Main coon is an amazing cat that thrills and inspires respect in human hearts. Noble strength, sophisticated grace and soft temper – all these are surprisingly combined inside this “American giant” (since this is the biggest cat in the world among domestic cat breeds).
Also this is a native cats breed in the USA which originated from the cats that had lived in farms of North-West America in State Maine. From the beginning only the cats with black tabby coloring were called Main coon.
Due to their coloring, huge tail and that the cats are powerfully built they resemble racoon in their appearance (here is where the cats’ name comes from – Maine – is the name of the state and coon – is a second part of the word – racoon).
Maine coon cat is friendly and extremely large. This is a large breed among domestic cats: male may weigh from 5.5 to 15 kilos, the females – from 4.5 to 6 kilos correspondingly.
Although these cats have semi-long fur, they don’t need to be combed very often.
History of the breed
Maine coon breed is a national pride of the North America. It’s considered to be bred more than 150 years ago. According to the most unbelievable legend this breed has appeared due to mating of a cat male and a racoon female and because of this main coon cats inherited a fluffy striped tail and lots of habits.
The second legend quite convincingly tells about breeding of domestic cats tabby and North American bobcat.
The main reason that is considered to prove the legend to be true is that the cat has its famous tufts on its ears, which became a calling card of the breed.
However, surely the severe and precise science has ruined all these romantic legends: crucial generic differences and associated breeding impossibility – are quite direct and serious evidences.
And the most romantic version of the breed origin takes us back to the times of Marie Antoinette reign, the queen of France.
Captain Samuel Clough had to help the queen to escape from France with all her treasury and bring her to state Maine. Among the treasures there were 6 gorgeous Angora cats. Sadly, the queen was caught and executed eventually.
But the captain had left France and came to America together with the cats that became breed ancestors.
As for the reality, – genetic studies have proved that main coon cats is a natural population of American cats.
The foundation of the breed has been developed during long years by the severe nature of North America. That’s why these cats are very large and strong physically, capable to hunt and survive during the cold winters in the North.
However, the plausible hypothesis is the one that says common short-furred cats to be main coon cats ancestors. When the first colonists made a landing on American shores they brought short-furred bobtails with them to protect their storehouses and ship lower holds from gnawing animals.
Later, when the ships started sailing regularly the sailors brought long-furred cats with them. The cats started mating and taking into account the climate severity there, only the strongest and the largest ones survived.
However, these large cats were very clever and they were good at hunting gnawing animals. The breed was first documentary mentioned in 1861, when the black and white cat named Captain Jenks, of the Horse Marines was demonstrated at the cat show in 1861.
Maine coon breed standard
The body and the size: this is a large breed among domestic cats (some species weigh up to 15 kilos) and the recorded maximum body length of the cat is 1.23 m. Main coon body varies from large to very large one, it’s muscular, elongated and big-boned of a rectangular shape. Its muscular neck is of average length.
The limbs are of average length, strong, muscular, the paws are large with some fur between the fingers. The tail is long, very fluffy and at least it reaches the shoulder.
The head: large, massive, with straight and harsh outlines. The cheek-bones are high and the nose is of average length.
The ears: very large, wide at the bottom, rather short, they are high and almost vertically placed. The distance between the ears is not lager than the one ear width. The tufts on their ears make main coons look like bobcats.
The eyes: they are large and rounded, a bit slant-eyed they may be of amber, golden, green or yellow color.
The fur: on the cat’s head and shoulders the fur is short, except the neck, and the fur becomes obviously longer on the cat’s back, sides and belly. Thick underfur itself is soft and thin, but covered with more coarse and thick fur.
Color: chocolate brown, brown and the corresponding weaker colors (purple and pale-yellow) aren’t acknowledged in any combinations, acromelanic colors aren’t acknowledged either. All other cat fur colors are acceptable.
Rouge marble color — red colored cats have bright red fur tint with the pronounced marble pattern, that differs this color from more pale “ginger” color that is peculiar to ordinary cats.
Maine coon intelligence completely corresponds their appearance and sizes: these cats are true thinkers with an ability to observe. The cats are quick-witted, consistent and logical in all their deeds.
It’s not customary to take the male cat away from kittens even during the first minutes they were born, since the cat- “fathers” just like human-fathers take active part in raising their kittens.
Surprisingly almost each maine coon has an amazing ability to memorize things. The cat can easily remember lots of words and commands. These gorgeous creatures can feel their owner’s intonations quite well. Such an ability shows when the cat understands his owner by some unshown gestures, sounds and glances.
Maine coon breed is rather peaceful. It’ll never cross their mind to push the vase with flowers down from the table, since the cats are very neat and they divide abjects in the house into theirs and someone else’s.
Cats hate narrow and closed spaces, that’s why they prefer not to climb closets, shelves and other places that ordinary cats love climbing.
In the classical description of cat breed it’s not always mentioned that they purposefully ignore any new comers: your guests, for example.
They stay away from the stranger or just ignore him or her. This passes eventually – the faster the less intrusive the stranger is.
These cats can’t stand being taken in somebody’s arms and put on somebody’s knees. They just want to be close to their owner sitting near him. Due to their soft and consistent temper cats get on well with other animals in the house.
They can even make friends with a bird or a dog. They also like kids, just like it should be, when we talk about such kind of fluffy giants.
Many owners are sure, that their cats used to be dogs in their past livers. Their loyalty and ability to study have no limits. Of course, they are demanding and they need some close communication with a human to fulfill their potential completely.
These cats are active and curious, they like life full of dynamics and it won’t pass with aging. So, the cats need some space to play.
Walks or physical loads
Physical loads is the most important aspect of proper maine coon cat raising. The cat needs to move a lot to provide the necessary load for its strong muscular system. These cats take games as an imitation of hunting. They love creeping and waiting for their prey. Be imaginative and prepare an “ideal prey” for your pet. For example, buy a remote control car and wrap it into some soft cloth, so your pet won’t hurt itself.
Maine coon needs walks – the more, the better. The cat will do quite well with leash and collar, since in the majority of cases when walking your pet won’t try to run away or climb a tree.
Any weather is good for this cat. Optimal walks schedule is several times a week.
Almost in every photo we see cat its fur looks gorgeous and, of course, it requires some good and regular care. You should comb the cat at least once a week. For this purpose buy a massive metal brush with rounded teeth (not to hurt your pet’s skin).
The fur on some inner sides of cat’s body (like belly, for example) tends to become mats. If a mat has just appeared, try to comb it – otherwise, just cut it off.
You should wash the cat regularly. Maine coon cats aren’t afraid of water at all and they won’t mind you using shampoo when washing them.
The cat’s ears should be pink inside, so take a good care about them. Clean the ears inside with dry soft cloth, after that we recommend to use some antiseptic powder.
Maine coon cat’s claws grow very quickly ans sometimes even a scratching mat doesn’t help, therefore you’ll have to cut the claws once a week.
Minecoon cat feed
If the cat if fed on natural feed it’s diet should be based on meet and its by-products. They should be boiled or frozen before you give them to the pet to avoid infection with helminth.
Chicken is also healthy for the cat (head, stomach, heart, liver), turkey, beef, veal.
You don’t have to cut the feed in small pieces: when chewing the cat trains its jaws and its a preventive measure against gastrointestinal problems.
You can vary your cat’s diet by adding some peeled prawns, boiled fish, quail eggs (once a week), yogurts, farmer cheese, for kittens – some cream is acceptable.
You shouldn’t feed with pork and lamb, (since long bones can hurt the stomach) and unskimmed milk.
Sergey is a founder and author of Meethepet.com. He’s been fond of aquarium husbandry since his early childhood.
His favorite aquariums are biotopes (Amazon River), with Echinodorus and Angelfish. However, through the years he’s had experience of keeping almost all types of freshwater fish and shrimps.