If you’re one of those folks like us who love the idea of owning a BIG cat, and don’t mind dealing with a lot of fur, then choosing to adopt a Maine Coon cat or kitten might just be the “right” choice for you.
These gentle giants of the feline community can make a great addition to just about any household due to their gentle and affectionate nature as well as their playful streak which makes them a “favorite cat” breed among children.
But be warned…
The Maine Coon’s coat will require quite a bit of “maintenance” from it’s owners which is why in this article, we wanted to take a moment and discuss what it might be like to own a Maine Coon, so that if you do decide to make one of these special animals your own, you won’t be disappointed that you did six months from now.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Maine Coon Cat Breed Fast Facts
Country of Origin: United States
Size: Large sized
Weight: 14 to 18 pounds
Eyes: Almond shaped eyes
Head shape: Triangular
Lifespan: 10 to 13 years on average
Origin of the Maine Coon Cat Breed.
As one of the oldest native North American cat breeds, it should come as no surprise that it is believed to have originally originated in state of Maine itself.
The Maine Coon was first described in cat literature back in 1861, not much is actually known about “how” the breed came into existence. And like any good mystery, when there isn’t a clear answer lots of “theories” tend to about.
Theories such as:
The “Coon Cat” theory…
Which as legend would have it states that the Maine Coon cat is actually the product of a pairing of a domesticated house cat and a racoon! Now while this theory is probably our favorite, it’s the only one that we’re certain isn’t correct because first of all… Most cats hate racoons and secondly because such a “pairing” is biologically impossible!
French Revolution Refugees
Another possible theory is that the Maine Coon is actually a descendant of Marie Antoinette’s Angora cats which were brought to American during the time when she believed she might be able to escape to America. Now at least this theory is “biologically plausible” so it does have that going for it, however we here at IndulgeYourPet prefer the final theory of the Maine Coon cat’s origin because we feel it just sounds a bit more exciting and “cool”.
The last potential theory that you’ll often hear mentioned when discussing how the Maine Coon cat came into existence when Norwegian Forest Cats were brought to the Americas by Viking sailors cross breed with the local felines in the area creating the mighty Maine Coon.
As for which theory is…
Correct, we’ll leave that one up to you, all that we can say is that we here at IndulgeYourPet prefer to think of the mighty Maine Coon as a Viking sailor than as a pampered refugee.
What we can tell you…
Is that today, the Maine Coon cat is an “officially” recognized pedigree cat breed by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) and one of the most popular cat breeds in the United States.
Maine Coon Cat Characteristics
As we’ve already mentioned, the Maine Coon cat is a rather large cat. In fact, they are one of the larger domesticated cats you’ll find. And when you combine their size with their long fur and bushy tails, what you get is a really magnificent animal in our opinion.
But we must admit…
These long-haired cats aren’t always going to be the “best” fit for everyone. You see, these cats have become well adapted to life in the North Eastern portion of the United States where they were expected to be able to handle Maine’s cold and wet winters.
As a result…
These guys have developed very strong and muscular bodies that are literally covered from head to toe in a thick, water resistant coat that is designed to keep them warm and dry even in some of the most inhospitable climates.
And as any…
Responsible Maine Coon breeder will tell you, these “adaptations” create quite the challenge when it comes to keeping their coats clean and tangle free. This is why, if you do decide to purchase a Maine Coon kitten or better yet adopt a Maine Coon cat, you should be prepared to brush and groom your Coons coat at least two or three times a week.
But here’s the deal…
We here at IndulgeYourPet feel that this is a fair price to pay in order to be able to own such a handsome and affectionate companion so we almost hate even mentioning this as a potential “down side” to owning a Maine Coon. After all, a true Coon lover, will probably be brushing their cat on a daily basis so once or twice a week won’t be a problem at all.
Maine Coon Temperament
As a general rule of thumb, we think that you’ll find the Maine Coon cat breed to be a fantastic companion animal. One that isn’t too energetic whereby he or she is driving you crazy or tearing apart the home, while at the same time not too lethargic that they only want to run and play when its “supper” time.
These guys are great with kids, which is yet another reason why this particular cat breed is so popular within the United States today.
Maine Coon Cat Breed Health
One thing that you do want to be careful about if you do decide to purchase a Maine Coon kitten is that unfortunately, the Maine Coon cat breed is susceptible to a couple of hereditary diseases.
This is why…
You’ll want to be sure that you only work with a reputable breeder who is willing to guarantee the health of all of their Maine Coon kittens and is able to show you the parents of the kitten you may be considering purchasing.
You’ll also want to be sure…
That your breeder is aware of the “risks” associated with this breed and be sure that they actively breed in a way as to “minimize” the risk associated with these conditions and actively try to avoid breeding any cat that might pass on a potentially life-threatening condition to their offspring.
Potential health issues may include:
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM,
- Hip dysplasia,
- And spinal muscular atrophy.
This is also why…
If you are considering purchasing a Maine Coon kitten, you may also want to think about purchasing a pet insurance policy as well. This way you won’t be on the hook for 100% of his or her medical bills in the even that your Maine does become sick or injured during his or her life.
Now will a pet insurance policy be a good “fit’ for everyone?
No, probably not. But until you know what they will and won’t cover and how much it will actually cost for you to become insured, how will you know if purchasing one isn’t the “right” move for you?
For more information about who we feel is currently offering some of the “best” pet insurance policies in the industry, we would encourage you to check out our article: Best Pet Insurance Companies.