|Maine Coon |
|Maine Coon |
Photo: Scott and Anna, Sleepy Hollow, NY
14-18 lbs. |
Maine Coon's easygoing nature makes it a fine companion for children
and other pets. Maine Coons are gentle, affectionate, and playful.
They are also good mousers and like to retrieve objects. They
communicate with quiet, chirplike trills.
The Maine Coon is a large cat, broad-chested and muscular, with
a long, rectangular body and a long, plumed tail. The feet are round
and tufted, well suited to snowy climates. Large, tufted ears;
large, wide-set eyes; and a regal neck ruff contribute to the
impressive aspect of this American beauty.
The Maine Coon is
traditionally a longhaired brown tabby with a silky coat. The coat
is heavy and water-resistant, with hair longest on the tail, ruff,
stomach, and hindquarters. Maine Coons come in all patterns and
colors except chocolate, lilac, and Siamese point patterns.
The Maine Coon's coat will mat unless it
is groomed two or three times a week. Special attention should be
devoted to keeping the tail, ruff, stomach, and hindquarters free of
snarls and debris.
The Maine Coon's exact origins are not known. Contrary to
popular myth and the implications of the breed name, the
distinctively bushy, often ringed tail does not come from crossing a
cat with a raccoon (which is genetically impossible).
likely that the breed resulted from intermixing between indigenous
American shorthaired tabbies and imported longhaired cats. Several
historical accounts link the origin of the Maine Coon with Angora
cats that were dispatched to North America by Marie Antoinette.
Another theory proposes that the Maine Coon's progenitors
were Norwegian Forest Cats brought to the Americas by the Vikings.
The breed's shaggy, water-resistant coat is well suited to the long,
harsh winters of Maine, where farmers have long valued this cat's
Breed-related health problems include
images from the ASPCA Complete Guide to Cats, by James R.
Richards, D.V.M. © 1999 by Chanticleer Press, Inc. Published by
Chronicle Books, San Francisco. Used with permission.