Traditionally bred as ship and farm cats in New England, Maine Coon cats are known for their large size and fluffy coats. They are incredibly affectionate and social companions who love to spend time with their families. If you are considering bringing a Maine Coon into your family, it is important to understand their unique personalities, potential health concerns, and grooming and activity needs.
History of the Maine Coon
The Maine Coon cat is considered the only longhair feline breed native to the United States. While their origins are uncertain, breed experts believe that these cats were likely introduced to New England by sailors. When foreign ship cats bred with American cats, the Maine Coon was created. Despite their name and their fluffy ring tails, Maine Coons do not have any racoon ancestors. They are, however, the official state cat of Maine.
Traditionally living as ship and farm cats, Maine Coons were popular mousers and hunters of other rodents in the 19th century. The rise of glamourous Persian and Siamese cat breeds in the early 1900’s threatened to the Maine Coon’s popularity. However, these cats began winning shows in the 1960’s and the Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association was formed in 1968. Since then, the breed has been a beloved and highly recognizable family pet. In 2019, the Cat Fanciers’ Association listed the Maine Coon as the fifth-most popular cat breed in the U.S. According to Daily Paws, a female Maine Coon named Pebbles played Mrs. Norris in the Harry Potter film series.
Size and appearance
If there is one thing that Maine Coons are known for, it is their incredible size. These large cats have well-proportioned, muscular bodies and broad chests. They can weigh between nine and 18 pounds, with larger males weighing closer to 20 pounds. Maine Coons are typically 10 to 16 inches tall and can be up to 40 inches long. The record for the world’s longest house cat belongs to a Maine Coon who grew to be over four feet long! If you have a Maine Coon kitten, you might not know for a long time just how big they will get—these cats don’t reach their full size until they are between three and five years old!