The Maine coon cat breed hails from the American state of Maine, and it is also a breed that is very popular in the UK today too. The first impression most people get from their first sighting of a Maine Coon is that cats of the breed are pretty large, being noticeably taller and bigger than the average moggy, and often quite significantly so!
They also have lots of long, thick fur and noticeable tufts of fur between their toes and ears too, and are overall very eye-catching and quite distinctive.
Maine coons certainly attract a second look, and they’re a breed that many cat lovers aspire to owning one day, and they can certainly make for excellent pets for the right kind of owners.
However, the Maine coon is not a good fit for everyone, and anyone considering buying a cat of the breed is cautioned to do plenty of research and ensure that they know what they’re getting into before they commit to a purchase.
With this in mind, this article will get you started with some research pointers by telling you ten things you need to know about the Maine coon, before you considering buying a cat of the breed. Read on to learn more.
First of all, the majority of our well-known modern cat breeds are created or developed breeds – which means that many or all of their core traits were achieved by deliberate selective breeding, managed by humans. This is true even of most breeds that have natural origins, like the Siamese cat – which looks very different today to its historical ancestors.
The Maine coon, on the other hand, is a natural breed that is native to Maine, and that retains its historical appearance in the main part and that hasn’t been the subject of a lot of deliberate outside influence or human-driven development. This is known as being a landrace, which means being a specific breed or type of animal that evolved and developed naturally within a local geographic area and that is distinct from other members of the same species from other regions.
Maine coons are the largest domestic cats of all, with males of the breed reaching up to around 8-9kg on average when adult, and females a little smaller. They are also very long in length, so much so that some cats of the breed have been mentioned for this in the Guinness Book of World Records!
Larger Maine coons actually overlap in the size stakes with the wild Eurasian lynx, although Maine coons are shorter and lighter in build.
As you might expect, large cats eat a lot of food, and they’re active cats that require a good quality high protein diet. They will also need larger versions of accessories like cat flaps, litter trays and beds, and so may be more costly to keep than the average cat!
The Maine coon is the fifth most popular pedigree cat breed in the UK, and whilst moggies outnumber all pedigree breeds by a significant amount, Maine coons aren’t usually overly hard to find offered for sale.
The average asking price for Maine coons advertised for sale in the UK over the course of the last year is around £693 for pedigree specimens, and £414 for non-pedigrees.
The Maine coon is a longhaired cat, and their coats are very thick and dense, reflecting their origins in the American state of Maine, which sees very cold, harsh winters.
This means that they need to be able to find shade and cool down in the summer, but cats of all types are very good at regulating their own temperatures, so Maine coons tend to take care of this for themselves as long as they have access to shade and cool water at all times.
The Maine coon’s very thick and long coat means that they need to be brushed and groomed daily to keep their coats in good condition, and to prevent them getting matted or knotted fur, or ingesting fur that can result in coughing up hairballs, or even causing intestinal blockages.
The Maine coon is a very large cat breed but they are also gentle cats, and lovely to have around the home. They tend to be very streetwise, avoiding strangers and dogs outside of the home and generally displaying good road sense and a natural awareness of hazards. They are loyal and loving with their owners, and very affectionate (often with a very loud purr) but they are not clingy cats, and tend to be fairly independent and keen to roam and hunt.
For these reasons, they’re not generally a good pick for indoor-only lifestyles.
The Maine coon is also considered to be one of the more intelligent cat breeds, and this helps them to be adept hunters and also makes them good at figuring things out for themselves!
Some Maine coons can learn tricks and be trained to retrieve a ball, but this depends on the temperament of each individual cat.
Maine coons are generally considered to be robust and hardy cats, but like most pedigree breeds, there are a number of health challenges inherent to the breed as a whole.
These include a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is thought to be a dominant genetic mutation within the breed.
The Maine coon is robust, streetwise, not overly clingy, fairly independent, and not highly demanding in personality, and so they are generally considered to be a viable choice of cat breed for most types of cat owners, including first-timers.
However, the breed does need regular brushing, doesn’t usually take well to indoor-only life, and can be costly to keep, which are all elements that prospective Maine coon buyers need to bear in mind before committing to a purchase.
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