A native American cat, now found all over the globe (in fact, Aussie Maine Coon, Omar, is currently in the running for the 'World's Longest Cat' title), this long-haired breed went from being considered a 'glorified barn cat' to the third most popular breed of cat in the US – and a fave here in Australia too. The Maine Coon owe their name to the state that first recognised them as a formal breed - Maine - where they were also named the official cat of the state.
These kitties come with superior mousing skills, and sturdy, healthy bodies; just two of the reasons they’ve become so popular. The Cat Fanciers Association note their physical and personality characteristics are a living example of the 'survival of the fittest' evolutionary theory; with each of their characteristics having a purpose or function that has evolved over time.
For example, they have a thick shaggy coat, which has three layers (of differing lengths) and a huge, boa like tail for added warmth; a must in their home town of Maine. They have well tufted paws, which helps them walk in the snow, as well as fluffy ears. And it's not just their physical attributes that serve them well - their charming, kindly natures allowing them to charm whatever they can't get for themselves from their willing human 'slaves'!
Appearance wise, they come in a whopping 75 odd colour combinations. They're also broad of chest, wide of eye, and clock in at a whopping four to eight kilos in size.
Life with a Maine Coon
Maine Coons are quite trainable, and enjoy spending plenty of time with their humans (in fact, those looking for a low key, low maintenance cat may find these felines a little too full on.) They're also a unique cat in that they enjoy water immensely - they'll swim in it, bathe in it, and swish it all over their food. This means you'll be wanting to keep the bathroom door closed when washing, or you're likely to have your Maine Coon join you.
They enjoy good health, so providing them a healthy diet, plenty of companionship, preventative treatments for fleas and worms and their annual check-up will largely suffice in keeping them in tip top shape. Their shaggy coat does require regular grooming, or it will become matted. As with other breeds, the Maine Coon is not especially fond of grooming, so take care to get them into the habit from kittenhood – unlike other breeds, these cats pack plenty of grunt when it comes to wrestling their way out of a grooming session!
- Colour: Up to 75 colour combinations
- Weight: 4 - 8 kg
- Lifespan: Most Maine Coons live > 12.5 years.
Omar the Aussie Maine Coone - in the running for World's Longest Cat!
Photo credit: @omar_mainecoon