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Maine Coon

Other names : American Longhair

Maine Coon
Maine Coon
Kitten

Maine Coons are giants among domestic cats. They’re truly enormous, tall, and strong. They resemble a Lynx due to their dense coat and the brushes at the tips of their ears. Despite having mysterious origins, they are considered by many to be the first American cat breed. Always lively and sweet, they are incredible companions and are affectionately nicknamed Big Friendly Giants by families who own these enormous teddy bears!

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Key facts about the Maine Coon

  • Life expectancy : Between 11 and 13 years
  • Temperament : Affectionate, Calm, Intelligent
  • Type of coat : Long
  • Price : Between £300 and £500

Physical characteristics of the Maine Coon

Adult size

Female cat Between 8 and 14 in
Male cat Between 10 and 16 in

They reach adult size around the age of 3 or 4.

Weight

Female cat Between 9 and 13 lb
Male cat Between 11 and 18 lb

Female American Longhairs are smaller and lighter than their male counterparts.

Coat colour

Black / seal, blue / grey-slate, red, white

Chocolate, lilac, fawn and cinnamon are excluded.

Coat patterns

Solid / plain, tabby / striped, bicolour, mink / sepia

They are most commonly plain or striped.

Type of coat

Long, mid-length.

Eye colour

Blue and odd eyes are only accepted when the Maine Coon is white-coated.

Description

Maine Coons are definitely one of the biggest breeds of cat. They are massive, powerful and muscular. Their large, slightly rounded heads have square muzzles and strong chins. Often tipped with ‘brushes’ (also called lynx tips), their ears are similar to those of a lynx. Their fur is dense and lustrous. To be honest, the body shape of this breed is spectacular. They have absolutely no equal!

Temperament

Affectionate

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American Longhairs are very affectionate and love to be close to their owners.

Playful

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It is essential to play with them every day to give them enough exercise and stimulation to keep them healthy.

Calm

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They strike a good balance between relaxing and exercising.

Intelligent

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They’re an intelligent breed, with impressive cognitive abilities.

Fearful / wary of strangers

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Several factors can cause Main Coons to distrust strangers, but in general, they’re very adaptable to new people and things.

Independent

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Many American Longhairs can take care of themselves completely independently.

Behaviour of the Maine Coon

Chatty

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Maine Coons are generally not big talkers, but this can vary depending on the individual.  Anecdotal evidence reports that some softly coo.

Need for exercise / Sporty

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It is important to include a variety of physical activities in their daily routine.

Tendency to run away

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These big cats do like to roam and explore. Teaching your cat to wear a lead and harness can be useful for outdoor excursions.

Greedy / Gluttony

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Sufficient nutrition to meet their energy needs is essential. By providing food in interactive bowls, you can offer your American Longhair activity at the same time as feeding them, and therefore limiting their ability to be greedy!

Compatibility

Maine Coon and cats

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There are several factors that influence how well household cats interact, such as how they were introduced to each other and their environment. Creating an environment with multiple high hiding places and ‘observation posts’ is recommended.

Maine Coon and dogs

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The way in which they are introduced to dogs while they’re kittens has a big influence on their subsequent ability to build relationships with dogs. They can cohabit peacefully, as long as they were well introduced. The living space should have multiple high hiding places to allow the cat to flee unwanted canine contact.

Maine Coon and children

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Given that they are big cats and children are only small, it is important to introduce them to each other gradually and gently. Never force unwanted contact. It is a good idea to properly supervise the meetings, to teach the children how to respectfully approach the cat and to ensure the goodwill of all. If this is done well, the relationship between Maine Coons and kids can be very rewarding!

Maine Coon and the elderly

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These big cats and elderly people can definitely cohabit, just as long as the owners can manage the activity needs of the cat.

Price

A Maine Coon kitten costs between £300 and £500. However this price can vary depending on their lineage, breeding, age and sex. They cost around £35/month to provide for, which will guarantee them medical care and a good quality diet to keep them in good health.

Grooming

American Longhairs’ fur is fine and silky, it requires regular maintenance to prevent the formation of knots.

Hair loss

They lose more hair in certain seasons, so the length and thickness of their coats varies over time.

Nutrition of the Maine Coon

These large cats must have diets that meet their high energy needs. Their owner should adjust their diet according to their age, mass and exercise levels based on their vet’s advice.

Health of the Maine Coon

Life expectancy

On average, Maine Coons live 11 to 13 years of age, but they can sometimes reach the ripe old age of 15.

Strong / robust

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Their long coat and dense undercoat give them good resistance to thermal variations and extreme temperatures. In addition, their coats are waterproof.

Tendency to put on weight

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Risk factors for feline obesity include: age, environment, diet and activity. The risk of the cat becoming overweight decreases considerably when their physical activity needs are met. Providing food in interactive bowls can also help ration portions.

Common illnesses

Annual medical checkups are suggested to ensure their well-being. They can suffer the same diseases as domestic cats, including oral diseases. They are also known to have certain hereditary diseases, including:

  • Spinal muscular atrophy - typical hereditary disease among Maine Coons. It arises after 13 to 17 weeks and muscle weakness is a main symptom.
  • Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a disease that affects both purebred and non-pedigreed cats. Eventually, it causes heart failure.
     

Reproduction

No crossbreeding is allowed. 

On average, litters consist of 3 kittens.

Good to know

Maine Coons takes their name from an ancient legend that states that domestic cats from the state of Maine (USA), crossbred with racoons. This crossbreeding is obviously impossible from a biological point of view, as the two species are too different from a genetic standpoint to breed together.

Origins and history

Even today, the true origin of this breed in many respects remains unknown. According to some, its history begins in New England, when the first European ships docked on the shores of the New Continent. Cats escaped from the boats and took refuge in nearby forests. Over the years, their descendants adapted to the rigours of North America: making them bigger, more powerful, densening their fur, etc. These cats then crossbred with cats of different breeds from overseas. Then, in the nineteenth century, specimens from this crossbreeding were presented in competition and were a sensation.
Other stories suggest different origin stories for Maine Coons. Nevertheless, the breed was a great success at its first cat shows in 1860-1861. A few years later, Persians and Siamese appeared in America and stole the show completely. It was not until the 1950s that Maine Coons came back into fashion. Since then, the breed has been spreading ... to the delight of their fans!

Names

Good names for a Maine Coon cat: Digby, Jolie, Quiver, Vera