Maine Coon cats have won the hearts of millions of cat lovers worldwide with their large stature, long coats, family-friendly nature, and fun personalities.
Take a look at the top Maine Coon cat breed information to gain a better understanding of why these large cats are known as gentle giants within the feline world.
Maine Coon cats are one of the largest domestic cat breeds in the world. Thought to be descendants of longhaired cats, this naturally occurring cat breed has long thick fur, wide paws, and a muscular frame. Maine Coons are known for their friendly, patient nature, extreme intelligence, doglike personality, loyalty to their owners, and vocality.
The Maine Coon has been steadily rising in popularity over the last few decades. Adored for its family-friendly nature, this large cat breed fits into just about any home.
However, prospective owners should ensure they are aware of the breed’s temperament and potential behavioral issues that can occur if this it’s social and mental needs are not met.
Keep reading to learn why these New England cats are so desirable.
Make sure you read the surprising results of Katrina Stewardson’s unique research study, from Maine Coon Central’s YouTube channel, where owners voted on where they got their Maine Coon from!
Maine Coon Cat Breed Information
The Maine Coon is famous for being the largest domesticated cat breed in the world.
Recognized as having a large, muscular frame with long hair and a bushy tail, these former wild cats are almost immediately recognizable.
These beautiful cats are often thought to be part raccoon because they share similar features, have long bushy tails with black rings around the base, love water, and are superb hunters.
Scientists have now confirmed that the two species are not related, since it is biologically impossible for a cat to mate with a raccoon.
Let’s take a look at the most interesting Maine Coon cat information, and facts:
1. Maine Coon Cat Breed Origin
The Maine Coon is a mysterious breed because nobody knows exactly how they came to be.
The most likely theories are that they are either descendants of Norwegian Forest cats kept onboard Viking ships, or are the offspring of cats left in America through trade, that bred with local domestic cats.
Another folk tale that has stood the test of time, is that the Maine Coon cat breed is the descendent of Marie Antoinette’s six Turkish Angora cats, whom she refused to leave in France.
The former Queen of France desperately fled her home, with her treasured Turkish Angora cats, aboard a ship Captained by Samual Clough.
Although Marie Antoinette never reached New England, her cats did, and are thought to have been set free to breed with the local domestic short-haired cat breeds in Maine.
In the 1800s, farmers and sailors began to recognize the Maine Coons superior hunting ability and kept them around to keep away rats, mice, and other pests.
Over time, this breed developed long, thick, semi-water-repellent fur and wide paws to help them navigate the cold, snowy terrain of Maine.
In the mid-1900s, however, this breed nearly went extinct due to World War II and the increasing popularity of the Persian cat. See how these two breeds compare, here.
Thankfully, some dedicated fanciers of the breed were able to bring it back from the brink of extinction.
Today, the Maine Coon has skyrocketed in popularity due to their enormous size, beautiful appearance, and loving, intelligent personalities.
2. Where Do Maine Coons Get Their Name?
The name Maine Coon is thought to have come from the American State in which they originate. In this case, Maine in the United States.
If you are wondering where the additional word ‘Coon’ came from, cat specialists do not have a definitive answer.
However, most believe it developed from the popular folk-tale theory that Maine Coons are a cross between domestic cats and raccoons. A myth that is now debunked.
3. What Do Maine Coons Look Like?
As the biggest domesticated cat breed in the world, this muscular, rugged cat breed is often mistaken for being a dog!
Let’s take a look at the Maine Coon appearance in great detail:
The Maine Coon cat appearance is both striking and unforgettable since these large domestic cats can reach up to 25 lbs in weight!
The average male Maine Coon ranges between 15 – 25 lbs, whereas the average female Maine Coon weighs just 8 – 12 lbs.
The Maine Coons shaggy coat is considered medium to long in length, and varies in size across the body, with longer tufts on the ears and paws.
Maine Coons can be found in over 75 different Maine Coon colors and patterns.
Paws And Tail
The Maine Coon cat physically adapted to living in the frigid climate of Maine, in the United States.
This is evident from the fact that Maine Coons developed wide paws to help them walk on the snow.
They also have long, thick bushy tails that are not just there to look nice. Instead, their tail acts as a way to keep this large cat breed warm even in the coldest climate.
4. Maine Coon Colors
Maine Coons are bred in over 75 different colors and pattern combinations, so you are sure to find a Maine Coon in your favorite color.
Prospective owners can select their ideal Maine Coon color from one of the following five Maine Coon solid colors:
The white cat occurs due to the absence of pigmentation, whereas black and red Maine Coons can be “diluted” via genetic mutation to create other colors.
For example, the black Maine Coon can be diluted to achieve the following Maine Coon colorings:
It is also possible to find breeders selling silver Maine Coons and gold Maine Coons.
This is because the red and black dilute colors that appear as gold or silver are the result of a rare inhibitor gene (source 1).
5. Maine Coon Patterns
According to the CFA, Maine Coon cats are permitted in the following eight patterns:
Solid Maine Coons are monochromatic from head to tail, and have a single color across their fur with no stripes or marks.
A great example of a solid Maine Coon is the white Maine Coon. Take a look at this article on White Maine Coon cats to learn more.
Shaded Maine Coon cats are recognizable by their light or white undercoat that has moderate tipping of another color on their face, sides, and tails.
These cats appear in the following combinations:
- Shaded Tortoiseshell
- Shaded Cameo
- Shaded silver
- Shaded blue silver
Black is the main color of a Maine Coon tortoiseshell pattern, interspersed with red or cream markings.
You can identify a tortoiseshell Maine Coon by its base color of white with brindled tabby or solid patches or black and red.
Only female Maine Coons can be tortoiseshell because their genetics determine that the black and red pigment derives from the X chromosome.
Smoke Maine Coons have a white undercoat with deep tipping of a different color on their tail, face, and sides.
Here are three smoke Maine Coon colorings:
- Tortie Smoke
- Blue Smoke
- Cream Smoke
You can identify a smoke Maine Coon by its lightly silver-colored undercoat.
If you brush or pet a Maine Coons fur, look for a lighter root color.
The tabby Maine Coon pattern is the most common of all Maine Coon colorings and has the closest resemblance to the original Maine Coon cats first discovered in Maine, United States.
Maine Coon tabbies can be identified by either spots and swirls or banded hairs that create a striped pattern.
Below are the four types of tabby markings:
- Classic Tabby
- Spotted Tabby
- Mackerel Tabby
- Patched Tabby
- Ticked Tabby
However, it is worth noting that the CFA only officially accepts the Classic and Mackerel tabby markings.
If you are hoping to purchase a Bi-Color Maine Coon kitten, the cat’s fur will have a combination of two colors. One of these colors will always be white.
There is no set level of white on a Maine Coon bi-color cat since it is possible for the cat’s entire coat to be colored in white, or just a small percentage of it.
Bi-Color Maine Coons were once known as piebald cats, and their coat color occurs due to the white spotting gene.
The CFA’s official classification of the parti-color Maine Coon pattern is as follows: the “parti-colored” cat is a cat with more than one color present” (source 1).
Here are some beautiful Maine Coon parti-colors:
- Blue Cream
- Tabby And White
Other Maine Coon Cat Colors
Due to the many cat shows that occur every year, cat breed organizations have categorized each cat breed accurately and fairly, creating strict rules for each cat breed’s requirements.
Consequently, ‘other Maine Coon cat colors’ is not an official Maine Coon color classification.
Two Maine Coons that fall under this non-official banner are the chocolate Maine Coon color and the Lavender Maine coon color.
6. American Maine Coon Vs European Maine Coon
Although they are both genetically identical, Maine Coons have two different “looks;” the American Maine Coon and the European Maine Coon.
American Maine Coons have gentler facial features, whereas European Maine Coons tend to have more powerful jaws and brows, and a more serious expression.
Why not read my guide on the European Maine Coon Vs American Maine Coon to learn more Maine Coon facts?
You might also be interested to learn how big can Maine Coon cats get!
7. Maine Coon Temperament And Personality
Famous for their intelligence, large size, or beautiful appearance, the Maine Coon personality and temperament are winning features of this cat breed.
Maine Coon cats are loved for their patient and easygoing temperament, and are suitable for households with young children, other cats, and even dogs!
Famous for being loving and gentle, these highly social felines willingly spend their days following their owners around the home. Find out why they do this, in this article.
This large breed is prone to loneliness and anxiety if left on its own for too long without a playmate, be that yourself, another cat, or a dog.
Spending time with your Maine Coon cat is far more important, than if you owned a regular cat.
8. Maine Coon Exercise Requirements
Maine Coons need roughly 30 minutes of exercise each day to ensure they do not suffer from Maine Coon obesity. These are the worrying signs to watch out for.
Owners should play with their Maine Coons regularly.
However, if you lead a busy life it is extra important that you provide your cat with the best Maine Coon toys to stimulate them whilst you are busy.
Famous for their intelligence these cats love puzzles and motorized toys.
They will become bored and potentially destructive with regular cat toys, so make sure you buy them these 5 Maine Coon cat toys.
If the Maine Coon’s exercise and play needs are not being met, they may become bored and start releasing their pent-up energy through destructive behaviors like:
9. Maine Coon Intelligence
Maine Coon cats are one of the smartest cat breeds in the world, along with these other cat breeds.
They can also be trained to perform tricks and commands, and can even play fetch or learn how to walk on a leash and harness like a dog!
If you want to teach your Maine Coon some fun Maine Coon tricks, read my easy guide to Training A Maine Coon To Play Fetch!
However, their intelligent nature can cause them to become bored if they do not receive enough enrichment.
10. Maine Coon Cat Trees
This breed is highly active and energetic, from the time they are kittens until their senior years in life.
Their incredible hunting instincts mean they love to chase and pounce on anything they can get their paws on!
They are also strong climbers who need access to the Best Large Cat Trees For Maine Coons. It would also be a great advantage if you installed cat shelves for them to run and exercise on.
The Maine Coon’s long, thick shaggy coat of fur may look gorgeous, but it can pose a definitive challenge to some owners.
Overall, Maine Coon grooming needs are similar to other long-haired cat breeds, so whilst they are completely manageable this is a time-consuming task that Maine Coon owners need to be prepared for.
Maine Coon Brushes
It is essential that owners groom their Maine Coon 2-3 times a week.
Weekly brushing is unlikely to keep on top of your cat’s fur care needs unless they are blessed with silky Maine Coon hair.
This is especially true if you own a Maine Coon with fur that is more prone to tangles, or if you allow your Maine Coon cat outside.
These are my favorite Maine Coon cat brushes.
Grooming Maine Coon cats is usually easy due to their docile nature, but it is a good idea to start grooming whilst they are still young, so they become accustomed to being brushed.
Dirty Maine Coon Fur
Maine Coons tend to have longer tufts of fur on their paws and backside, which can become soiled and tangled if they spend lots of time outside or have difficulties using the litter box.
If your Maine Coon’s fur tends to become dirty or tangled, you should trim away these longer tufts of fur to avoid matting.
Teeth, Ears And Eyes
Like all cats, you should also brush your Maine Coon’s teeth, as well as clean their ears and eyes, and trim their nails regularly.
Brushing a Maine Coons teeth is important so that they do not develop periodontal disease. Learn more about this Maine Coon health problem, here.
You can give Maine Coon cats a bath if they are incredibly dirty, however, most cats do not need baths.
Never bathe a Maine Coon more than once every one or two months.
Protecting Your Maine Coon
If you have an outdoor cat, it is also important to apply flea and tick prevention every month.
Maine Coon Grooming Tips
Here are some great Maine Coon grooming tips that have made my own life easier:
The Maine Coon’s long, thick fur sheds moderately throughout the year but sheds more heavily during seasonal transitions as they change from their summer coat to their winter coat.
They should be brushed at least twice a week, and more often during shedding season. I personally find these cat grooming tools to work the best.
Maine Coon cats are obligate carnivores.
The Maine Coon diet is essentially the same as any other domestic cat, but nutrition plays a more important role for this large cat breed than for most other cats.
Since they are so large, Maine Coons need a lot of calories and protein to reach their full size.
For example, most normal cats require approximately 26% protein within their diet, compared to Maine Coons that need 50% plus protein in their daily intake.
Improper nutrition can stunt your cat’s growth and are part-responsible for causing these Maine Coon health problems.
If you are wondering how much Maine Coon cats eat, read my guide on how much to feed a Maine Coon cat.
Below are the key Maine Coon dietary options:
Dry And Wet Food
Wet food is more flavorful, and it also provides hydration.
Since domestic cats were originally desert dwellers, they drink little water and expect to get most of their water from their food.
You should provide your Maine Coon with a mix of dry food and wet food.
Dry food is essential for dental hygiene and does not become spoiled as quickly as wet food.
Royal Canin Maine Coon dry food is a great nutritionally balanced food for your Maine Coon cat, that they will love. Here are some other ideal Maine Coon foods.
Maine Coon cats can eat a raw food diet, rather than dry or wet commercial food. However, owners must thoroughly research this subject before swapping to this Maine Coon diet.
The Maine Coon raw food diet is both expensive and time-consuming. Read this cat food guide to learn more about it.
Commercial Cat Food
Before deciding which brand of cat food to buy, there are a lot of things to consider.
Many cheap and commercial cat foods use a lot of filler content, like corn or grains, because they are cheaper to produce.
These filler carbs, however, can lead to malnutrition, especially among Maine Coons.
It is important to provide your Maine Coon with a diet that is:
- High in protein
- Moderate amounts of fat
- A small level of carbohydrates
When selecting food, make sure the first ingredients are from a named source of protein, such as duck or chicken, and avoid foods containing meat byproducts.
Association Of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)
The AAFCO has researched all of the nutrients that cats require, such as:
Look for foods with the Association of American Feed Control Officials, or AAFCO seal of approval.
This seal of approval ensures that the food you are buying contains all of the vitamins and minerals necessary for your cat’s diet (source 1).
Maine Coons are hardy felines with an average Maine Coon lifespan of 12 – 15 years.
Purebred cats are often developed through inbreeding, which makes inherited genetic conditions more likely to occur.
However, since the Maine Coon is a naturally occurring breed, they are much healthier than most purebred cats.
Unfortunately, they are still susceptible to the following Maine Coon health problems:
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
HCM is a deadly genetic condition that causes the walls of the cat’s heart to thicken over time.
Eventually, this constricts blood flow and ultimately leads to death.
Sadly, there is no cure, but responsible Maine Coon breeders genetically screen all of their breeding parents for this condition to avoid passing it on to their offspring.
Learn more about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in this complete guide.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)
SMA is a degenerative condition that begins in the first months of a kitten’s life.
The muscles near the back of the cat’s spine begin to atrophy, causing their hind legs to become weak, and making it impossible for them to run or jump.
Hip dysplasia causes the head of a cat’s femur to be malformed.
As the femur rotates within the hip joint while the cat is walking, jumping, or playing, the bone grinds against the hip, wearing away the joint until it becomes loose.
This is a painful condition that eventually causes a cat to limp and have difficulty running and jumping, but it can be managed with pain medications.
For more facts about Maine Coon Hip Dysplasia, and how to treat it, READ THIS GUIDE.
Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
PKD causes cysts to form in a cat’s kidneys.
This condition can go unnoticed for years, and in some cases, a cat can go its entire life without being seriously affected by it.
However, in more severe cases, these cysts can be large enough to cause health complications, and may even result in death.
Watch out for these signs and symptoms of Polycystic Kidney Disease In Maine Coon Cats.
15. What Are Maine Coons Like As Pets?
Overall, Maine Coons make great family pets, and thrive best in households that offer them ample amounts of:
They need a large space to run around in, plus a privacy area for times when they feel overwhelmed by their family members.
Invest in plenty of cat toys and high places for Maine Coon cats to climb.
As long as you can provide your Maine Coon with all of the space, enrichment, and attention it deserves, this is a great cat breed for you.
16. Pictures Of Maine Coon Cats
While every Maine Coon looks different, they tend to share similar physical features.
Here are some pictures of Maine Coon cats, so you can have a general idea of their appearance:
If you are planning on buying a Maine Coon kitten, the Maine Coon cat breed information listed in this article will be invaluable to you.
Having now read the best Maine Coon facts and information on the internet, I’m confident you will successfully raise a happy and healthy Maine Coon kitten.
Maine Coon cats are beautiful and loving cats, with easygoing and social personalities that enable them to fit into most households.
Their high energy levels and intelligence, however, may mean they need an owner who can provide them with plenty of exercise, attention, and enrichment.
If you are not sure whether you would prefer a male or female Maine Coon kitten, read this guide.
YouTube Research: Where Do Owners ACTUALLY Buy Maine Coon Cats?
The safest place to purchase a Maine Coon kitten is from a registered Maine Coon cat breeder, yet the Maine Coon price leads many cat lovers to buy their cats elsewhere.
Katrina Stewardson, the Director of Maine Coon Central, conducted unique research on 150 Maine Coon cat lovers, on Maine Coon Central’s YouTube channel, in October 2023.
She asked the audience where they got their Maine Coon cat from.
The aim of this cat research study was to establish where Maine Coon owners ACTUALLY purchased their Maine Coon kitten or cat.
This survey revealed that 33% of owners purchased their Maine Coon cat from a Registered Maine Coon cat breeder, whilst 8% of voters bought a cat from a Non-Registered Maine Coon cat breeder.
A staggering 23% of viewers voted that they found their Maine Coon at a shelter! So, do not give up hope of finding a ‘cheap’ Maine Coon!
Below are the results of Maine Coon Central’s users’ vote:
What Two Breeds Make A Maine Coon Cat?
Maine Coons are not the result of a cross between two breeds. Instead, this is a naturally occurring breed that mysteriously developed centuries ago.
How To Find Out If Your Cat Is a Maine Coon
If you suspect your cat might be a Maine Coon, you can order genetic testing to determine its breed.
Fun Fact About Maine Coon Cats
The State of Maine, in the United States, loves this large cat breed so much that Maine Coon cats are formally known as the ‘State Cat Of Maine’!