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Maine Coon cat breed – Facts and traits

Approx. 3 minutes read

The Maine coon is like the Great Dane of cats, also known as the gentle giant. They are one of the most popular cat breeds, second only to the Persian cat. The Maine coon is certainly the largest domesticated cat breed; it’s a Maine coon that holds the world record for being the longest domestic cat at four feet (1.2 m) long!

Appearance

The Maine coon is an enormous cat! It also holds the record for the cat with the longest whiskers, an amazing 16.51 cm in length. The Maine coon has a distinctive M on its forehead and has fluffy ear tips. They have oversized paws, furry and flat, almost like snowshoes. They also have a very thick and long tail, giving them good balance, agility and a super warm wrap for cat napping in cold weather. 

Adult Maine coon cats have three coats: two undercoats and a guard coat with colours that varies from white to black, tabby and grey. This is the primary reason why they need regular brushing and grooming.

Try a deshedding cat brush, which is perfect for cats who suffer from hairballs and knots. The deshedding brush has a blade attached, which helps remove the undercoat and loose hair, while the rake loosens and detangles knots. 

Native to Maine, USA

The Maine coon is native to the United States of America; specifically to Maine in the northeast of the USA. It’s one of the oldest natural breeds of cat and while there are no official records of where it came from, it’s been suggested that the Maine coon is a close cousin of the Norwegian forest cat and the Siberian. Many theories and fanciful tales of the Maine coon’s origins exist, two of which involve Maine coon ancestors deboarding ships from Europe and England and mating with local cats to produce beautiful long-haired kittens. 

Original Maine coons were raised for hunting mice and keeping rodents in check. They were also popular ship cats. Maine coons entered the cat show stage in New York in 1895 and were popular winners for cat fanciers. 

Big personality

The Maine coon is a terrific family cat and is a brilliant choice for first-time cat owners, since they are such loving, loyal and sweet gentle giants. Maine coon cats are said to be very intelligent and can be taught to fetch, walk on leads and open doors. They certainly do need their daily exercise as they have the propensity to enjoy a slow life if given room to do so. They can easily gain weight, so their lifestyles should be well managed. 

Potential health problems

Maine coons are genetically predisposed to developing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, hip and elbow dysplasia, and spinal muscular atrophy. If you are looking to acquire a purebred Maine coon, ask for specific screenings to be done to check for these hereditary conditions. Health problems or not, ensure your big cat undergoes regular vet check-ups. 

Breed Maine coon
Country United States of America
Average Adult Height 25 – 40 cm
Average Adult Weight 6 – 9 kg
Life Expectancy 12 – 16 Years
Exercise requirements Needs plenty of space to roam and exercise.
Similar Breeds Norwegian Forest Cat
Rescues in South Africa http://mainecoon.rescueme.org/za
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