Animal-World > Cats > Natural Cat Breeds > Maine Coon Cat

Maine Coon Cats

American Forest Cat, American Coon Cat, American Longhair

Family: Felidae Maine Coon Cat, American Forest Cat, American LonghairFelis domesticusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Justin Brough
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The Maine Coon is known for its massive appearance, lush coat, and luxuriant, plumed tail!

Despite its potentially intimidating size, the Maine Coon Cat is also known for pleasant personality. This cat breed has a gentle, mild-mannered, and friendly demeanor. Depending on the individual cat, their sociable tendencies may be variable. Some say that the Maine Coon is shy, while others say that it is out-going. But either way, the Maine Coon is a great family cat.

The Main Coon is one of the first true American cat breeds, originating in the state of Maine. Is is also known as the American Forest Cat, the American Coon Cat, and American Longhair Cat. One of this breed's defining characteristics is its large muscular body. Yet the finest trait of this natural breed cat is the long thick silky coat with a large ruff, and a very bushy tail that creates a plumed appearance. Despite its heavy coat, this massive long-haired breed requires only moderate grooming. It can withstand extremely cold weather but will then shed profusely in the summer time.

For many owners, the Maine Coon has an ideal personality. It is an affectionate, amiable breed that gets along with most people and animals, but is not too needy. It is gentle and easy-going, but also self-confident and a good hunter. This breed remains playful and "kittenish" throughout its years. It speaks softly to its owners in a chirping or squeaking voice.

For information about keeping a pet cat, see:
Cat Care: How to Take Care of a Cat

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Felidae
  • Genus: Felis
  • Species: domesticus

Background The Maine Coon is a natural cat breed. It is one of the first true American breeds, however the specifics of its origins are disputed. The most interesting explanation is that it originated from a cross between a house cat and a raccoon. However, this is biologically impossible. Another unlikely origin is that it is a cross between a house cat and an American Bobcat. Other stories include the basic idea that this breed descended from Norwegian Forest Cats that were sent to America.

A more probable explanation is that the Maine Coon originates from house cats that became semi-wild and developed a heavier body and thicker coat in order to protect them from the cold. However, the most accepted explanation of this cat's origins is that it developed from the breeding of house cats and Angoras in Maine. There is no proof for this theory, though it seems probable since a cross between house cats and Angoras would look something like the Maine Coon.

One interesting fact about the Maine Coons is that they were the first cats to be shown in cat shows. Though the first official cat show occurred in 1871 in London, Maine Coon cat shows had been held since the early 1860's at the Skowhegan Fair in New England. The Maine Coon was successful in the first official show in America in 1995, since it had the advantage of over 30 years of previous show experience. However, as more exotic breeds began to appear, it lost some of its popularity. In the 1950s it caught the interest of many again, and a Maine Coon Cat Club was formed in 1953. The Cat Fancier's Association recognized the breed in 1976.

The Maine Coon arrived in Europe, more specifically, in Austria, in 1953 and in Europe in 1983. It is still a fairly rare breed in Europe.The Maine Coon originated in Maine, and is easy to find in the United States. However, it is rare in Europe and Australia. Common names for this natural breed cat include: Maine Coon Cat, American Coon Cat, Maine Cat, Maine Trick Cat, American Longhair, American Forest Cat, American Shag, and American Snughead.

Description One of this breed's defining features is its massive size. It has a large, muscular body that is long and rectangular. The head is medium-sized, but appears small compared to its large body. The eyes are large and slightly oval and the ears are large and tufted. The tail, a prized feature of the Maine Coon, is long and thickly covered, creating a bushy, plumed appearance. It has a soft, chirping or squeaking voice. It has a long lifespan of 13 or more years.

Maine Coon CatMaine Coon Cat Photo © Animal-World: Courtesy Justin Brough

The coat of this breed is long, thick, and silky with a large ruff. The traditional coat of the Maine Coon is tabby, but most other coat patterns and colors are acceptable. A few exclusions include Chocolate, Lilac and Siamese Points, blue or odd eyes in all coat colors except white, and Bi-color or Parti-color cats with white fur for more than a third of the coat. The Maine Coon weighs from 9 to 22 pounds.

Glossary terms:

  • Ruff: A band of fur around the neck.

Care and Feeding The Maine Coon cat has no specific dietary needs and this breed requires no special feeding accommodations.

Housing Your Cat The Maine Coon is likely to enjoy a garden or yard to exercise and hunt in. However, it can also enjoy a life as an apartment cat, especially if it is allowed time outside regularly.

Maintenance Unlike many long-haired breeds, the Maine Coon requires only a weekly brushing. However it will shed profusely in the summer, so will need some addtitional grooming during the hot season.

Social Behaviors The Maine Coon is not too needy, but is gentle and easy-going. It's not really a lap cat, but will stay close by. This is an easy-going breed that generally gets along with people, dogs, and other cats. It shows affection toward the whole family, but tends to become especially close with one person. If you are looking for a sweet loyal cat, this breed can offer that type of affection.

Activities This breed is playful and active. It is self-confident and a good hunter. It will enjoy playing with others, and can enjoy an interactive game of fetch. Yet it's also content to run around chasing things and exercising by itself.

Breeding/Reproduction Maine Coon litters are generally comprised of three or four kittens. They develop slowly and only reach full maturity at three or four years of age.

Common Health Problems The Maine Coon is a generally hardy cat, if you get a healthy kitten you will most likely have a healthy adult. Still there are a few maladies this breed could suffer from. These include Hip Dysplasia, which is a more prominent problem in large cats, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy or HCM, which is a common heart disease of all cats, and Spinal Muscular Atrophy or SMA, which is a genetically inherited disorder that shows up in kittens.

Availability Maine Coon Breeders can be located easily on the internet. Local breeders can also be located. Prices range from $200 to $1000.


Author: Ruth Bratcher
Lastest Animal Stories on Maine Coon Cat

Ali - 2017-05-01
Healthy F1 Savannah Kittens For Sale my kittens are vet checked,registered and they are very friendly with kids and other home pets,they are also TICA registered and will come with a 30 days guarantee. our litters are limited so all kittens get plenty of socialization. these cats we have are raised in our home as part of our family. highly socialized for loving companions. cats come with shots, vet health certificate. felv.fiv tested and kitten contract for health guarantee. pets and show kittens available . local delivery and shipping also available anywhere Please contact for more information through email (

pat - 2010-02-21
I just love Pumpkin, my maine coon. He is about 6 to 8 yrs old and he is a wonderful loving friend for me and I did decide to keep him in as a house cat because of where I live. He sleeps by me and lays next to me wherever I go. At one time he must have been hurt because of his one rear hip, runs but has a little problem with that hip. But right now I am having a real problem with him not eating and it is mainly the dry food I cannot seem to get him to enjoy and today he came out from sleeping and meowed at me and was telling me that he was hungry. Yes he eats some moist food but I cannot get him to eat a dry food. He drinks some water but not enough I don't think, and of course his stool has not been much. Has urinated quite a bit. You say they are not hard to feed but he is giving me run for my money. Have fed him Friskies and Natural food from a pet store and he does not like any. Is it time to take him to the vet? He is my big orange and white fluffy buddy.

  • shirley ross - 2010-07-08
    I'm sorry to say that he may possible have kidney disease. If you get him to the vet for test, and he is in early stages, you can continue to have him around for years. Or he could have a tooth problem, and need dental work. Dry food is not good for cats, no matter what has been previously stated. It can cause kidney disease. I know, because my 16 year old has had kidney disease for 6 years, and with careful monitoring.......testing, giving fluids with an i.v. under the skin,( you can easily learn to do it......she is your baby!) proper diet, and many trips to vet, she has held out 6 years past what she was supposed to. He has all the symptoms, drinking a lot of water, not eating, and urinating huge quantities. More goes out than they can drink........that's why the sub q fluids. It's very important to get his bowels moving so that the toxins that normal kidneys would filter. I just stumbled upon this site, so email me if you like.
  • casey Forest - 2014-09-27
    Sounds like a kidney problem how ever I am not a vet.!!!! PLEASE dont wait take him to a vet specaliazing in cats! I also have a maine coon cat a solid 36 lbs. They can have kidney heart or hip problems. Ask your vet to recomend a high QUALITY food. Most grocery store food brands w the exception of Iams is considered kitty junk food. GOOD LUCK a good vet is even better. Casey Forest
Debbie Clifford - 2009-09-05
I recently lost my beloved Maine Coon Baron Munchmausen to rainbowsbridge - he was only 3 1/2years old but in that short time he lived the life of 40 cats. He had a massive personality and made an big impression on everyone he met. He was my puppycat- he'd follow me on walks and scuff around a bit whilst I walked ahead and run to me at full pelt just like a dog when I called him, his magnificent fur blowing in the wind and his big tail sweeping. He would follow me to my neighbours house to try and steal her cats food and would follow me round the house if he was not allowed inside and stand up and paw each window and mew. - He didnt chirp but he had a tiny high pitched mioaw which was far too small for him. He once got on the same neighbours conservatory roof during a residents meeting and ran up and down like thunder before settling just above my head until the end of the meeting. He disappeared into the christmas tree last year and eventually out flew a bird - and he managed to carry a baby rabbit though the cat flap up a spiral staircase and put it into his bed at easter!! It was unharmed. Mice and Voles were not so fortunate -he was an expert hunter with his massive paws. He could turn the taps on the kitchen sink and loved to drink water from running taps lapping it until it went up his nose and he sneezed. He would sit on a big red blanket and let me pull him round the floor like a sledge and he'd wake me up in the morning at 7 am on the dot with rough kisses. I could never have anything other than a Maine Coon now, but filling his boots will be a hard task.

  • Niza - 2014-08-11
    Im sorry for your loss and my condolences go out to you 💋
Jeff Dubose - 2014-07-19
this is my boy ODEN live up to his name, fetches tin foil balls loyal , rotten spoiled, what kinda cat is he i've had no luck finding any thing like him, listens to what i tell him, tell him go to bed, he go's, any thing i say he does, (i don't like cat's, but exception to rule, goo friends and bud's, loyal to me only, not far from me, hates when i got to work, cries when i come in, pet me , scatch my belly..ect.. a royal pain til he get's that, monster of a cat, don't like when people raise voice to me, gets between me and them, will attack if they seem like there going to do harm(he was abused before i got him) amazing cat he is, some one tell me what he is ??  thought maine coon, not sure, like i said not a cat person, but wouldn't trade his fat butt for nothing..(not fat..big!!) jumps 3-4 feet to get tin foil balls, loves it, or plain string cord, and thats all he will play with, lets me do what ever, no one else, well i take that back, friend paul plays with him, loves him as much, i hate to say it, as much as i do, he's skidish about feet, and hands, except me and paul, like to get him rebel flag collar, can't find him one, i'm from south, and i think he's got southern attituide and he's a maine cat.. help me fig my boy out!!

  • Clarice Brough - 2014-07-22
    What a great cat! It's hard to tell what exact breed he is unless you know where he came from, and then you can ask the previous owner, but he does look Maine Coonish. And what a unique and special personality!  
  • Niza - 2014-08-11
    It's a Maine coon cause I have one and lemme tell you she's the love of my life, and her name is tigger and I love her so much. shes a cutie she always comes to me when I call her, or pat my hand on my side, she loves playing with string absolutely loves it, and my siblings think I spoil her to much compared to the other cats we have (it is true) but Maine coons choose who they want to be closest to in the family and mine chose . Its hard to explain how much I love this cat, I always give her kisses and she always listens to me and people might think Im crazy for spoiling a cat and completely loving her too much but I think she deserves it she nothing but the best to me I hope this helps and sorry for rambling on about my cat but yeah so your cat IS a Maine Coon make sure you forever love him and always take care of him and give him the love he needs when and how you want to and he will forever love you 😋😊✌
Ali - 2017-05-01
Healthy F1 Savannah Kittens For Sale my kittens are vet checked,registered and they are very friendly with kids and other home pets,they are also TICA registered and will come with a 30 days guarantee. our litters are limited so all kittens get plenty of socialization. these cats we have are raised in our home as part of our family. highly socialized for loving companions. cats come with shots, vet health certificate. felv.fiv tested and kitten contract for health guarantee. pets and show kittens available . local delivery and shipping also available anywhere Please contact for more information through email (