Large House Cat Basics,  Main Coon

24 Fun Facts About Maine Coon Cats

The Maine Coon cat is the world’s largest domestic cat. They are also a very popular breed due to their friendly personalities and large size. They are a very interesting breed and they have a long history that may or may not be true.

They are said to descend from either Viking cats brought over in the early tenth century or they may even be descendants of Marie Antonette’s Turkish Angora cats. Though we may never know where they originated from for sure, we do know a few things about this lovable large house cat.

Maine Coon Cat Facts

Main Coon Cats

They are Massive Cats

Maine coon cats are the biggest domesticated cat. Males range in size from 15-25 pounds and their height is 10 – 16 inches. They are also long cats and can get up to 40 inches long. Female Maine Coons range from 10 to 15 pounds with the same height and length as their male counterparts.

They are native to the state of Maine and are the official state cat

The Maine Coon grew up in Maine and that is where it gets its name from. They love this cat, as does most of the world. In fact, they love the Maine Coon so much that in 1985 it became the official state cat.

Maine Coons were choosen as the state cat because they are a hardy, handsome breed of domestic cat, well equipped to survive the hostile New England winters.

They have a few interesting origin stories

They came with the Vikings

One origin story is that Maine Coon cats came from the nortic world. It is said they were brought to the Americas when the Vikings came. This could make them decendents or cousions of the Norwegian Forest Cat.

Unfortunately, this story has never been proven to be the origin of the Maine Coon. However it is a fun story that has some merit to it. After all the Vikings did come to that area and settle.

Maine Coons are decendents of Marie Antoinette cats.

Marie Antoinette was Queen of France from 1774 to 1792. She loved both dogs and cats. During her reign, her cats were free to roam the palace and the grounds. They were Turkish Angora cats a medium cat breed, that have similar features to the Maine Coon.

During the French revolution, it is said that she had plans to flee France and go to the United States. She was captured before this could happen, however, her 6 cats were already on board the ship. They sailed to Maine and were released to roam freely, and according to this legend, eventually became the Maine Coon cats we see today.

They are decedents of European Ship Cats

Cats on ships was a very common occurance duing the golden age of sailing. Large cats that were great hunters were needed to keep mice and other rodents out of food and other cargo on the ship.

Many ship captains took great pride in their ship cats. In fact, they treated them like we would a house pet today. One story of the Maine Coon being a ship cat really stands out from the rest. It is the story of Captain Charles Coon.

Captian Coon and his Large Cats

Captian Coon had many cats, like any other Captain. When Captian Coon landed in Maine, his cats often came with him. While they were on shore they would breed with other cats. Thus creating the Maine Coon. There is no evidence that this is what really happened, but it’s a fun tail.

They’re Not Related to Raccoons

Another origin story is that the Maine Coon is related to the Racoon. This is not included as an origin story here, because it’s definitely false. The Maine Coon and the Raccoon have no relation and due to the mechanism of reproductive isolation.

This means that in nature these two species would not mate. However, if a breeder wanted to try mating a Raccoon and a Maine Coon it might work. Since it has never been tried we just don’t know.

They are made for winter living

Maine coon cats have a thick fir that keeps them extreamly warm in the winter. They actually have 3 layers of fur, the first two are an underlayer that helps to keep them warm in the winter. They then will shed some of this underlayer during the summer to help them stay cool.

The third layer is a waterproof layer. This allows the Maine Coon cat to play in the snow without feeling wet. It also allows them to dry quickly if they do get wet.

They come in many colors

Maine Coons are shown mostly as grey and black cats, that is why many people have assumed incorrectly that they are descendants of raccoons. However, they come in many different colors and patterns. Maine Coon cats can be black, blue, cream, white, and silver. They can also have Tabby, a solid, tortoise, and a smoke pattern.

A Maine Coon’s eye color also varies. Eyes can be light to deep shades of amber, gold, orange, copper, gold, and green. They can also have odd eyes (Heterochromia Iridis) where one eye is one color and the other is a different color

They are celebrities

The Maine Coon was featured in the Harry Potter films. The part: Mrs. Norris. Though in the books, Mrs. Norris was a smaller cat, the directors decided that the Maine Coon would be the best fit. There were four to five Maine Coons used in filming and a few were from shelters.

The Maine Coon was also featured at the family pet in the 2019 version of Stephan King’s Pet Cemetary. The part was played by four Maine Coon cats, Leo, Tonic, Jager, JD.

Maine Coons are so loved that they were the very first pet to be cloned.

The first pet to be cloned commercially was called “Little Nicky” The owner, Julie, who’s beloved cat died, wanted to have a clone of her cat made. She spent $50,000 to have “Little Nicky II” cloned. The company Genetic Savings & Clone had been storing the genetic tissue of Little Nicky and eventually cloned the second cat.

Julie was thrilled with the resulting cat, however, the company that did the cloning went out of business in 2006 for financial reasons, so Julie will not be able to clone the cat again, at least not with them.

You can read more about this story in the Washingtion Post here

The Maine Coon was the worlds longest cat

As of 2019, the Maine Coon is the world’s longest cat. This cat is huge!  Barivel is from Italy and comes in at 3 ft 11 in. or the size of a small child.

They are also the worlds oldest cat

Rubbie, is 31 years old in human years and is the worlds oldest living cat. She is only part Maine Coon, however we will still count her in our list. As of January 3, 2020 she is still the worlds oldest living cat.

They eat with their paws

If you have ever owned a cat you know they eat with their mouths. Maine Coons, however, will eat using their paws. They will grab food out of their dish with their paw and then eat the food directly from their paw.

Maine Coons are Very Vocal

Maine Coons don’t meow often. They do however make other noises that may startle you if you’re not ready for them. As you get to know your Maine Coon you may hear them trilling when they are happy or excited. They also will let you know they need more food or water by squeaking at you.

Maine coons love to play in the water

Due to their waterproof coat, Maine Coons also love to be in the water. You may find your Maine Coon playing in their water dish, following you into the shower so they can hop in when your done or even swimming if you take them outside.

Some Maine Coons have 6 toes

Though this is not as common as it used to be. Maine Coons were once known to often have 6 toes. This trait is known as Polydactyl and it’s not just a trait found in Maine Coons, but many other cats. Due to breeding however, this trait is not very common anymore.

Winner of the First American Cat Show 

The Maine Coon was the winner of the very first American Cat Show in 1885. Though they have been shown in cat shows since 1865 they were not recognized by cat associated until much later and were not allowed in many national cats shows because of this.

Now, however, they are recognized by every cat association and are welcomed at all cat shows.

You can teach a Maine Coon to play fetch

Maine Coons love to play, in fact, they are more like a dog than a cat. Many Maine Coon owners have taught their cats to play fetch with them. All you have to do is find a toy they really love and play.

You can take them on a walk

Maine Coon cats love to go out on walks. You can hook them up to a leash and let them explore the outside world. They act well when on a leash so you don’t have to worry about them trying to run off on you.

They are master hunters

One reason Maine Coons were so popular is that they are amazing hunters. Many farmers still use Maine Coons and barn cats to help get rid of pest. If your Maine Coon is just an indoor pet, you want to be sure you have pleanty of toys for them to play with and “hunt” during the day.

They don’t require much grooming

You can brush your Maine Coon a couple times a week and they should be fine. They take care of themeselfes well and though they do have alot of fur a twice weekly brushing should take care of any extra.

The exception may be spring where they start to shed their fur. Upping your weekly brushing to three or four times a week will help keep the extra fur at bay.

They will need to be trimmed every now and then. Their fur can tuft and you will need to be able to remove these tuffs. Even if you brush two times a week these tuffs do form. Make sure to get your cat use to your trimming tool of choice before hand, so that you don’t have issues using it when you need to.

Maine Coon Cats Love to Climb

Maine Coons are expert climbers. When hunting being able to climb would keep them from anything hunting them and also keep their pray to themselves.

You can help encourage climbing by having a good sturdy cat tree and if you do take your Maine Coon outside, allowing them to climb in trees. You do want to keep them on a leash when they do this so they don’t get up too high and refuse to come back down.

They are one of the most popular cat breeds in the world

If your a cat lover who also loves the personality of a dog then the Maine Coon may be the right cat for you. They are dog like in that they are very playful, will go for walks and play fetch.

They are also the largest domestic cat so their size alone is comparable to a small dog. They also get along well with others so you don’t have to worry about your cat attacking your friends and family. In fact, the Maine Coon is a very family-friendly cat who loves all family members equally.

They take a while to grow up.

Maine Coon Cats a very slow to grow up when compaired with other cats. They don’t mature for 4 years and can live on average for 10-15 years, though many have lived much longer than that.

How long they live does depend on a few factors. Are they indoor-only cats? Their general health and the amount of exercise they get. If they are outdoor cats, they may not live as long as an indoor cat.

They were almost extinct

In the early 20th century the Maine Coon cat started do decline in popularity. Other long haired cats had come onto the scean and by the 1950’s the Maine Coon was declaired extinct. This as we know however was a bit hasty and the cat was really not gone.

In the 1950s Alta Smith and Ruby Dyer formed the Central Maine Cat Club. This club brought renewed attention to the Maine Coon and over time breeders were able to bring the cat back and its popularity has increased ever since.

They are expensive pets

Maine Coon cats can be expencive, the cost to buy a Maine Coon ranges from $800 to $2000 or more. It’s not just the adoption fees that are expencive. They are a very large cat and because of this, the cost of feeding this big cat is much more then a normal size cat.

Maine Coons also have hereditary medical problems like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, hip dysplasia, and spinal muscular atrophy. Though not every Maine Coon will get these problems, it is common and something you need to be on the lookout for when you are adopting a Maine Coon.

These are just a few fun facts about Maine Coon Cats. If you would like to know more about Maine Coons check out the Maine Coon page of this website.