The Maine Coon Cat: Is this Gentle Giant the Right Breed for You?

If you are considering a new cat, take a look at the extraordinary Maine Coon cat breed. This breed is extremely intelligent and has a personality that is not exactly cat like.

Tabby Maine Coon face

Are you a dog lover who is considering a cat?

If you think all cats act the same, you probably haven't seen a Maine Coon cat taking a leisurely dip in a pool!

The Maine Coon is known as a gentle giant, and giants they are.

These gentle cats typically weigh in at anywhere from nine to twenty two pounds, but may be much larger.

Along with the Ragdoll, these cats are at the top of the list for largest domestic cat breed.

On my interesting cat facts page, I mention Leo, a 35 pound Maine Coon that is 4 feet long from nose to tail.

These are athletic specimens, and carry their weight well on their large frames.

The breed has a squarish face, a thick neck, large ears, big, rounded eyes, and a large, muscular body. The tail is long and quite bushy.

This cat breed was first seen in Maine in the late eighteen hundreds, and is a natural breed. Its thick coat protects it from the bitter cold winters in the US Northeast.

When the breed was first established, only the brown tabby color was recognized. This coat color and the Maine Coon's bushy tail gave it the look of a raccoon, and it is probably this appearance that gave these cats their name (although legends abound).

Today, this breed comes in many more recognized colors, including black, blue, cream, red, tortoiseshell, blue tortoiseshell, white, and bicolors.

These cats look spectacular as tabby cats. Allowed tabby varieties include smoke, silver tabby, brown tabby, red tabby, blue tabby, and cream tabby.

These cats can have green or gold eyes, unless their coats are white, in which case, the eyes can also be blue or mismatched.

The Maine Coon gets along well with other cats, dogs, children, and just about every other type of animal. The exception, of course, would be mice! This breed is notorious for its excellent hunting abilities.

These cats have a wonderful personality and are the perfect cat breed for families. They are also content, however, being the only animal in a quiet household.

If you want an extremely quiet cat, then the Maine Coon may not be the perfect choice for you. These cats are a bit on the vocal side. The meowing sounds these cats make, however, is a pleasant chirping sound that few people find to be annoying. In fact, they sometimes sound more like birds than cats.

With the long coat this breed has, it would be no surprise that the Maine Coon needs frequent grooming. The coat is said by some, however, to be almost "self-maintaining."

The Maine Coon's coat is heavy and shaggy, but is also silky in texture. In any case, you should be prepared to thoroughly comb out your cat's coat at least twice a week.

If the coat begins to develop knots and snarls, you may need to groom her even more frequently. Most cats love the attention, and a grooming session is a great time to check for any physical problems with your cat.

White Maine Coon cat

Being a descendant of hardy farm cats, the Maine Coon cat is, overall, a healthy breed. As you might expect with the long coat, a common health problem with these animals is hairballs.

If your cat seems to be feeling under the weather, it may very well be a hairball problem. Hairballs are a common cat health issue, especially among longer haired breeds.

Some cats will let out a distressing cry when they have a bad hairball day. This may be accompanied by a certain amount of hacking and coughing.

This may or may not result in periodic vomiting. Of course, your veterinarian should be consulted to be sure she does not have a more serious health problem. Frequent recurring cough or vomiting may be a warning sign of cat illness, especially when accompanied by other signs or symptoms.

While you are talking to your veterinarian, you may want to consult her about feeding your cat a cat food with hairball control. This may help to reduce any instance of feline constipation that may occur due to excess fur in the gut.

Many vets are recommending feeding a premium wet cat food to help hydrate, make your cat regular, and reduce problems with hairballs.

Some Maine Coon cat fanciers have claimed that this breed is the most popular breed in the world. This title has also been claimed to have been held by the playful and devoted Siamese, possibly due to the Siamese's people oriented nature, or its popularity in movies.

According to, however, the most popular breed is another longhair, the Persian cat. This is interesting since Persians are much higher maintenance with respect to grooming than the Maine Coon.

Most popular breed or not, it would be no surprise if you decided that you wanted to own one of these beautiful animals. If you want an intelligent and loving cat, this breed may be the perfect choice for you.

Image credits: Tabby Maine Coon White Maine Coon

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