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Maine Coon cat
Federations: LOOF, CFA, ACF, ACFA, TICA, FIFé, WCF

The tallest cat in the world, with 123 centimeters in length, was Stewie, a Maine Coon from the State of Oregon. After his death to the 13 years, the cat Maine Coon Omar Melbourne successfully took his place.

Maine Coon

Content

Characteristics "Maine Coon cat"

Coexistence is important that you have with your new friend. Before considering the acquisition of a cat of the breed "Maine Coon cat" you know certain factors. You must take into account their character, their need for exercise, their interaction with other pets, their care and if you have small children, their level of tolerance towards them.

Joy

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Activity level

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Friendliness to other pets

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Friendliness to children

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Grooming requirements

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Vocality

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Need for attention

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Affection towards its owners

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Docility

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Intelligence

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Independence

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Hardiness

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History

The origins of the Maine Coon

The Maine Coon It is a natural breed native to the northeastern United States, and more specifically the state of Maine, whose is he “official cat” from 1985. However, its exact origins are unclear, and many more or less far-fetched legends surround it.

The most widespread, but also the least credible, is the origin of his name: the myth that it is the result of a cross between domestic cats and wild raccoons (“Raccoons” or “Coons“) Is very nice, but genetically impossible.

Another popular theory is that the Maine Coon descends from six Turkish Angora Cats owned by the French queen Marie Antoinette (1755-1793). Preparing to flee France after the French Revolution, entrusted them to the care of a certain captain Nathaniel Clough, that took them across America to Wiscasset, Maine. The queen was unable to escape and retrieve her cats, so they stayed in Maine and began to breed with the local felines, giving rise to this race.

Although unlikely, this theory is believable. In fact, it is now accepted that the Maine Coon is the result of the crossing between shorthair cats present in North America and longhair cats coming from europe. However, due to lack of actual evidence, it is impossible to know if these cats arrived with the Norwegian Vikings in the 11th century (which would explain its striking resemblance to the Norwegian Forest Cat ), with English sailors in the 19th century (like the captain Charles Coon) or with the fishermen of New England around the same time.

The recognition of “Maine Coon”

Maine Coon
Maine Coon

Whatever its exact origin, Since the beginning of the 19th century, Maine farmers and fishermen appreciated the ability of the Maine Coon to hunt mice and other rodents. useful and resistant, This cold-hardy cat began to be exhibited at local agricultural shows beginning in the 1980s. 1850.

The first references to Maine Coon appeared in 1861 and they were referring to a black and white cat named Captain Jenkins of the Marine Corps. In 1895, a female of Maine Coon call Cosey was exhibited at the first North American Cat Show, held in the Madison Square Garden from New York, where he won a silver necklace engraved with his name, as well as the title “Best of Show”.

However, the popularity of Maine Coon decreased greatly in the early 20th century due to the emergence of more exotic breeds, as the Persian cat and the Siamese cat, and its decline was so severe that at the beginning of the decade of 1950 the breed was declared extinct. This statement was premature and exaggerated., but it made cat lovers aware of the seriousness of the situation. Under the leadership of Ethylin Whitemore, Alta Smith y Ruby Dryer, the Central Maine Cat Club, who worked hard to promote the breed at various shows and competitions, and developed its first standard in 1960.

This was followed by the official recognition of the American Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 1976, the International Cat Association (TICA) in 1979, the Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFé) in 1982 and the British Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) in 1993. Like this, in just a few decades, the Maine Coon not only rose from the ashes, it became one of the most popular cat breeds in the world.

The popularity of the “Maine Coon” in the world

For many years, the Maine Coon has been one of the five most popular cat breeds in America, but now it is also one of the most common cats in Europe. In Great Britain, for example, the Maine Coon has firmly established itself as one of the 5 most popular breeds in the country.

But it is above all in France where his success has been most dazzling.: from 2011, it is the most popular cat breed among the French. Year after year, it even ends up widening the gap that separates it from its rivals: With almost 14.000 inscriptions in the Official Book of Feline Origins in 2018 (versus almost three times less than the Sacred Cat of Burma (Birman), the first of his rivals), alone accounts for more than a third of new births recorded during the year. It also, There is more than 2.500 hatcheries of Maine Coon assets in France, that is to say, that have registered at least one litter in the last two years.

Physical characteristics

Maine Coon
Maine Coon

The Maine Coon he is an imposing cat, to the point that their representatives regularly hold the record for largest cat in the world: Some male specimens reach 12 kg of weight and 120 cm length! However, these are exceptional cases: although it is indeed much bigger than a cat “normal”, a Maine Coon does not usually reach these record dimensions. The vast majority are similar in size to norwegians, breed with which they share many characteristics.

Rather long and rectangular, their body he is muscular and harmonious, While their legs, Of medium height, they are strong, with a solid and wide foot: as such, they are a kind of long and powerful cat. The tail it is one of the most distinctive features of this breed: dense and carried high, is as long as the body and tapers to the tip.

The cheekbones they are tall and prominent. Side view, the forecrown is subtly rounded and the line of the nose forms an unbroken, slightly concave curve. Seen from the front, their snout angular looks square; its large and expressive eyes, angled, appear round when attentive and can be any shade of green, dorado, copper or yellow. In white individuals, they can be even blue or mint (that is to say, of two different colors). Its big ears, broad based and moderately pointed, are placed on the top of the head, with the inner hairs extended horizontally out. Looking for plumes on the tips of the ears, similar to the lynx.

The fur semilargo, denso e impermeable, offers good protection against inclement weather. It is shorter at the head and shoulders, but gradually lengthens on the sides. The undercoat it is less dense than that of other long-haired breeds, but it becomes denser in winter to protect it from the cold. The Maine Coon It then has a dense ruff that resembles the mane of a lion. The coat can be of different colors, usually tabby, although single color raccoons are also accepted. The brown tabby color is the most common. However, some coat colors, like chocolate or lavender, are not accepted by all standards.

The sexual dimorphism it is quite marked: females are significantly smaller than males, whose tilted ears seem smaller.

Last, the Maine Coon it is a slow growing animal, that does not reach its adult size until 3-4 years of age.

Size and weight

  • Male size: 30 to 45 cm.
  • female size: 25 to 40 cm.
  • Male weight: 6-10 kg
  • female weight: 4-7 kg

Varieties of “Maine Coon”

Existing since the early days of the breed, the Maine Coon polydactyl is recognized as a variety in its own right by TICA (International Cat Association). As the name suggests, this cat may have extra claws or fingers.

The polydactyly in cats it exists in many breeds, but the Maine Coon it is clearly one of the most affected breeds, estimating that it affects a 2% of individuals. Some historians believe it is a trait inherited from sea cats, that needed better balance and grip to resist pitching boats.

Character and skills

Maine Coon Silver Tabby
Maine Coon Silver Tabby, two year old breeding male – T. Bjornstad, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Maine Coon he is a calm cat, smart and loving who easily adapts to different lifestyles and personalities. They are very attached to their owners and enjoy their company., but they do not require special attention: they like to be caressed, but they are just as happy sitting next to their owner or supervising their actions. It is common for him to follow you around the house or wait patiently behind a closed door. On the other hand, he is much more suspicious of people he does not know.

Smart and close to its owner, the Maine Coon is a good candidate for training: armed with a healthy dose of patience and your favorite treats, it is quite possible to teach your cat tricks.

It also, coexistence with other cats and even with dogs is not a problem, as long as the latter are accustomed to cats. The Maine Coon it is also an ideal cat breed for children, since he adores them, He is very affectionate with them and enjoys playing with them. They are very playful and, even as adults, they will chase a ball or toys.

On the other hand, thanks to its dense and waterproof coat that protects it from inclement weather, It is a breed of cat that does not fear the cold, nor the humidity.

To much Maine Coon they are fascinated by water: perhaps a memory of his ancestors who traveled in New England fishing boats? No doubt aided by their waterproof coat, they like to lie on the floor of a still wet shower or touch the bath water with their curious paw. However, Most of the time, this attraction does not go further: to the Maine Coon does not particularly like swimming, and he is not one of those who follows his master in the bath or shower.

Last, meows very little or not at all, but it emits a high-pitched screech that is surprising for an animal of this size.

Grooming and caring for the "Maine Coon cat"

Despite having a dense and relatively long coat, the silky texture of the hair of the Maine Coon prevents excess tangling. However, it is recommended to brush the cat with a stainless steel comb weekly, to detangle hair and evenly distribute skin secretions.

A cat grooming rake (o peine) also useful for removing dead undercoat, which can cause tangles if it builds up. This tool should be used gently, especially in the belly, where the skin is most sensitive.

In any case, the Maine Coon she changes a lot, especially during the molting season (Fall and Spring). Therefore, not recommended for people who want to have a perfectly clean interior at all times.

The underside of the tail should also be checked daily to make sure there is no residual droppings embedded in the coat.. If required, can be cleaned with a baby wipe. Many owners choose to cut their hair in this area to avoid this inconvenience..

Last, maintenance of your cat's ears is recommended every 2-3 weeks, checking that they are clean and infection-free. You should also brush your cat's teeth regularly to remove food debris and prevent tartar build-up.. Maintenance sessions are also an opportunity to check if your claws need to be trimmed.

Indoor or outdoor cat?

Maine Coon
Giants Challenge – Maine Coon America – Fabrizio NeitzkeFlickr

Despite its large size, the Maine Coon can live in a flat. Less inclined to vertical scanning than its peers, prefers to stay on the floor or on the sofa rather than climb up the curtains or furniture. Given its size, this is not necessarily a bad thing…

On the other hand, as soon as the opportunity presents itself, his hunting instinct is awakened and he chases mice and other small rodents without hesitation. It is especially known for its ability to hunt mice. In fact, coexistence with domestic rodents such as hamsters should be ruled out, guinea pigs or other small animals, since it will most likely end badly.

How much activity does he need? "Maine Coon cat"?

In general, the Maine Coon it is quite unproblematic in its maintenance. The cat may doze for 16 hours in a row without getting bored. However, even sleepy little ones need a helping of activity once in a while. Especially if they are kept indoors, regular exercise is essential.

When these clever cats (especially the males) they are bored, they come up with all kinds of nonsense. Games with a fishing rod, toy mice or balls next to their humans provide enough exercise. They also strengthen the bond between two-legged and four-legged friends..

If you don't have much time and you have to do other things apart, you can turn to intelligence toys for cats. Here, the Maine Coon can be occupied for a time under supervision. As one of the few breeds of cats, the Maine Coon they have some affinity for water and can also be wonderfully busy with a leaky faucet.

Health and nutrition

The Maine Coon it is rather a robust cat breed with strong health. However, there are some risks.

First of all, has a predisposition to feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (Ho Chi Minh City), the most common form of heart disease in domestic cats, that usually affects adult cats. Since almost one in three individuals is a carrier of the gene, cardiac myosin-binding protein mutation screening recommended to reduce HCM risk, but not to remove it.

The risk of renal polyquistosis, a slowly progressive disease that can lead to fatal kidney failure, it is also more pronounced than in other breeds. It is advisable to learn about the health of the parents before adopting a kitten Maine Coon, since this disease is hereditary.

The spinal muscular atrophy, affecting the muscles of the trunk and limbs, is another genetic disease this cat is susceptible to. However, not deadly, and most affected individuals live comfortably for many years. There is a test to detect carrier specimens and affected kittens.

It also, like all big cat breeds, the Maine Coon are at increased risk of Hip Dysplasia. According to a study titled “Demographics of Hip Dysplasia in the Cat Maine Coon” Made in 2015 in the United States for the Orthopedic Fundation for Animals in more than 2.500 cats Maine Coon, the 24,9% of subjects had hip dysplasia. The prevalence is higher in males (27,3%) that in females (23,3%).

Some professionals believe that this epidemic of Dysplasia it is due to the fashion of cats Maine Coon giants at the end of the first decade of the 21st century. To meet the demand, many breeders of Maine Coons they tried to create larger and larger individuals by selecting the largest individuals for breeding, but also by providing them with a very high protein diet to promote rapid growth. The latter is dangerous for the joints.

It also, keep in mind that the Maine Coon has a very low reproduction rate, with litters limited to 2 or 3 kittens.

Life expectancy

9 to 15 years

Food

The Maine Coon behaves very well with industrial cat food, both dry and wet (cans and trays). However, whatever food is given, it is important to make sure it is of good quality and provides you with the items you need. Therefore, should be high in protein, low carbohydrate content and less than 20% of fat, but it must also contain all the vitamins and nutrients that the cat cannot synthesize.

It is also possible to prepare your meals at home, for example with a BARF type diet consisting mainly of raw meat, organs and bones. In this case, it is essential to consult the vet to ensure that a diet is established that provides all the necessary nutrients and vitamins for the cat, and does not suffer from vitamin or mineral deficiencies.

Except in special cases (cat disease or obesity), the cat Maine Coon self-regulates, so food and water must be available at all times. On the other hand, chlorine-rich water can damage the cat's kidneys and lead to kidney failure; if this is the case, it is therefore advisable to filter it or even prefer bottled water.

Maine Coon
Maine Coon reclining

For sale "Maine Coon cat"

The price varies according to the color of the fur, but generally a kitten Maine Coon female is sold for about 1400 to 1500 EUR, while a kitten Maine Coon male is more likely to sell for 1600 to 1800 EUR.

Interesting facts and curiosities

  • In 2012, “Hank the Cat” was about to reach the Senate of Virginia. Initially intended as a joke for an animal welfare campaign, the cat got a whopping of 7.319 votes, coming third in the election.
  • In the Harry Potter movies, la Sra. Norris, caretaker's cat Argus Filch, is represented by a Maine Coon red.
  • The tallest cat in the world, with 123 centimeters in length, was Stewie, a cat Maine Coon from Oregon. After his death to the 13 years, the cat Coonie Omar Melbourne successfully took his place. With 1,20 meters long and 14 weight kg, He is currently the largest cat in the world and a true celebrity on the net.

Videos "Maine Coon cat"

Alternative names:

Maine Coon
Female Maine coon smoke red van with minnow eyes – Alixia Pain-Brun, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Coon Cat
  • Maine Cat
  • Maine Shag
  • American Longhair
  • American Coon Cat
  • American Forest Cat
  • Gentle giants
  • Coonie
  • Maine coon
  • Mancoon
  • giant cat


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