The Maine Coon is medium to large, and males are larger than females. The body is long and rectangular and the tail is also long. For these reasons, she may look much larger than she is.
The Maine Coon is a heavily boned, muscular cat. Originally she was an outdoor cat, and later became a working breed who kept barns and homes clear of rodents. The head is large with tall ears. The profile shows a slight dip under the large eyes. The chest is broad, and the legs are thick.
The coat of the Maine Coon is heavy but silky. An interesting characteristic is that the coat is shaggy and drapes longer on the stomach and behind the legs (britches) but is shorter over the shoulders.
Despite her size and history, the Maine Coon cat is sweet tempered and gentle. She loves her parents and adapts to any environment as long as she has some exercise room. When she runs, she can be quite loud but her soft, quiet voice reassures you that this lion is truly a lamb.
The Maine Coon’s nutrition should be carefully controlled. This breed has a tendency to become soft or overweight if not carefully monitored.
The Maine Coon must have adequate exercise. Cat trees and perches should be available and she needs adequate running room. She loves interactive play and she will play with every family member. Being a larger and heavier cat, she can knock things over without meaning to do so.
The Maine Coon’s coat needs daily attention. She should be brushed to make certain that her fur does not tangle, and she should be combed to smooth her coat. Usually this grooming is easy to do if she is trained at a young age that this is fun.
The Maine Coon cat is considered the only longhair breed native to the United States. This breed probably was introduced by seamen who sailed into New England. The cats they carried on their ships most likely left the ship either permanently or just for a little shore leave, bred with the existing native cats, and ultimately created a breed of their own.
The show career for the Maine Coon cat began in New York in 1895 when the best cat award was given to a tabby Maine Coon named Leo. Leo kept winning at the Boston cat shows until 1900 when he was defeated by his own son.
After this, the love affair with the Persian began, and the Maine Coon cat dropped into second place in popularity. This ranking has changed once again in recent years and the Maine Coon is now once again “America’s Cat.”