When it comes to domestic cats, you can guarantee that there’s one cat breed out there that will match your personality. They’re as diverse as any animal could be, and they vary in sizes, colors, and any other quality you can think of. Of all these breeds of cats, there’s one that probably stands to be one of the most unique out of them all: the Maine Coon Cats.
Maine Coon cats are as distinctive as their names. If you ever see one, you’ll surely recognize it again next time you come across it. There’s a quality about these animals that exude warmth and coziness, and if you ask any cat owner who lives with a Maine Coon, they’ll tell you exactly how cuddly and comfortable these cats could be. The name Maine Coon has many folk tales associated with it. One story states that an English seafarer named Captain Charles Coon kept longhaired cats aboard his ship. Every time his ship docked, his cats supposedly mated with other feral cats in the local area. Soon enough, longhaired litter began popping out everywhere, and that these kittens eventually came to be known as Coon’s cats.
Whether that story is true or not, it’s a fantastical way to think about these fantastic creatures. If you could ever have one cat to take care of, the Maine Coon cat should be the one. Not only is it fluffy and pretty and everything you might think a cat should look like, it also has the personality that matches the way it looks: fluffy, pretty, and everything in between. Here are 20 fun facts you ought to know about Maine Coon cats.
Not half raccoons
Sure, Maine Coon cats are huge. It’s also true that half of the breed’s name also happen to be the other half of raccoons’. It also doesn’t help the fact that the Maine Coon looks like raccoons. But don’t believe the hype. Maine Coon cats are not raccoons in any way, shape, part, or form. You can take our word for it or just take science’s word for it. It’s genetically impossible, at least at this point in our evolution. Besides, Maine Coon cats are as fancy as cats could ever get. There’s no way you can find any relation between these fluffy cats and those other creatures that like to dig in your trash.
One of the oldest breeds
Cats have been around for a long time. More specifically, domestic cats have been around for humans since the ancient times. Maine Coon cats evolved naturally over the years, and this evolution supposedly happened thousands of years ago. Maybe this is how they’ve evolved to become such amazing creatures. Evolution does like to take its time, and to create such a beautiful breed as the Maine Coon could only take a hundred lifetimes to perfect. Although, there are speculation and stories that the Maine Coon evolved much later—around the late 18th century to be exact. Either way, the first mention of these cats in literature did not occur until much later in 1861 in The Book of Cats written by Frances Simpson.
U.S. show cat
There are hundreds of cat breeds that have walked across cat shows stages throughout the history of cat shows. All of them are impressive in their own rights, and many of them are just stunning to look at. It isn’t difficult to say that the Maine Coon is an absolute cat show favorite with its flowing hair and bubbly charisma. The Maine Coon cat also happens to be the only show cat that originate in the United States. Many people argue that the origins of the Maine Coon couldn’t have been the U.S., but the truth is that no one really knows. As far as cat associations are concerned, the Maine Coon’s origin is from the U.S. and it represents the U.S. when it comes to shows.
Many cat lovers get cats for pets because they’re fascinated by the larger members of the cat family—that includes lions, cheetahs, leopards, and the like. While it’s unfortunate and fortunate at the same time for humans to be unable to keep wild cats as pets, there are adequate enough replacements. If you’re just looking for size, look no further than the Maine Coon. This cat breed happens to be the largest domestic cat there is. The male Maine Coon can reach weights of about 18 pounds. That’s a hefty load for such a lithe creature. Adult Maine Coon can reach heights of up to 16 inches and lengths of up to 48 inches—that’s 4 feet long! Because of this, no other domestic cat can give you any more love than a Maine Coon.
We all know that cats don’t like water. Some may even go as far as saying that cats are afraid of water. It just so happens that the Maine Coon is the exact opposite. This is one more thing that makes it so unique. The Maine Coon actually loves water and is quite the proficient swimmer. It will stay in the water probably as long as you do and will enjoy its time as well. The secret is probably in the coat. Maine Coon cats have a coat that’s a lot more water-resistant compared to those of other breeds. You’ll definitely never find another water loving cat as much as a Maine Coon. If you happen to be a water lover yourself, the Maine Coon is the only cat for you.
Ready for winter
Everything about this cat screams winter ready. Just as mentioned above, their coats are built for water-resistance. Maine Coon cat hairs are long and thick, which protects them from the cold. They even have paws that were made for the cold. They even have much larger bodies than any other cats out there; that in itself will keep the Maine Coon as warm and fuzzy as it needs. It won’t ever shy away from a quick romp in the snow, so you can enjoy making snow angels with your cat. All of these only make sense considering that these cats have spent majority of their lives evolving in the winter cold. This means that they have evolved the mechanisms to fight against the cold and keep their bodies warm.
Have you ever heard of cats that don’t meow? Well, now you have. Maine Coon cats don’t meow at all; they chirp. Why did this breed evolve to make such an odd sound? No one knows for sure, but it’s yet another way that the Maine Coon is different from all other cats. The sound itself might take a little getting used to. It has a trilling quality that some people might find maddening. On the other hand, Maine Coon owners promise that their cats’ sounds are what make them so endearing. Most people will say that the Maine Coon sound resembles that of a bird’s chirp. It could be possible that the cats learned to make birdcalls in order to attract birds for eating. Whether that’s the case or not, only the cat themselves know.
Cats, not dogs
Some people say that Maine Coon cats are the most dog-like of all cats. If you were a cat person, why would you ever want a cat that’s like a dog? The truth is there are many things about dogs that are absolutely loveable. They’re friendly, cuddly, loyal, and fun to be around with. These are some of the dog traits that Maine Coon cats emulate. In addition, Maine Coon cats are very playful. They’re the type that loves to play catch and fetch. And since they’re big enough, these cats don’t mind having a leash on to go for walks with their owners. Life with a Maine Coon cat is largely different from the typical quiet lives most cat owners have, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Cats generally love to be high. The cliché of the firefighter rescuing cats from trees originates from this very fact: cats love heights. They will climb up the tallest trees and scale up the highest steps just so they can be above everything. It could very well be that the reason why cats love heights is because they love to jump. Maine Coon cats are the exact opposite of the typical, again. They absolutely hate heights. While there’s no governing evidence or scientific study that have proven this, Maine Coon owners will tell you just out of observation. These cats like to stay low on the ground for some reason. Again, it could very well be an evolved characteristic that we’re not sure what the reason is for.
Playful little things
Did we already mention that Maine Coon cats like to play? We have said it briefly, but that sentiment deserves its own little number. Kittens are normally playful creatures. They come out curious about their worlds and loving interactions with other kittens or with their owners. However, most kittens outgrow this silliness and playfulness by the time they reach adulthood. Then, adult cats will have the temperament that’s become the usual description for cats: shy, quiet, lonesome, and feisty. Maine Coon cats, on the other hand, never quite grow out of the kitten stage as far as its temperament is concerned. It will seek out play up until it can’t play anymore because of old age. It’s a lovely thing to witness and be a part of—that’s for sure.
Aside of it being large and playful, Maine Coon cats are also known to be one of the gentlest breeds of cats out there. If you’re looking for a cat to cuddle with, the Maine Coon is the best way to go. Yes, you’ll have all 4 feet long of cuddling companion, but the Maine Coon will return the favor. These animals are loving and extremely affectionate. They don’t like confrontation, so they’ll do very well with other animals in a home. You’ll be short on the typical feistiness that comes with pet cats. With the Maine Coon cat, you’ll only have lots of loving and attention. Don’t worry if you can’t give it constantly either. Maine Coon cats are just as laid back as they are loving. They know how to entertain themselves until you come back to snuggle them again.
Before May 1976, Maine Coon cats were not allowed to compete in cat shows. This is because they were denied provisional breed status, which means the breed was not recognized by governing cat agencies such as the AFCA—American Cat Fanciers’ Association—and CFA—Cat Fanciers’ Association. After the Maine Coon breed began to be recognized, there was a boom in the breeding of the beautiful cat. No one could be blamed for that though. Everyone wanted to get a chance to compete with such beautiful creatures. The popularity of the Maine Coon only soared since then, and it continues to be one of the more favorite cat breeds among breeders and/or owners out there.
Official state cat
Judging from the name of the breed, you can probably guess which U.S. state considers the Maine Coon cat to be their official state cat. It’s none other than Maine, obviously. How did Maine come to recognize this cat to be their official state cat? Remember the story of Captain Coon? Apparently, when he docked his ship, he docked it in no other place than New England. The story goes that over time, the area became rampant with these longhaired cats due to the mating activity of the cats from the ships with the local feral cats. Maine Coon cats are just all over the place, and no one really complains because these animals happen to be lovely. So in 1985, the state of Maine decided to make it official. Since then, the Maine Coon cat became known as the official cat of the state of Maine. What an honor!
Officially, two other cat breeds surpass the Maine Coon when it comes to the global population contest. However, different cat groups answer to this differently. Some places the Maine Coon at number 2, while others gladly place the Maine Coon as the top most popular breed of cat all over the world. These three placements always interchange, but the point remains the same. The Maine Coon is one of the most popular breeds globally. There are many reasons why the Maine Coon stays on top of the popularity list. Some might say it’s the size, while others may say it’s the coat. But actually, it’s all of it. All of the things that make this cat unique also make this cat famous. The other two cats? Let’s just say they’re not from the west coast (think Siam and Persia).
You would think that these cats know just how popular they are. They’re not quite needy, but they will demand your attention. And this is not such a bad thing for a pet owner. The fact is the more you get to know this cat and the more time you spend with it, the closer it’s going to want to be with you. Maine Coon cats are the type of cats that will let you know they are more important than the television show you’re watching or the book that you’re reading. It will literally sit in front of the TV or purposely lay on top of the book you’re currently reading. And with the size of a Maine Coon, it’ll be impossible to ignore, so just enjoy the wanting and get cuddling.
World record holders
Nowadays, you can get a record for almost anything—no matter how odd the category may be. It just so happens that there’s a category for the longest cat, and the record for that was set just 8 years ago in 2010. The record has been inspiring people to take photos of their cats while they’re stretched out and measured. It makes for an interesting and hilarious photo collage, but mostly, it’s astonishing to see how long some of these cats get. So what exactly is the world record for the longest cat? According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest cat goes to Stewie, whose total length from nose to tail measured at 48.5 inches. That’s an inch and a half short of 50 inches. That’s one long cat.
It’s a common occurrence among Maine Coon cat breeds: they may have one or more extra toes on each paw. If that sounds a little repulsive to you, you should hold off on your opinions at least until you’ve seen it in person. For the most part, it can actually be quite adorable to look at, and being that Maine Coon cats are so hairy, you can’t even tell majority of the time. But when you could, it’s just as if the paws just match the size of the cat. However, there is something dark about this unique Maine Coon quality. It seems that any Maine Coon that has polydactylism cannot compete in shows—they’re not allowed and they’re definitely not wanted. It’s a sad truth, but it’s the truth nonetheless.
Many breeders and pet owners value coat colors tremendously. Coat colors can be an expression of uniqueness for a cat as well as for the pet owner. After all, if you wanted a black cat, you’d go to the pet store or the breeder to only look at black cats. Maine Coon cat coats are all very unique. Each cat may have two or three different colored hairs. The result is almost as if these animals have natural highlights and lowlights; its truly naturally stunning. The best part of it all is that there are at least 75 recorded color combinations of Maine Coon coats. If you’re a pet owner, this means you’ll have plenty to choose from. If you’re a cat breeder, this means that you’ll have plenty to aspire to.
Longest living cat ever
The life expectancy of the average domestic cat is anywhere between 12 to 14 years of age. That’s fairly typical of other mammalian pets as well, and it isn’t really very long considering how fast that time can go by. It’s one of the most difficult things a person can go through—to take care of a pet from infancy or birth up until the moment it passes. While all of this may sound grim, there’s hope in the fact that the life expectancy of cats are actually increasing each year. Take for example how the longest living cat lived up to 26 years old. That cat happened to be half Maine Coon.
Because of everything that we’ve described so far and because of all the qualities about this cat that makes it unique, Maine Coon cats are unsurprisingly very expensive pets to have. You’d have to just love this breed tremendously in order to have it. While it may not be the most expensive out there, as some cat breeds can sell anywhere upwards of $50k, Maine Coon cats are highly priced considering they just once roamed the streets like strays. If you wish to be a Maine Coon cat owner, be prepared to pull out at least $1k out of your wallet. If that sounds a bit like too much, consider all the food you’d be feeding this large animal. It’ll probably be double what you would normally feed an average-sized cat. If you can handle all the larger than life qualities of a Maine Coon cat, including its price point, then nothing else should stop you from making this gem of a pet a part of your family.