Maine Coon Cat

Maine Coon CatThe Maine Coon 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.

They have a long, rectangular body, square muzzles, and an overall look of a sturdy cat who is a great hunter and hard worker.

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 Coons are available in a variety of colors and patterns.

 

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 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.

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

Provided with permission of Barbara French
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