Owners of Maine Coon cats rave about their big furry friends. This breed of gentle, beautiful, majestic, sweet-tempered kitties can grow to be as heavy as 15 to 25 lbs. and up to 46 inches long! If Maine Coon cats are your passion, or if you just want to learn more about them, read on.
Size of Maine Coon Cats
Maine Coon cats are the largest domestic cat breed that is not related to wild cats. Females can weigh from 10 to 15 pounds, while males can tip the scales at 15 to 25 pounds! They are also long, often measuring three feet or more. (Some have quite long tails, too!)
Colors and Patterns in Maine Coon Fur
Maine Coon cats come in a variety of colors and patterns. These include, but are not limited to:
- Tricolor (Calico)
Eye Colors of Maine Coon Cats
Maine Coon cats typically have strikingly beautiful eyes. They can be copper, green, gold, or even odd-eyed (in which one eye is a different color from the other).
Maine Coon cats have a life expectancy of nine to 13 years.
The Maine Coon cat is perfect for anyone who wants a loveable, affectionate kitty. They are quite social and are said to have a “dog-like” personality, loyal to owners and even enjoying walks on a leash. These gentle giants are also playful and require a good bit of attention. Maine Coon cats are notorious lap cats who love children, other cats and dogs.
Origination of the Maine Coon Breed
There are many theories on how Maine Coon cats came to exist.
- One theory is that Maine Coons originated from breeding domestic or semi-wild cats with raccoons.
- Another theory says that Marie Antoinette was set to flee to the United States in 1793 and her royal Angora cats boarded the ship. The cats ended up sailing to America (to Wiscasset, Maine to be exact), while Marie Antoinette was kept behind, incarcerated and then beheaded.
- Others say that they exist from breeding domesticated cats with wild bobcats.
- Still other say that Maine Coon cats are descended from Norwegian Forest Cats who came over to North American on Scandinavian Viking ships.
- The most popular theory says that Maine Coons came from short-haired domestic cats mating with long-haired cats brought from overseas on ships.
Diseases Common to Maine Coon Cats
Unfortunately, possibly due to their larger size, Maine Coon cats are more prone to certain diseases than other cats. These include:
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (heart problems require Maine Coons to have an ECG and ultrasound of the heart performed prior to spaying or neutering)
- Spinal muscular atrophy
- Hip dysplasia
Fun Facts About Maine Coons
- The Maine Coon cat is the only longhaired domestic breed native to the United States, and was likely introduced to the U.S. by sailors sailing in to New England.
- The Maine Coon is the state cat of Maine.
- The Maine Coon was named after Captain Charles Coon, a ship’s captain from the 1800s who brought his long-haired cats with him on board. It is believed that these cats went on land and mated with short-haired domestic cats, thus giving the name Maine Coon to their offspring. However, this is just a theory and there is no actual proof.
- Male Maine Coons are larger than females.
- The original outdoor Maine Coons were working cats, keeping homes and barns free from mice.
- The coat of the Maine Coon is heavy, long, and shaggy but silky.
- If you are contemplating getting a Maine Coon, know that you will need to brush and comb her fur daily to prevent tangles.
- Make sure to keep a watch on your Maine Coon’s diet, as they have a tendency to gain weight easily.
- Maine Coons also require regular exercise to keep their muscular bodies in shape.
- Some early Maine Coons had an extra sixth toe, known as polydactyl, which was believed to have evolved to help them move about in the snow.
- Unlike most domestic breeds, Maine Coon cats often enjoy playing in water. Their gorgeous fur coat is actually water-resistant. (If you are lucky enough to be a Maine Coon owner, you should probably keep your toilet lid closed at all times!)
- Maine Coon cats will often chirp or trill instead of meowing.
- As of 2018, Maine Coon cats are the fifth most popular breed in the United States, per the Cat Fanciers Association.
Record-Holding Maine Coon Cats
- The Guinness World Record for longest domestic cat was awarded to Stewie, the Maine Coon, in 2010 . Hailing from Nevada, Stewie measured a whopping 48.5 inches long. Stewie passed in 2013 at the age of eight.
- Ludo, the Maine Coon, took over the record from Stewie in 2015. This cat from the United Kingdom measured 46 inches long and won the record for world’s longest domestic cat.
- In 2018, Barivel, hailing from Italy, took over the title of the longest domestic cat in the world, bestowed by the Guinness Book of World Records. He measured 47.2 inches long!
- Cosey, a Maine Coon cat from New York City, won the first National Cat Show in North America in 1893.