to work best for most people.
Of course, being so large, traditional cat accessories will not suffice. So you’ll need to extend your search to the dog department. Think jumbo litter boxes, and dog bowls and beds.
With a fluffy coat and beautiful raccoon-like tail, you’d think the Maine Coon requires endless brushing. However, they are very good at self-grooming, so a weekly brush is more than adequate.
The Maine Coon is a muscly cat and needs a lot of exercise. And with her fierce hunting streak, she’ll love nothing better than chasing balls (and anything that moves), as well as unearthing hidden treats.
Contrary to her large size, she’ll display delightful kittenish behaviour right through to adulthood. It’s one of the many joys of choosing the world’s largest domestic cat.