what are maine coon cats

What Are Maine Coon Cats?

Sweet, gentle, and good-natured: all adjectives used to describe Maine Coon cats. Maine Coons are known as the “gentle giants” or the “dogs of the cat world” because of their playful personalities and large size. Plus, Maine Coons display the dog-like trait of loyalty to their family. They will bond with all family members, but especially their primary caretaker. 

More Facts About Maine Coon Cats

They’ve been around for a while. One theory, backed by genetic testing, is that Maine Coon cats and their ancestors are descendants of a Norwegian Forest Cat and another breed, now extinct. Vikings and European sailors docked in American ports in the 1700s. Long-haired cats that lived on the ships came ashore and mated with short-haired cats, and thus the Maine Coon cat was born. Their thick coats helped them survive New England winters.

They’re huge! The largest domestic cat breed, in fact. Their bodies are rectangular and long with a long tail. They can grow to be 40 inches in length and are about 18  pounds of solid cat. They have thick legs and broad chests that rumble when they purr.

Their voices are distinctive. Rather than a regular-sounding meow, Maine Coon cats make a trilling sound. They sometimes also chirp, especially when watching for birds out the window.

They make good family pets. Maine Coon cats are easy to train, intelligent, and have larger than life personalities. Males can be more outgoing than their female counterparts. Maine Coons aren’t aggressive towards other cats and children, in fact they thrive in an environment with children and pets. They are incredibly tolerant and will adapt to the needs of children.

They love water. One of the unusual qualities of this breed is that they enjoy having a bath, and you might find them in the kitchen sink or playing in the tub every chance they get.

Their hair needs upkeep. Their coats are silky, waterproof, heavy, shaggy and drape behind their legs. Their hair is longer on their stomachs, shorter on their shoulders. They need to be groomed daily, as their long silky fur can become quickly tangled or matted, especially around the ears. If you do find a hair mat, you can work with them if they’re not too tight. Use a comb and start from the end, pull away from the skin. Hold the mat at the base of the skin and gently work the mat loose.

If the mats are really bad, you’ll need a good groomer to give your cat a lion cut, which means the cat basically gets shaved. They’ll have some fur on their tails, heads, and feet and will resemble a lion.

Exercise and diet are important. Maine Coons can be somewhat on the lazy side and can become overweight. They can take up to four years to reach their recommended weight of up to 25 pounds. Discuss proper nutrition and exercise habits with your veterinarian. Because these are large cats, the size of their bodies can take a toll on their kidneys, and they need to have access to fresh water at all times.

A Main Coon cat will need lots of room to run and move around. They can knock things over accidentally since they’re so big. By keeping them moving, it will keep their weight down so they can stay healthy and fit. Maine Coon cats are considered to be excellent mousers. They enjoy hunting and love to play games of “chase the toy” so having toys available is a good idea.

And there you have it! Some fun facts about Maine Coon cats. How much do you love this breed?

If you have a Maine Coon cat, visit Veterinarians.com to find a veterinarian near you.