Maine Coon Cat

Maine Coon
Overview
Characteristics
Maine Coon
Temperament
? The breed’s dominant personality traits. While each individual has a unique personality, breed-specific genetics affect qualities like sociability, playfulness, and intelligence.
Gregarious, kind, intelligent, family-oriented
Origin
? Where this breed was first established.
United States
Other Names
? In addition to their official names, most breeds earn a few nicknames.
Maine cat, Coon Cat, American Coon Cat, American Longhair, Maine Shag, American Forest Cat, Gentle Giant
Group
? Breeds are grouped by their size and coat type.
Large Longhair
Height
? The typical adult height among individuals of this breed. Height is measured from the top of the head to the bottom of the front paws.
10"-16"
Body Length
? The typical adult body length among individuals of this breed. A cat’s length is measured from the base of the tail to the tip of the nose.
12"-18"
Weight
? The typical adult weight range of this cat breed.
9-20 pounds
Life Expectancy
? The average lifespan of the breed. While life expectancy is fairly consistent across all cat breeds, some breeds tend to live shorter or longer than others.
9-15 years
Price
? The average price.
$400-$2000
Affection Level
? Breeds with a high affection level want to give and receive a lot of attention, while less-affectionate breeds are not as interested in petting and snuggles.
0 100%
100%
Activity Level
? Breeds with high activity levels will engage more in active play and demand more space and attention.
0 100%
50%
Pet-Friendly
? How well the breed tends to get along with cats, dogs, and other pets.
0 100%
80%
Kid-Friendly
? Breeds with a higher rating in this area tend to be gentle and patient, while lower-rated breeds may feel uncomfortable with children.
0 100%
100%
Sociability
? Breeds with a higher sociability rating will want to spend time with you all day, while less-sociable breeds seldom seek out human interaction.
0 100%
100%
Intelligence
? Breeds with higher intelligence ratings are more curious, investigative, and easy to train. Less-intelligent breeds are less trainable but often laid-back and easygoing.
0 100%
80%
Playfulness
? Breeds that score higher in this area have strong hunting instincts that make them great playtime companions.
0 100%
60%
Independence
? Breeds that score higher in this area are able to spend hours alone, while less-independent breeds require plenty of attention.
0 100%
30%
Vocality
? A higher rating in this area indicates a breed prone to plenty of meowing and other vocalizations, while less-vocal breeds are happy to stay quiet.
0 100%
30%
Grooming
? Breeds with higher grooming scores require more maintenance like brushing and bathing, while lower-scored breeds are virtually maintenance-free.
0 100%
80%

About the Maine Coon Cat

Bold features, a thick, luxurious coat, and an incredibly friendly personality set the Maine Coon cat apart from the rest. These gorgeous kitties love to play, yet they enjoy taking time out for a well-earned nap when the mood strikes. Often, they’ll snuggle up next to their favorite people, which can be quite helpful on chilly evenings!

The Main Coon’s purr is warmly expressive, and it’s often loud enough to be heard from several feet away. Their vocalizations are surprisingly quiet for such big cats, but their vocabularies can be extensive, with a range of chirps and meows that help you understand exactly what they’re saying.

One of the largest cat breeds in existence today, and one of the most popular breeds worldwide, the Maine Coon has a heart to match its stature. These kitties tend to love people and get along well with other pets. They are ideal for families as they tend to have an appreciation for children. When you meet a Maine Coon cat, you'll understand why they are nicknamed the gentle giants of the cat world!

About the Maine Coon Cat

Care

Maine Coon Cat Care
Nutrition
Nutrition
Grooming
Grooming
Exercise
Exercise
Health
Health

Maine Coon cats have no special nutritional needs; however, it is worth noting that these big kitties need a high-protein diet, and their daily caloric needs can be far higher than that of a smaller cat. We recommend feeding your Maine Coon cats a fresh diet or offering a high-quality commercial brand that lists real fish or meat as its number one ingredient.

As your Main Coon ages, you might find it necessary to cut back a bit. Offering an age-appropriate diet is one of the best ways to ensure that your feline friend enjoys good health throughout their golden years.

The Maine Coon benefits from frequent grooming. Their silky soft undercoat has a tendency to become matted if left unattended, so daily brushing might be necessary. Your cat will appreciate the regular grooming sessions and view them as an additional opportunity to bond.

As these are big, heavy cats, you may want to teach them to accept nail trimming from a very young age. Keeping your Maine Coon cat's claws trimmed will spare your furniture, your clothing, and your skin.

Consider teaching your cat to allow you to brush their teeth. This can cut back on professional dental procedures and help maintain your pet's overall wellness.

While Maine Coon cats are playful, they are equally fond of lounging and too much inactivity can lead to obesity over time. Encourage your cat to play and if possible, consider teaching them to walk on a leash. The more activity your cat gets, the better their health is likely to be for the long term.

Maine Coon cats are generally very healthy; in fact, the oldest cat in the world is a Maine Coon named Rubble, who reached the age of 31 in 2020. That's almost 150 human years!

Certain individuals may suffer from health problems including hip dysplasia and feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Reputable breeders take care to screen potential parents and minimize the likelihood that either of these problems will occur.

History

As you might have guessed, the Maine Coon cat is a native of the state of Maine. Endemic to the United States of America, this breed probably originated in the 1850s, when long-haired cats were brought to America and mated with local shorthaired cats. The result was a hearty, healthy, large cat with a medium hair coat, a characteristic ringed tail reminiscent of that of a raccoon, and incredible hunting prowess.

The breed was exhibited at cat shows throughout the late 19th century. Farmers who prized these cats for their outstanding ability to keep barns and outbuildings free from rodents held their own competition, called the "Maine State Champion Coon Cat" contest at the Skowhegan, Maine fair.

Maine Coon cats briefly fell out of fashion during the early 20th century, when more exotic long-haired cat breeds such as Persians came to the US. The breed declined until the 1950s, when Maine Coons regained popularity – probably because they are such gentle giants.

We have a trio of Maine Coon cats aficionados to thank for creating the Central Maine Cat Club (CMCC) and perhaps even preserving the breed for future generations. In an effort to increase awareness about the breed, Alta Smith, Ruby Dyer, and Ethylin Whittemore posted cat shows and exhibitions that featured photographs of Maine Coon cats. The CMCC didn’t only help this unique breed regain popularity; they created the first written breed standards for Maine Coon cats.

CFA granted Maine Coon cats provisional status in May 1975, and they approved the breed for championship status in 1976. Today, Maine Coon cats are recognized by all major cat registries.

Maine Coon Cat History

Did You Know?

The largest domestic cat on record is a Maine Coon. While average males can weigh up to 18 pounds, it's not unheard of for a big male Maine Coon cat to weigh up to 25 pounds. The heaviest Maine Coon cat on record is named Ludo. He weighs in at 34 pounds.

Maine Coons are the oldest natural cat breed in the United States. Not surprisingly, they are also the official cat of the state of Maine.

The longest Maine Coon cat on record was named Stewie. He measured 48.5 inches from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

The Breed Standard

About the Maine Coon Cat

Eyes

The Maine Coon cat should have large, expressive eyes with an oval shape. They should slant slightly toward the outer base of the ears. The eye color should complement the coat’s color.

Legs & Paws

The legs should be substantial, and of medium length, well proportioned in comparison to the body. The forelegs should be straight, and the back leg should appear straight when viewed from behind. Maine Coon cats have large, rounded paws that are well tufted. Polydactyl Maine Coon cats are accepted (and sometimes even encouraged) in the show ring.

Tail

The tail should be long, and should be wider at the base with tapering toward the end. A luxuriant, flowing plume is desirable.

Body

Maine Coon cats are muscular, well proportioned, and rectangular, giving the impression of overall balance. Male Maine Coons are typically larger than females and it’s not at all unusual for a male to achieve a weight of 20 pounds or more.

Head

The head should be of medium width, and it should be a touch longer than it is wide. The muzzle should have a visibly square shape and be of medium length. The chin should be strong and firm, and in profile, chin depth should appear squared, creating a 90° angle.

Ears

The ears should be large with wide bases that taper to pointed tips. They should be set approximately one year's width apart at the base, and should have ample furnishing. Tufts are desirable.

Coat

Maine Coon cats have an uneven double coat with a silky soft satin undercoat and longer guard hairs over the top. Their tails are long and bushy, and they have a prominent rough across their chests.

Color

Maine Coon cats come in every color and pattern, however two colors are disallowed for pedigree: chocolate and lilac. Maine Coon cats displaying agouti coloring are also disqualified from show as are chocolate, lilac, or agouti colors combined with white.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a Maine Coon cat cost?

Maine Coon cats cost between $400-$2000.

How big do Maine Coon cats get?

Maine Coon cats tend to be large in size. A fully grown Maine Coon cat might weigh between 9-20 pounds or more and range in height anywhere from about 10"-16" inches tall.

How long do Maine Coon cats live?

The Average lifespan for Maine Coon is 9-15 years.

5 thoughts on “Maine Coon

  1. Patti Mikosky

    i have decided that I NEED a Maine Coon Cat. I have always been a dog person. Most recently I had two maltese dogs. One was very comforting and stayed with me all the time while the second is more aloof, and doesn’t like to cuddle. My first maltese died of complications from diabetes and I am long for a cuddle buddy. I have been spending time with a friend who has a Newfoundland, a St. Bernard, a Pomerianian , a Maine Coon cat, a domestic short hair cat and a Persian. Her mother had a tonkinese, which I also loved, but until last week it has been a hands down win with the Maine coon as the most desireable pet. Hope to find one soon.

    Reply
  2. John D

    Maine Coons are often described as gentle giants. But what if you get one who isn’t?

    About ten years ago we bought a Maine Coon kitten. She had been raised in dreadfully overcrowded premises with two queens’ litters all thrown in together. She was the smallest of all the kittens. Many were quite large males. So from the moment she opened her eyes, she had to fight and go on fighting. She got beaten up constantly. She got the message very thoroughly that life consisted of fighting. When she came to us she had no whiskers. They had all been chewed off in kitten-fights. The breeder assured us this was quite normal but I don’t think so. A cat relies on its whiskers for all sorts of sensory information. It must have been like being partly blind.

    As she grew up she became a real hooligan. She would attack any of our other cats. As far as she was concerned any other cat was automatically the enemy. It was impossible to stroke her because she would interpret any movement of a hand coming towards her as a possible attack and either lash out or bite. She had no idea how to look after herself because in the dreadful chaos she had been raised in, her mother-cat had not been able to teach her much. Keeping her coat brushed and free of lumps was very difficult. Fortunately our big Siberian is a very maternal cat and when our half-grown Maine kitten attacked her, she put out a large golden paw, held her down and washed her very thoroughly all over, after which they curled up together. So our Maine did get some proper cat-mothering. Possibly it was the saving of her.

    As she grew she became extremely large and strong and remained nervous, jumpy and bad-tempered. There were years when we wondered if we could cope with her. It wasn’t her fault, poor cat. It was the fault of her first dreadful twelve weeks of life. Underneath all the aggression we could see glimpses of a very nice, intelligent, affectionate cat. But you just try living with a very strong fifteen pound hellcat who is all muscle and liable to lash out at the slightest provocation. Try to pick her up, stroke her or brush her and she would commence to wowrrl and “swear”. The claws and the teeth would come out very quickly. For some years it was fairly dangerous to be near her.

    We persevered, because after all, who else would take her on? We left her to her own devices when she wanted peace. Fortunately our place is large, rambling and dilapidated with plenty of hidey-holes for a cat who just wants to get away from it all and have lots of peace and quiet. We fed her treats. We told her she is beautiful and that we love her. We spoke to her very gently. (She is acutely sensitive to a sharp or a raised voice). We let her get on with it in her own time and at her own pace.

    Today she is a ridiculously affectionate cat with a magnificent fluffy coat who purrs constantly and loves to lie on me full-length and receive fuss, strokes and compliments. She has indeed become a real gentle giant, very much beloved and spectacularly beautiful.

    But it has taken the best part of ten years to get there. If a cat’s trust is badly damaged, it can take a long time to heal. The bigger breeds, Maines and Siberians certainly, maybe Norwegians too, are not quite like ordinary cats. They are more intelligent. They give more to their humans. But they demand more understanding in return.

    So if you want a Maine Coon kitten, it is very important to inspect the breeder’s premises carefully. Find out as much as you can about the conditions their kittens are raised in. Don’t listen to sales talk. Check. Remember that to some breeders, their kittens are not pets. They are revenue-earning livestock.

    None of that is a criticism of the breed. I think Maine Coons are wonderful cats. She is certainly a marvelous companion these days. Her earlier, difficult, years, were definitely not her fault. But do remember that a big, physically powerful, highly intelligent cat can be quite difficult to live with if circumstances or her history have made her unhappy. Taking one on is a serious responsibility.

    Reply
  3. Suzanne

    This gives me hope and perhaps a map.
    We have a 2-year old dog who was raised similarly. We’ve persevered with her nasty side, wondering what to do.

    Maybe continued love and kindness along with time will mellow her out. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Reply
    1. John D

      It works, yes. But it can take a long time. Good luck!

      As well as being kind to our poor abused kitten, we also had to be firm, especially as she grew into a big powerful cat. She learned she would be reprimanded if she bit us. It was never the sort of full-on predator’s chomp that can take a finger off, but she would give us a painful nip and those big front fangs are needle sharp. The claws? Also extremely sharp and with great muscles behind them. She drew blood on many occasions. Eventually she learned this was not acceptable. Sometimes she would bite one of us then look absolutely embarrassed; “Oh dear, I’ve forgotten my manners!”. Some times she would move as if to bite and we could see her restrain herself. When the battle between instinct and training got too confusing for her she would go off and hide for hours, while she thought about it all. We let her. If we ever had to do anything she disliked, like cutting lumps out of her coat, we would console her with treat foods immediately afterwards. Although she was jumpy and violent, she was never a cat who held grudges, as some do.

      These days she is pretty much okay. She will never be 100%. She is still jumpy and always will be. But she is safe to be around, as long as nobody takes liberties with her. She loves to lie on me full-length and purr thunderously. The Maine Coon purr is something to be experienced. We are extremely fond of her, as you might have guessed.

      A dog is a different bundle of problems. They are pack animals so you have to be your dog’s pack leader. You really do not want a dog thinking it is your pack leader. How to convince an abused dog you are its pack leader when it is liable to interpret even very gentle discipline as an attack is very difficult indeed. I would suggest getting advice from a canine behaviour specialist.

      Reply
  4. JEB

    This depresses me. Think I’ll look back to the smaller rescue and found cats we have enjoyed so much over the years.

    Reply

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