The Maine Coon is a popular cat breed, loved by many. This affectionate kitty loves attention from its humans, is relatively quiet, and is soft to the touch. If you want to learn more about the Maine Coon cat breed, keep reading.
|Maine Coon Cat Breed Overview|
|Height||10 - 16 inches|
|Weight||8 - 18 pounds|
|Lifespan||10 - 13 years|
|Temperament||Friendly, sociable, affectionate, loyal|
|Suitable For||All households, indoor cat, familes with kids, families with other pets, seniors|
History Of The Maine Coon
Did you know the Maine Coon cat originated in New England? They came from Maine in the United States and are the official state cat. They’re also the only native American long-haired cat.
In addition, they were on board ships. It’s believed that cats on these ships boarded in New England and bred with other cats in Maine. Thus, the Maine Coon was born.
This breed has been around since at least the 19th century. In the 1950s, there was a rumor that the Maine Coon breed was extinct. Luckily, this wasn’t the case. Today, they’re a widely known cat breed and super popular.
In 1895, a Maine Coon named Leo won “best cat” in a cat show in New York. Leo held that title for five years before his son beat him.
When the Maine Coon was first bred, they were used as mousers and farm cats. While they may still have those instincts, Maine Coons are excellent family companions.
What Does The Maine Coon Look Like?
Most people will know a Maine Coon cat when they see them. They are medium to large cats, often looking much larger due to their massive amount of fluff.
The Maine Coon size is about ten to 16 inches tall and weighs between eight and 18 pounds. However, males are typically larger than females.
According to the breed standard from the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), the Maine Coon is solid and rugged. They were built to withstand harsh climates.
This cat has a medium-sized head with a square-like muzzle. The ears are large, wide at the bottom, and pointing at the top. They can come in a variety of colors.
Their medium-long neck goes into a muscular body that’s broad-chested. However, Maine Coons are proportionate and well balanced.
In addition, this cat has medium-length legs with large paws. Their front paws have five toes, while the back paws have four.
Finally, they have a fluffy tail that’s long and flowing.
However, the most distinctive characteristic about them is their shaggy-looking coat. The coat is heavy and long, with three lengths of fur covering the body.
Maine Coons can also come in a variety of coat colors and patterns.
What Are The Maine Coon Coat Colors?
Did you know that the Maine Coon can come in 75 colors and patterns? So, for example, this kitty can have a solid coat color, such as black, blue, cream, red, or white.
They can also be bi-color, such as black & white, blue & white, cream & white, or red & white.
In addition, they can be parti-color, such as blue-cream or tortoiseshell. Parti-color & white is another pattern, such as blue-cream & white, calico, dilute calico, and tortoiseshell & white.
Also, this cat can come in many tabby colors and patterns, such as:
- Blue Patched
- Blue Silver
- Blue Silver Patched
- Brown & White
- Brown Patched
- Brown Patched & White
- Cream Silver
- Patched Tabby & White
- Red & White
- Silver & White
- Silver Patched
- Silver Patched &White
- Tabby & White
Finally, there’s a shaded and smoke coloring Maine Coons can have. For example, they can come in the following:
- Chinchilla Silver
- Chinchilla Blue Silver
- Shaded Silver
- Shaded Blue Silver
- Shell Cameo or Shaded Cameo
- Shell Cream or Shaded Cream
- Shell Tortoiseshell or Shaded Tortoiseshell
- Shell Blue-Cream or Shaded Blue-Cream
Smoke patterns are also common. For example, they can be black smoke, blue smoke, cameo smoke, cream smoke, tortie smoke, or blue-cream smoke.
Lastly, any shaded or smoke patterns can also come with white coloring.
Caring For The Maine Coon
Now that we know what the Maine Coon looks like if you can handle the bundle of fluff, let’s discuss cat care.
Due to their long fur, Maine Coons are high-maintenance regarding grooming habits. However, this breed is not considered hypoallergenic because it sheds a moderate amount.
To keep the shedding under control and to combat tangles and mats, you’ll want to brush your long-haired cat at least three to four times per week. Daily is better during shedding seasons.
In addition, they may need a monthly bath to help keep their coat looking nice. Luckily, Maine Coons generally enjoy the water. So, bathing shouldn’t be an issue.
However, weekly baths will be a good idea if you notice that your cat’s fur is greasy or oily.
Remember to keep up with brushing their teeth regularly. Also, trim their nails at least once every four to six weeks.
Finally, monitor their grooming habits. Cats naturally keep themselves clean. If you notice they’re grooming excessively or not, that’s a sign something is wrong, and you should bring them to the vet.
Your Maine Coon should have high-quality cat food as their diet. Talk to your vet about which cat food to give them if you need help deciding.
Never free-feed your cat. Leaving kibble out all day long for them to graze can lead to overeating and obesity. Thus, leaving them prone to other health issues, such as diabetes.
As with most cats, Maine Coons don’t require much exercise. Instead, they’ll sleep for long hours of the day and have bouts of energy here and there.
You can provide them with plenty of cat toys such as wands, crinkle balls, or interactive gadgets to get them physically moving and mentally stimulated.
You can train your cat to do certain tricks, such as knowing their name. However, cats aren’t as easy to train as some dogs are.
You’ll want to focus more on litter box training when training a cat. However, harness training is also a good idea if you want to bring your kitty outside once in a while.
In addition, socializing is a form of training. You should socialize your feline friend as young as possible with other people and pets. This will help them get used to others and be more friendly toward them as they grow older.
Luckily, Maine Coons are relatively healthy cats. However, they are prone to some health issues, such as:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
- Polycystic Kidney Disease
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy
With proper care, Maine Coons have an average lifespan of about ten to 13 years.
Remember to bring your cat to the vet at least once a year for their annual check-up. As a kitten, you can bring them more often to ensure their growing and developing well.
Temperament Of The Maine Coon Cat
If you’re looking for a family-friendly cat, then the Maine Coon is undoubtedly a great option.
Also known as the Gentle Giant, Maine Coons have a great personality. Some of their traits include being friendly, affectionate, and sociable.
They’re loyal to their family members and enjoy being around their humans. For instance, you can leave this cat home alone for a bit. However, they’ll be sad about it.
Luckily, they won’t become destructive while you’re gone, but they will miss you and probably yowl a sad tune for the neighbors.
When you eventually come back, you can be sure you’ll have a shadow for the rest of the day.
In addition, they’re playful. So while they’ll sleep a good chunk of the day away, Maine Coons will enjoy a good play session with you like most cats.
At the end of the day, when you’re lounging on the couch, your Maine Coon will most likely be in the room with you or cuddling with you on the couch.
Even though they’re outgoing, these cats do still need early socialization. However, they’ll get along well with family members, strangers, young children, and other home pets, such as cats or dogs.
They do have a high prey drive, though. So, beware if you have small animals in the home, such as guinea pigs, birds, or hamsters.
Are There Any Differences Between Males And Females?
Aside from males being larger than females, there aren’t too many differences between the genders. Both are affectionate and social around others.
However, females can be more aloof or independent. As a result, they may not need as much human interaction as male Maine Coons do.
Who Should Own The Maine Coon?
A Maine Coon cat is ideal for any family or household. For example, they can thrive with a single family, a family with children, homes with other pets, or seniors.
In addition, this cat is relatively low-maintenance and quiet, so they’ll do well in an apartment.
Where Can You Get A Maine Coon Kitty?
Stray cats can be common in certain areas. Also, many animals get surrendered or abandoned. So, if you’re looking for a new feline friend, check out your local animal shelter or rescue organization first.
You will get a new pet for a lower cost and help a cat in need by providing them with a loving, forever home.
However, if you can’t find any available or have your heart set on getting a Maine Coon kitten, then going through a reputable breeder is a good option.
Remember, good Maine Coon breeders won’t allow the kittens to leave their mother until at least 12 weeks. They’ll also be well socialized, spayed, and/or neutered.
Also, the breeder will want to meet with you in person to ensure you’ll be a good cat taker. In return, they’ll answer all your questions and help you through the process as best they can.
A good place to find excellent breeders will be at the CFA.
Question Corner: FAQs About Maine Coon Cats
Are you in love with the Maine Coon yet? If you want to learn more, take a look at the frequently asked questions about the breed answered below.
What’s The Average Cost Of A Maine Coon Cat?
The average Maine Coon price is between $1,000 and $2,000 for a kitten through a breeder. Older cats may cost less. Also, the cost will be lower if you go through an animal shelter.
Are Maine Coons Friendly?
Absolutely. Maine Coons are one of the friendliest cat breeds. They enjoy the company of others, such as other pets and, of course, humans.
Are Maine Coons Hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, no. A Maine Coon kitty won’t help if you suffer from allergies. They do shed quite a bit, so they’re not hypoallergenic. However, you can keep shedding at bay with frequent brushing and cleaning your home regularly.
Will Maine Coon Cats Walk On A Leash?
With proper harness and leash training, yes. Maine Coons can walk on a leash. However, you may need treats to coax them on a walk until they get used to it.
When Do Maine Coons Stop Growing?
Maine Coons take about four to five years to reach their full growth. This is typically longer than most other cat breeds, which could account for the Maine Coon’s large size.
Can Maine Coon Cats Go Outside?
It’s best for Maine Coon cats to remain indoor cats. Otherwise, they may wander too far and get lost. Or, they could run into traffic or have an encounter with another wild animal. So if you bring your cat outside, stay with them always.
Is The Maine Coon Right For You?
There’s a lot to love about the Maine Coon cat, and they have a lot of love to give. This breed may be right for you if you want an affectionate, playful kitty to add to your household.
Rachel Poli is a content writer and author, but her real job is being a stay-at-home pet mom. Her zoo currently consists of a dog, a cat, two turtles, and two fish tanks. She’s also an avid pet sitter for a few local families, caring for various animals.
After realizing how little information there is for pet sitters on the internet, Rachel decided to start her own animal website. She strives to educate pet parents and pet sitters about the overall care of our furry friends.