7 Fascinating Facts About Maine Coon Cats

Of all the domesticated cats, this popular breed is a giant among them. According to the Cat Fanciers Association, they're the fifth most popular cat breed, and the distinctive look of these longhaired cats makes them hard to miss. They are, of course, Maine Coons. These beautiful, wild-looking kitties are both a popular breed and a great option for those looking for a playful, loving cat that will be your companion. If you're thinking a Maine Coon might be the cat for you, here are some interesting facts about these cats you really need to know.

Maine coon cat lying on white blanket
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1. Maine Coons are one of the largest domestic cat breeds.

When you see a Maine Coon, the first thing you might notice is how big they are. A male Maine Coon usually grows to about 13 to 18 pounds in size, and females usually get somewhere in the range of 9 to 16 pounds. However, they can get as large as 25 pounds. And they can actually get even bigger. A cat named Spock in San Jose, California that weighed 27 pounds was so big, he was mistaken for a bobcat and reported by a neighbor.

Though Maine Coons are big kitties, they take a long time to mature. Maine Coons won't reach their full size until they're 3 to 5 years old. These cats aren't just recognizable for their large size, but also for their long, silky coats and their extra-long ears with tufts of fur at the top.

2. Maine Coons are gentle giants and are known for their great personalities.

Though they may look big and intimidating, Maine Coons are the sweetest, most obedient giants. These kitties are big, fluffy balls of loyalty, and they love spending time playing with their humans. Maine Coons are also pretty quick to warm up to new people, even if they might seem a little shy at first. And while they are obedient, Maine Coons also usually have colorful personalities that make them fun to live with.

Maine Coon in Basket
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3. These cats are so playful, they're often described as "dog-like."

Because Maine Coons take so long to mature, their personalities and temperaments remain "kitten-like" for most of their lives, which leads many people to describe these cats as "dog-like." They enjoy playing with their humans more than cats normally do. They'll even play "fetch," which is a well-known pastime of puppies, but not many cats enjoy it. They can play for hours with their humans, which can make them a lot of fun, but can also be a little too much. Their love of attention and desire to be with their people can make them a bit of an annoyance on occasion, particularly for people who are used to more self-sufficient cats.

4. Maine Coons do, in fact, originate from the state of Maine.

Maine Coons trace their origins in Maine to before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. In fact, because their exact origins are hard to pin down, a number of fantastic legends have popped up to explain how Maine Coons became, well, Maine Coons. The most likely theory is that shorthaired cats already in the area bred with longhaired cats that came from Europe, possibly brought to Maine by the Vikings. However, some of the other legends about Maine Coons include stories that they're descendants of Marie Antoinette's cats or that they're a mix of cats and raccoons. Neither of those tales is very likely, but it adds to these cats' mystique.

Maine Coons were first mentioned in the historical record in 1861, and the cats were very popular competitors in 19th century cat shows. In 1895, New York City held the first major cat show, the Madison Square Garden Show, and a Maine Coon cat won "Best Cat" in the show.

Maine coon Cat Licking Her Lips
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5. Maine Coons are usually brown tabby in color, but they can be many different colors.

Maine Coons have long, beautiful fur that usually comes in a gorgeous brown tabby pattern. And for those that are familiar with Maine Coons, this is probably the color they assume Maine Coons always have. However, Maine Coons can also be different colors (white, red, black) and unique patterns (calico, tortoiseshell, etc.).

Cat drinking tap water from the sink
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6. Unlike many kitties, Maine Coons actually love the water.

So many cats dislike water that most people believe it's a given that every cat will try to avoid getting wet at any cost. However, that isn't the case. Maine Coons are a major feline exception to that rule, as they tend to enjoy the water. They may even seek out water, where other cats would tend to avoid it. Their affinity for water just adds to their generally playful and fun demeanor.

Jennifer Haskins, a member of the Cat Fanciers Association, told the Baltimore Sun, "They love to play in water and throw it around...I had one cat who used to stand in the water dish and drink at the same time."

7. Maine Coons' beautiful coats are not as complicated to take care of as you might think.

The Maine Coons' coat is heavy, glossy and highly water-resistant. From the look of the elegant and very impressive coat, you might think it makes grooming and taking care of Maine Coons more complicated. But it doesn't! Yes, Maine Coons' coats do require regular, weekly brushing so that their coats don't get matted.

It's best to start brushing Maine Coons young, so they get used to it. They might even learn to enjoy it. Try to find a soft bristled brush, which helps to protect your kitty's skin while you brush.

So if you're looking for a statement-making cat with a fun personality, Maine Coons might be the kitty for you.