Known as the gentle giant, Maine Coon cats are large, affectionate and easygoing. Males weigh 13 to 18 pounds, females weigh 9 to 13 pounds.
Maine Coons are muscular and broad chested with a long body. Overall, a Maine Coon should have a well-balanced rectangular appearance, no part of their anatomy should have an exaggerated or dominant look. The body should feel solid and muscular without flabbiness. The paws are tufted (to help Maine Coons walk on snow). Maine Coons have long tails that taper with long, flowing fur.
Maine Coon cats have medium heads that are slightly longer than they are wide with high cheekbones. Muzzles are square. The chin is strong and firm.
Maine Coons have two facial types: “sweet” which is a refined look or “feral” — a wild, rugged look. Breeders (according to some) are saying the breed is developing a more uniform look, while other breeders are holding fast to the two types.
Maine Coons have large, tufted ears that look pointed. Their large eyes are expressive and oval-shaped. Maine Coons reach maturity around age 4. Males are slightly less easygoing than females.
Maine Coon cats have a thick, semi-long, all-weather, water-resistant coat. Their fur doesn’t easily mat. The fur is shorter on the shoulders and longer on the britches and stomach and should appear as a frontal ruff. The coat is silky to the touch.
Brown tabby or tabby with white is most common, though Maine Coons can come in all colors and patterns.
No one quite knows where or when the cat arrived in the New World. Appearance-wise, Maine Coons resemble the Norwegian Forest Cat, suggesting Maine Coons came over from Viking ships in the 11th century (long before the Pilgrims landed). Maine Coons were called “Shags” (due to their shaggy coats) and were an integral part of life in the New England colonies. Maine Coons (like all cats) helped keep granaries free of rodents. The New England climate is harsh during the winter and only the fittest cats could survive. Maine Coons (through natural selection) developed into a large, hardy cat with that dense, water-resistant coat. They also developed into skilled hunters by using their nimble, hand-like paws.
In the early 20th century, Maine Coons fell out of favor as cat lovers fell for the new European breeds (that seemed to be arriving daily). Once the most numerous New World breed, Maine Coons became relegated to their “native” New England. In the late 1950s, the breed was declared extinct. Thankfully, that wasn’t true. Devoted Maine Coon fans plugged away for years to re-establish the breed — and it paid off. Today, the Maine Coon is the second most popular longhaired breed and the third most popular breed overall.
Maine Coons have a heart of gold (they must have to match their size). Maine Coons are kittens in big cat suits that remain playful their whole lives. Maine Coons are standoffish at first (and shy around strangers), but, take heart, they’re simply adjusting; the Maine Coon is an adaptable cat indeed. Once they’ve decided they can trust you, they develop close bonds and become a truly devoted companion. They become a family member and participate in all family activities. Maine Coons are not lap cats though; they want to be near you, not on you.
Maine Coons are endlessly fascinated with water. They are often found pawing at water bowls and walking in a still wet shower or tub. They’ve even been known to swim or shower with their humans. It’s best to keep the bathroom closed up and the toilet lid down. They like to try to empty toilet bowls and mop up with toilet paper.
The Maine Coon has a unique vocabulary of cheeps, chirps, trills, squeaks and meows. They laugh when they’re playing, trill when they’re happy to see you and chatter when they see prey.
Grooming is best done twice a week.