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Maine Coon

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The Maine Coon cat is known for its large size, easygoing temperament, and rugged appearance. This native New England breed is well-adapted to that harsh climate, with a heavy, shaggy coat, bushy tail, and tufted ears and toes. Maine Coons have a long, rectangular body, square muzzles, and an overall look of a sturdy cat who is a great hunter and hard worker.

The Maine Coon personality is laid-back, gentle, loving, and communicative. They often take the role of "supervisor" in their homes, making sure nothing passes without keeping tabs on progress.

Despite its name, the Maine Coon cat is not a relative of the raccoon. The name reflects the resemblance of a tabby Maine Coon's tail to that of a raccoon. Cross-mating between raccoons and cats is genetically impossible.

Though the brown tabby pattern is perhaps the best known, Maine Coon kittens are available in a variety of colors and patterns. (The mythology that "you can tell a Maine Coon because of the "M" on the forehead" is wrong; the "M" is simply a feature of tabby patterning. There are Maine Coons without the M, and plenty of non-Maine Coons who have it).

The first Maine Coon recognized in cat literature as such was in 1861, with a black and white cat named "Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines", after a popular song of the time. In 1895, a brown tabby named Cosie was the winner of the Madison Square Garden show. The fifth cat registered in the new CFA in 1908 was a Maine Coon named Molly Bond.

Unfortunately, the popularity of the Maine Coon breed declined shortly after this until the 1950s, due to the importation of more exotic-seeming cats such as the Persian and Siamese.

After the 1950s, the popularity climbed until today; the Maine is now one of the world's most popular cat breeds, second only to the Persian.

Maine Coons can grow to be quite large; it is not unusual to find males who weigh over twenty pounds. Females are generally somewhat smaller than males, though still considerably larger than the average housecat.

Photos © Chanan

Associations: The Maine Coon is accepted in all major cat registries.

Books about Maine Coons from

Maine Coon Breed Information

Maine Coon Video:

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