How to Identify a Maine Coon

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Maine coon laying on pillow.
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The Maine coon is one of the oldest cat breeds native to the United States and is Maine's official state cat. According to the Cat Channel, the Maine coon is one of America's most popular cat breeds with families and for show purposes. A Maine coon is easily identifiable by its large size, as well as several well-known physical and personality traits.


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Appearance and Physical Characteristics

Maine coons are one of the largest domestic cat breeds, with males weighing up to 18 pounds and females weighing up 16 pounds. Females are also a bit smaller than males in size and length. Maine coons are a long-haired cat breed, with a shaggier coat that is water-repellent. His fur is silky to the touch and tends to be shorter in length around the shoulder area. Maine coons have a long, bushy tail and paw pads that are tufted. His ears also have furry tufts along the ear tips that resemble that of a lynx cat.

Fur and Eye Colors

According to the Cat Fanciers Association, the Maine coon has five distinct color classes: solid colors, tabby, tabby with white, parti-color, which features the most colors and tints, and other Maine coon colors. The most popular color for a Maine coon is the brown tabby, but this breed also comes in solid colors such as white, red or black, as well as bicolor hues including red and white or blue and white. The parti-color Maine coon usually refers to either a calico or tortoiseshell color pattern. The eyes of a Maine coon are most often green or golden, but some white or light-colored variations have been known to have striking blue eyes.


Personality Traits

The Maine coon has one of the most loving and affectionate personalities when it comes to cat breeds. He's often referred to as a "gentle giant." This breed is fiercely loyal to his humans and will like to cuddle and enjoy hours of joyful play. He's sometimes wary of new people or animals, but once the Maine coon gets to know a person or another pet, it doesn't take long for him to warm up to his new friends. While the Maine coon is a docile, obedient breed, he's described as somewhat of a clown who loves to learn tricks and show off his amusing personality. This breed is known to fetch, like a dog, and he's not one who will be afraid of water. In fact, you may find your Maine coon likes to get his paws wet in your sink. He may want to take a dip in water, from time to time as well.


Health and Care

Maine coons are known to inherit hip dysplasia and heart disease from the parents. It's wise to discuss these genetic problems with a cat breeder to learn if they could be passed onto your own pet. To care for a Maine coon, you'll need to groom his fur a few times a week with a steel cat comb or a slicker brush, which are perfect for long-haired, thick-coated cats. Maine coons look forward to daily exercise and play time, much like a small dog would, so be sure to entertain him and keep him active with toys and teaching new tricks. Maine coons will want a healthy supply of fresh, clean water and usually can be free-fed without the concern of becoming overweight. This breed can live from 9 to 15 years.