to Pet Health Network or

Answers from vets about your cat:

The Maine Coon Cat

Posted December 15, 2014 in Cat Breeds

History
Although the Maine Coon’s origins are a bit obscure, there are a lot of interesting stories surrounding its history. One story goes like this: Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, attempted to escape to America before her 1793 execution with the help of a ship captain. She never made the voyage, but her belongings did, including her longhaired Turkish Angora cats. When they landed in Wiscasset, Maine, the cats promptly bred with existing shorthaired breeds and evolved into the Maine Coon. 

Another tale involves Charles Coon, a British sea captain who sailed New England coasts in the 19th century and brought some of his seafaring cats into port with him. His sailor cats mated with local cats, and their offspring were called “Coon’s cats.” 

Whatever you choose to believe, the Maine Coon has been around for a long time. His popularity has waxed and waned over the years, and he wasn’t an officially recognized breed in the United States until 1975, but today the Maine Coon is the second most popular breed of cat in America. 

Cat Facts
The Maine Coon is a pretty neat breed, and here’s why:

Maine Coon cat

  • Yet another tale about the Maine Coon’s origin suggests that the breed arose from the mating of domestic cats with wild bobcats, which could explain the tufts on the ears of the Maine Coon.
  • There is a strong possibility that the Maine Coon is a descendant or relative of the Norwegian Forest Cat – a favorite of the Vikings – because they bear a strong resemblance.
  • The Maine Coon is one of the largest cat breeds, weighing an average of 10-25 pounds and reaching up to 40 inches in length
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years

What are they like?
Like the Great Dane in the dog world, the Maine Coon is the gentle giant of the cat world.

The Maine Coon loves his people, but he’s not needy. He loves to hang out on the periphery of family events and take affection as it comes. While not a lap cat, the Maine Coon still enjoys a good snuggle. 

An easy-going breed of cat, the Maine Coon can also be lively and playful, and they’re incredibly intelligent. He’ll play fetch, walk on a leash (with some dedicated training), and is a good traveler. He gets along well with kids, dogs, and other cats. 

The Maine Coon evolved to survive in harsh northern alpine climates,

Share This Article

Tori has more than 2 years of experience in the pet health industry and is junior editor of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.