The Maine Coon Cat

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The Maine Coon Cat:

Like a number of older cat breeds, the origin of the Maine Coon Cat remains unclear and it is steeped in rumor. Some people believe Maine Coon cats are a result of a breeding between semi-domestic wild cats and raccoons, which is genetically impossible. Other people believe that Marie Antoinette sent her beloved Angora cats to America for safety, whereupon they escaped and inbred with local wild cats.

Cat Breed Maine Coon

Maine Coon

Still other people believe the Main Coon is a result of an escaped cat that was brought to Maine by Captain Coon.Whatever the Main Coon cat’s origins, it is generally agreed that it is the one of the oldest Native American breeds of cat and they were an established domestic and hunting cat by the 1800s.

Although they were not recognized as an actual breed of cat until 1967, Main Coons are also known as the American Longhair, the American Shag, the American Forest Cat, the American Snughead and the Maine Trick Cat.

Maine Coon cats are a strong and healthy cat breed due to the bitter New England winters they had to survive in their early days. They developed a semi-long, shaggy coat which comes in many colors that makes it look a bit like like a wild Lynx. Their coat does require regular grooming, this is a treat which is usually greatly enjoyed by the cat.

Maine Coons males normally reach an average weight of 13 to 18 pounds, and females will weigh between9 to 12 pounds. However, their thick coats can make them appear much larger. They normally mature quite slowly and they are not considered adult until between ages three and five, which is when they stop growing. Their life expectancy is around twelve years.

Maine Coons certainly enjoy human attention, but do not need it. They prefer instead, to spend time with them in the same room, but not necessarily to interact. They are not typically a lap cap, and they can be quiet independent in nature. But they will follow their owners around just to be near to them.

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Unlike many other cat breeds, the Maine Coon cat doesn’t particularly like to jump up or to perch up in high places, instead they prefer to chase things down on the ground.

The Maine Coon Cat breed can often be trained to fetch and they generally get on well with children, thanks to their gentle and loving nature. This cat breed is most often very healthy, although they can be prone to hip dysplasia and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Some Maine Coons “polydactyl” which means they are born with an extra toe or two. This has no medical ramifications, but will disqualify them in the show ring.

Maine Coon Breed Standard:

General Statement: The Maine Coon is a solid, rugged cat and is America’s oldest natural longhaired breed. Type must not be sacrificed for size, nor size for type, the optimum being a large, typey cat. Females are somewhat smaller than males, and allowance should be made for the slow maturation of the breed.

Head: Medium in length and width, with a squareness to the muzzle. Allowance should be made for broadening in males. Cheek bones high. Nose medium in length with a gentle, concave curve and no break or bump. Chin firm and in line with upper lip and nose.

Eyes: Large, wide set, slightly oblique setting. Eye color can be shades of green, gold, or copper, though white cats may be blue or odd-eyed. There is no relationship between eye color and coat color. Clarity of eye color is desirable.

Ears: Large, wide at base, moderately pointed and well tufted. Set high on head approximately an ear’s width apart. Lynx-like tipping is desirable.

Body: Muscular, medium to large in size, broad chested. Body is long, with all parts in proportion, creating a rectangular appearance. When viewed from the rear, there is a definite squareness to the rump. Neck medium-long.

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Legs and Paws: Legs substantial, wide set, medium in length, contributing to a rectangular appearance. Paws large, round, well-tufted (five toes in front, four toes in back).

Tail: Long, equal to body in length (distance from end of rump to shoulders), wide at base and tapering. Fur full, long, and flowing.

Coat: Fur on shoulders is short, gradually increasing in length along back and sides, ending in full britches and long, shaggy belly fur. Fur is soft but has body, falls smoothly, and lies close to the body. A slight undercoat is carried. A full ruff is not expected; however, there should be a frontal ruff beginning at the base of the ears.

Coat Colors: All recognized colors. White trim around the chin and lip permitted except in solid color cats.

Disqualifications: Buttons, lockets, spots, overall even coat, short cobby body, crossed eyes, kinked tail, incorrect number of toes.

Penalties: Delicate bone structures, untufted paws, poor condition, nose break or bump, undershot chin, short rounded muzzle.

Colors: The following colors are among those recognized by most registering associations:

  • White, black, blue, red, cream.
  • Silver (chinchilla & shaded), blue-silver (chinchilla & shaded), cameo (shell, shaded, & smoke), cream cameo (shell, shaded, & smoke), black smoke, blue smoke, shaded tortoiseshell, shaded blue tortie, shaded torbie, shaded blue torbie.
  • Silver tabby (all patterns), blue-silver tabby (all patterns), cameo tabby (all patterns), cream cameo tabby (all patterns).
  • Shaded brown or golden tabby (all patterns), red tabby (all patterns), cream tabby (all patterns), brown tabby (all patterns), blue tabby (all patterns).
  • Bi-colors (solids with white), Parti-colors – tortoiseshell, torbie (patched tabby), calico, blue cream, tabby with white and other colors with white.

 

References and further reading

TICA Breed Standard

CFA

FiFE Breed Standard

ACFA Breed Standard

GCCF


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