Maine Coon cats are legendary for their size and are nicknamed the “gentle giants”. Despite their huge size, this cat breed is gentle, friendly, and sweet-tempered and they easily get along with people of all ages. Maine Coon cats have a playful and silly personality that many owners adore, and they are always willing to "assist" their owners.
This gorgeous cat breed is a loving, loyal, and sociable companion that makes them a popular choice for many cat lovers out there. They make excellent companions for big and active families with children of all ages, dogs and other cats. Additionally, this cat breed is very affectionate and follows their people anywhere they go.
They are an intelligent cat breed with a mind of their own. The Maine Coons have a calm, and gentle nature and dog-like qualities. They are loving and tender without being needy. They have also kept their hunting instincts should you need a good mouse hunter. If you can handle this giant but adorable cat breed, a Maine Coon cat might be a perfect addition to your family.
As kittens, Maine Coons are very active. If encouraged, adult Maine Coon cats can remain playful their entire lives. That is why it is always a good idea to provide interactive toys and keep them entertained through exercise and bonding time. You can also train your Maine Coon to walk on a leash, play fetch and perform simple tricks.
- Grooming: Twice a Week 6/10
- Shedding: Medium 6/10
- Hypoallergenic: Low 2/10
- Activity Level: Medium 6/10
- Playfulness: High 10/10
- Friendliness to other pets: High 10/10
- Friendliness to children: High 10/10
- Affection towards it’s owners: High 10/10
- Vocality: Low 2/10
- Intelligence: High 10/10
- Independence: High 10/10
Native to the United States, specifically in Maine where its name comes from, the Maine Coon cat is an old cat breed. Their exact origin is unknown as it is believed that large long-haired cats came to the United States with early settlers.
These beautiful cats then mated with the local short haired cat breeds, producing big, muscular cats with semi-longhair coats and bushy tails like a raccoon. Because the matings were accidental, these giant cats came with various coat patterns and colours. However, it was evident that these cats developed the traits needed to defy Maine's cold winter climate.
They were originally kept as farm cats as they were good hunters by nature and exceptionally good "ratters." As years passed, these gorgeous, large cats soon tiptoed their way into the hearts of many cat lovers who opened their homes and made them their companions.
Today, Maine Coon cats are recognised as one of America's most popular and preferred cat breeds. Since the cat breed first appeared in the United Kingdom in the 1980s, they have developed a big fan base. The cat breed was acknowledged with full recognition by the GCCF in 1993.
Maine Coons are giant muscular cats. They have a well-developed body and sturdy, robust legs. Their big ears are tall and full at the base. Their large and round eyes are set well apart and a little obliquely. The colour of their eyes can be copper, gold, or green and do not have to match their gorgeous coat colour. Moreover, Maine Coon cats with white coats commonly have one blue eye or odd coloured eyes.
Maine Coon cats have robust, rectangular-shaped, muscular bodies and impressive broad chests. Their beautiful bushy tails are commonly as long as their body. They mature at a slow pace and do not reach their full size until between three to five years old.
Maine Coon cats have glorious semi-long, shiny coats, seen in a variety of colours and patterns except pointed .The most common colours and patterns are red (orange), brown, or silver tabbies (with or without white). They can also have bold, swirling patterns along its sides, similar to a marbled cake, or ticked patterns. Maine Coon cat breeders have also recently produced solid coloured cats in white, blue (grey) and black.
Maine Coon cats are well-known for being gentle giants. They thrive in a home environment where their family can show them frequent love and affection. This cat breed enjoys being involved in everything that goes around the house, and they learn new things quite fast. Furthermore, Maine Coon cats do not cope very well as an only pet in the house, especially if the owner is out all day to work.
Maine Coon cats are playful, sociable, and sweet-natured. They adore human affection and attention without being demanding about it. They are also intelligent, which makes them easy to train. Many Maine Coons even want to be taken for a walk on a leash, just like their canine counterparts.
This cat breed is loyal to their family, but not clingy as they love being independent. Although Maine Coon cats are not usually known as lap cats, they are relaxed around other cats, dogs, and children because of their gentle disposition and sweet temperance.
As mentioned, if encouraged as a kitten, Maine Coon cats remain playful their whole lives. But the males tend to become more comical and hilarious than their female counterparts as they possess more dignity. Nonetheless, both male and female Maine Coon cats are equally loving and affectionate. Because of their origins, Maine Coon cats also have a love for water and will happily play in it by dipping their paws in.
They typically do not meow like other cats, but they make this cute and sweet chirping noise to call their owner's attention. They are well-known for being very vocal in this way. It is notable to know that a Maine Coon cat has a range of sounds which include a "yowling" sound.
While many breeds can be trained, some cats learn faster than others such as Maine Coons. This cat breed is known as highly intelligent but it is best to start training them young as they learn things quickly when kittens. However, because Maine Coon kittens have short attention spans, it can be challenging to train them.
Like domestic cats, they have high energy. That is why it is recommended to invest in interactive toys to keep them entertained. It is also vital to spend frequent quality time with them; they adore being taken out for a walk on a leash and playing fetch, just like a dog. Maine Coon cats need to be kept busy to be happy and content.
Coat & Care
Maine Coon cats require regular grooming to ensure that their coats and skin are kept in a tip-top condition. However, their coat type or texture may vary depending on their colour and/or ancestral lineage and this will determine their grooming schedule.
Some Maine Coon cats have a silky and soft coat that does not require much attention. Others have high maintenance coats that need daily combing and regular grooming. A Maine Coon kitten's coat tends to be thin and short. An adult Maine Coon cat has a two-layered coat which is longer around the underbelly and shorter over the shoulder, ruff and britches.
Combing removes dead hairs that would otherwise be ingested through self-grooming, resulting in hairballs. Luckily, Maine Coon cats love all the grooming and attention. A "lion cut" is the most common style of grooming for this breed as it is easier than doing daily grooming. No matter the type of texture their coat is, regular combing should start when they are kittens and continue their whole lives.
Maine Coon cats need to be given excellent, high-quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. This is especially important for kittens and older Maine Coon cats. As for exercise, Maine Coon cats do not have any special needs. They will usually keep the same activity, such as bouts of jumping and running around the house. Investing in cat toys and cat trees is recommended to encourage them to release some of their energy.
Their nails can be trimmed every ten days to two weeks, or as needed. Regular teeth brushing with a vet-approved toothpaste are recommended as Maine Coon cats are susceptible to gingivitis, leading to periodontal disease. As for their ears, make sure to check and clean them weekly to avoid the risk of ear mites. If it is smelly, it is best to visit your veterinarian as it may be an infection that can be difficult to treat if left untreated.
Like other cats, keep your Maine Coon cat's litter box clean all the time as cats are very particular about their bathroom hygiene. If left unclean, they may do their business elsewhere in the house, or it may affect their coats' cleanliness.
A Maine Coon cat's average life expectancy is between nine and fifteen years when properly cared for and provided with an excellent, high-quality diet.
Maine Coon cats seem to have a high prevalence of the following conditions:
- Hip dysplasia – a condition that can lead to lameness.
- Patellar luxation
- Spinal muscular atrophy – a hereditary disorder that affects skeletal muscles of the trunk and limbs.
- Pyruvate kinase (PK) deficiency
- Polycystic kidney disease – a slowly progressive genetic kidney disease that can lead to renal failure.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – is a form of heart disease that is congenital in Maine Coon cats.
Because there are a few potential health issues for this breed, it is strongly suggested to only buy a Maine Coon from a registered breeder who runs DNA health checks on all their cats. A DNA-based or genetic test will recognise if a cat carries one of the mutations that causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or other genetic diseases.
Children & Other Pets
Because they are friendly, sociable, calm, and relaxed, Maine Coons are the perfect choice for families with children, including toddlers. However, extra care should be taken when very young children are around Maine Coons. It is highly suggested that any interactions are supervised by an adult to make sure things stay friendly and calm and there are no mishaps between the two.
Maine Coons get on well with other cats and dogs, mainly if they have grown up together or have been properly socialised at an early age. However, take extra care when introducing a Maine Coon to dogs they do not already know.