Maine Coon Cat Breed: Characteristics, Information & Care

The Maine Coon Cat breed is truly magnificent. There is so much to know about them! Even before I had Leo and Alice, I knew one day I wanted Coonies. You see, I had lost my ginger Domestic Medium Haired cat, Clyde, at only six years old after a sudden illness. 

He was one of those special cats - smart, loving, interactive and so sweet. He wasn't a Maine Coon mix, but he had the personality and the characteristics!

I set out to learn as much about the Maine Coon Cat breed as I could. After experiencing my wonderful Clyde, I knew what I was looking for!

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Whether you are planning for your next feline friend, or wondering if your kitty "has some Coonie in him," you'll want to know all about Maine Coon cats!

Rise to Popularity

The Maine Coon cat breed has garnered immense popularity and is widely recognized as one of the most beloved cat breeds worldwide.

Known for their charming personalities and striking physical features, they are consistently one of the most popular cat breeds!

brown tabby coon cat in sunshine on kitchen floor

Internet Sensation: The advent of the internet has played a significant role in the surge in popularity. As the saying goes, "cats helped build the internet!"

Social media platforms are filled with cute pictures and funny videos showcasing the breed's playful antics, endearing expressions, and massive size.

Media Appearances: Maine Coon cats have become stars in their own right, making appearances in various movies, television shows, and commercials.

Their majestic appearance and friendly demeanor often make them the preferred choice for on-screen feline characters. They have been seen in the likes of Star Trek, Pet Sematary and of course Harry Potter, just to name a few.

Celebrity Companions: A favorite among celebrities, this breed has found its way into the homes of well-known personalities, further contributing to the breed's popularity.

High-profile individuals often share their Maine Coon companions on social media, fueling the fascination with these charming felines.

Actor Lou Diamond Phillips and singer Katy Perry are both know to be Coonie parents. And of course, celebrity chef Bobby Flay and his Maine Coon Cat Nacho have their own brand of cat food!

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Where Did The Maine Coon Cat Breed Come Form?

The history of the Maine Coon breed is full of folklore and intrigue. Originating in the New England region of North America, particularly in the state of Maine, these cats have a tale as captivating as their striking appearance.

Here in Maine, in the old days, we used to call just them Coon Cats, and there was an understanding that if you had "barn cats" (yes this is exactly what it sounds like!) they could likely be "Coon cats."

Of course, those days are over, feline family members live indoors, and most importantly, this is a recognized breed, preserved by breeders and available from reputable breeders.

fluffy silver maine coon in woods

While urban legends may suggest they are descendants of domestic cats mating with raccoons (hence the name), this notion is biologically implausible.

More plausible theories propose that they are descendants of long-haired cats brought by seafarers or Vikings. Their development gained momentum in the 19th century when they were recognized for their prowess in catching rodents on ships and farms. The breed flourished during cat shows in the late 1800s, winning awards and acclaim.

The Maine Coon cat breed faced challenges during the early 20th century, with the emergence of other popular cat breeds. However, dedicated Maine Coon breeders and enthusiasts worked tirelessly to preserve and promote these majestic felines.

Recognition from cat breed associations such as The Cat Fanciers' Association solidified their status, and today, they stand proudly as one of the most adored and largest domestic cat breeds globally, blending a rich history with their endearing qualities.

Physical Characteristics:

The Maine Coon Cat breed is famous for its impressive physical characteristics. Towering over other breeds, these gentle giants boast a substantial and muscular build, with males weighing between 13-18 pounds and females averaging 8-12 pounds.

Their long, bushy tails, tufted ears, and large, expressive eyes contribute to their captivating appearance. One distinguishing feature is their water-resistant, semi-longhair shaggy coat, which comes in various colors and patterns.

dark grey maine coon outdoors

Coonies are famous for their well-tufted ears and toe tufts, adaptations believed to protect against harsh weather conditions. Their luxurious, flowing fur requires regular grooming but adds to their regal allure.

Despite their grand size, these felines move with grace and agility, reflecting their playful and sociable nature. These distinctive physical traits collectively define these beauties as an extraordinary and visually striking, rugged cat breed.

Health Issues:

Any purebred feline may be prone to specific health concerns. And while generally strong and robust, the Maine Coon cat breed is no exception. Common issues include hip dysplasia, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). 

Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for early detection, especially for heart-related conditions. Maintaining a balanced diet, providing proper exercise, and monitoring weight are important preventive measures.

Responsible ownership, awareness of breed-specific health risks, and prompt veterinary care contribute to ensuring their well-being and long life expectancy.

Personality and Temperament:

The Maine Coon cat breed is celebrated for a gentle and affectionate nature. Affectionately known as "gentle giants," these felines are characterized by their playful demeanor, intelligence, and sociable disposition.

An excellent companion, a Coonie will forge strong bonds with his or her humans, often enjoying interactive play and forming connections with other pets and children. 

ginger maine coon kitten in cat tree

Known for their chirping vocalizations and adaptability, they easily integrate into family life, making them not only visually stunning but also delightful and loving companions. 

A Maine Coon kitten will arrive home with a certain confidence. They are ready to play, and love, immediately. It will immediately be as if they've always been the star of the household!

Top of Maine Coon Cat Breed

About this site: Welcome! Founded in 2010, MCCN has been helping owners and future owners of these gentle giants worldwide for over 14 years. With our regular additions of breed-specific articles, this has become the ultimate online location for breed information!

Thanks to our many interactive pages and our twice weekly email roundup, we are blessed with an amazing community of fellow pet parents. If this is your first time here, hop on over to our homepage to see all our categories.

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