Compatibility with children: High
Compatibility with other pets: High
Heavy, long and shaggy; shorter on the shoulders and longer on the stomach.
Solid, which includes white, black, blue, red and cream; tabby; tabby with white; parti-color; and other colors, which include silver chinchilla and black smoke.
Physical characteristics: Solid, rugged, medium to large body; large, expressive eyes; long, tapering tail.
Steeped in myth, the exact origin of the Maine Coon will probably never be known. The breed may have already existed in North America when the pilgrims landed, left by the Vikings to form feral colonies. Or for the more romantically inclined, they may be the ancestors of Marie Antoinette's beloved Angoras, who were stowed away on a ship bound for Maine while their mistress met her ugly fate. The lore that surrounds the breed bears witness to its enduring fascination. What is known is that the rugged barn cats from Maine gained popularity in the 1860s. By the turn of the century, a more delicate and refined cat, such as the Persian, was in vogue, and the Maine Coon's numbers dwindled. In the 1940s, a group of dedicated fanciers rallied around the increasingly rare breed, which steadily gained admirers. Today, the Maine Coon is the second most popular breed of cat.
The Maine Coon is a hardy and stoic cat. He is serious, dignified, and pensive, but this doesn't mean that he's not loving or caring. In fact, he is extremely affectionate, but his affection is reserved for a select few - his family. The Maine Coon is naturally intelligent and can seem to sense his owner's mood.
Maine Coons are sturdy cats who can withstand harsh winters. They are not very vocal but will chirp when conversing with their beloved human companions and often greet their owners with a friendly head butt. Not known as a particularly mischievous breed, they won't create havoc in the home while you are away. This is a relaxed breed that won't expend energy unless it deems the endeavor worthwhile. One idiosyncrasy of Maine Coons is that they will often raise themselves on their back legs to get a better view of something.
A high-quality diet is essential for a healthy Maine Coon. Many prefer a variety of flavors and brands, as they may suddenly become uninterested in a once-favorite food.
Maine Coons do well in homes looking for a quiet, gentle lap cat. They are good with children and dogs. Maine Coons are typically indifferent to or even suspicious of strangers.
The life span of the Maine Coon is 12 to 14 years. They are extremely hardy, with few inherent health problems; night blindness and hip dysplasia have been reported.
For years a myth existed that Maine Coons were the result of a hybridization between domestic shorthaired cats and raccoons, which explained their ringed tails and use of their front paws to lift food. Of course, we know now that this crossing would be a genetic impossibility.
Maine Coons require regular grooming. Their coat needs to be brushed daily, first using a brush that won't snag the hair (a slicker type works well), then a wide-toothed comb, and finally a fine-toothed comb. A tool to help remove any mats is also useful.
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