Maine Coon Cats
This Affectionate Breed is the Third Most Popular Cat
One of the oldest natural breeds in North America, Maine Coon cats are known for their intelligence and playfulness, as well as their size. One of the largest breeds of domestic cats, they are lovingly referred to as “gentle giants.”
The breed is so well-liked that they’re the No. 3 most popular breed registered in North America according to the American Cat Fanciers Association.
Believed to be brought over to the New England states from Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, Maine Coons had to adapt to the harsh winter climates common in the Northeast United States. As a result of their environment, Maine Coons adapted the following characteristics: their long fur on their neck and stomach helped to protect them against the wet snowy weather and their large, round paws aided them as they made their way through snow.
Maine Coons are people-oriented, energetic and highly-intelligent, making them an easy breed to train. They’re also known for their dog-like behavior: following their owners from room to room, coming when called and playing fetch with their owners.
Relaxed and easy-going, Maine Coons are not overly dependent. They have a very small voice for their large size; their voice is more of a chirp than it is a meow.
Aside from their large size, Maine Coons are also known for their shaggy coats and rugged appearance. They have long, rectangular bodies, long, bushy tails and tufted ears and toes.
Maine Coons come in a wide array of colors, including solid, tabby, shaded, smoke and bi- and parti-colored.
Full-grown male Maine Coons can grow to be 30 lbs., with females weighing a little less. These gentle giants generally reach full size by age three to five.
One of the most common health problems in Maine Coons is hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease that has the potential to cause crippling, lameness and arthritis of the joints.
Maine Coons are also subject to cardiomyopathy, a disease that thickens the heart ventricles. This condition can cause anything from heart murmurs to sudden death.
Maine Coons are generally healthy, resilient cats that have the potential to live long lives if properly cared for and receive routine veterinary care.
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