Breed Highlight: Maine Coon

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Known for their impressive size and earnest disposition, Maine Coons are one of the most popular cat breeds. Their namesake comes from Maine, which is considered to be the breed’s state of origin. Actually, Maine Coons are thought be to be the only domestic felines native to America.

Let’s take a closer look at the breed often referred to as a ‘gentle giant.’

Appearance

This breed is healthy and hardy, its features adapted to survive northeastern winters. Maine Coons are one of the largest cat breeds. According to Animal Planet’s hit series Cats 101, Adult males average close to 17 pounds and 40 inches in length. Think of them as the Great Dane of cats. Maine Coons typically have oversized paws, which were used for treading snow.

An easy identifier for these felines is the ‘M’ pattern found on their foreheads. It’s thought that the ‘M’ stands for Maine Coon. However, they can also be recognized for their long, shaggy coats with varying lengths. Their fur is typically shorter around the head and neck, and then increases in length around their midsection and haunches.

Interestingly enough, they are not known by specific colorings or markings. Maine Coons can be tabby, tortoiseshell, solid, colored, or bi-colored. The most commonly seen coat is the brown tabby.

Behavior

This breed is great for families or first-time cat owners. Maine Coons have a loving disposition and are very people-oriented. While they are not ones to be coddled like a baby, they are always willing to hang out by your side.

They are also good at hunting, or ‘mousing,’ which lends to their playful nature.  Their mitt-like paws make it easy for them to catch and grab small creatures, like mice (real or fake).

These kitties can also be quite the chatterboxes. They make a variety of vocal noises, ranging from meows, trills, and chirps.

Maine Coons are full of personality, making them a favorable breed for all cat lovers.

breed-highlight-maine-coon

Care

Due to their long fur, they’ll spend a lot of time grooming themselves.  However, they’d appreciate a little help. A good brushing is necessary about once per week. They are more prone to mats than a short-haired breed. If you find a mat, try working it out with a comb by starting at the base of the tuft and working away from the skin. Be careful not to pull or the kitty will quickly turn on you. If it’s too tight to be combed through, try using the comb as a barrier between the mat and your cat’s skin, then carefully snip out the matted fur.

Lucky for you, many Maine Coons are reportedly fond of water, so bath time may not be a problem. But remember, cats are self-grooming creatures so frequent baths are not necessary.

If you’re taking proper care of your cat, health issues are not a large concern. However, you should know that Maine Coons are predisposed to joint issues due to their size. Although it is rare, Maine Coons have been found with cases of hip dysplasia.

Overall, Maine Coons are a great breed for the newfound cat-lover and families alike. They are laid back, loyal, and low maintenance creatures. They require love and care like any other cat, but promise to bring you joy with their big personalities.

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