With all the domesticated breeds of cat in the world to choose from, people still come back to the Maine Coon. This beautiful feline has won the hearts and warmed the laps of people around the world. Why? Because this breed has many amazing attributes that other breeds just don’t possess, some may even surprise you. Let’s explore the Maine Coon to discover all it has to offer. But beware, this may just make you want to run out and get one of your very own. A Favorite Among Cat Lovers - The Maine Coon
The Mystery and the Myth
Like any other domesticated species, the origins of where the breed first started can often be in question; the Maine Coon is no exception. If you are a romantic at heart, you may enjoy knowing the Queen of France herself, Marie Antoinette, may have had a hand in the Maine Coon’s rise to fame. It is said when she attempted to escape France in 1793, with the help of Captain Samuel Clough, that among her prized possessions she took with her where her six favorite Turkish Angora cats. As we all know, she didn’t make it to the US, but her cats did. Where? Maine of course, in a place called, Wiscasset. Here, it is believed, her beloved pets bred with short-haired felines which later evolved into the Maine Coon.
A popular myth has the Maine Coon breed stemming from feral tabbies mating with raccoons. We now know scientifically that this would never happen, but it would account for the this breed’s bushy tail and distinct markings. Another myth has the domesticate cat breeding with a wild bob cat. Although, this would be a great reason why the Maine Coon has the big tufts of hair on its ears, chances are a bobcat would have been more apt to hunt a smaller species, then mate with it.
However the Maine Coon came to be, whether it be through selective breeding or by accident, this cat is a beautiful example of some of the finest domesticated feline breeds today.A Favorite Among Cat Lovers - The Maine Coon
The Maine Coon’s Beauty and Qualities
One look at an adult Maine Coon will tell you a lot about this breed. It is a large cat with most males weighing in around 15 to 25 pounds and the females a tad smaller at 10 to 15 pounds. But this isn’t just a lot of fur. The Maine Coon can stand from 10 to 16 inches at the shoulder, with a length (including the tail) of 48 inches. This is indeed, a lot of cat!
The body of this breed is sturdy and muscular and as an adult, it has a broad chest with a rectangular body shape. But be prepared, unlike other domesticated breeds, the Maine Coon will take a full 3 to 5 years to mature and develop fully, but it is well worth the wait.
A Coat to Be Admired
Perhaps one of the finest qualities about the Maine Coon is its beautiful coat. This cat can come in either a long or medium coat and both are equally as soft. When fully mature, the Maine Coon will have a shorter coat on its head and shoulders. The coat will grow longer on the belly, flanks and around its neck; this lion-like mane is one of the most adoring features of the Maine Coon breed. In addition, even though its coat can be very long, there is minimal grooming involved on your part. This is due to the breed’s lightly dense undercoat. Although, if you live in a cooler climate, you can expect the coat thickness to change; lighter in the summer, heavier in the winter.
The Maine Coon does come in all color variations, including the point colors of a Siamese and the ticked. However, if you plan on showing your feline, these colors will not be accepted by most feline clubs. Also, blue eyes are also a no-no, unless your Maine Coon is pure white.
Another trait that was quite common in the Main Coon was polydactylism. This is when the paws of the cat contain one or more extra toes. Although adorable for the average house Coon, this extra toe is not considered a breed standard. This trait once occurred in approximately 40 percent of all the Maine Coons found in New England, but due to selective breeding, it has declined.
Even though most domesticated cats are known for being aloof, the Maine Coon has been toted as the “gentle giant” of the cat world and are known as being above-average when it comes to intelligence. This breed is also very loyal and can be a bit cautious around strangers. They make a good choice if you have children, dogs or other pets, as their larger size can handle the busyness of its housemates. The Maine Coon is also affectionate, but not so much that you forget it is a cat. Males of this breed tend to stay playful and clownish throughout their lives, where females will take on a more quiet dignity. A Favorite Among Cat Lovers - The Maine Coon
Another interesting quality about the Maine Coon, may date back from their heritage as mousers on ships – they love water. This, of course, can’t be expected throughout each individual cat, but don’t be surprised if you find you fluffy baby puddling in the bathtub or sink.
If you are the type of person (like me) that enjoys the different vocal interactions some cats possess, then the Maine Coon is sure to make you smile. This breed can “talk” up a storm with amusing yowls, chirps, and chatter. Owners of these cats say the Maine Coon does not have a problem “talking back” to them.
As you can see, the Maine Coon is a beautifully distinct breed that has grown and developed throughout the ages. Cat fanciers and pet owners alike enjoy all this amazing feline as to offer. If you are interested in adopting a Maine Coon, check your local area for reputable breeders or even a rescue organization. The Maine Coon is sure to make a wonderful companion for your family for years to come.