The origin of the Maine Coon.
This feline breed is famous for its special friendliness and complaisance, incredibly long and thick fur, “singing”, but most importantly: the Maine Coon is the largest domestic cat (in breed lines – up to 14 kg, i.e. about twice as much as usual). The breed got its name thanks to the state of Maine (Northeast America), where its ancestors lived on farms, brought there by traders from Asia Minor. Their original black color with stripes (“tabby”), along with a huge fluffy tail and impressive body dimensions, reminded Americans of a raccoon – hence the second half of the name – “coon”.
The cold winters of the Northern States affected the “natural selection”, where large long-haired cats could adapt and survive in harsh conditions. The first official representative is considered to be a Maine Coon named Captain Jenks, shown in 1861 at exhibitions in New York and Boston, which for some time brought the breed enormous popularity. Four decades later, the Maine Coons were moved from the pedestal by Persian cats, and the breed was preserved only thanks to the pragmatism of American farmers who perfectly know the value of the excellent qualities of Maine coons as hunters of agricultural pests.
In 1953, a Maine Coon Fan Club was established, which regularly organized exhibitions of these cats and helped maintain interest in the breed. In 1975, Maine Coons were granted temporary breed status, which was changed to official status on May 1, 1976. At the moment, the Maine Coon is one of the ten most popular purebred cats in North America.
The appearance of the Maine Coon.
Head: large, massive, with straight outlines, angular and well-defined muzzle. High cheekbones, strong chin located in line with the upper lip and nose of medium length.
Eyes: large, rounded, with a slight slant. The color can be from amber-golden to green.
Ears: large and wide at the base, with sharp tips, and the wool protrudes beyond the edge of the ears, and the tassels liken the whole appearance of a cat to a forest lynx. The distance between the ears placed high (almost vertically) does not exceed the width of one ear.
Body: large-boned and muscular, large or very large, resembling the shape of a rectangle. Broad chest, medium-length neck with strong muscles.
Limbs: relatively long, strong, with large round paws and tufts of fur between the toes.
Tail: long (not shorter than the length of the trunk), wide at the base, tapering to a pointed end, densely pubescent with hair.
Coat: the front half of the body (head and shoulders) – with short hair, not counting the collar (full is not required, but a frill is desirable). Along the back, sides and on the belly, the coat noticeably lengthens to the upper part of the tail (the covering hair, which is not present on the lower part of the body and the inner surface of the limbs). The undercoat is soft, thick and thin.
Color: chocolate (and the corresponding paler purple), cinnamon (and “faun”), red marble – with a bright red. Any combinations are not recognized – tabby, bicolor, tricolor and acromelanic colors, in which “points” are observed – the muzzle, ears, tail and limbs are painted in a darker color than the cat’s body.
Maine coons, because of their impressive size, can sometimes have a rather menacing appearance, but this is only a superficial impression, since such affectionate cats are not found every day. These good-natured, mobile and playful creatures retain their properties throughout their lives, becoming attached to their family and treating outsiders democratically, but, nevertheless, cautiously. They also get along well with children, easily adapting to the living conditions and the people around them.
Maine Coons are very “talkative” and sociable – they like to look into their owners’ eyes, wandering around them, and tell something in their purring language in a melodious, pleasant voice (which Maine Coon fans love so much). Thanks to their excellent memory, these animals remember the meanings of human words, intonations, gestures and looks, which allows them to understand the speech addressed to them and the wishes of the owner.
Maine coons are independent, independent, self-confident, calm and balanced, which is explained by the conscious efforts of breeders of the 19th century to choose animals for breeding that treat people well – otherwise it would simply be unsafe to keep solid-sized predators in the house. Their distinctive qualities can also be called tact, restraint and inner nobility.
These cats need a lot of space for games, tricks and the opportunity to be alone with themselves. Echoes of life in the wild are expressed in the habit of Maine Coons to take a nap in sometimes strange poses and in the most unsuitable places for this. Like most cats, Maine Coons like to watch their owners and the events taking place, sitting comfortably somewhere higher.
Maine Coon care.
There are no problems in keeping Maine coons – after all, these cats do not require any supernatural care for their fur – weekly combing is enough to keep it in good shape. Maine Coons don’t usually have health problems either.
Maine Coon Kittens.
Maine Coon babies are born much less often than other domestic cats – once a year, and there are only two or three kittens in the litter, which explains their high cost in our region. Kittens quickly become attached to those who take care of them, and become sociable and full-fledged family members. By the age of six months, Maine Coon kittens are already changing milk teeth, they feed independently of their mother and may well move to their new home.