Pedigree Cat Breeds - Maine Coon

© BlueLaKoonz Maine Coons
The Tail with the Cat attached...
One of the oldest natural breeds in North America, the Maine Coon is generally regarded as a native of the state of Maine (the Maine Coon is the official Maine State Cat). A Native American longhaired cat the Maine Coon was recognised as a specific breed in Maine where they were held in high regard for their mousing talents. Through nature's own breeding program, this breed has developed into a sturdy cat ideally suited to the harsh winters and varied seasons of the region (Though they are bred in most countries as indoor pets only due to their fearless attitude towards anything that could get them hurt or into trouble).
The Maine Coon is a large, muscular cat of rugged appearance, with a long body, long legs, large rounded tufted paws, small to medium tapering head with high cheekbones, large, slightly slanted eyes and large ears set high and tufted (Lynx-tips).

© BlueLaKoonz Maine Coons

The coat is heavy, silky to the touch, shorter on the forequarters but lengthening along the back and down the flanks, and shaggy on the belly and breeches. The tail is long with plume-like fur and they have a lion like mane. The coat is easy to groom but should be combed regularly to avoid knotting, particularly the chest, belly, breeches and under arms.

Traditionally a tabby cat, but today almost any colour is possible, including solids, shaded, smokes, silvers, bi-colours and parti-colours. Throughout the history of the breed there has been no restriction on the colour, with the exception of the Siamese pattern. All eye colours are permissible in Maine Coon Cats (blue and odd eyes are permissible in white cats only).

© BlueLaKoonz Maine Coons
A number of legends surround its origin. A wide-spread, though biologically impossible belief is that it originated from matings between semi-wild, domestic cats and raccoons. This myth, bolstered by the bushy tail and the most common colouring (a raccoon-like brown tabby) led to the adoption of the name Maine Coon. Originally, only brown tabbies were called Maine Coon Cats; cats of other colours were referred to as "Maine Shags".

Maine Coons develop slowly, and don't achieve their full size until they are three to five years old. Their dispositions remain kittenish throughout their lives; they are big, gentle, good-natured cats. Even their voices set them apart from other cats; they have a distinctive, chirping trill which they use for everything from courting to cajoling their people into playing with them. Maine Coons love to play and many will joyfully retrieve small items for you. They find this an enthralling pastime. They rarely meow, but when they do, that soft, tiny voice doesn't fit their size.

The Maine Coon is very well known for its loving nature and great intelligence. They are especially good with children and dogs and have always been a popular and sought after companion.

Pedigree Maine Coon kittens from established breeders usually go to their new homes at over 13 weeks. Be wary of a breeder homing them before 12 weeks, this could mean they are not full pedigree and not registered with a Governing Body.

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*Breed standards may vary according to cat governing body

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