When it comes to adopting an adorable pet, you may have a furry and loyal dog in your mind. How about a friendly cat with dog-like personality traits? Yes, you got that right! Maine Coon cats stand out among over 41 cat species worldwide, known for their tufted ears and amiable personality.
Especially if you have children or other pets at your home, Maine Coon’s adaptable and playful nature makes it a perfect feline companion. That’s why cat lovers consider it a “Gentle Giant” and a one-of-a-kind creature among the whole feline family.
Considering the popularity, we created a detailed guide to uncover the profile of Maine Coon Cat Breed. Let’s start with exploring the origin and history of the Maine Coon breed, and there’s a lot more in the queue!
History of Maine Coon Cats: Who are They and How they Evolved?
As the name describes, Maine Coon cats have originated in Maine, the coastline in Northern America. In the 1850s, experts considered Maine Coon as 100% housecat, a result of mate between long-haired cats brought to America and local cats.
Though there are multiple legends about the origin of Maine Coon. For instance, European European settlers brought the Maine Coon breed to the US, while some tales determine their migration during the French Revolution.
European Maine Coon is a variation of the traditional Maine Coon breed conducted to meet the FIFe standards. Now, modern households prefer adopting 100% European Maine Coon Cats instead of traditional ones because of the incredible aesthetics.
If we go back to the 20th century, exotic cat breeds like Persians overtook the fashion from Maine Coon. The Central Maine Cat Club (CMCC) got the back of the Maine Coon breed in 1953 for preservation. Similarly, Maine Coon Breeder and Fanciers Association (MCBFA) officially recognized it in 1968 and promoted the species worldwide.
A Breed Overview: Top Aesthetics of Maine Coon Cats
No doubt, Maine Coon cats are famous for their personality, but their unique appearance always counts. These cats are significantly more extensive and robust than other species and feature beautifully thick, shaggy fur. Let’s look at the complete metrics based on the World Feline Association (WFA) Breed Standard.
|Weight||Female: 9-18 pounds Male: 20 pounds|
|Coat Texture||Heavy, shaggy, yet silky coat with smooth fall|
|Coat Color||Solid Colors: White, Black, Blue, Red and Cream Tabby Colors: Classic Mackerel and Ticked Bi-Color: Black & White, Blue & White and Cream & WhiteIt is also found in shaded/smoked and tortoiseshell|
|Eye Color||Green, Gold, Green-Gold, Copper, Blue|
|Legs and Paws||Medium-lengthened legs with large, well-tufted paws|
|Tail||Long tail with a wider base tapered towards the end|
|Ears||Large ears with a wide base and pointed tips|
|Head||Medium-width head with a strong 90-degree squared chin|
As discussed above, Maine Coon cats have a dog-like disposition. It means they are gentle, peaceful, and intelligent, making them adaptable to any environment. Interestingly, Maine Coons are talkative, and you can expect melodious meows all around the home.
Check out the table for a better insight into the personality traits of the Maine Coon cat breed.
Like every species, Maine Coons also have specific things that they love! These sweet-tempered cats are affectionate and love when their owners hold and scratch them gently. By the same token, they are playful mousers and love to hunt.
We recommend buying toys that mimic the hunt to soothe your cat’s playfulness. Here’s the list of foods a Maine Coon would love to eat!
- Turkey Liver
- Cat Treats
The lifespan of a Maine Coon breed highly varies according to the diet, care, and health concerns. On average, a Maine Coon cat can live around 10-13 years but can be extended up to 18 years with proper care.
Your pet’s life expectancy will be compromised if it has a medical history. For instance, diseases such as SMA can significantly reduce your cat’s lifespan. If you want to spend expected time with your cat, keep it engaged with exercises and nourish it with a balanced diet.
Another culprit in Maine Coon’s life can be obesity which further introduces multiple diseases to the pet. Obese Maine Coon cats generally live a shorter life when compared to a fit and well-maintained cat.
European Maine Coon vs American Maine Coon: What’s the Difference?
In an exploration of Maine Coons, the biggest dilemma is about the difference between European and American Maine Coon. Let’s get it straight! Both are the same breeds but can be distinguished by physical aspects.
The European Maine Coon is a variation, bred to look more wildly while maintaining a gentle personality. They have stronger chins, taller lynx-like ears, and higher cheekbones when compared to the American breed.
Furthermore, European breeds feature almond-shaped eyes, while American Maine Coons are famous for their oblique-shaped eyes. That’s the difference so far, and all other aspects are the same, whether it’s eating habits or health problems.
How to Take Care of a Maine Coon Cat?
With a gentle and affectionate nature, Maine Coon is a cat worth caring for. Although Maine Coons are healthy and robust but can experience various health problems. So, how to take care of a Maine Coon? You asked for it, and we brought everything you need to know!
Being a cat species, Maine Coons are carnivores and require a significant amount of animal protein. Depending on their routine, these cats may need up to 35 calories a day per pound of their body weight.
On average, a fully grown Maine Coon cat can consume up to 875 calories rich in vital nutrients found in animal products. We recommend serving your cat dry and wet food for proper hydration. Besides this, provide ample fresh water to your cat, especially on hot summer days.
Top Ingredients You Must Include in Your Cat’s Nutrition:
- Amino Acids such as Arginine and Taurine
- Fats and Fatty Acids
- Vitamins and Minerals
When you have a cat with such beautiful aesthetics, you would love to keep it as it is. However, the dense double coat of Maine Coon needs to be brushed twice or thrice a week. Not only is brushing a part of grooming, but it is also a great way to strengthen your bond with the cat.
In addition to the coat, trimming your cat’s claws is also essential. Teach your cat to accept the nail trimming from the beginning to prevent injuries. Skipping the trimming sessions may result in scratches on your furniture, clothes, and skin.
Brushing the teeth of Maine Coon is the key to its hygiene and overall wellness. Like you taught your pet to accept nail trimming, get them used to teeth brushing at a young age. Perform tooth brushing daily to prevent dental cleanings and oral problems.
As discussed above, Maine Coons are playful and great mousers. It significantly determines their high activity and physical movement throughout the day. However, the cat breed loves lounging and can consume up to 875 calories daily!
We recommend enrolling your Maine Coon in various exercises involving fishing pole toys, tossed balls, and laser pointers. Not only do the activities prevent obesity, but they also ensure better health and wellness.
Exercising doesn’t mean opening an indoor playway for your cat. The Maine Coon breed features an athletic physique and seeks opportunities to explore the outer world. So, don’t confine your Maine Coon cat indoors because it may make the pet unhappy and frustrated.
Maine Coon cat breed is among the healthiest pets and is not hypoallergenic either. Like every living being, some purebred cats may experience genetically linked health issues. That’s why MasterCoons Cattery conducts genetic tests on our Maine Coon cats to ensure healthy breeding.
Here are the Most Common Health Problems Found in Maine Coons:
Spinal Muscular Atrophy
If we are talking about the health problems in the Maine Coon breed, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) holds the first place. It’s a common genetic disease determining the deterioration of neurons that support conscious movements.
You may notice muscle weakness in the kitten, experiencing difficulty walking and losing the ability to jump. While there’s no cure for SMA, you can run a genetic test on your kitten using a buccal swab and treat it accordingly.
Hip Dysplasia is another common but curable health problem in Maine Coons. The disease implies the malformation of the hips limiting your cat’s movements. Unlike SMA, Hip Dysplasia can be painful and may require surgical treatments.
The good news is that you can treat this disease with exercises and weight management if figured out early.
In the “Grooming” section, you might have noticed how daily brushing matters for a Maine Coon. The cat breed commonly develops periodontal disease caused by untreated Gingivitis. The inflammation of the gums leads to damaged connecting tissue from the teeth to the gums.
As a result, you will notice red and swollen gums in your cat, posing difficulty in eating and breathing. Veterinarians generally perform a deep cleaning to eliminate this disease, but in severe cases need a tooth extraction.
Polycystic Kidney Disease
Polycystic kidney disease is not common but can be recurring in some cats. You can quickly figure out this disease with urine testing, kidney ultrasound, and genetic testing. In this, the cats develop small cysts in the kidneys, which may lead to kidney malfunction.
Unfortunately, polycystic kidney disease has no specific treatment, but you can manage the symptoms. Consult a veterinarian regarding specific diet, fluid therapy, and medications.
Despite having an active physique, Maine Coon cats experience overfeeding and obesity. It’s not just about being fluffy and fat; obesity can also result in various health issues. For instance, an obese Maine Coon cat can suffer from diabetes, constipation, joint damage, and cancer.
To manage your cat’s weight, determine the appropriate calories and minimize serving cat treats. Moreover, you can also try various exercises to bolster the movement and calorie burnout.
After periodontal, here comes another oral disease found in Maine Coon cats. It’s a severe disease leading to swellness in the entire mouth of your cat. Indeed, you can quickly figure out the condition considering some tell-tale symptoms.
The common symptoms of Stomatitis are nasty odor, drooling, and difficulty eating. As the disease is curable, don’t neglect the symptoms and take your cat to a veterinarian. It could be a surgery, but your cat will recover instantly and start lounging the food normally.
Facts About Maine Coon Cats: Did You Know?
#1: The Largest Cat Breed
The “Gentle Giant,” Aka Maine Coon holds the pride of being the largest domesticated cat breed. While an average cat is 9-10 inches high and 18 inches long, Maine Coon’s height can be up to 16 inches with a massive 40 inches length.
#2: Official State Cat of Maine
The documented origin of the Maine Coon cat is considered as Maine, a Northernmost State of New England. Considering its origin and popularity, authorities have officially declared the Maine Coon breed as the state cat of Maine.
#3: Maine Coon is a Filmstar
Have you watched the Harry Potter series? If so, you might remember Professor McGonagall, who used to turn into a cat using her magic and Hemione’s pet (Crookshanks). Guess what! Maine Coon was the breed cast in the movie.
#4: Guinness Book of World Records
It may thrill you that Maine Coon is an award-winning cat species! The Maine Coon named Stewie broke all the records to become the longest cat in the world. Not to mention, it maintains the record of having a 48.5-inch length from the nose to the tail.
The Bottom Line on Maine Coon Cats
Maine Coon cats are a beloved and cherished breed popular for their large size, striking appearance, and friendly personalities. Their long history, affectionate nature, and adaptability make them a popular choice for cat enthusiasts worldwide.
When considering bringing a Maine Coon into your home, it’s essential to understand its unique characteristics, health considerations, and care requirements. With proper care and attention, a Maine Coon can be a loving companion for many years.
Whether you’re drawn to their majestic appearance or their gentle demeanor, the Maine Coon cat is sure to capture your heart and enrich your life as a cherished member of your family.