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25 Fun Facts About Maine Coon Cats

Written by FELIWAY, published on 17 August 2022

Are you fascinated by these giant, furry miracles? Gentle, gorgeous giants - Maine Coon cats sometimes need to be seen to be believed!

Perhaps that’s why the myth that the Maine Coon cat was the result of a raccoon and a cat mating came to be - but of course, that's not true. It’s not biologically possible! Our Maine Coon cats are 100% kitty!

Rugged and highly intelligent, Maine Coon cats usually have a dark brown tabby coat, a long, feathered tail, and often have the look of being in the wild. They are also excellent climbers – and are much larger than an average domestic cat.

There are a number of theories about how the Maine Coon cat got its name:

  • One is that the English seafarer, Captain Charles Coon, took his long-haired cats to sea, which then bred with local cats when the ship docked in New England.
  • Another theory is that Maines are related to the Norwegian Forest cat, and were brought over to Maine by European seafarers in the 19th century.
  • Others suggest that they are descendants of six pet cats that Queen Marie Antoinette shipped to Wiscasset, Maine, as she was planning her escape from France during the French Revolution.

Whatever their real origin, Maine Coons are one of the most popular breeds of domestic cats today, and here are some of the reasons why.  

25 Fun Facts About Maine Coon Cats

Their appearance

  1. The most unique feature about the Maine Coon cat is, of course, its bushy tail – which is normally the same length as its body; you’ll often find that they wrap their tails around their body to keep warm!  
  2. The Maine Coon is waterproof! It has a waterproof topcoat that protects them against wet and bleak climates.
  3. They are polydactyl cats which means that they have more toes than average cats. This also means that their paws are snowshoe-like, which also helps them navigate extreme snowy conditions.
  4. The classic tabby Maine Coons have dense markings that are clearly defined, and broad. The 'M' marking on their forehead is said to be formed by the cat's frown marks.
  5. Maine Coons have tufted ears, long uneven fur and feathery tails. Their fur is longer around their neck, giving them the appearance of a small lion!
  6. There are 75 colours and pattern combinations of the Maine Coon cat.
  7. Maine Coons have a naturally slow growth rate and don’t reach their full size until they are about 3 to 5 years old.
    Ginger and white maine coon outside

    Their demeanour

  8. They are a very friendly breed, enjoying human company and animals alike.
  9. They are not known as ‘needy’ cats but will generally be interested in what you are doing.
  10. They like to play and are very active.
  11. Maine Coon cats enjoy being trained and like to play fetch – they are sometimes referred to as the dog of the cat world!
  12. Maine Coons are great at climbing – it is important to make sure they have the opportunity to climb indoors so wide, sturdy shelves are required!
  13. Maine Coons are ‘chatty’ cats, but they often make a different noise to a meow, such as a chirp or a trill.
  14. Maine Coons are known for keeping their tails high and proud while they walk.  A cat’s tail held high might also be expressing happiness, friendliness, or a greeting.  Can you speak cat – do you understand your cat’s body language?
    ginger maine coon cat in tree

    Other fun facts

  15. The Maine Coon is the official state cat of the US state of Maine and has been recognised as such since 1985 (only 3 other US states recognise cats as their state symbol)
  16. The 1st mention of a Maine Coon appears in The Book of the Cat written in 1861 – Captain Jenks of the Horse Marines was a black and white Maine Coon
  17. Mrs. Norris is an important animal character in the Harry Potter books. J.K. Rowling described her as a scrawny, dust-colored creature with bulging, lamp-like eyes.’
  18. In the Harry Potter films, all the tricks needed for the filming were split between 6 different Maine Coon cats playing Mrs. Norris!
  19. Maine Coons are known as ‘gentle giants’ and are the largest domesticated cat breed.
  20. They can be up to 8kg heavier than the average domestic cat.
  21. The longest registered cat was 48.5 inches long and was, of course, a Maine Coon named Stewie.
  22. The world’s ‘longest’ living cat is currently an Italian Maine Coon (Barivel at 47 inches long).
  23. The ‘Best Cat’ winner of the first major cat show held in the US (Madison Square Garden in 1895) was a brown tabby Maine Coon called Cosey (or Cosie)
  24. In 2004 a Maine Coon kitten (Little Nicky) was the first commercially cloned kitten – a Texas woman paid for her previous cat Nicky to be cloned after he died
  25. Maine Coon cats love water!  While most other domestic cats may not care too much for water, a Marine Coon will quite happily jump into your bath!

It’s important to remember that when adopting a new kitten, or cat, getting a vet health check and vaccinations is important, to ensure that your new family member has the best possible start in life.  Maine Coon cats can have hereditary health problems (for example, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and hip dysplasia) so you should also check with the breeder about any screening that has been carried out on the parents.

tabby maine coon cat with owner

And, like any other new cats or kittens, you can help them adapt to their new home and environment by using FELIWAY Optimum. Thanks to the advanced messaging of the New Feline Pheromone complex, FELIWAY Optimum provides cats with a message of enhanced serenity.

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