Maine Coon Cat 101

This Maine Coon Cat 101 guide is ideal for cat lovers that adore Maine Coons and want to gain a basic knowledge of these cats.

Maine Coons are large, muscular cats that have grown popular amongst cat lovers. Famous for being the largest domesticated cat breed in the world, these dog-like cats are unlike normal cats. Known for being loyal, sociable, and highly intelligent, the Maine Coon loves human companionship and needs 30 minutes exercise a day to stay fit and healthy.

Maine Coons are incredibly popular cats all around the world, especially in the United States, yet many people still do not know much about them aside from the fact that they are huge!

So, if you want to learn about the basics of Maine Coons, this Maine Coon Cat 101 guide will tell you everything you need to know, and more.

Maine Coon Cat 101

Maine Coons are well known for their large stature and size, but that’s not all.

They are also the world’s largest domesticated cat breed, as well as the only cat that is actually native to the United States.

Many people refer to Maine Coons as the ‘dogs of the cat world’ because of their large size and heavy build.

Despite their size though, they are gentle giants.

Maine Coon Origin

Maine Coon cats are among the most gorgeous cats in the world, but have you ever wondered where do Maine Coon cats come from?

Over time, many tales have been told of how the Maine Coon cat breed first appeared in Maine.

Whilst some of these tales are unrealistic, the truth may reside in these legends, somewhere.

1. Early Settlers

The origins of Maine Coon cats are shrouded in mystery, however, many people assume they evolved from cats brought by early settlers to New England, in the state of Maine.

Having originated in the state of Maine, the breed is now known as the Maine Coon.

2. Ancestors Of Norwegian Or Siberian Forest Cats

Some speculate that the ancestors of the Maine Coons were actually Norwegian or Siberian forest cats, brought to the US by the early immigrants.

These cats then crossed with native short hair cats, giving rise to Maine Coons.

3. Queen Marie Antoinette

One popular claim about the origins of the Maine Coon is that when Queen Marie Antoinette escaped France on a ship with Captain Samuel Clough, she took her cats with her.

Her cats are thought to have either been Turkish Angora Cats or Siberian Cats.

Although Marie Antoinette did not make it to the United States, her cats did, and they ended up in the state of Maine.

These cats bred with indigenous short hair cats, and the Maine Coon was created.

4. Viking Ship Cats

Some popular myths about the origins of Maine Coons claim that these cats descended from Viking ship cats.

5. Interbreeding Between A Cat And Raccoon

Another widespread myth is that Maine Coons arose from the interbreeding of a cat and a raccoon, which is why these cats are large and tough.

However, this is not true and is scientifically impossible because cats and raccoons cannot interbreed because they are separate species.

6. Bobcat Descendents

Many people believe that Maine Coons are descended from Bobcats, but this has not been scientifically proven, so we cannot say for sure.

Historically, Maine Coons were considered “working cats” and usually kept on farms where they hunted mice and other small animals to survive.

The Skowhegan Fair, the country’s oldest agricultural fair dating back to 1818, was where many farmers first began exhibiting their Maine Coons in the 1860s.

A brown tabby female Maine Coon won first place in the cat show, which was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City on May 8, 1895.

This show is thought to be the first cat show in US history (source 1,2).

Maine Coon Lifespan

On average, the life expectancy of a Maine Coon cat is between 12 to 15 years.

Maine Coons are hardy and if provided with the proper care from their owners, they typically live up to a decade quite comfortably.

According to studies, 74% of Maine Coons live past the age of 10, and 54% of these have survived for 12.5 years or longer.

The longest-living Maine Coon named Rubble was believed to be about 31 years old which is incredible and it is also believed to be the longest-living cat.

Maine Coons are regarded as good companions because of their lengthy lifespans.

The life expectancy of Maine Coons is comparable to that of other cat breeds, not significantly different.

However, providing a balanced diet, exercising your Maine Coon regularly, and taking it to the vet for annual checkups will all help to extend the life of your Maine Coon (source 1,2).

Here is some more information about the Maine Coon lifespan that you might not know.

Maine Coon Characteristics And Personality

The personality traits of Maine Coon cats include the following:

1. Playful

Maine Coons are one of the world’s most playful cat breeds. They enjoy playing with toys and engaging in play activities with their owners.

Toys for Maine Coons should be of top quality, as they can easily destroy low-grade toys.

These are my 5 favorite cat toys that our three huge male Maine Coon cats love!

Maine Coon cats enjoy playing with puzzle toys, so they are a fantastic choice for them as well.

Maine Coons enjoy the water, so when bathing your cat, you can consider adding toys to make the experience more fun for them!

Have you ever wondered if Maine Coon cats can jump? If so, click here to find out!

2. Family Oriented

Maine Coons are very social cats, which makes them wonderful family cats.

They may appear aggressive and wild because of their size, but in reality, they are the exact opposite and are especially good with children and the elderly.

These cats are rarely aggressive towards humans and can coexist peacefully with other pets, including dogs.

3. Affectionate

Maine Coons are incredibly devoted, loyal, and affectionate to their owners.

They are not characteristically known for making a good lap cat, when compared to a cat breed like the Ragdoll. However, some definitely do enjoy a snuggle from time to time.

Generally speaking though, you are more likely to find a Maine Coon cat laying close or next to its owners, rather than on their lap.

Maine Coons show their affection in many ways, for instance by following their favorite owner around the house and checking what they are up to!

Here are some other reasons why Maine Coon cats follow their owners EVERYWHERE!

4. Intelligent

Maine Coons are exceptionally smart and intelligent cats. But, are they the smartest cat breed? Click here to find out!

Because of their intellect, a Maine Coon will frequently enjoy playing with puzzle toys, and you can even teach them tricks such as playing fetch with a small toy! Here’s how to do this!

Maine Coons are very curious about their environment, and their high intelligence can occasionally put them in danger, especially as kittens, because they may sometimes climb to even the most impossible places and can get injured.

5. Sharp Hunting Instincts

One advantage of owning a Maine Coon is that you will not have to worry about pests and rodents in your home because your cat will take care of them!

6. Energetic

Maine Coons are huge, powerful cats with strong muscles that are quite active. They enjoy jumping, running, and climbing, therefore they require plenty of living space.

These cats do not tire easily and will play with their owners for extended periods.

Regular play sessions, exercise, and supervised walks on a leash or harness are all good strategies to keep your cat’s energy levels in check.

Here’s how to teach your Maine Coon cat to walk on a leash!

7. Very Vocal

Maine Coons are exceedingly vocal, but they rarely make the ‘meow’ sound.

Instead, they will chirp, trill, or squeak when they are in the mood or wish to communicate their needs or feelings with their owners.

Maine Coons will be exceptionally vocal when they want food or attention.

8. Not Overly Dependent

Maine Coons, unlike most other cat breeds, are not overly obsessive and dependent.

They will normally observe you from a distance and will not be getting into your legs all the time.

Maine Coon Price

The price of a Maine Coon usually depends on its:

  • Age
  • Color
  • Physical Characteristics
  • Location
  • Breeder Reputation

Cost Of A Maine Coon Kitten

Due to their high demand and popularity, the average price of a purebred Maine Coon kitten in the United States is between $1000 to $2000.

Maine Coons are thought to be the fourth most popular cat breed in the UK, so expect to pay between £800 and £2500 for a Maine Coon kitten.

Cost Of An Adult Maine Coon Cat

The cost of an adult Maine Coon is usually lower than that of a kitten.

An adult Maine Coon will cost you roughly $600-$800, but this figure will vary depending on who you are purchasing the cat from, the cat’s genetics, and the breeder’s reputation if you are buying an ex-breeding cat.

Cost Of A Shelter Maine Coon Cat

The cost of a shelter Maine Coon cat is usually between $100 to $400.

The majority of Maine Coons obtained from shelters are not purebred cats, but many still look and act like Maine Coons, despite being Maine Coon mixes.

Cost Of A Giant Maine Coon Cat

No breeder can reliably predict the size their Maine Coon kittens will grow to.

However, there are a few indicators that the kitten will grow extra-large. For example, look at the size of the kittens:

  • Paws
  • Ears
  • Parents

If a breeder is certain their kittens will grow to be giant and have a breeding stock of giant Maine Coon cats, they will likely sell them for a higher rate than the average Maine Coon cat between $1,000 – $2,500.

Furthermore, if the cat has won awards and competitions and is from a champion bloodline from a renowned breeder, the price will be much higher, perhaps exceeding $3000.

Cost Of An Adopted Maine Coon Cat

There is no assurance that adopted Maine Coons are purebred or not.

However, adoption costs less than purchasing a Maine Coon kitten from a registered Maine Coon cat breeder!

Adopting a Maine Coon usually costs between $250 and $600.

The adoption fee is usually the only expense, and no further costs are involved, however, there are not many Maine Coons available for adoption.

Read this article to find your nearest Maine Coon adoption center.

Maine Coon Dietary Needs

Maine Coons are obligate carnivores, which means they thrive on raw meat and require a lot of it.

If you are wondering what is the best diet for a Maine Coon cat, look no further!

The Maine Coon is a large cat breed with high energy expenditure.

They have a bigger appetite and require more food than a regular-sized cat, but this does not imply you should overfeed them.

Maine Coons need a well-balanced diet that includes high levels of protein to help with muscle growth and in providing energy.

They also need moderate levels of carbohydrates, and the correct levels of fats, vitamins, fatty acids, and minerals.

In addition to dry food, you can also give your Maine Coon 2-3 wet cat food sachets a week, since wet food has high moisture levels which help hydrate your cat’s body.

If you prefer your cat to have a diet closer to what they would have eaten in the wild, read this informative guide about the Maine Coon raw food diet.

Maine Coon Health Issues

Maine Coons, like other cats, can suffer from a variety of illnesses such as:

  • Feline Rhinotracheitis
  • Feline PanLeukopenia
  • Feline Calicivirus
  • Obesity
  • Periodontal disease

However, the following are common Maine Coon health problems that are more prevalent in Maine Coons than in other cat breeds:

1. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

HCM is a disease in which the wall of the left ventricle of a Maine Coon’s heart gets excessively thick.

The size of the heart increases due to thickness, but the capacity of the chamber decreases, therefore less blood can now enter into the left ventricle of a Maine Coon’s heart.

This ailment causes circulatory problems, arrhythmias, weakness, and blood backflow into the cat’s lungs, resulting in heavy breathing.

According to research, approximately 34% of Maine Coons in the United Kingdom possess the gene that causes HCM, thus the only way to prevent this condition is to breed Maine Coons that test negative for the HCM-causing gene.

If HCM is not diagnosed early and the cat is not given the necessary treatment, it can be fatal for Maine Coons.

2. Hip Dysplasia

Maine Coons are huge cats that can easily outgrow many small dogs.

Maine Coons are prone to a variety of health issues, including hip dysplasia and arthritis, due to their large size.

This health issue affects approximately 18% of the Maine Coon population.

This condition typically begins with hip joint deterioration, and as the condition progresses, the hip joint loses function, leading to hip dysplasia.

Maine Coons suffering from hip dysplasia will be hesitant to move, jump, or climb objects.

Additionally, they will have an abnormal gait, pain, lean thigh muscles, and even lameness in the rear limbs.

Hip dysplasia is not fatal in Maine Coons, but it makes life tough for the cats since they are unable to perform their daily activities comfortably.

3. Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

SMA is a hereditary condition in Maine Coons that causes the motor neurons in the cat’s lower spine to lose function and causes the muscles in the rear limbs to weaken.

It is not a lethal disease, but it makes life tough for the cat and shortens its lifespan.

Maine Coons with SMA will have abnormal gait, posture, and progressive instability, but their mental health will be normal.

SMA symptoms emerge when a Maine Coon is about 3 to 4 months old.

SMA causes Maine Coon kittens to wobble side to side when walking.

Other indications of SMA in Maine Coons include:

  • Loss of muscle mass in the hind limbs
  • Difficulty jumping and climbing
  • Muscular tremors

4. Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)

PKD is a condition in which a Maine Coon is born with kidney cysts.

These cysts begin to expand in size at variable rates as the cat ages, and it might take up to 7 years for a Maine Coon to exhibit symptoms of PKD.

Sometimes, these fluid-filled cysts can grow to such a size that they interfere with normal renal function and can cause renal failure.

Because PKD is caused by a defective gene, only one parent needs to have this gene in order to pass the condition to the offspring.

Progressive weight loss, polydipsia (increased thirst), lethargy, anorexia, and a few other symptoms are common in Maine Coons with PKD.

If the cysts grow to a large size and proper treatment is not provided, this disease might be fatal to the Maine Coon (source 1,2,3)

Maine Coon Colors

Maine Coons come in a wide range of colors, and according to the CFA (Cat Fanciers Association), there are as many as 75 Maine Coon colors.

However, there are 8 color categories in Maine Coons, which include the following:

1. Solid

Solid Maine Coons are easily distinguished by a single coloring that extends from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail.

This Maine Coon coloring is extremely common, and the Maine Coons coat is free of any

  • Patterns
  • Patches
  • Stripes

Solid Maine Coons are available in a variety of colors including:

  • Black
  • White
  • Cream
  • Blue
  • Red

2. Tabbies

Tabby Maine Coons are quite common and well-liked.

They are identified by the presence of stripes, swirls, and spots on their coat.

The CFA (Cat Fanciers Association) classifies Tabbies into three further categories based on their various stripes and patterns, which include:

  • Classic Tabby Pattern
  • Mackerel Tabby Pattern
  • Ticked Tabby Pattern

3. Tabbies With White

Tabbies with white are identical to normal tabby Maine Coons, with the exception of having white paws and chests.

According to the CFA, tabbies with whites come in the following shades which include:

  • Red Tabby-White
  • Brown Tabby-White
  • Silver Tabby-White

4. Tortoiseshell

The presence of red and cream patches on the base coat, similar to a tortoiseshell, gives Maine Coons its name.

Tortoiseshell Maine Coons are mostly females since a Maine Coon with Tortoiseshell color must have a XX chromosome pair, which is only found in females.

However, due to rare genetic defects, male Maine Coons can occasionally turn Tortoiseshells.

5. Smoke

Smoke Maine Coons are similar to solid Maine Coons, but their undercoat is lighter in color, giving them a smoky look, especially on the chest.

Smoke Maine Coons have a silvery undercoat that stands out when you stroke the cat’s fur.

According to the CFA, some varieties of Smoke Maine Coons include:

  • Blue Smoke
  • Cameo Smoke
  • Cream Smoke
  • Tortie Smoke

6. Shaded

Shaded Maine Coons have a pale undercoat with a hint of color on top.

Shaded Maine Coons are available in the following varieties, according to the CFA:

Shaded Silver

Shaded Blue Silver

Shaded Cameo

Shaded Tortoiseshell

Shaded Tortoiseshell or White

7. Bi-Color

Bi-color Maine Coons come in two colors, one of which is white.

White is commonly found on the Maine Coon’s:

  • Back
  • Limbs
  • Face
  • Belly
  • Chest

8. Parti-Color

Parti-color Maine Coons have white as well as two other colors, black and red.

The Maine Coon’s white coloring is most noticeable on the:

  • Head
  • Chest
  • Belly
  • Limbs

Maine Coon Fur Care

Maine Coons have a three-layered coat.

Their undercoat is made up of two types of hair: very fine short puffy hair and long hair that helps to insulate the cat’s body.

The undercoat is considered to have two layers due to the varying lengths of the hairs.

The third layer of the coat is made up of thick guard hairs. These tough guard hairs add shine to the cat’s coat and protect it from the elements.

A Maine Coon’s coat is thick and shaggy to protect it from the harsh climate, therefore it must be groomed on a regular basis.

So, if you are wondering how to care for Maine Coon fur, we are here to assist!

Regular grooming 2 to 3 times per week will help keep your Maine Coons fur in great condition.

How To Groom A Maine Coon

When it comes to how to groom a Maine Coon, here are the steps to follow:

  • Establish a grooming routine when your Maine Coon is young to ensure that your cat feels comfortable and accustomed to grooming.
  • Pet your cat and make it feel at ease before grooming.
  • When grooming a Maine Coon, do not rush since you could injure the cat. Allow the cat to sit on a comfortable surface before beginning to brush its fur.
  • Grooming should be done with two brushes: one that brushes the undercoat to remove dead hair and the other brush to groom the cat’s outer coat.
  • The undercoat of the Maine Coon should first be brushed with a metal comb or raking tool. This assists in untangling knots and removing dead hair.
  • Next, groom the cat’s outer coat with a soft bristles brush, or a grooming glove.
  • You should also keep scissors nearby when grooming a Maine Coon to cut away any knots or hair mats, if necessary.
  • Use a de-shedding tool to reduce the fur shedding in Maine Coons. Use it once a week for the best results. 
  • Nail clipping, ear cleaning, and bathing are also part of the grooming routine of a Maine Coon.

Family Friendly

Due to their exceptionally large size, many people wonder are Maine Coons family-friendly and are Maine Coon cats good pets? The answer is yes, to both questions!

Despite their massive size, Maine Coons cats are gentle giants who make excellent family cats and companions.

Maine Coons are extremely friendly to their owners as well as other animals such as dogs and cats.

Maine Coons enjoy playing with their owners and like to remain close to their human family.

These large cats are super sociable and playful with children, and will rarely attack.

Maine Coons, with their good hunting instincts, will also help keep your house free of pests, particularly mice.

High Maintenance

Maine Coons are not thought to be high-maintenance pets.

They are easy to live with despite the fact that they require frequent grooming due to their thick shaggy coats, plus plenty of living space because of their large size.

Many pet owners wonder how hard is it to take care of a Maine Coon cat?

The quick answer is that they are normally fairly easy to care for since they tend not to be overly dependent on their owners. Their only maintenance requirements are grooming and exercise.

You simply need to provide them with enough living space, high-quality cat toys, a balanced diet, and a few other necessities such as beds and large litter trays.

Maine Coons, on the other hand, are not suitable pets for those who live in small apartments because they demand a lot of living space, cat trees, and scratching posts to live happily, as well as frequent grooming and exercise.


Maine Coons are intelligent and smart cats. So it’s natural to wonder, are Maine Coons cats easy to train? 

Due to their high intelligence, Maine Coons are easy to train, particularly toilet-train. Here’s how!

They are so intelligent that they can solve puzzle toys to obtain treats, and you can even teach them tricks to impress your friends and family!

You can teach a Maine Coon complex tricks such as a handshake, a high five, sitting, jumping over things, rolling, playing dead, and fetching.

No doubt you are fascinated to learn how to teach your Maine Coon cat to use the toilet! Read this guide for more information!


This Maine Coon Cats 101 guide is just what you need if you are a beginner Maine Coon owner or are interested in learning basic knowledge about Maine Coons.

Maine Coons are the world’s largest domesticated cats and are extremely popular, particularly in the United States. They are also regarded to be the only cat native to the United States.

Maine Coons are incredibly friendly and docile cats despite being extra large in size.

These cats are well known for being devoted, intelligent, and affectionate cats who like spending time with their owners and make excellent family pets.

Maine Coons come in a range of colors and are neither high-maintenance nor overly dependent cats.

Despite their beautiful appearance, Maine Coons are vulnerable to health issues such as HCM, SAM, PKD, and Hip Dysplasia.

Due to their popularity and high demand, they are also one of the most expensive cat breeds, costing more than $1000 on average in the United States.

Related Questions

Maine Coon Vs Normal Cat

Maine Coons are much larger than normal cats, even outgrowing most small dogs. In contrast to normal cats, they are exceptionally intelligent and easy to train.

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