Meet the Maine Coon Cat
The Maine coon cat is one of the most popular cats for animal lovers and their families.
Not surprisingly, this American long-haired breed is the official state cat of Maine and has been held in high regard by locals for decades. But what makes the Maine coon beloved by cat fans everywhere?
We have the answers to all your most pining questions.
The History Behind the Maine Coon
What is the history of the Maine Coon?
The origins of the Maine coon are unclear. All we know is that they hail from Wiscasset, Maine, and began appearing in late 19th-century cat shows.
What are some mysteries and myths behind their lineage?
It has been said that the Maine coon is part raccoon, but there is no truth to that rumor.
Some people believe they are descendants of Viking ship cats, while others insist they are ancestors of Marie Antoinette's treasured felines. Some of her things made it to the United States in the late 18th century, but we don't know for sure if her cats were part of that journey.
The Maine Coon's Looks
How big do Maine coons get?
These domestic cats reach their full size between 3 and 5 years old. They grow up to be 40-inches long and 16-inches high. They weigh a lot, too — up to 25 pounds!
Why are they so big?
Maine coons look like Norwegian forest cats and may very well descend from them. Living as wild cats in Wiscasset may have contributed to their large size.
They may also be bigger due to their slow growth rate, which enables their bones and muscles to develop longer.
A Big Cat With a Big Personality
What is their personality like?
The Maine coon may seem intimidating, but it is a gentle giant with a sweet nature. It is an affectionate clown, loyal to their chosen family but is still fiercely independent.
How intelligent are they?
The Maine coon is highly intelligent and curious. They love to seek out new environments and learn quickly.
Do Maine coons like water?
Most cats hate water, but most cats aren't the Maine coon! They are fascinated with all things wet.
If you can't find your cat, look for the nearest water source in your home.
Why They Make a Good Family Pet
Are they high- or low-energy pets?
While they love a human lap (what cat doesn't?), Maine coons have plenty of energy.
As highly intelligent and curious creatures, they need regular exercise and playtime to keep them mentally and physically fit.
Are Maine coon cats good family pets?
These good-natured, gentle felines thrive in families and love the company of children and other pets, including dogs. They are very tolerant of both and easily adaptable to most scenarios.
How do they sound?
While Maine coons are highly vocal, they don't meow. They do, however, trill and chip to show their owners they are happy, need attention or are hungry!
Do Maine coons growl or hiss?
This breed will hiss if it feels threatened, scared or insecure. Hissing lets people and other animals know that this cat needs space.
A constantly hissing Maine coon that shies from a person's touch may be in pain or have behavioral issues. In that instance, a trip to the vet is in order.
Grooming Maine Coons
What is their fur like?
A Maine coon has a medium to long coat that is soft and silky; however, the texture varies with coat color. Its length is shorter on the cat's head and shoulders and longer elsewhere. Some cats have a lion-like ruff around their necks that gives them a shaggy coat look.
The coon coats vary with the seasons — they are fuller in winter and thinner during the warmer months.
Do they shed?
Like all other cats, Maine coons shed — how they do it depends on the cat.
Some shed year-round, while others shed seasonally. Cats in warmer climates might have thinner fur than those that live in colder temperatures, but they are more likely to shed year-round.
Fluffier cats typically shed more than those with silky fur.
Do Maine coons need grooming?
As they have long hair, the coat of a Maine coon should be brushed two to three times a week to prevent matting. Their claws should be consistently trimmed, and their teeth brushed regularly.
Do they need to be bathed?
Cats are self-cleaning, and Maine coons are no exception. If you have an indoor cat, they don't need bathing. If your cat spends most of their time outdoors, they might need a bath here and there.
As cat owners know, bathing a feline is no easy feat, but remember, Maine coons like water!
Caring for a Maine Coon
How long do Maine coons live?
The Maine coon has an average lifespan of 12.5 to 15 years. However, many long-time owners have reported that their Maine coons have lived more than 20 years.
What do Maine coons eat?
The Maine coon eats what other cats eat — they do not need a special diet. However, as larger cats with high energy, they made need more than what your average cat would eat.
Just make sure they get enough exercise, as they tend to gain weight.
Are Maine coons generally healthy cats?
While a Maine coon will live most of its life with no health problems, it is genetically predisposed to feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (heart disease), spinal muscular atrophy, hip dysplasia, entropion on its eyelids and kidney disease.
Regular vet visits will keep your cat happy and healthy.
Are they hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, no. Like all cat breeds, they produce the protein most commonly associated with feline allergies. If you're allergic to cats, it's best not to get a Maine coon.
Should You Get a Maine Coon Cat?
How much is a Maine coon kitten?
If you're looking to bring a Maine coon into your home, a kitten can cost anywhere between $400 and $2,000 from reputable breeders. Make sure you one who is CFA-certified — some cats look like Maine coons but are not, and new owners can easily be duped.
Can you buy adult Maine coons?
Absolutely! They are not easily found in shelters, as they are typically the first cats to get adopted; however, there are Maine coon rescues in nearly every state.