The Maine Coon cat breed is well-known for its impressively large size, making it the number one purebred natural cat breed. Besides their physical beauty, they are also known for their friendly personality, which has helped them become the third most popular cat species in the US. In this article, tindongvat explores the history and origins of the American Maine Longhair cat breed.
The Maine Coon cat is a natural breed from Maine in North America, and due to their unique long and thick coat, they’re often considered the long-haired American cat breed. However, despite their popularity, the true origins of Maine Coon cats remain unknown, with only speculations and anecdotes being passed down to create a temporary history. One widely accepted theory suggests that the Maine Coon is a descendant of both the Norwegian forest cat and the Siberian cat.
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♦ Hypothesis 1: The Flight of Queen Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette reigned as queen consort of France from 1774 to 1792, but her reign was marred by political turbulence and social unrest. Eventually, she became a target of revolutionary forces and faced accusations of treason and extravagance. Fearing for her life, she devised a plan to escape with the help of Captain Samuel Clough.
When she fled, she took with her six precious Angora Turkish cats and some personal belongings, but she was eventually caught and sentenced to death. However, the six cats were saved by Captain Samuel Clough, who brought them to safety in the coast of Wisconsin, Maine. There, the cats bred with local felines and gave rise to a distinctive breed known as the Maine Coon. The kittens were named after the places where they were born, adding to the charm and lore of this remarkable feline lineage.
Captain Charles Coon, a cat lover with a particular fondness for long-haired felines, once took his crew of cats on a stroll during a stop in Maine, New England. Unbeknownst to him, his mischievous cats mated with the local street cats, resulting in the accidental creation of a new breed of cat. The locals named the kittens Maine Coon after the port and the captain’s name. While the breeding and development programs for Maine Coons were in high demand in 1895, the breed was forgotten during the golden age of Persian and Siamese cats. It was even thought to be on the brink of extinction. After being rejected three times by CFA, the Maine Coon lovers rallied and fought for its recognition, finally achieving success in 1976. By the 2010s, the Maine Coon had become the third most popular cat breed in the United States.
II – Characteristics of Maine Coon Cat Appearance
The Maine Coon cat is a naturally large breed, and although the Savannah cat is larger, it is a hybrid. This feline has a sturdy, muscular body that is well-proportioned. Its skeleton is quite substantial, contributing to its sizeable frame.
An adult longhaired American cat can grow up to 41 cm tall and up to 120 cm long from head to tail. The males can weigh between 5.9 to 8.2 kg, while females can weigh between 3.6 to 5.4 kg.
The Maine Coon cat’s head is large, but it is ideal for its body size. The chin is relatively large, and the muzzle often creates a square shape. This characteristic makes it easy to distinguish this breed from other similar-looking cats such as the Siberian or Norwegian forest cat.
The American longhaired cat’s ears are also quite large, erect, and wide, with tufts of long hair at the top. Hair around the earlobe is also relatively long.
Maine Coon cats have round eyes that can come in a range of colors such as blue, yellow, or bronze. Two-colored eyes are still acceptable for white-haired Maine Coon cats.
Maine Coon cats have a thick, long, slightly shaggy 2-layer coat that is thicker in the winter and thinner in the summer. Their lower body areas such as the belly and legs have thicker hair to insulate them when lying on snow or wet areas. Their tails are also long and thick, which helps keep their heads warm when sleeping by rolling the tail up to their face. The chest coat is thicker and more ruffled, forming a mane that creates a lion-like appearance. Maine Coon cats have a variety of coat colors and are friendly, gentle, and accepting of companionship from people and other animals. They have a high energy level and require a spacious area and playtime with their owners. They tend to meow when bored or hungry, so it’s important not to let them stay close to an empty stomach if there are babies in the house.
Section IV discusses the potential health problems that may affect Maine Coon cats. Although generally healthy, due to their large size, these cats are prone to certain issues such as hip dysplasia, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, spinal muscular atrophy, polycystic kidney disease, and obesity. It is important for cat owners to pay attention to their pet’s health and take them for regular check-ups if they notice any unusual symptoms.
Section V provides tips on how to raise and care for a Maine Coon cat. As these cats are larger than most breeds, their diet and care are slightly different. It is recommended to feed them only slightly more than an average cat and let them regulate their own food intake. Comb their thick and long fur daily to prevent shedding and tangling, paying extra attention to their feet and tail. Regular exercise is also crucial to avoid obesity, so take them for walks or play games with them for 15-20 minutes a day.