About Maine Coons
The Maine Coon is the largest domesticated cat breed. It has a distinctive physical appearance and valuable hunting skills. It is one of the oldest natural breeds in North America, specifically native to the US state of Maine where it is the official state cat.
No records of the Maine Coon's exact origins and date of introduction to the United States exist, so several competing hypotheses have been suggested, the most credible suggestion being that it is closely related to the Norwegian Forest cat and the Siberian. The breed was popular in cat shows in the late 19th century, but its existence became threatened when long-haired breeds from overseas were introduced in the early 20th century. The Maine Coon has since made a comeback and is now one of the most popular cat breeds in the United States and now becoming increasingly popular in the UK.
The Maine Coon is a large and sociable cat, hence its nickname, "the gentle giant". It is characterized by a prominent ruff along its chest, robust bone structure, rectangular body shape, an uneven two-layered coat with longer guard hairs over a silky satin undercoat, and a long, bushy tail. The breed's colours vary widely, with only lilac and chocolate disallowed for pedigree. Reputed for its intelligence and playful, gentle personality, the Maine Coon is often cited as having "dog-like" characteristics.
The Maine Coon is the largest breed of domestic cat. On average, males weigh from 13 to 18 lb (5.9 to 8.2 kg), with females weighing from 8 to 12 lb (3.6 to 5.4 kg). The height of adults can vary between 10 and 16 in (25 and 41 cm) and they can reach a length of up to 38 in (97 cm), including the tail, which can reach a length of 14 in (36 cm)and is long, tapering, and heavily furred, almost resembling a raccoon's tail. The body is solid and muscular, which is necessary for supporting their weight, and the chest is broad. Maine Coons possess a rectangular body shape and are slow to physically mature; their full size is normally not reached until they are three to five years old, while other cats take about one year.