Maine Coon is one large breed of cat featuring gorgeous, affectionate cats who often love to play and stay around their owners. This cat breed is one of the oldest with the biggest domesticated cats, which can grow up to 40 inches in length. It can take Maine Coon cats about 4-5 years to reach their full adult length. Maine Coon cats are distinctively known for their long fluffy tails, thick shaggy coats, and lynx-like tufts on their ears. They are also listed among the most popular cat breeds worldwide since they almost faced extinction at one point. Maine Coon cats come in various colors, patterns, and color combinations. The Maine Coon kitten is sold at an average price of $400 and $1,500. In this post, we will take a closer look at the different types of Maine Coon Cats.
Origin of the Maine Coon Cat
As the name suggests, the Maine Coon Cat comes from its long hair and place of origin (Maine), where the breed was popularly known as a ship’s cat and farm cat. The first published reference to the Maine Coon cat was in 1861; the post talked about a “Tuxedo” cat named Captain Jenks. In New York and Boston, this cat breed was featured at cat shows, and when the Cat Fanciers Association was founded, the fifth cat was a Maine Coon breed named Molly. The New England native breed was the most popular cat breed in the 19th-century cat shows, but this changed after the invasion of exotic Siamese and Persian cats. The first North American cat show was won by a female Maine Coon cat named Cosey, later purchased by the Cat Fanciers Association, and is now displayed as a vital piece of cat history.
Most experts also speculated that the Maine Coon cat originated from foreign long-haired cats brought by American explorers, hence the term ship cats. They then mated with native short-haired cat breeds, creating America’s native long-haired cat breed. Many theories try to explain the origin of the Maine Coon cat, including one that traces the breed to raccoons where some people believe that they have the blood of raccoons. Researchers have also tried to validate this claim after observing the Maine Coon’s furry ringed tail and brown tabby coat, which indicates a possible biological resemblance. This resemblance to raccoons also explains how these cats got the “Coon” part of their name. According to A-Z Animals, Maine Coon cats who did not have a brown tabby coat were called Maine Shags.
What are the Different Types of Maine Coon Cats?
The Maine Coon breed is available in a large variety of colors, believed to be more than 75 coat color combinations. While they come in almost all colors and patterns, no Maine cat has a pointed pale body with a dull-colored tail, ears, and feet, as seen in the Siamese cats. The following are the main five color classifications of the Main Coon coat with the 75 different variations found within each country:
The Maine Coon cat breed can be bi-colored, meaning its coat is primarily white and mixed with one different color. The white can be on their face, legs, chest, and belly, with hints of red, cream, blue and black. This black and white coat color combination is very common with tuxedo cats.
Parti-color refers to a combination of two different colors. The Maine Coon cat coat can have more than one color, such as blue and white, red and black, which is also classified as Parti-Color & White. Parti-color classification entails calico and tortoiseshell cats, where the calico cats have patches of black and red or diluted blue and cream with solid white areas on the coat. Tortoiseshell cats resemble calico cats with black and red coats, but their coat colors are usually brindled.
Maine Coon cats are available in shaded color coats that usually have a white undercoat and a different color throughout the body. The shaded color type has three variations:
- Shaded: Here, the top quarter of the cat’s hair has one different color, and the fur closest to its body is pale or white. This shaded coat can be categorized as Shaded Blue-Silver, Shaded Blue-Cream, Shaded Silver, Shaded Tortoiseshell, Shaded Cameo, and Shaded Cream.
- Chinchilla: Also referred to as Shell, the tips of the cat’s fur come in Silver and Blue-Silver colors.
- Smoke: This color type is often confused with being solid until you see the cat in motion or stroke the hair. This is because the white undercoat is hard to see. The smoke coat can be categorized into; Cameo Smoke, Blue-Cream Smoke, Cream Smoke, Tortie Smoke, Black Smoke, and Blue Smoke.
As the name suggests, solid coat color is one solid color that is even throughout the entire body, without any different pattern or color. Maine Coon cats with solid coat colors are usually black, red, cream, blue and white. This is the most common coat color among the Maine Coon cat breed.
5. Tabby Pattern
The distinctive color marking of a tabby Maine Coon cat is often caused by the banding of the cat’s fur. Altogether, the tabby pattern can be categorized into:
- Classic Tabby Pattern: Also referred to as the marble tabby pattern is usually characterized by swirling, broad color patterns along the cat’s sides. These cats have beautiful thick stripes that resemble bulls-eyes, a target, or distinctive swirls.
- Mackerel Tabby Pattern: Here, thinner lines run parallel down the cat sides in a vertical pattern resembling the tiger. The name “Mackerel” comes from the long stripe down the center of the back and parallel stripes that branch out from it, similar to a fish skeleton.
- Ticked Tabby Pattern: The ticked tabby pattern is hardly seen and may not appear as a tabby coat. At first glance, you may think it is a solid coat color. However, tabby marking can be seen on the cat’s legs, face, and sometimes belly. It is also referred to as the Agouti or Abyssinian tabby pattern.
- Spotted Tabby Pattern: This coat has the same classic tabby stripes on its face but spots on its body.
- Patched Tabby: The Patched tabby is the most unique tabby cat coat pattern since it combines two colors on the cat’s coat. This pattern is only found in the female Maine Coon cats.
According to Mainecooncentral, the Maine Coon cat breed is the largest and oldest domestic cat breed. It is very popular for its defining physical nature, growing to heights of 10-16 inches and an impressive length of 40 inches. The Maine Coon cat is sturdily built, weighing 8 and 25 pounds, with muscular bodies and powerful legs. Apart from the muscular build, the Maine Coon is a solid and rugged cat with medium-length hair that is longer around its tail, paws, and neck. Their long-haired coats are smooth and silky and come in many patterns and colors. This cat breed can be found in solid white, black, red, cream, and blue coat colors.
Although the Maine Coon cat is considered one of the biggest cat breeds, its bodies are well balanced and proportioned. They have heavily-built, long, rectangular bodies with broad chests and long legs. Other defining features of the Maine Coon cat are its large, round paws with tufts of fur sticking up from their toes, expressive oval-shaped eyes, and long, bushy tail. Their head is slightly longer than width, with a distinctive square muzzle, high cheekbones, and large, well-tufted ears often topped with wisps of fur. As mentioned earlier, the Maine Coon Cat is available in many different coat patterns that include; shaded, solid, tabby, bi-color, and parti-color.
The Maine Coon cat is an affectionate, good-natured cat breed that adapts well to different personalities and lifestyles. They often love hanging around people and often like following people around. While they are not considered needy, they are happy to receive your attention, but if you are busy, they are willing to supervise your activities. They like to be part of the family and are not possessive of privacy or personal space. Considering their massive size, Maine Coon cats are not lap cats but are very social, fun-loving, and incredibly intelligent.
According to Dailypaws, Maine Coon cats are sometimes called “the clowns of the cat world” due to their kittenish playful nature even in their old age. Male Maine Coon cats are prone to kittenish behaviors, while females are more dignified. Maine Coon cats are known for their amazing skills as a mouser, meaning that no rodent will be safe in your home. They also enjoy playing fetch and will quickly retrieve small toys and balls by grabbing them with their big powerful paws.
As mentioned earlier, the Maine Coon cat is a very affectionate breed and is very willing to be included in all aspects of your everyday life. These cats often love to play and are very good with dogs, kids, and other cats. While they can be left alone for some time, they will not be happy about it. This is because they can become anxious and sad if they are regularly left alone. Most Maine Coon cats love to play in the water, making bath time easier and fun. These massive cats are surprisingly quiet; they love to vocalize and communicate with their families with their soft voices. Generally, Maine Coon cars are the perfect family pets.
Maine Coons are known for their heavy, shaggy coat that often require regular maintenance and brushing to ensure it does not become matted or tangled. They often need regular coat grooming and weekly to monthly bathing. Their long, heavy hairs are usually silky smooth but turn stringy or greasy after long periods without bathing.
This cat breed usually sheds quite a bit; thus, regular brushing will work best in removing their loose furs. According to Hepper, Maine Coon cats do not have any special exercise requirements; they will keep doing the same activity schedule, such as playfully running and jumping through the house for long hours of sleep. These cats are also very intelligent and easily trainable; they can learn to play a round of fetch, litter box use, walk on a leash outdoors, or even basic housetraining skills.
According to Cat Time, Maine Coon cats have a lifespan of 10-13 years and are considered healthy pets. However, as with all cat breeds, there are some health concerns that you need to be aware of. For example, Maine Coons have massive body structures that may cause them to develop joint diseases such as hip dysplasia or arthritis. They are also susceptible to dental diseases and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a disease of the heart that is a common illness in this cat breed.
Since the Maine Coon cat is a heavily built breed, keeping them from becoming overweight is important, which is likely to happen if the cat is free to feed. It would be best to feed your Maine Coon cat with high-quality food and monitor their diet to prevent them from overheating. You can also consult with your local vet to become educated on how much and how often you should feed your cat.
Children and Other Pets
Maine Coons are exceptionally friendly, making them the perfect feline companion for families with kids and cat-friendly pets. Thanks to their amiable disposition, they can easily adapt to their surroundings and socialize freely with the pets surrounding them. They also love receiving attention from their families and are always willing to help you with your day-to-day tasks. Maine Coons also do not love being left alone and often have the habit of following people around. It is often advisable to introduce new pet friends gradually and in controlled scenarios to ensure they learn to get along just fine.
Where to Adopt or Buy a Maine Coon Cat
According to The Spruce Pets, the Maine Coon cat breed is one of the oldest and most popular breeds in the United States. Many recommend cat breeders in the state from whom you can adopt your Maine Coon kitten. For instance, The International Cat Association and The Cat Fanciers Association post lists of Maine Coon cat breeders on their official websites.