Everything You Need to Know About Maine Coon Cats
Hello! We are starting back up on the series about animal breeds! I have gotten a lot of positive feedback on people saying that these greatly helped in deciding which pet breed would be a positive match for their family.
So to continue on with the series, we are discussing the famous Maine Coon cats. We are going to discuss the history behind Maine Coons, their typical size, weight and lifespans, personalities, and then some fun facts that are often associated with Maine Coons.
If this is your first time joining Live Long and Pawspurr for cat breeds, don’t worry. I make these posts fun, informative, and relaxing. The expectation is that you will only have to go here to really learn the important things about these breeds. And if you like this post, make sure you go check out Burmese Cats and Bengal Cats.
This breed was requested to be researched, so if you have a breed you’re interested in learning about, make sure you go to my contact page and let me know!
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The history behind how Maine Coon cats came into existent is still up for debate. Some say that Maine coon’s cats sprang for six pet cats of Marie Antionette as she attempted to escape from her death. She was not successful in her escape, but luckily her cats where. It was said that they landed in Maine, then continued to breed with short hair cats, making the famous ‘Maine Coon’.
While that story is still up for debate on the legitimacy, historians still believe that Maine Coons came into existence from breeding short-haired cats and overseas longhairs (mostly likely Angora types which were apparently the same breed Marie Antionette had. I’m starting to believe this potential story as I research more. But I digress).
In the early 1800s, Maine Coons were extremely popular and were showcased in many cat shows. Their popularity decreased in the 1900s when Persians began entering the cat shows as well. Maine Coons, however, were known for being a sturdy domestic breed in New England. They are known for being healthy, strong, disease-resistant, and able to without harsh New England winters.
This ability was also why there is a discussion in the long-haired breed that was originally bred with the native short-hair cats were brought over by the Vikings. Their cats were able to withstand those harsh climates that they were forced to handle and therefore were able to make the journey with them. Personally, I think the Marie Antoinette story sounds cooler, so that’s probably the one I’m going to go with. Facts aside. Because you must have some fun in history, right?! Alright, that’s completely wrong, but everything else above this is correct.
About this breed
So this section kind of goes without saying. Maine Coons are known for being large animals. They are actually known are the world’s largest and longest house cat. These cats tend to weight anywhere from 8 to above 13 pounds. Their weight is usually dependent on their length as well. The longer that cat, the higher the chance the cat will weigh more.
This long-hair breed does require a bit of grooming to keep them happy and healthy. You will want to brush their mane on a regular basis, usually weekly will suffice. They are known for having a wide variety of coats that include solid colors and patterns, such as tortoiseshell and tabby. They are known for shedding slightly but not as much as other breeds. This would definitely not be considered a hypoallergenic cat thought. So this is something potential owners need to consider.
Maine Coon cats are known for being extremely intelligent and friendly cats. They are typically curious in nature which makes them willing to get to know humans, cats, dogs, and even other species depending on their situation. And while they are curious, they are not as needy and demanding as other breeds. Since they are known for getting along with nearly anyone and everyone, they can usually entertain themselves if there are others in the house along with them.
Interestingly enough, this breed has a lot of similar behaviors to that of a dog. They can be taught to fetch, walked on a leash, and socialize with dogs as I mentioned above. Their personality makes them one of the best breeds to travel with because they are able to adapt to different environments much faster than most other breeds.
So normally when people are looking to learn about cat breeds, they want to know almost everything. But not EVERYTHING EVERYTHING, and trust me that would be too much for me to type. So I wanted to try a fun spin on these and make a ‘fun fact’ section. If you read nothing else in this post, chances are you will be drawn to the fun fact sections. And if that can help you learn about this cat breed, better than how I was doing it with Burmese and Bengal cats, then I will happily shift the way I present these posts.
1. They actually are “big-boned”
This cat is known for its length as stated above. So when these cats tend to weight more and look at the bigger size, it is actually their frame, and not fat. So for basically the first time ever in existence, they really are just ‘big-boned’
2. They are known are ‘gentle giants’
This is because of the docile personality and overall size. They are also sometimes compared to dogs rather than to other cats because of their overall friendly behavior.
3. They can survive the harsh winter elements
Yeah, this is known. So I won’t dwell too much on this fact. But Maine Coons coats and genetics allow them to be able to handle colder weather much better than most other cat breeds. But it is important to call out that this does NOT mean that Maine Coon’s can be left outside to fend for themselves. Each cat is unique and should be treated as such.
4. They won America’s first popular cat exhibit
Maine Coons were known for being very well liked in the cat show industry. As I mentioned above, they were extremely popular in the 1800s and often won cat shows until the Persian breeds began to enter the shows as well.
5. They are a very popular cat breed in Maine
Alright, no surprise there. Maine Coons…Maine. There is a lot of talk that the Maine Coon originated in Maine, where was where they got their names from. So it is no surprise that while Maine Coons are a popular breed all around the United States, they are especially popular in Maine.
I’m from Ohio, and all I know if there was an Ohio Coon cat breed, that would probably be my first choice in a cat too. So I can’t really blame the Maine homeowners for their love of this adorable breed.
6. They starred in Harry Potter
Yes! Maine Coons are FAMOUS. A Maine Coon cat played the role of Argus Flinch’s pet cat. If you look back on scenes from the movie, you can catch glimpses of this cat walking around Hogwarts.
I bet some of you Harry Potter fans slightly wish you had a Maine Coon…or better yet WERE THAT Maine Coon cat.
7. Maine Coons hold the records for the world’s longest as well as the worlds oldest cat.
The worlds longest cat measured in at an impressive 48.5 inches from his tail to his nose, Though, Maine Coons are more commonly known for being about 10-15 inches in height with the length ranging on their ancestry.
In addition, the Maine Coon holds the record for the worlds oldest cat, coming in at 26 years old. (Hey! That’s how old I am while writing this! Though I do hope Phoebe breaks that record and is basically immortal. A girl can dream right?!). The world’s oldest cat is especially impressive since Maine Coons are normally known for having a life span of between 10-15 years. This is normally because of their size. The larger the animal, normally the shorter the average life span. The same is true for dogs as well.
8. They LOVE water
What is so funny is the more breeds I research, the more surprises I find. My cats are NOT fans of water except for fountains to drink out of. However, like Bengal Cats, Maine Coons LOVE WATER. It is not surprising to see your Maine Coon cat playing in puddles of water or water interactive toys.
9. Some are known to be polydactyl
As awesome as I think this trait is, sadly it is not as common as it used to be. Maine Coons used to genetically breed a lot of cats with 6 toes. This was said to be so they can use their extra digits to survive harsh climates in the wild.
What is even more interesting, is that they were so common until purebred competitions deemed 6 digits undesirable and they were eventually weeded out of existence. Now, this isn’t to say that there are no Maine Coons that are polydactyl. There still are some born because they carry the distance genetic mutation (or are not a purebred Maine Coon).
But in my eyes, an extra toe just means an extra amount of cat for humans to love on. And it makes them unique! Everyone wants a unique cat. No one was a cookie cutter cat breed. Where’s the fun in that?
Maine Coons cats will initially catch people's eye based on their size. However, there is so much more the breed. They are beautiful cats that have a very rich history and come in all shapes and sizes. And while there are some personality traits that are common with Maine Coon, that is not always the case. Every cat is unique and has their own take of a personality. So you may find a Maine Coon that doesn’t like water, or one that is shyer than others.
Maine Coons are wonderful cats that can bring owners and other pets a long time of happiness. Make sure you check out your local shelters if you become serious about adopting a cat, as well as check out some of the other posts such as ‘Thinking about getting a cat, nine things to consider’.