So you have padded the hoof and are ready to get your very own Maine Coon. But at the back of your mind, you can’t help but wonder if it will be a good fit for your family. Don’t fret; we are here to help. Known as the largest domestic cats on the planet, Maine Coon cats are one of the oldest natural breeds in America and come with a hefty price. They are television stars and are available in all sorts of colors. But they are also shrouded in a fog of mystery. That brings us to our topic. Today, we are going to tear down all the misconceptions branded on these beautiful felines. Here are five Maine Coon cat myths you shouldn’t believe.
Myth #1. Maine Coon Cats have a naturally rough personality
Maine Coon cats are relatively big and usually have a rugged appearance compared to most felines. As such, they tend to be perceived as being rough and mean most of the time. But that’s just a myth. In fact, according to the Cat Fanciers Association, a purebred Maine Coon is naturally inclined to have an amiable temperament. This simply means that the cats are friendly and sociable by default.
Myth #2. All Maine Coon Cats are born hunters
There’s this misconception that a Maine Coon cat is supposed to be a great hunter to fit his character, always catching birds and small animals in the great Outdoors. Folklore tales have actually risen around these felines, of how skilled they are at hunting and their tendency to attack family members randomly. But these are just legends. A Maine Coon cat is not born with an aggressive predisposition. While some can exhibit hostile behavioral tendencies, it’s usually because they are not a purebred, well-raised, or well-bred. That said, all pets generally love to go outside and chase small animals like birds. However, most breeders agree that it is healthier and safer to keep your cat inside most of the time.
Myth #3. All Maine Coons have an “M” on their forehead
One of the most common Maine Coon myths is that all of them have a prominent “M” on their forehead. However, this is not an accurate way to identify a Maine Coon cat. The “M” is mostly associated with a Classic Tabby Maine Coon, and is desirable in purebred tabby felines of no particular breed. Maine Coons can come in virtually any color, but some do not have the “M” marking despite being purebreds. On the other hand, any cat in the Tabby lineup can have an “M” on the forehead, like is evident in many short- haired domestic cats.
Myth #4: Maine Coon Cats are genetically related to raccoons
In the past, the Maine Coon was believed to have originated from a cross between the American bobcat and the domestic cats shipped to North America via sailing ships. This legend was enforced by the fact that the Maine Coon had tufted feet and ears, just like the bobcat. Things took a more fantasy route when people started comparing the cat with raccoons. It was said that the Maine Coon rose from a cross between the domestic cats of New England and raccoons, especially because the brown tabby (which has a bushy ringed tail) occurs most often in nature. In addition, the Maine Coon has a characteristic chirp or trill when conversing, which is highly reminiscent of a young raccoon. Regardless of the similarities, it is genetically impossible for either of these animals to breed with domestic cats simply because they belong to different genera and cannot hybridize.
Myth #5: Polydactylism is a sign of a Maine Coon cat
The only genuine proof of a real Maine Coon is if it came from two pedigreed Maine Coon parents. There are numerous domestic short-haired cats that come with multiple toes. In fact, there is a specific breed that boasts this particular trait, known as the American Polydactyl. However, the Maine Coon has a history of polydactylism. These cats descended from domestic long haired cats from Europe, who arrived in America on sailing vessels. Cats were associated with good luck, particularly polydactyl ones, and were often favored on ships. Their big paws helped them hunt mice on the boat, and may have contributed to their survival when they settled in the Northeast.