Maine Coon cat owners everywhere have a lot of great things to say about this beloved breed. One of the things that people would immediately say about Maine Coons is that they are big and magnificent. But there are still a more to these gentle giants that make them so endearing than just their size.
What are some interesting facts about Maine Coon cats?
Let’s talk about ten fun facts about Maine Coon cats that make them one of the most popular cat breeds not just in the US but all over the world.
- The Maine Coon cat is officially the state cat of Maine. They are considered as a native of the Northeasternmost state. Most Maine Coon enthusiasts believe that this magnificent breed resulted from long-haired cats brought by New England seaman mating with local short-haired cats.
- They are well-equipped for Northeastern winter. Being a Maine native means they have to put up with the harsh New England winter. But fret not, they are built for it. Their long and shaggy coats that get thicker around the neck and stomach help protect them from the snow and keep their warm. Their ears have distinguishable tufts of fur; as well as their huge paws which are thick giving the Maine Coon their own snowshoes.
- Maine Coon cats get huge; like really HUUUGEE. A lot of people know that the Maine Coon is one of the largest breeds of domestic cats and that the male ones can grow as much as 15-25 pounds. However, there have been Coons who have become known for growing much much larger than that. The Guinness World Record for the longest cat has been awarded to Maine Coon cats Stewie who measured 48.5 inches; and more recently to Ludo who measures around 46 inches.
- There are some popular myths as to the origin of Maine Coon cats. One of them is that the Maine Coon breed is a result of domestic or semi-wild cats mating with raccoons. Although they might have some resemblance because of their long bushy tail, this theory is not really regarded as plausible. Still, some say they come from domesticated cats that mated with bobcats; this time, because of their tufted ears. There are even folk tales that involve Marie Antoinette and one involving Captain Charles Coon, a seafarer. But mostly, it is believed that the breed is a result of short-haired domestic cats mating with overseas long-haired cats brought over by seafarers.
- There were some early Maine Coon cats that have an extra toe. Polydactylism was observed in about 40% of Maine Coons in Maine before. These Coons were born with six toes and some say that this characteristic helped them move on snow. However, it became viewed as undesirable in competitions with polydactyls getting disqualified. In time, Maine Coon cats with six toes started to decline.
- A Maine Coon cat named Cosey won the first North American cat show. Cosey was entered by her owner, Mrs. Fred Brown, into the competition held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. She won ‘Best in Show’ and the silver collar and medal awarded to her can be seen to this day at the Cat Fanciers Association office.
- Maine Coon cats like water and enjoy playing in and with water. The luscious coat that coons are known for is water-resistant. It is also thick and dense that Maine Coons don’t mind getting in the water or playing with water. A lot of Maine Coon owners have observed their cat’s love of water and it is actually a delight both for the cat and the owners.
- They are well known as mouser cats or hunters. Though Maine Coon cats don’t have the need to hunt anymore, they still have that natural curiosity and flair for catching “prey.” It is important for Maine Coons to be able to practice this skill with toys or to play catch with their owners. They are very playful and will likely get into all sorts of silly antics.
- They can be heard doing different kinds of vocalizations like trilling and chirping. Any cat can chirp or trill but Maine Coon cats are known to do these very often. Cat owners love hearing these sweet sounds from their cats. We don’t know for sure why they chirp or trill when they do but chirping is said to be made by cats when they spot or catch prey. Trilling Maine Coon cats are so fun to talk to!
- Maine Coon cats are said to be the “dogs of the cat world” not just because of their size but due to their personalities. They are known to be very loyal to their owners and can be a bit wary of visitors. They are also very playful and love to clown around and be silly.
Jenny is an ESL teacher and freelance writer. She is a work-at-home mom of two boys and a girl. She loves watching cat videos when she is on break from teaching, writing, and homeschooling her two older kids.