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Originating from Maine, USA, the Maine Coon is one of the largest domestic cat breeds worldwide, with males weighing up to a staggering 18 lbs. Females are generally smaller, between 8 and 12 lbs, which is still considerably bigger than many breeds!
The Maine Coon’s size is proportionate to their affection as these furry giants make one of the most loving feline companions. What’s more, they’re active, playful, intelligent, and a whole lot of fun to be around, so it’s no surprise that they are now almost as popular in the UK as in the US.
Meet the Maine Coon
Of course, the most distinctive feature of a Maine Coon is its chunky size. In fact, it was a Maine Coon who took the title for the world’s longest cat in the 2010 Guinness World Records, measuring 48.5 inches long. However, not all Maine Coons will reach this size; your typical gentle giant will reach a height of 10–16 inches and a length of 30-40 inches.
Maine Coons descend from Norwegian Forest Cats and have a wild cat lineage, which is why they grow so much. Plus, they mature slowly, which results in them developing strong and heavy bones and muscles. The Maine Coon’s long, silky fur makes them appear even larger and gives them their beautiful, majestic, and cuddly appearance.
Their smooth, shaggy two-layered coat also reflects their heritage as they served as mouse catchers and farm cats in the harsh Maine climate. The fur length also differs throughout their body, shorter on the shoulders, longer on the stomach and britches, and accompanied by a long, bushy tail.
The vast majority of Maine Coons found in the UK have a brown, tabby pattern, but these cats can come in a wide range of colours and patterns. Aside from brown, they can be solid white, cream, red, blue, or black. You can also find them in one of these colours with a tabby pattern, or bi-colour, tortoiseshell, shaded, or calico.
Lastly, Maine Coon’s have gentle-looking faces and heads proportionate to their bodies. They have large, pointed ears that often have cute wisps of hair and big, expressive eyes, which are usually a shade of green, gold, or greenish-gold.
The temperament of a Maine Coon
Maine Coon owners often remark on how good-natured and laid-back their felines are. They are certainly a friendly, affectionate and people-loving breed that makes them desirable and enjoyable pets. However, they are very active and love to play, so they are not typically lapcats but will stay close to you nonetheless.
Despite being super affectionate, Maine Coons are not needy by any means. For example, they will not be offended if you close them out of the bathroom to shower in peace. They are also not too loud and will not use their meow to whine to get what they want. Instead, the sounds they make tend to be more chirp-like and pleasant.
Maine Coons take four to five years to fully mature, which is longer than most other breeds. Because of this, your gentle giant will retain its kitten-like playfulness, so you’ll need to ensure you have plenty of toys and games around to keep them entertained.
Moreover, as they once served as mouse catchers, they have incredible hunting skills. In a domestic setting, they will recreate this by chasing their toys, balls, and maybe even your feet! Even so, they are not lovers of high places and do not climb or jump as much as other breeds do. Instead, they survey the ground with an eye out for prey at all times.
Finally, all Maine Coon owners should know just how intelligent these kitties are. The more you work their smart brain by teaching them tricks and commands, the more they will thrive.
10 Reasons to add a Maine Coon to your family
- They will keep away rodents - One of the most practical benefits of having a Maine Coon is that you will never again have a rodent infestation.
- They are big teddies - Maine Coons are nicknamed “gentle giants” as their large size, fluffy coat, and loving nature makes the ideal cuddle buddies.
- They are incredibly calm - Maine Coons do not have aggressive personalities. They avoid conflict and won’t initiate fights with other pets.
- They are easy to train - As they are super bright, it’s easy to teach your Maine Coon to behave well and respond to commands.
- They are great around children - Their gentle nature and laidback disposition make them one of the most child-friendly cat breeds.
- They have a mysterious history - Much of this breed’s lineage remains unknown, and there are many theories of how they appeared in the USA, including being brought over by Vikings!
- They make cute noises - Maine Coons do not tend to use a typical meow to communicate, but a range of pleasant chirps and trills instead.
- They are not needy - Your Maine Coon may seek you out in the house and lay close by, but they will not demand your attention. If you are busy, they will patiently wait and entertain themselves in the meantime.
- They enjoy bath time - From time to time, you might need to bathe your Maine Coon to prevent their gorgeous coat from matting. Luckily, many Maine Coons love water and enjoy splashing around, making the grooming routine enjoyable for you both.
- They are a desirable breed - The Maine Coon’s unique traits and extra-large size makes them stand out from your standard moggie as an exclusive breed.
Best homes for a Maine Coon
Maine Coons have a perfect balance between devotion and independence, making them an excellent option for all kinds of households. They are also very gentle and tolerant with children, making fantastic family pets for those with young kids. What’s more, their amiable personality means most Maine Coons are happy to live with other cats, as well as calm dogs.
Maine Coons are independent enough to stay on their own for short periods. However, although they are not needy, do not forget that they are still highly social cats. Therefore, their well-being may suffer if they are left alone all day, every day, so they are best suited to owners who are home some of the time.