The Maine Coon is one of the largest domestic cats; males can weigh as much as 35 pounds.
As the name suggests, the breed originated in Maine, where it is the official state cat.
Maine Coon Cat Breed Characteristics
This cat breed is friendly and very active and can be expected to explore every nook and cranny of your house.
They are also known for their fascination with water so you may want to close the door when you are taking a shower if you don’t want to share it with your cat.
A Maine Coon is a big, rugged cat with a smooth, shaggy coat who looks as if he could take out a mouse with a simple paw tap! But, don’t be surprised if this big cat is loving, loyal, sweet and good natured.
The Maine Coon has beautiful, thick fur which makes them a good candidate for living in a colder climate and most are not afraid of a rainy day. While they aren’t the most vocal breed for a big cat, they let out an adorable chirp and have a winning personality.
Maine Coon Physical Traits
The most obvious and famous of a Maine Coon characteristics is his or her size. No doubt about it, they are certainly big cats.
The Maine Coon is a Big Cat!
A male usually weighs in at thirteen to eighteen pounds and a female at nine to twelve pounds. There seem to be stories everywhere of cats weighing as much as twenty five pounds. Those extra hefty cats are rare; any litter will have larger and smaller than average kittens.
One of the largest domestic breeds, male Maine Coons weigh in at 12 to 18 pounds, while the females fall into a ‘petite’ 10 to 14 pound range.
Slow to mature, the Maine Coon takes three to four years to fully develop. Although brown tabby is the most common color and pattern, Maine Coons come in a wide variety of colors.
The heavy all-weather coat, shorter on the shoulders and longer on the stomach and britches, makes the cat appear larger than he really is. The texture is smooth and silky rather than cottony, so the coat doesn’t mat as easily as the coats of some long-haired breeds. Breeders usually recommend a twice-weekly combing with a good steel comb.
The Maine Coon Has Large, Wide Ears
One of the most defining Maine Coon characteristics is his or her ears. They are large and wide, with long tufts coming out of them and lynx-like tufts on the tips. The ears of a young Maine Coon kitten that hasn’t quite grown into them are nothing less than adorable.
The face of the Maine Coon cat has an intelligent expression. When you look right into their large and round green, gold or copper eyes, it seems as if they really connect with you. They are frequently described as having a feral expression. This term, meaning wild or untamed, goes completely against their actual temperament, which is mild, sweet and loving.
The Maine Coon Personality
If you are just getting to know the Maine Coon cat, you will soon find out about his or her amazing personality. These friendly, affectionate, loving, goofy cats have a personality that is equal to their size. A big Maine Coon cat is large in size and personality.
The cool Maine Coon personality sets these cats apart from the crowd. It is the reason they have so many loyal fans. Maine Coons usually enjoy a kittenish love of play well into adulthood. Males, especially, are prone to silly behavior. Females are more dignified, but they aren’t above a good game of chase. Not especially vocal, they make any requests in a soft chirp or trill.
The Maine Coon is a Social Cat
Maine Coon cats are very social. A Maine Coon prefers to be in the company of his family, much like a dog.
You can count on your Coon to be there to greet you every morning and every time you get home. And yes, they come when called by their name. And when your company arrives, he or she won’t run under the bed but will be right next to you to greet the guests. They will be surprised to meet such a friendly cat.
The Maine Coon is Great with Children
The friendly, laidback Maine Coon is a perfect choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. He loves the attention he receives from children who treat him politely and with respect, and he doesn’t mind playing dress-up or going for a ride in a baby buggy. The Maine Coon is an amiable guy.
Maine Coons also like dogs and usually get along very well with them. As always, introduce pets slowly and in controlled circumstances to ensure that they learn to get along together.
Should you Purchase Insurance for your Maine Coon Cat?
Maine Coons are for the most part healthy cats, living on average more than 16 years. It will still be important to have pet insurance to help cover the cost of veterinary visits or any possible health problem that could occur. This breed is specifically susceptible to three hereditary health problems:
- Feline Spinal Muscular Atrophy: some Maine Coon cats suffer degeneration of the nerves in the lower spinal cord, which results in weakened legs and difficulty walking. The disease normally appears within a kitten’s first 6 months, but is neither painful nor fatal, and affected cats can live normal lives if they are well cared for and kept indoors. A genetic test is now available that can help to screen a kitten’s parents.
- Hip dysplasia: like St. Bernard dogs, these cats may inherit a condition where the hipbone fails to fit correctly into the pelvis. Over time, wear and tear can cause the hip joint to become inflamed, causing pain and restricted movement. The condition can often be reversed with surgery.
- Polycystic kidney disease: this congenital disorder, which affects as much as 16% of some cat breeds, causes cysts to form in one or both kidneys and normally doesn’t manifest itself until a cat is seven to ten years old. The condition is progressive and irreversible, though surgery may in some cases help to relieve the cat’s discomfort.
Since your Maine Coon is likely to have a long life, it is important to be prepared not only for congenital conditions like these, but also for the inevitable medical issues that arise as a cat ages. Owners who purchase the right pet health insurance plan can rest assured in the knowledge that they will always be able to provide the care that their big cats deserve.