The many legends
The Maine Coon is a majestic cat whose origins are very often debated. Is it American? French? Where in the world does the Maine Coon come from?
The Maine Coon might have originated from a cross between a forest wildcat from the forests of the State of Maine and a raccoon, thus giving the cat its name of Maine Coon. However, this hypothesis is a mere fantasy, since such a mix would be both genetically and biologically impossible.
What if the Maine Coon had French origins?
Queen Marie Antoinette, when the Revolution picked up steam, reportedly gave her six cats to a captain who was heading to New England. Unfortunately, once arrived, the cats ran away and reproduced with American cats.
What if the Maine Coon was in fact from the north?
Indeed, there is a hypothesis which points out the resemblance between the Maine Coon and Norwegian forest cats. The Maine Coon would thus be a Viking! The Vikings did arrive in the US around A.D. 1000, and it is possible that they brought with them some of their cats. The latter may then have bred with American wild cats.
So, what then is the real origin of the Maine Coon?
The Maine Coon is the first American cat breed, and apparently came from a cross between a longhaired cat native to Asia and a native wild shorthaired cat. It is a strong cat and a very good hunter, so much so that it is essential for farmers since it protects their crops from pests such as rodents.
The friend of pioneers and the first farms
The Maine Coon very quickly became a pet for the pioneers, who liked its gentle nature.
Over time, farmers eventually started breeding this cat, which would soon begin to be exhibited in cat shows. The first Maine Cat (the former name of the Maine Coon) to enter the history books was a black and white cat. This was in 1886. Unfortunately, this breed of cat quickly fell into oblivion since other longhaired cat breeds, such as the Persian, or more exotic breeds, began to attract the public’s interest. There was even the worry that the Maine Coon was becoming an endangered species.
The breed was only recognized in 1976 by the CFA (The Cat Fanciers’ Association), even though a club had been created in 1950.
Travel to Europe
Although this cat of extraordinary proportions generated interest across the Atlantic, its installation in European households was nonetheless done in stages.
Germany was the first European country to see the Maine Coon land on its territory in 1972. Neighbouring France, meanwhile, only saw the arrival of the Maine Coon 10 years later, in 1981. However, despite its arrival in the early 80s, the Maine Coon did not become known to the public until the early ‘90s.
The Maine Coon Today
The Main Coon is an unconventional cat, a giant with a tender heart.
Why a giant? Simply because it is the largest domestic cat. Growing slowly, it reaches maturity at the late age of 4. Once fully grown, it weighs between 4 and 6 kilos, with some males weighing up to 14 kilos. Females generally weigh approximately 3 kilos less than males.
The Maine Coon can live in an appartment as long as they became used to this at a very young age.
The Maine Coon’s qualities
The Maine Coon is a calm and playful cat. It is also curious and affectionate and, despite its size, which may seem impressive, it is a cat that is very adaptable to apartment living. It does, however, appreciate the chance to go out to the garden.
The Maine Coon is a cat that is easy to train and that can live very well with other cats or dogs, as long as they met each other when they were little.
Somewhat of a dog-cat, it loves playing with its master and staying close to him. Very affectionate, it loves hugs.
The Maine Coon’s shortcomings
This is not really a shortcoming, but the Maine Coon is not a very independent cat. It needs you badly and has difficulty dealing with loneliness. Be sure not to leave it alone too often, or for too long.
General appearance of the Maine Coon
The Maine Coon is a big cat. It has a strong bone structure and musculature, with a rectangular and heavily muscled body with a broad chest. Its tail is long and well-furnished, and its coat is of unequal length on the back and sides.
It also has large ears that are recognizable by the small plume at their tip.
- Size: medium
- Cheeks: high and prominent
- Profile: the line of the nose forms a slight concave curve without stop
- Muzzle: moderately thick, it tapers towards the tip. It is angular and square when seen from the front. It is never pointed or narrow.
- The nose, lips and chin are all aligned on the same vertical line.
- Chin: firm and strong.
- Eyes: they are large and slightly oval. Obliquely oriented, they are well spaced from one another. The accepted colors for the eyes are green, gold, copper and yellow. Blue or differently colored eyes are accepted only in white cats.
- Ears: large and wide at the base. Placed high on the head, they are separated by a space equivalent to the base of an ear. They are slightly pointed and inclined slightly outward. The ears are well furnished with a plume on their tip, like that which occurs in the Lynx.
Note: Balanced proportions between the length of the head and the muzzle are essential.
The body is of medium size, long, and large. It is muscular with a broad chest. The body should maintain an overall balance.
- Legs: strong and powerful with a substantial bone structure. Moderately long, they reinforce the rectangular appearance of the body without exaggerating it.
- Feet: large and round with five toes on the front feet and four for the back legs. They have significant hair between the toes.
- Tail: the ideal length of the tail should reach to the base of the shoulder blades. It is long and wide at the base and has very long hairs which form soft strands ending in a point.
These defects may result in penalties
- Straight profile, stop or pronounced hump on the nose.
- Receding chin, over or underbite. Short, long or pointed muzzle.
- A stocky or otherwise short or fine-boned body.
- In winter, a coat that is short or of equal length.
- Little or no hair between the toes.
- Wooly undercoat
- White spots on the cats (except for the colored sections)
- Incorrect number of toes (poldactyly).
I have a silver tabby coat. This is not the classic coat of the Maine Coon, which is usually blotched tabby.Goliath
Coat of the Maine Coon
The hairs of the Maine Coon are very thin and can easily become tangled.
Color of the Maine Coon
There are five different colors of coats in the Maine Coon.
- Single color: white, black, blue, red, cream
- Tortie tabby: tortoiseshell, blue cream
- Tabby: blotched tabby (most common coat), mackerel tabby (tiger stripes)
- Silver and smoke: silver tabby, smoke tabby
- Particolor: bicolor and tricolor, Arlequin (rare), Van (rare)
Care for the Maine Coon/h3>
The Maine Coon is a semi-longhaired cat, which requires care. Do not hesitate to brush hit at least once a week with a pure silk brush to avoid static electricity. Comb it carefully to avoid damaging the coat and avoiding the formation of knots in its hair. When your cat is moulting (spring to summer) you should brush hit daily. You can also wash it 3-4 times a year.
The Maine Coon does not purr, it coos!
Like any purebred cat, significant inbreeding leads to some diseases such as cardiomyopathy or hip dysplasia.
It is a calm, playful, affectionate, curious and patient cat. As a dog-cat, it can sometimes be a little bit clingy. It does not like being alone for too long. It can live very well in apartments but does like to go out sometimes. It can walk on a leash.