The Maine Coon cat is a cat that is quite unlike any other breed out there. The Maine Coon cat is pretty much a giant n the domesticated cat world. Though some people like to picture dainty felines when they think about cats, the Maine Coon Cat is the opposite of that. Large and in charge, as they say. But it seems like most people know them only for that reason, when there is a lot more to this breed than just its size. Here are ten things you (probably) didn’t know about the Maine Coon cat breed.
(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
One of the Oldest Natural Breeds In North America: While many cat breeds (especially some of the more “luxury” cats) have only been around for so many years, but not the Maine Coon cat. This breed has been around since the late 19th century. But as is the case with many breeds, its actual origin dates are unknown. Some people believe the breed was there before we even called it Maine. Rumors run adrift that they are descended from Turkish Angora cats that were smuggled on board an ill fated voyage by, of all people, Marie Antoinette. She may have never made it to Maine, but the rumor is the cats did.
Image Via Wikipedia
The Raccoon Myth Can’t Be True: Due to size and even name, there are circles of people who think Maine Coon cats are the result of feral wild cats mating with raccoon centuries ago. This has since been proven to be genetically impossible. But color and size and other facts lead some people to still believe (or at least assume) that. More realistically, they may have gotten their name from the stories of an old Captain who kept them aboard his vessel. A Captain who went by the name Charles Coon (though that is probably a myth, too).
Image Via VetStreet
Denied Provisional Breed Status: What this means is, cats could not enter shows if they were Maine Coon cats because the breed was not recognized. It was until May of 1976 that they were awarded breed status, which led to a huge boom in popularity among the breed (and for the breeders). It is sometimes jarring to hear how different breeds were treated years and years ago.
Named Official State Cat of Maine in 1985: I and many other people must have assumed this conclusion had been reached far earlier than 1985. People knew that is where the cats came from, and was the place they were most associated with. But Maine did not stop to recognize this nationally until 1985. Well, at least Maine came to its senses.
They are the Third Most Popular Breed in the World: While we will refrain from telling you the top two because we do not want to start some East Versus West stuff with cat lovers, we will gladly tell you the Maine Coon cat came in third. Some say it is due to the size, and some say it is due to the fancy coats. Others still insist that it is because Maine Coon cats make the best pets. I say it all depends on what kind of cat you like, and what kind of personality you like. But Apparently enough of us love this wonderful breed to make the third most popular breed today.
Image Via CatsOfAustralia
They demand Your Attention: Some people say cats are aloof and distant. Others say they have cats who wont leave them alone and often demand they give their attention and affection. If you get close with a Maine Coon cat, that is what you should expect. These are the kind of cats that will curl up on top of a book you are reading to let you know it is more important than the book. As long as you are ready to show that kind of love and keep your patience about that (it is just seeking love, after all. How can anyone be bothered by something as sweet as that?)
Made The Guinness Book of World Records: You know those photos you see of people holding their cats, all stretched out like an accordion? Yes, Maine Coon cats are the cats you usually see in those pictures. That is because they stretch on for what seems like furry miles. For proof of this, look no further than the fact that a Maine Coon cat named Stewie won “Longest Cat” in 2010. Measuring in at a whopping 48.5 inches from tail to nose. That cat was almost fifty inches long.
Very Vocal: Not only do they want your attention physically, but these cats are known to have quite a bit to say. The yowl (like a howl, but a cat does it), talk back, and are even known to chirp from time to time. Yes, chirp. You read that correctly. Like we said, very vocal. Don’t let that be a deterrent if you are interested in this breed, though, because you can have some awesome back-and-forths with this breed from time to time that will crack you up. It is like they understand our language, but we don’t understand theirs. But man, do they make us try.
Image Via AnnMah.net
Many Have Polydactylism: For those who don’t know, that means this breed sometimes has a few extra toes on their feet. It may sound a bit off-putting. But when you see it in person, there is just something utterly and undeniably adorable about it. Like some cartoonist messed up and put too many cute toes on their paws. But this is real life. Believe it or not, though. Any Maine Coon cat that has Polydactylism is not allowed to compete in shows. They frown upon it. How messed up and elitist is that?
Image Via Wicacoon
Fascinated with Water: Many people assume this is from their potential history aboard ships (which we spoke of earlier), but Maine Coon cats have an odd fixation and fascination with water. The way they look at it, they way they approach it. It is clear there is some history there. These cats do not despise water like most breeds. So those were the ten things you didn’t know about Maine Coon cats. The giant (but gentle) breed with the mythical and mysterious history.
Image Via mnn.com