A distinctive old North American cat breed is the official state cat of the utmost northeastern U.S. state. It can easily be recognized because of its size and thick coat and is a great pet to have around.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most fun and interesting facts about the Maine Coon, one of the most beautiful cat breeds in the world.
1. It originates from the U.S. state it was named after
The Maine coon didn’t just originate from Maine, it’s also the official state cat. This U.S. state is located in the utmost northeastern part of the United States, making it one of the coldest states as well.
That’s perfectly fine for this cat breed because it’s equipped with a thick double coat that consists of thick external hairs and a silky satin undercoat that keeps them warm.
Since it originated in Maine it has spread all across the United States and even the world. This breed is often listed as one of the most popular cats in the world, reaching third place in a recently produced list.
2. It’s unclear until today how to cat arrived in the United States
The true story about how the cat arrived in the United States remains unknown. The generally accepted theory is that it was bred as a combination of the Norwegian Forest Cat and the Siberian.
The cat does indeed bear a striking resemblance to the Norwegian cat, a breed that originated in Northern Europe that is perfectly adapted for extremely cold winters.
A popular legend claims that the ancestors of the Maine coon once belonged to Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France who was executed in 1793 during the French Revolution.
Before attempting to flee the country, she presumably gave some of her cats, including Turkish Angoras and Siberian cats to a man named Captain Samuel Clough. She didn’t make it across the pond but her cats did. They were presumably crossbred with shorthairs in Maine which resulted in the new cat breed.
3. It’s the largest non-hybrid cat breed in the world
The nickname of this cat breed is the “Gentle Giant,” a reference to both the gentle-natured personality of these cats and their large size.
If we exclude hybrid cats such as the Savannah Cat, a breed that was introduced in the 1980s, the Maine coon is the largest domesticated cat breed in the world. Here are some of the impressive stats of these cats:
- Weight: 13 to 18 lb (5.9 to 8.2 kilos)
- Height: 10 to 16 inches (25 to 41 centimeters)
- Length: Up to 38 inches (97 centimeters)
- Tail lenght: Up to 14 inches (36 centimeters)
Female cats have about the same dimensions but weigh slightly less at between 8 to 12 lb (3.6 to 5.4 kilos).
4. This breed can come in a wide variety of colors
The hair of these cats is medium or long and is extremely soft and silky. Their silky undercoat allows them to keep warm in cold weather conditions, something that doesn’t faze them at all.
One of the most remarkable facts about the Maine coon is that their long hair requires minimal grooming, at least compared to other long-haired cats. The reason for this is the low density of their undercoat.
The breed can come in a wide variety of colors. The only disallowed colors for this breed’s standard are lilac and chocolate, with all other colors and color combinations possible.
5. These are intelligent cats and great pets to have around
Being the third-most-popular cat breed in the world surely gives you a hint as to whether or not these cats are great pets. Their nickname, “Gentle Giants,” is the ultimate confirmation.
These are extremely intelligent cats that can be trained easily, often as well as a dog. They loyally follow their owners but at rather cautious when it comes to strangers.
Despite being a great cat to have around, these cats don’t like to sit on your lap. Regardless, they are very comfortable around other cats and even dogs and are great playmates for small children.
So if you wonder whether or not the Maine coon is a great pet, then the answer is a resounding yes.
More interesting facts about the Maine Coon
6. Whether or not these cats arrived in the United States in the late 18th century remains unknown. We do know that their popularity skyrocketed in the 19th century as they became popular show cats during this period in history.
7. The existence of the Maine coon was hanging by a thread in the early 20th century when other long-haired cats were imported such as the Persian cat from the Middle East. Luckily, some breeders have focused on maintaining the breed and it has only risen in popularity ever since.
8. The popularity of the breed greatly increased when the Central Maine Cat Club (CMCC) was established in the early 1950s. This organization didn’t just organize competitions but also created the first written breed standards for the Maine coon.
9. The fur of these cats is water-resistant and substantially thicker on their underside. This is to protect them from walking in snow and ice in harsh winters. Their tails resemble those of a raccoon and can be curled around their heads to protect them from the cold.
10. One of the most intriguing facts about the Maine coon is that they are fascinated by water. Some people have speculated that they have inherited this remarkable personality trait from their ancestors who traveled with sailors on ships.
11. These cats are known to be very vocal. They can produce a wide range of sounds, including howling, trilling, and even chirping.
12. The biggest Maine coon in history was a cat named “Stewie” which had a length of 48.5 inches (123 centimeters). Many large individuals can become just as long as large cats such as the Eurasian Lynx, although they don’t nearly have the same volume.