Let’s get to know this highly sought after breed of cat, where it came from and how best to care for it.
They’re gorgeous, giant creatures and their good looks often land them movie roles. They’re good-natured and generally adorable, and we can’t help but love them. Maine Coon cats make for amazing pets, but as with any pet, we must learn about them before we can care for them in the way they deserve.
In this beginner’s guide to the Maine Coon, we will explore where they came from, the qualities of the breed and why they make such good family cats.
Interested in longhaired cats? You might also want to read all about Ragdoll cats.
What Is a Maine Coon?
Even if you’ve never heard of a Maine Coon before, you’re sure to recognise one when you see it. The largest of all cat breeds, these muscular, fluffy fellows have captured the hearts of cat lovers all across the world. With their distinctive looks and highly sociable personalities, it’s no surprise that they’ve become one of the most popular pets out there.
History of the Maine Coon
The Maine Coon has a history as long and illustrious as its tail. Native to the United States, the breed can be dated back to the 1850s in Maine when longhaired cats, brought overseas by sailors, began mating with local shorthairs. The result was a strong, muscular cat with a semi-long coat and a big bushy tail resembling that of a racoon — hence the name “Maine Coon.” Though the breed didn’t arrive in the UK until the 1980s, it didn’t take long for it to become a highly sought after kitty across the pond.
Appearance of the Maine Coon
With their large frames, Maine Coons possess highly muscular bodies with robust, substantial legs. Their heads have a squared-off muzzle, firm chin and are topped with two wide, pointed ears. When it comes to their fur, they boast a thick, semi-long coat with a glossy sheen, which can come in a wide variety of colours. A Maine Coon’s eyes are traditionally gold, copper or green, often not matching their coats. In fact, ones with white coats may display odd coloured eyes or one blue eye (heterochromia). Their tails are long and bushy, like a beautiful feather duster.
Related: While you’re here, check out this guide to the British Shorthair.
Average Weight of a Maine Coon
With the Maine Coon being larger than most cats, they will be on the heavier side of our furry friends. The average weight of an adult Maine Coone varies quite significantly, ranging anywhere between 11 to 25 pounds. Generally, male Maine Coons tend to weigh more, averaging between 15 and 25 pounds. With a relatively slow growth rate, you may end up waiting until your Maine Coon’s fifth birthday before finding out its full adult weight.
Temperament of a Maine Coon
The Maine Coon may be big, but it’s anything but scary. These gentle giants are highly affectionate, thriving on human contact and often forming strong bonds with their owners.
Naturally inquisitive and sociable, they love attention and interactive play, whilst also maintaining that catlike independence. Highly intelligent, the Maine Coon is able to learn things very quickly, making them one of the easier breeds to train. Relatively vocal, they’re known for making an adorable “chirping” noise over the traditional meow.
Maine Coon Care and Grooming
Though skilled at cleaning themselves, Maine Coons will still need regular grooming to maintain their semi-long coat’s glossy condition. Giving them a quick brush, around twice a week, should stop any knots or tangles from forming. More frequent brushing may be required in the spring and autumn when, like most breeds of cat, they tend to shed more heavily. Be sure to also regularly check their ears for any excessive wax or signs of infection, giving them a clean if necessary.
The Lifespan of a Maine Coon Cat
If properly cared for, the average life expectancy of a Maine Coon cat is between 9 and 15 years. Traditionally, it takes between three to five years for them to reach their full adult growth. Despite their large size, Maine Coons are known to carry their kitten-like playfulness with them way into their senior years, at which point they may begin to become more docile. As with other breeds of cat, regular vaccination and parasite control is advised.
Maine Coon Health Considerations
Maine Coons are generally regarded as a healthy breed of cat. With regular exercise and an appropriate, good-quality diet, there’s no reason they shouldn’t enjoy a long and happy life. That said, there are two main hereditary health issues to watch out for in Maine Coons, which are Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) and Hip Dysplasia.
Are Maine Coon Cats Good Family Pets?
Maine Coons, with their affectionate and friendly personalities, make a fantastic choice for families, including those with toddlers or very young children. They’re best suited to larger or family households, as their inquisitive and playful natures mean they don’t like to be left alone for too long. They also tend to get on well with other pets, even dogs. This especially applies if the pets have had a chance to grow up together.
Catipilla and Maine Coons
As you know by now, Maine Coons are a sturdy, weighty cat. If you want them to have cat furniture inside that can truly handle their bulk, you need to be careful — not all climbers can manage the weight of the mighty Maine Coon. Catipilla is one of the brands you can rely on — our luxury cat climbers are strong enough to happily hold all but the very heaviest Maine Coons, meaning your favourite pet will be able to play and exercise at home without fear of damaging the furniture.
Have you seen our new cat climbing poles? No matter the breed, your cat will love this toy, and you’ll love how it spares your furniture.