The Maine Coon originates from the state of Maine in the USA. In the 1850’s seafarers brought longhaired cats back from foreign parts and 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 racoon, hence the name Maine Coon. The random matings produced many colours and coat patterns. The cats developed thick dense coats to withstand the extreme Maine winters. Special shows were held for Maine Coons as early as the 1860’s, which was years before the official cat, shows began. The Maine Coon became very popular as pets but most were neutered and this did little to increase the numbers. In 1953 the Maine Coon’s popularity increased and the Central Maine Coon Cat Club was formed. The Maine Coon is now known throughout America and was imported into the UK in the 1980’s and now has Championship status at British shows.
The Maine Coon is massive in size, with powerful muscular bodies and substantial legs. The head is slightly longer than it is wide and the nasal bridge is half way between the ear line and the tip of the nose. The muzzle is square with a firm chin and the chin, upper lip and nose leather should fall in the same vertical line. The bite must be level. The profile shows a concave curve at the nasal bridge with no distinct break. The ears are large and tall, wide at the base and tapering to a pointed tip. They are set high on the head but well apart. The eyes are spaced well apart and are full and round with a slightly oblique set. The colour of the eyes maybe green, gold or copper and eye colour bears no relation to coat colour. In white cats it is possible to have blue or odd eyes. The body is large and muscular with a broad chest. The back is long and the legs are substantial and form a rectangular shape with the body. The tail is long, at least the length of the back, and tapers from a wide base to the tip.
The coat is semi long and thick and consists of an undercoat covered by a substantial glossy top coat. The coat is waterproof and needs very little grooming. 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 are feathered and should have tufts at the tips. The paws also have tufts with long tufts coming from under the paws extending backwards to form a snowshoe effect. A fluffy appearance is undesirable. The Maine Coon has a variety of thirty or more colours including self colours including white, tortoiseshell, tabby with or without silver, shaded and smoke colours, and all the above with white when the white must not be more than one third of the body colour. Chocolate, lilac or colour points are not allowed.
Maine Coons generally live until their early teens.
The Maine Coon is a robust, healthy cat and suffers from no specific health problems but as with all domestic cats it is advisable for them to have an annual health check from the age of about eight or nine.
Maine Coons have a sweet nature and are very playful and friendly. They enjoy human company. Possibly because of their humble origins they are used to sleeping rough and are often found curled up in the strangest of places. Maine Coons are noted for the delightful quiet chirping sound they make.
Compatibility with Cats
Other Animal Compatibility
The Maine Coon is a large cat and requires approximately 80 Kcals of food per kg of bodyweight per day. Although this is a large cat it must not be obese and a careful watch must be kept on the diet.
The Maine Coon’s coat is fairly self-maintaining and needs minimum grooming to keep it in good condition.