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Maine Coon Cats: World’s Largest Domestic Cat Breed

Maine Coon is a popular breed of cats in the United States and is among the largest cats to be domesticated in the world. Considered as one of the oldest natural breeds in North America, Maine Coons belong to its namesake state of Maine (US). These easy going cats are called ‘The dogs of the cat world, and are people-oriented, loyal and get along well with other pets (especially cat-loving dogs). Official state cat of Maine, Maine Coon’s actual story of origin or evolution is not very clear.


Origin of ‘the Gentle Giant’

As per one account, when Marie Antoinette, the French royal, attempted to flee execution, she took her personal belongings, including six of her cats. The Queen couldn’t escape her fate, was caught, but her cats made it to the shores of Wiscasset, Maine. They mated with the indigenous cat breeds and produced the delightful Maine Coon. Another interesting version links the cats with the seafaring cats of British Captain Charles Coon. The bloodline of the long-haired cats of the captain, blended with that of local short-haired felines to produce Maine Coons. A more convincible story relates the cats with the Norwegian Skogkatts or forest cats brought by the Vikings. With the close resemblance which the two breeds share, the Viking theory seems to be the most credible one out of all the tales.

Physical Description

This giant of a cat is muscular, broad-chested and have long rectangular body. An average male cat can weigh from 13 to 18 pounds while a female’s weight can range between 9 to 12 pounds. Maine Coons keep growing till they reach the age of 4/5 years. The way everything has been designed by nature makes the Maine Coons perfect to sustain harsh climate of their home land.


Every characteristic of Maine Coon cats has a purpose. The water-proof fur is thicker in winter, protecting the cat from the cold, and it gets thinner during summer to help the cat stay cool. A thick group of fur round the neck and long fluffy tail serves as insulation devices to keep the body warm. Their large, well tufted paws help them walk on the snow in spite of their size and weight. Ears get protection from the chill through heavy tufts of fur which covers them.

There is no dearth of colours and patterns in Maine Coon breed of cats. One can find red, orange, black, cream, silver, white, brown, tabby, multi-coloured, buff, tortoiseshell and other cat colours. Eyes are large and expressive and come in various beautiful shades of green, gold, greenish-gold or copper.

Temperament of Maine Coon Cat Breed


Regardless of their enormous frame, Maine Coons are intelligent, friendly, playful and energetic cats which make them an ideal pet to keep. The good-natured feline, Maine Coons are a wonderful addition for families with children, with other pets, or first–time cat owners. Their affectionate and human-friendly qualities match that of a canine, and thus Maine Coons are awarded the epithet ‘the dogs of the cat world’. And with the large size which is comparable to that of a small breed dog, the title is further justified.

Health and Wellness Pointers

Maine Coon cats are tough and are well-adapted to survive the New England climate. The most dreaded inherited disease in these cats is the feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which is a progressive illness and attacks the heart of both pure and impure breeds. It can result in heart failure, paralysis of the rear legs and even sudden death.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is also a dangerous genetically inherited disease which leads to muscle weakness, muscle atrophy and reduced life span. Hip dysplasia where the hip joint malfunctions and may cause lameness and arthritis in cats. Polycystic kidney disease is also an inheritable ailment, which progresses slowly and can cause kidney failure.

Proper Care for Exotic Coons

Good diet with regular exercise and consultation with veterinarian will promote the health and longevity of your adorable feline. An ideal cat food should be complete and balanced with regards to all essential nutrients. Animal-based protein should form the majority in any diet prescribed for cats – consisting of dry cat food, wet cat food and preferably a combination of the two.

Grooming the Maine Coons cats is relatively easy as compared with long-haired breeds. The silky and fairly oily fur doesn’t mat easily provided the cat is groomed regularly. Right sort of brushing twice a week will remove the dead strands and facilitate distribution of skin oils throughout the coat. This accompanied with regular baths, clean cat litter box and daily dental cleaning aids in preserving good health for this animal, which in all sense is unique amongst cat species



Shikha Sharma believes that Mother Earth is our mutual abode, where all creatures have an equal right to live with dignity. This belief is clearly reflected in her wonderful writing pieces that revolve around animals and their well-being. She is the blog editor of Pets World.

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