Breed Profile: Maine Coon

Often called the “gentle giant” of the cat world, the Maine Coon is a popular cat with a big body and a matching big heart. Learn all about this wonderful cat breed in this article!

The breed is commonly called the first American breed, but its origins are muddled in mystery – although they are definitely not related to the raccoon, despite what its name suggests! Maine Coons are calm and affectionate, although they may need some time to get used to you. They’re also generally a quiet breed, but when they do speak it’s often with a high-pitched trill, very odd to hear coming from a cat of such impressive size. These cats love their space and freedom, so they should always have some access to the outdoors. A catio must be considered if they can’t freely access the outdoors and they can also be trained to walk on a leash. They’re fond of climbing so the bigger the house, the better!
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Star ratings for the qualities of a Maine Coon Cat

Appearance

These fluffy felines are renowned for their large size and are often called the biggest domestic cat breed in the world. They have bushy tails, a royal looking ruff on the front and sweet little tufts of hair on their ears, which has helped spark the myth that their ancestors included bobcats. Maine Coons are also slow to grow, so you might not know their full size until the age of 4! They look huge, but most of that is hair so they weigh relatively little in proportion to their size.

Maine Coon lying down

Body

Strong and heavily-boned, broad chest with big shoulders and rump, a level back and short legs. Long ear and paws tufts.

Head

Long face, high cheekbones, square muzzle, tufts of hair on ears

Eye color

Large and oval-shaped, shades of green, gold, green-gold or copper but blue and odd-eyed allowed when there is a (partly) white fur.

Color variations

The Maine Coon is most often found in the brown tabby pattern but a lot more colors are allowed in cat shows. The breed allows for almost all colors, except for those that show hybridization such as chocolate, lavender, and the Himalayan pointed pattern.
Color variations in the coat of a Maine Coon

Care

Health

The Maine Coon is a healthy breed and individuals can live a long and full life, although there are some health concerns connected to their size and genetic pool. They can develop hip dysplasia, an abnormality of the hip joint that can cause painful arthritis. They may also be more at risk for feline hyperthropic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which can lead to a sudden cardiac arrest and subsequent death so testing for this disease is advised. Kittens should also be screened for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and polycystic kidney disease (PKD), which are both inherited diseases.

Grooming

The Maine Coon has a long and silky coat, which needs to be brushed and combed regularly. During the shedding seasons, especially in spring, you’ll have to brush even more as they will shed their thick undercoat, usually in small clumps of hair. They can also get mats easily so consider investing in a de-matting brush. Because of their larger-than-average size, they’ll also eat more than average to produce enough energy.

Grooming chart Maine Coon

 

 

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