Maine Coon cats are also called the Main Shag, Main Cat or the American Longhair.
It is believed to be the largest domestic cat breed and one of the most popular cat breeds in the world.
This cat was originally a
'working-cat', kept specifically for hunting vermin.
Kernes Maverick | brown classic tabby | owners Charmaine Danziger and Daniel Viviers | bred by M Kernes | photo © Theresa Fouche
The Maine Coon is a large, well proportioned cat, heavily boned with powerful muscles.
It has a long, bushy tail which is covered in flowing hair. They carry their tails in the air, but still manage to attract every leaf and stick in the garden into this glorious plume.
The Maine Shag's head is medium length, longer than it is wide. In profile, the head is slightly concave and the forehead domed. It has prominent cheek bones, a broad nose, firm chin, powerful jaws and a square muzzle.
Its ears are large and well-tufted and cats with lynx tips are preferred.
The cat's eyes are oval-shaped and set at a slight slant. When the eyes are wide open, they do appear round.
All eye colors are seen, from shades of green to copper and green-gold. White and bi-color cats may have odd-eye colors or blue eyes.
Kernes Mississippi Hell Cat | silver tortie tabby and white | owner-breeder Marianne Kernes | Maine Coon Picture © Theresa Fouche
The Maine Coon has a distinctive coat.
Dense, heavy, shaggy hair covers the entire body - fur is short on the head, shoulders and legs; and long on the flanks, belly and back. A magnificent ruff surrounds the neck.
The undercoat is smooth, fine, soft and slightly oily. This oil serves to water-proof the fur, allowing the cat to be exposed to moisture and still keeping dry.
The Maine Coon cat's fur was not designed for decorative purposes only. Its water-resistant fur is intended to protect against cold, snow and rain.
The bushy tail provides additional warmth when wrapped around its body.
Maine Coon colors: This large domestic cat breed is seen in a wide array of colors and patterns. Solid colors (blue, black, cream, red and white). Tabby patterns, Bi-Colors, Parti-Colors, Shaded and Smoke.
Maine Coon cats are not suited to apartment living. They need space.
As they are easy to train and provided you start at kittenhood, they love to take a walk on a lead.
A safe, fully enclosed, escape-proof garden provides an ideal 'hunting ground'.
They adapt to varied environments, tolerate harsh winters and thrive in rough woody terrain.
These cats are ideal for families with children and other pets and make wonderful companions for the young and old.
Kernes Brown Bomber | brown classic tabby kitten | owned and bred by Marianne Kernes | Maine Coon picture © Theresa Fouche
These gentle giants are easy-going and good natured cats.
They are sociable, but not intrusive. By this we mean, they love human company, but would prefer to sit next to you rather than wrap themselves around your neck or curl up on your lap.
The cat owners we spoke to had this to say:
The Maine Coon is an even-tempered cat, well balanced and calm.
Whilst they are dominant cats, they are not aggressive at all.
They are playful, athletic and almost clownish.
These cats are affectionate and are very attached to their owners. Not vocal cats and not demanding of time, but do like their humans to be close by.
Intelligent, independent and not clingy.
They are ardent, natural hunters and love to share their 'trophies' with you.
As with all longhaired cat breeds, daily brushing is required.
The good news is that grooming is not as excessive as the Persian cat.
Autumn and Spring is shedding time, so you will need to groom more frequently.
Visit our cat hair care pages for detailed grooming tips.
Kernes Cincinnati Kid | red classic tabby | Owner: Kim Brodie, Breeder: Marianne Kernes | Maine Coon picture © Theresa Fouche
These cats are generally considered robust, hardly and healthy, but they can present with the following health conditions and cat diseases:
We recommend that you only adopt your Maine Coon from a cat breeder that has proof of screening for these unfortunate conditions.
There are commercial cat foods made specifically for Maine Coon cats should you want a balanced and convenient diet for your cat.
Our cat nutrition and cat food pages have oodles of info about the various cat foods.
Your cat should have access to clean, fresh water.
The average weight for these large domestic cats is between 4.0 - 10.0 kg (8.8 - 22.0 lbs)
The Main Coon has an average life span of 12 - 15 years which is considered a long life expectancy.
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