Maine Coon: The giant, the biggest, the leader

The giant, the biggest, the leader: in the feline world, the Maine Coon cat is one of the most imposing domestic cats there are. He can reach quietly, without being obese, 22 pounds and, despite his impressive appearance, he gives a reassuring impression of great confidence.

Autonomous because able to take care of himself in any circumstance, he is, therefore, a great hunter, in reality, a good mix of gentleness and savagery; it is a “working” cat, precisely because of this well-developed predatory instinct; this makes it an ideal country cat; with it, attics and barns are perfectly safe.

But while being very dynamic and loving outdoor life – he even loves water – he adapts to people with a balanced character, who never got beyond the limits by invading his living space because they respect his instincts. of freedom, to which they do not set too severe limits.

 maine coon cat

The origins of the Maine Coon cat

The Maine Coon is certainly the result of crosses between the native and semi-wild cats of the forests of the Northeastern United States and the Angoras imported by the first English settlers. This is precisely the reason why he was the first cat defined as a breed in this country, entered in an exhibition as early as 1860.

But, even if he met with great success there, he was then eclipsed by the fashionable breeds (Persians, Siamese, and cats of other pure breeds). It was not until the early fifties, when a club dedicated to it was founded, that the Maine Coon regained all its prestige, even if it was not recognized as a breed until 1967.

The Ideal Cat

The Maine Coon is a really large cat; its head is large, longer than wide, and of medium proportion to the body.

The muzzle is square, with a rather marked stop at the attachment of the head, and the chin is strong. Seen in profile, it forms a vertical line with the upper lip and the tip of the nose, i.e. it lacks the usual pads forming a bulge at the base of the whiskers.

The cheekbones are high and prominent; the straight nose joins the slightly rounded forehead. The ears are very large, long, open at the base, slightly rounded, and with a small outward opening. The inner hairs are so dense that they spread outwards, and the tips are provided with abundant tufts.

maine coon cat

The eyes are large and set well apart, slightly oblique and oval, they appear round when wide open; their color sweeps through all shades of green and/or gold, with no relation to the color of the coat; in the white variety, blue and odd eyes are accepted. The body has rectangular proportions, it is massive and heavy, solid, robust, and long but not thin.

The frame is heavy and the muscles are solid and powerful. Females are noticeably thinner than males. The sturdy legs are of medium length about the body; the feet are very large and round, with a long, abundant interdigital hair, which plays its role perfectly as a snowshoe in the snow and as a flipper in the water.

Endowed with fingers of exceptional length and well-spaced between them, they are almost hands and they have an extraordinary ability to grip. The tail is at least as long as the distance that separates it from the shoulder, and it gradually tapers towards the tip; the hair is full, long, and flowing.

The hair is semi-long but not uniform; short on the shoulders, it gradually lengthens on the sides and it is rather long and compact on the belly. Along the body, the coat is clinging and has a certain thickness due to the undercoat, but it retains good flow and falls gently. The texture is supple and soft, never woolly; its structure is suitable for outdoor living and it has good water impermeability.

Hair color

Almost all colors are allowed, except mink and colorpoints; the most popular is the tabby and the tabby with white.

maine coon cat

The Personality of Maine Coon Cat

The authentic mixture of rusticity and elegance, wildness and gentleness, the Maine Coon cat is also a cat endowed with great qualities: safety, kindness, and loyalty. Despite his size, he is a large, peaceful cat, his kindness showing in his very gentle gaze, and you could say he is as good as he is big.

He is sociable with everyone, including strangers, and not moody. Despite what we said above, he can live in an apartment, somewhat reluctantly, of course, provided he has been used to it from his earliest childhood.

Affection Level:

Most Maine Coons are affectionate and enjoy the warm closeness of humans.

Player :

It is essential to play with the Maine Coon every day to provide him with enough physical activity and stimulation to maintain his good health. 

Most indoor cats tend to gain weight later in life. Maine Coons' strong bone structure and large size can handle weight gain. However, Maine Coon owners should be very careful about obesity. Their diets should be regulated in such a way as to keep them at a healthy weight. Also, cat trees and cat towers can help prevent obesity. You can see cat towers that your Maine Coon cat will love very much, which has a playful structure.

Calm :

He knows how to balance moments of relaxation and moments of action.

Intelligent :

Insightful, his cognitive abilities impress.

Fearful/wary of strangers:

Several factors can influence the mistrust of strangers, but the Maine Coon often has a good ability to adapt.

Independent :

Maine Coons are affectionate but they can care for themselves completely on their own when their needs are met. You can see your Maine Coon cat resting in her cat house in a corner of your house. They like to spend time by themselves.

maine coon cat

Behavior

Talkative :

Most of these cats are not great talkers, but the tendency to vocalize can vary from individual to individual. Anecdotal reports report soft cooing.

Greedy/gluttonous:

In any case, an adequate diet to meet its high energy needs is essential. By offering food in interactive bowls, you offer a dynamic activity to your Maine Coon at the same time as you feed it. We can thus limit gluttonous tendencies, if necessary.

Need for exercise:

It is essential to maintain a daily routine that includes a variety of physical activities.

Runaway:

This big cat can sometimes be an explorer. Teaching your cat to wear a leash and harness can be useful for outdoor outings.

Compatibility

The Maine Coon and the Dogs:

The way the cat was brought into contact with dogs when it was a kitten has a great influence on its subsequent sociability with canines. Cohabitation can be quite peaceful, as long as the introduction has been gradual. A living environment including multiple high rest areas inaccessible to the dog allows the cat to escape unwanted contact.

The Maine Coon and Other Cats:

Several factors influence how well the cats in a household get along, such as how they were introduced to each other and their living environment. It is suggested to set up an environment with numerous hiding places and high observation posts.

The Maine Coon and Children:

Here is a big cat, with a small human! It is therefore important to introduce one to the other gradually and gently. Never force unwanted contacts. It is beneficial to take the time necessary to properly supervise meetings, teach children a respectful approach and ensure that everyone gets along. That done, the relationship between the Maine Coon and children promises to be dynamic and rewarding!

The Maine Coon and the Elderly:

This big cat and a rather calm person can live together pleasantly, as long as the latter can meet the activity needs of his cat.

Price

For the purchase of a Maine Coon kitten inbreeding, it is necessary to count on average between 900 € and 1200 €. However, this price can vary according to several factors such as lineage, breeding, age, or even sex. In his monthly budget, it is necessary to plan around 40 €/month to meet his needs, by offering him quality food and medical care to keep him in good health.

 maine coon cat

Maintenance

Grooming:

Because the Maine Coon's undercoat is fine and silky, regular grooming is important to prevent knots from forming.

Hair loss:

Hair loss is greater during certain seasons, so the length and thickness of the coat may vary over time.

Food

This large cat needs a diet that meets its high energy needs. Medical assessments make it possible to adjust the diet according to the age of the individual, his mass, and his physiological requirements.

Health

Life expectancy:

The average Maine Coon lifespan is 11 to 13 years, but some cats can live past the 15-year mark.

Resistant / robust:

Its long hair and dense undercoat give it a certain resistance to variations in thermals and extreme temperatures. In addition, the coat is often waterproof.

Tendency to grow:

Among the risk factors for feline obesity are age, environment, diet, and activity of the cat. The risk of developing overweight decreases considerably when the cat's physical activity needs are met. Offering food in interactive bowls can also make portion rationing easier.

maine coon cat

Common illnesses:

An annual medical check-up is suggested to ensure his well-being. Indeed, he can suffer from the same diseases as domestic cats, in particular oral pathologies. It is known to have certain hereditary pathologies, given its potential inbreeding, including:

Spinal muscular atrophy is a typical Maine Coon inherited disease. It appears in the kitten from 13 to 17 weeks and is manifested by a characteristic muscular weakness

Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a disease that affects both purebred and non-pedigree cats. Ultimately, it causes heart failure.

Breeding:

Only marriages between Maine Coons are allowed.

On average, the litters are 3 kittens.

Good to know

The Maine Coon takes its name from an old legend according to which domestic cats from the state of Maine, in the United States, would have crossed with raccoons (called “racoon” in English). This crossing is impossible from a biological point of view, the two species being too different from a genetic point of view to hybridize.