What is a Maine Coon?
Main Coons are said to be ‘the dogs of the cat world’ because they enjoy the company of people. Also called ‘gentle giants’; Maine Coons are big, gentle, intelligent, good-natured goofs who remain kittenish throughout their lives.
Maine Coons’ Kindly Disposition
Maine Coons have long been a popular and sought after companion. They have a loving nature and will offer you hours of enjoyment with their antics but can at times be intrusive; as they fully expect to be a member of your family. Without question they want to be part of everything, which may sometimes require a closed door between you and your cat. Most Maine Coon Cats have a fondness of water, to be in it, watch it, wash their food in it, or just plain play in it. So, don’t be surprised if you have an uninvited guest in your shower or help washing the dishes on any given day.
They are known for being loyal to their family and cautious (but not mean) around strangers, but are independent and not clingy. The Maine Coon is generally not known for being a “lap cat” but their gentle disposition makes the breed relaxed around dogs, other cats, and children. They are playful throughout their lives, with males tending to be more clownish and females generally possessing more dignity; yet both are equally affectionate.
Even more than for beauty, Maine Coon Cats are noted for intelligence and kindly disposition. After all, what they couldn’t obtain themselves, they could always get by charming a nearby human. Though their size can be intimidating, they are known for their friendliness towards just about anything and are especially good with children and other pets. For these reasons, they have been dubbed the ‘Gentle Giant’ of the cat fancy and are commonly sought after as family pets, companions, and therapy cats.
Maine Coon Sounds
Maine Coons are also well known for being very vocal cats; speaking to you in cat language. Having a variety of sounds at their disposal; they may be yowling or howling, trilling, chirping, or making other loud vocalizations. And yet when they meow, they often have a soft, tiny voice that is incongruous with their large size.
The Appearance of Maine Coons
Maine Coons have a sturdy, rugged, appearance and are the largest breed of domestic cats.
On average, males weigh from 13 to 18 lb (5.9 to 8.2 kg) with females weighing from 8 to 12 lb (3.6 to 5.4 kg). The height of adults can vary between 10 and 16 in (25 and 41 cm) and they can reach a length of up to 48 in (120 cm), including the tail, which can reach a length of 14 in (36 cm) and is long, tapering, and heavily furred, almost resembling a raccoon’s tail. The body is solid and muscular, which is necessary for supporting their own weight, and the chest is broad.
Maine Coons possess a rectangular body shape and usually have muscular, broad chests and long rectangular bodies but are slow to physically mature; their full potential size is normally not reached until they are three to five years old, while other cats take about one year.
Maine Coons come in just about every cat color and pattern (about 75 altogether), solid, tabby, red or orange, cream, white, buff, black, silver, brown, multi-colored, tortoiseshell or calico.
Eyes are large, round, expressive, wide set and slightly oblique. The most common eye colors are green, gold, green-gold, or copper. White or bi-color Maine Coons sometimes have blue eyes. Paws are large, round, and tufted. Ears are large, tufted. The tail is long and generally fluffy. They have over-sized paws and some original Maine Coons were polydactyl (had extra toes). Their descendants can also be polydactyl, although polydactyl Maine Coons are no longer common.
Maine Coons’ Low Maintenance Fur
The Maine Coon Cat’s hair may be long or medium length; but uneven and shaggy, of three distinct lengths. It is a silky and somewhat oily coat, not dense (although texture may vary with coat color); and its upkeep is much easier than that of other longhaired breeds. The coat is almost self-maintained (owing to a light-density undercoat) but will require occasional grooming. Because they love attention of any kind, grooming is easily accomplished. However, the coat is subject to seasonal variation, with the fur being thicker in the winter and thinner during the summer.
Maine Coons’ Cold Weather Adaptability
Maine Coon Cats are strong, like New England work dogs, that can handle harsh winters.
Maine Coons have several physical adaptations for survival. Their dense water-resistant fur is longer and shaggier on their underside and rear for extra protection when they are walking or sitting on top of wet surfaces of snow or ice. Their long and bushy raccoon-like tail is resistant to sinking in snow, and can be curled around their face and shoulders for warmth and protection from wind and blowing snow and it can even be curled around their backside like an insulated seat cushion when sitting down on a snow or ice surface. Large paws, and especially the extra-large paws of polydactyl Maine Coons, facilitate walking on snow and are often compared to snowshoes. Long tufts of fur growing between their toes help keep the toes warm and further aid walking on snow by giving the paws additional structure without significant extra weight. Heavily furred ears with extra long tufts of fur growing from inside help keep their ears warm.
Maine Coons as Competition Show Cats
With Maine Coons’ above-average intelligence, they are relatively easy to train. Maine Coons were approved for championship status on May 1, 1976. The next couple of decades saw a rise in popularity of the Maine Coon, with championship victories and an increase in national rankings. In 1985, the state of Maine announced that the breed would be named the official State Cat. Today the Maine Coon is the third most popular cat breed, according to the number of kittens registered with the Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA).
Maine Coon Life Expectancy
Pet insurance data obtained from a study during years 2003-2006 in Sweden puts the median lifespan of the Maine Coon at >12.5 years. 74% lived to 12 years or more and 54% lived to 16.5 years or more. With proper care and nutrition, your Maine Coon Cat should give you many years of love, enjoyment, and companionship.
Initial Maine Coon Care
Your new Maine Coon Cat addition should be kept indoors, spayed/neutered (if purchased as a pet) and be provided proper nutrition and acceptable surfaces for expression of natural behavior, for example, clean litter pans and scratching surfaces.
20 Things Only Maine Coon Cat Owners Would Understand
Maine Coons are undoubtedly the biggest types of domesticated cats. One cannot imagine what it is like to share a home with a cat this big. Their distinction from other cats does not just lie in their size but character and personality as well. These cats have proven to possess personality traits that are unique compared to other breeds. Besides being large, they are also affectionate and fun. Therefore, believe me when I tell you that Maine Croons will turn your house into something else, something that your old cat cannot do. Your experience with a housemate the size of a small car will simply be life changing.
It’s Not a Wild Animal
Honestly, the first time your friends lay their eyes on your cat they might think that it is wild. Your friends will probably confuse it for a bear or something else due to its size. Some may even think that you somehow mate a wild cat and a bear to get your cat, which is not the case in real sense. Anyway, you could play around with their imagination. It is always fun.
Someone’s got a Sense of Humor
Who doesn’t love a cat with an impeccable sense of humor? Maine Coons take the crown for being funny. This is mainly regarded to their mischievous and playful nature. Most people find this incredibly funny and you might break a rib laughing to this. You will enjoy this more so if you have a great sense of humor.
The Raccoon Cousin… No
Some people have the notion that Maine Coons take after raccoons, which is not right. This precious cats have no resemblance to raccoons apart from being distant relatives. Most people even assume that it is an offspring of a cat and a raccoon. Most Maine Coon owners are bothered quite often due to this rumor. If you are bothered with silly questions like whether your cat is bred from a raccoon and a cat then you should get back to them with silly answers. You could tell them that it is a wild cat and a bear.
Your Cat is Larger than the Neighbor’s Dog
With a Maine Coon, you will definitely have the biggest cat in your neighborhood. This could be the case unless your neighbor has a Mastiff or a Great Dane. Funny enough, your cat would still outsize your neighbor’s dog. Isn’t that amazing? A Chihuahua for instance will be too tiny to scare your cat. Actually, it would be the other way round.
The Shrill Trill
Maine Coons do not meow just in case you never knew. Instead of meowing, these cats trill. They do this almost loudly all the time. Maine Coons are not the kind of cats to be ignored, you will pay attention when they need something or else your ears will be torn off. Their ever-loud conversational skills will get you to pay attention all the time.
Food, Food, Food
We all know that an animal’s size is proportional to the amount of food it consumes. This is not different when it comes to these exotic cats. Maine coons are way larger that your ordinary cats and as expected, your house will have to be sufficient with food to sustain their insatiable appetite. They are known to chew on any bag of food within reach if they are unable to acess food by themselves. Therefore, you have to be ready to feed them all the time. Remember to keep the bag of food out of their reach!
It’s a Giver
No matter how sweet your cat is, a giver is better than anything. As much as we love them as pets, we still need them to get rid of the stubborn rodents or snakes that may creep up in the house. It is no secret but everyone loves a giver and over time, Maine Cons have proven to be the best at this. They just keep on giving; from small rodents to enormous snakes. It is much easier for them owing to their incredible size. They definitely love to kill and the good thing is that they bring their kills home to you as a present.
Most people will joke at the size, personality, fur or appearance of the Maine Coon. However, most of the times they will do this out of pure jealous just because they don’t have such a lovable beast at their home. Maine Coons are very cool compared to other cats and their kittens are cute not to mention their personality. Thus, regardless of the jokes they may make about the cat, Maine Coons are the best.
Maine Coons make all Other Shedding Cats look like Kittens
Cats can make your life miserable at times as much as they are our unconditional friends. This is especially if you are allergic because they occasionally shed their fur. However, the good thing about the fur from cats is that it is not hypoallergenic. Nevertheless, Maine Coons will make it much more difficult for you during summer when they shed their thick coat. I guess you will have to be prepared for this. Two vacuums will do it. They are the sweetest friends nonetheless and all you need is to take care of the fur during summer.
People Fear your Cat
People tend to be scared of large pets particularly those that are large for their kind. Talk of the German shepherd and now the Maine Coon. Actually, large cats are more intimidating since they are associated so much with house pets just like wild animals. People think that it is a wild animal. This is why is really interesting to own a Maine Coon.
The Head Butt is Real
As I mentioned before, Maine Coons are not ordinary cats. One could describe them as intelligent especially in the way that they communicate. In case they want to congratulate you for something or they simply need your attention in some way then they will let you know for sure. They do this so uniquely by using a head butt. The head butt is done in a gentle way although you will have to move out of the way or pay attention finally.
They’re Not as Annoying to Groom as People Assume
People will feel sorry for you when you appear with a cat this big. This is because they wonder how you manage to groom a large cat with such long hair. However, the good thing is that Maine Coons are not as annoying as they may seem during grooming. Brushing them weekly will leave their cat looking nice. This is apart from their occasional shedding during summer. The coats of this remarkable cats do not mat which makes work easier for the owner.
You can Teach him to Walk on a Leash
Another amazing thing about Maine Coons is that they can learn how to walk on a leash. Having a cat that is not only big but also disciplined, enough to walk on a leash is quite awesome. The flip side of it is the attention that you will be attracting while you stroll down the streets. People will stop you after every 3 feet to ask you about the cat or just be mesmerized at the sight. This might be a little irritating.
He Gets on Well with Others
As much as they may look wild, Maine Coons are actually a friendly breed. Moreover, they get along quite easily with other cat breeds and people as well. Surely, you will be stunned by how cool the cat is with strangers, kids, dogs or other pets. They are the kind of cats that you would love to have around when you meet other people.
They’re Kind of your Best Friend
Having a Maine Coon is like having a total package, filled with humor, love, compassion and unconditional friendship. The cat will be at your side at all times in addition to cuddling with you when you are resting. Moreover, the cat likes to talk and you will experience the head butt or trills all the time. You will also get the company that your human friend would not offer. In addition to that, you will be sure of loyalty and unconditional friendship from this incredible cat. This will be showed to you through the rodents and other animals that will occasionally be presented to you. This is the kid of cat that makes you feel safe and secure due to its intimidating size as well as evil looking eyes. What else could anyone want?
He Plays Fetch
Maine Coons love to play fetch. This is a trait that is also synonymous with dogs. It never gets boring when you are around this cat. Just like dogs, all you need is to throw something and the cat will get it for you. This is a feature that you will not find in other cat breeds. It is only unique to Maine Coons. They are intelligent cats that will leave your life full of joy.
He’s a Swimmer
For your information, Maine Coons enjoy a bit of swimming. Therefore, you have to be keen on how you place his water dish or else you might find your house in a mess. Maine Coons are really playful especially when they are alone and this includes some swimming. Thus, if you are to leave him a water dish then you had better place it on a towel, which would absorb the scattered water when he is swimming.
They’re Big Fans
Maine Coons are royal and extremely loving to their owners. Besides being your biggest fan, a Maine Coons will guarantee you unconditional friendship. This is why Main Coons will kill rodents and bring them home as a reward for taking care of them. Most of the time a Maine Coon will be by your side, following you around, cuddling and showing affection to you. It will look like a small toddler on your lap. You will definitely feel safe and a lot more comfortable having a cat this big at your side.
No One Likes Brushing a Cat’s Teeth
Honesty, brushing a cat’s teeth is one of the most daunting tasks that a cat owner could face. Unfortunately, Maine Coons are prone to periodontal disease. Additionally, they possess bad breath that you would not like to have around your nose on a good day. However, vet’s keep reminding Maine Coon owners to get their teeth brushed on a regular basis. Remember, this breed has lots of teeth that are not just sharp but big as well. Therefore, you have to be very careful while doing this. As mentioned before, Maine Coons are easy to handle and so it will not be so hard for you to clean the mouth.
The Demand is Easy
Maine Coons are simply the best. Besides being unconditional friends and showering you with love all the time, they expect very little from you. They are not the kind of pets that will require you attention all the time. All you have to do is to feed them sufficiently, appreciate them when they do something incredible and groom them. That is it. From there you can do any other thing and your Maine Coon will be at your side following you around. Isn’t this the ideal companion that anyone would long for?