The Maine Coon Cat

The Maine Coon Cat - Breed Profile

The Maine Coon is one of the most impressive cat breeds out there. When a Maine Coon walks into the room, with its dense long coat and large body build, people take notice… If you’re interested in this unique breed of cats, here’s a short and concise breed profile summary.

The Maine Coon Cat – Breed History

The history of this particular breed is riddled with myths and unlikely tales. We do know it’s a relatively old breed, going back to colonial times. Early Maine Coons were part of Maine rural life from the time of the first settlers.

The myths surround the very origins of this magnificent cat, with one of them going as far as claiming that these felines came about as a result of crossbreeding between domestic cats and wild raccoons. A genetic impossibility, that particular myth can be disputed with ease. Other theories, about some initial cross breeding between domestic cats and local bobcats may have a grain of truth in them.

However, there is a more likely explanation for the breed’s thick coat, including those impressive tufts. The first cats, arriving aboard ships where early colonists had them as pest control measures, had to adapt to the rough Maine winter. Within a few generations, only the largest, stockiest cats with the longest and most durable coat survived. Breeding with one another, these cats were the founding individuals for the Maine Coon Breed.

By the end of the 19th century, they had become a distinct cat breed, recognized by the American Cat Fancy and put on display in early cat shows. With the growing popularity of new exotic breeds that were imported into the country in the early 20th century, the Maine Coon’s glory days were past. At least for a while. Some breeders maintained Maine Coon lines, enough to resurrect the breed within the Cat Fancy world in the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies.

Maine Coon Cats – Breed Description

Maine Coons are fairly large cats. Adult males can reach the 14 to 20 pounds range, and females usually weigh between 10 and 14 pounds. These cats are slow to mature, often reaching their full size only at the age of three to four years.

The coat is heavy and silky to the touch, longer on the stomach and britches and shorter around the shoulder area. Maine Coons come in all colors and patterns except for pointed patterns. There are some magnificent Maine Coons with shades, silver and smoky patterns.

The head is well balanced, medium in width and length with a square muzzle. The ears are large and well tufted and the eyes are large, expressive and wide set.

Maine Coons are considered quiet solid cats in character as well. Owners say they are playful and devoted and make excellent pets. Maine Coons are known for being reserved around strangers, but once they warm up to newcomers, their warm loving nature is revealed.

Maine Coon Cats – Special Needs

Having evolved as barn yard cats in stormy Maine, these cats are known for their hardiness and have no special needs or requirements. Their long coat doesn’t matt easily and doesn’t not require extensive grooming.

As with any breed, there is a higher likelihood of certain genetic problems, due to breeding within a relatively limited genetic pool. In the Maine Coon, these include a higher tendency for hip dysplasia and cardiomyopathy. If you plan on buying a Maine Coon kitten, you should ask any breeder whether he is screening for those problems and have they occurred with previous litters.


Comments? Leave them using the form below. Questions? Please use the cat forums for those!

19 comments on “The Maine Coon Cat

Furballsmom August 16, 2019
Star90 said:
Does the cat have to have that long hair to be Maine coon cause mine has everything else but he has medium hair. His kittens have the mainecoon faces and tails... I can post picture if needed
Hi @Star90! I see that you posted your question in the forum Describing Cats - What Does My Cat Look Like? as suggested at the end of this article, and that you received replies from members who saw your post there :)
Star90 July 26, 2019
Does the cat have to have that long hair to be Maine coon cause mine has everything else but he has medium hair. His kittens have the mainecoon faces and tails... I can post picture if needed
catsknowme May 10, 2018
tarasgirl06 said:
We lost our beloved and very typey brown patched tabby Mainey man last November, and his departure has left a huge void in our home and our hearts.  Sweet, loving, loyal, affectionate and silly, Sammi, pictured in my icon, was also our COO and ran our office very purr-fessionally.  He is much, much missed.
Bless you all for rescuing those treasures
catsknowme May 10, 2018
tarasgirl06 said:
We lost our beloved and very typey brown patched tabby Mainey man last November, and his departure has left a huge void in our home and our hearts.  Sweet, loving, loyal, affectionate and silly, Sammi, pictured in my icon, was also our COO and ran our office very purr-fessionally.  He is much, much missed.
Condolences on your loss :( My MC, JC, is a favorite of family and friends. He is an excellent cat ambassador - sure to win over many avowed "dogs only" people. Hopefully, there is another Coonie in your future.
catsknowme May 10, 2018
TOM 506 said:
Would like to breed my maine coone cat Where do i go?
You could check out the Maine Coon Cat Lovers page on FaceBook.
catsknowme May 10, 2018
mikageme07 said:
I wish I had a maine coon. I'm obsessed with large breed cats. Unfortunately, we don't have much of them here in the Philippines. Only those who can afford them can have them.
I certainly wish you could enjoy the companionship of a Maine Coon as well. My MC is very much like the Border Collie dogs that I used to have. They do like the cold weather, though.
mikageme07 April 16, 2018
I wish I had a maine coon. I'm obsessed with large breed cats. Unfortunately, we don't have much of them here in the Philippines. Only those who can afford them can have them.
TOM 506 November 18, 2017
Would like to breed my maine coone cat Where do i go?
TOM 506 November 18, 2017
Have a male maine coone 3 years old and would like to breed him Where could i find someone with a female?
Pumasparent September 6, 2017
Could I have a Maine coon?
tarasgirl06 October 6, 2016
We lost our beloved and very typey brown patched tabby Mainey man last November, and his departure has left a huge void in our home and our hearts.  Sweet, loving, loyal, affectionate and silly, Sammi, pictured in my icon, was also our COO and ran our office very purr-fessionally.  He is much, much missed.
notimetosleep April 14, 2016
I volunteer for a rescue and last year we had 7 breeding Maine Coons signed over to us after the breeder died, I was able to foster 6 of them. But only one was in good condition.  After lots of time, vet treatment and buckets of love we have rehomed 4 of them to fabulous new homes and I get regular updates.  2 are permanent fosters as their medical issues are permanent and I am lucky enough to have opportunity for adopt one once she is better.  She has suffered campobylactor for who knows how long (and was still being bred with this condition) and now that is resolved she has very serious gut problems that we are still dealing with.  But she's my big girl, she looks after all the newbies that come in and has even helped one of the young moms who has struggled to cope with her newborns.  Love her to bits.  PS she as well as all other neutered now. She can learn to be a lady of leisure
nklfrank April 12, 2016
...i have my pal Bones....he's my rescue from the woods and was in pretty bad shape...one leg broken, one fractured, a chewed up paw with a maggot in it and something had taken a bite out of him when i got him...it's been 8 months now and he's doing just fine...
cyndr03 January 14, 2016
We just got our maine coon kitten he is almost 4 months and he is so fun!  His paws are bigger then either of my adult cats.  
helsic July 24, 2014
my neighbours in the first floor have a Maine coon but they have no idea, since I live in China and in this town most of people have no clue about how to rise and take care of cats, they just assume that all of them are 'the same'.
wanja June 4, 2014
They are the most adorable cats. My little MC is now 4 months old and her name is Pepper, so cute and wants lots and lots of love.
webermar1 February 24, 2014
I found Buddy at the local animal shelter. I had been on their website looking for a cat for a couple of months, when I spotted Buddy. Right away I wanted him. He is the sweetest kitty I ever had. He is Maine Coon and Tortie. He loves to flip onto his back to get a tummy rub. He is also very photogenic.
lianaspoken May 24, 2013
I got my cat daisy from a shelter when she was relatively young but my entire family thinks she is a Maine Coon and this description confirmes it further. I have had her for ten years and she is reserved around most people but when it is just me and her she will climb up me and meow beyond belief for a bite of my nachos lol (She loves melted cheese .. but only real cheese .. hilarious lol who would have guessed!)
kitkatkitten10 January 2, 2013
Maine Coon Kitties are sooo pretty. I have one. Her name is Olivia and she only drinks from the bathtub...

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