The Maine Coon cat is a portrait of hardiness and adaptability in a harsh climate. Everything from the tips of its well-tufted, erect ears to the “shag” of its coat speaks of a certain level of toughness that makes the Maine Coon cat about the only domestic breed of cat that can withstand the harsh outdoors conditions.
Origin Of The Maine Coon
As with most cat breeds, the true origins of Maine Coon cats are lost to history although there are many theories as to the breed’s beginnings. One theory states that the Maine Coon cat is a native of the state of Maine (and that’s why it is the official state mammal of Maine), being a product of cross-breeding between domestic cats and raccoons. This myth, bolstered by the cat’s bushy, raccoon-like tail, led to its name, “Maine Coon.”
However, there is also another theory that is quite popular among Maine Coon cat breeders. It is generally believed that the Maine Coon cat is bred from shorthaired domestic cats and overseas longhairs, such as the Angora cats that were introduced by seamen from New England or the longhairs that were brought by the Vikings when they came to America.
Interestingly enough, the breed that is closest to the Maine Coon cats is the Norwegian Forest cat which evolved in the same climate as the Maine Coon but not in the same geographic location. This serves to bolster the theory that the bases used for the Maine Coon cat are the cats brought by the Vikings.
What Does A Maine Coon Look Like?
When you see Maine Coon cats for sale, the first impression you have is a well-balanced rectangular cat with glossy, heavy and water-resistant coat. The “shag” of the coat is one of the most important features of Maine Coon cats and what every potential owner should look for when looking at Maine Coon kittens for sale. You can’t really judge the coat unless you stroke it, carefully feeling the rough texture.
The head of a Maine Coon cat is just a bit longer than it is wide, creating a concave profile. The cheekbones are high, the ears large, moderately pointed but wide at the base. The insides of the ears should be well-tufted, the ears themselves situated well up on the head.
The neck is medium-long, elegantly connected to a long body, punctuated by a broad chest that hints at the Maine Coon cat’s hardy nature. The tail is about as long as the torso to accentuate the balanced appearance.
Another distinctive feature of the Maine Coon cat is the eyes, which are large and round, capable of expressing both innocence and self-reliance.
When it comes to the coat colors of a Maine Coon cat, no standard has been set. As a result, there is virtually no restriction as to the patterns and colors accepted. The only exception perhaps is the pointed Siamese pattern, which breeders are continuing to perfect.
The eyes are likewise varied in terms of color, and there is no standard eye color to go with a particular coat color and pattern. The colors may range from green, gold to green-gold. There are also the occasional blue eyes and odd eyes – that is, one blue and one gold eye – which are generally accepted in white cats.
What Is The Maine Coons Temperament Like?
One of the most endearing characteristics of the Maine Coon cat is its clown-like personality. In fact, owners of Maine Coon cats can expect their pets to love playing tricks and possess many amusing habits. Energetic and sociable, Maine Coon cats have no trouble feeling right at home in a large, active family. They also enjoy the companionship of dogs and other animals.
A lot of first-time cat owners have fallen in love with this breed of cat because of its easy personality and low-maintenance coat. The hardiness of the Maine Coon cat also makes it generally healthy cat that can withstand even the most adverse conditions.