This majestic feline hails from New England, unsurprisingly from Maine, New England. As a popular “mouser” from as far back as at least the 19th Century, this pest controller would typically call farms and ships ‘home’ Other than this small tit-bit of history, little else is known of the Maine Coon’s origin, there is however much speculation! What is known is the origin of this particular breed’s name. With an appearance unlike other cats, this brown coated tabby with a furry ringed tail, was likened to another animal. A raccoon. The resemblance of these cats to the masked bandit coined the name ‘Maine Coon’ in fact those of the breed that didn’t have the brown tabby coat were referred to as Maine Shags!
These gentle giants can reach anywhere from 4-8kg, typically reaching their full size when they are 3-5 years old. Their average lifespan is 9-15 years so there’s a lot of cuddling time with your big furball! Speaking of fur, these magnificent cats have an equally magnificent coat. Smooth, shaggy fur that reflects the nature of their origin. A coat suited to run around in all weather conditions and large, round, well tufted paws that served as “snowshoes” in winter. Their heavy coat is shorter on the shoulders, growing longer on the stomach and hind legs. Large well tufted ears tapering to a point, a full-bodied ruff in front and a long, furry tail complete their look. Commonly a brown tabby, Maine Coon’s can come in various colours, solid and patterned, excepting pointed (like Siamese.)
With this lovely coat, perfectly suited to Maine, daily grooming is needed to help them see through our Melbourne weather. While a Maine Coon’s coat doesn’t matt easily thanks to its silky texture, tangles can occur, gently brushing their coats at least twice a week to remove dead hair and distribute skin oils is sufficient. Remember to keep the rump area clean, removing dried faeces stuck to the fur as needed, obtaining a ‘hygiene clip’ from your vet if required. Keeping the coat brushed and free from matts will help keep them cool through our summers and comfortable all year round!
Whilst caring for this pleasant and affable cat you will be rewarded with a wonderful companion, content to receive your attention but still allow you your time, while they supervise of course! Loyally acting as your shadow they are often eager to remain in your company, but not necessarily as a ‘lap cat’. Destined to keep you young, a playful trait shows them displaying kitten behaviour well into adulthood. Their retained skills as a mouser has them chasing all manner of things, balls, toys and of course rodents! So beware of any pocket pets in the house! With a gentle soul (rodents aside) these beautiful creatures make fabulous companions and have the ability to adapt to a number of different lifestyles and personalities.