The Maine Coon
One of the largest breeds of domestic cat, Maine Coons are one of the oldest natural breeds in North America. While their exact history is unknown, Maine Coons have been officially recorded in the US since the early 1800s and are specifically native to the state of Maine, from which they take their name.
They have a distinctive physical appearance, with a broad chest and solid, muscular body. Their impressive tail is long and tapered with dense fur. Males can weigh from 6.8 to 11 kg, and females from 4.5 to 6.8 kg. Maine Coons can average around one meter in length from their nose to the tip of their tail. In fact, the title of ‘Longest Cat’ recorded in The Guinness World Records goes to a male purebred Maine Coon named Stewie.
Pros and cons of owning a Maine Coon
Maine Coons are known to be intelligent, easy to train, gentle and sociable. With a generally laid-back attitude, they are usually relaxed around dogs, other cats and children. As the breed has developed and adapted to survive the harsh New England climate, they are also healthy and hardy.
The most severe medical problem for Maine Coons is feline hypertrophic cardiomyopthy (HCM). They can also suffer from hip dysplasia and arthritis owing to the strain of their large frames.
Their medium or long hair is soft and silky, with many colour variations. Comparatively they require less grooming than many other long haired breeds, but still need to be brushed at least once a week. Maine Coons are also known for being very vocal, making yowling, chattering and chirping sounds.