Maine Coon – The gentle giantess

About the Maine Coon

 

Attitude recommendation

The Maine Coon impresses with its size. Since it is correspondingly heavy, care should be taken when choosing a scratching post for stability. If pure housing is provided, there should be plenty of room for the big velvet paw. For professionals, the purchase of a second cat is usually recommended. The Maine Coon coat needs regular care. In general, she is considered a playful and intelligent cat, for the children are usually no problem. The compatibility with dogs is individually different. By choosing a reputable breeder, hereditary diseases can usually be successfully ruled out. The Maine Coon is suitable for first cat owners.

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The Maine Coon, like the Ragdoll or the Norwegian Forest Cat, is one of the big cat breeds. It is often referred to as the largest and heaviest race. In the US, this has earned her the nickname “gentle giant” (gentle giant). Often the US is cited as the origin of the breed, but its actual origin is largely unknown. Probably, however, the theory seems that the longhair gene of the cats comes from Europe and came by ship cats to America. Maybe just because of their unclearly clarified origin several legends about the popular breed.

For example, the myth exists that the Maine Coon emerged from the mating of a cat with a raccoon. This biologically impossible claim presumably came about as the velvet paw with its bushy tail reminded of a raccoon or coon.

Another story tells of a certain Captain Coon who traveled America. When the captain of the merchant fleet disembarked, his long-haired ship cats allegedly followed him. If these mated with native cats, a resulting litter should often have been commented with the words “Again a Coon cat!”.

More likely (and more realistic) is the legend that the Maine Coon should be related to the Norwegian Forest Cat. Also in this theory, shipping cats are said to have mated with native cats. Since the races are actually visually similar, perhaps the theory is less outlandish than the relationship with the raccoon.

Historically, however, all these stories are not. What is certain is that the Maine Coon was already seen in the 1850s at agricultural fairs in America and enjoyed there great popularity. At that time, the Maine Coon was still called Maine cat and named “Maine State Champion Cat”.

Recognition of race and optical characteristics

In the first stud book of the CFA (Cat Fanciers Association), which was founded in 1906, 28 Maine cats were registered. In the following years, the Maine cat was temporarily forgotten, presumably because of the great popularity of the Persian cat.

It was only in the 1950s, breeders began again for the recognition of the breed to use and presented them on various cat shows. Famous Maine Coon breeders of the 1960s and 1970s included Sonya Stanislow (Tati Tan), Mary M. Condit (“Heidi-Ho”) and Ethelyn Whittemore (“Whittemore”). In the pedigree of a Maine Coon are still often animals of these breeders represented. However, since the breed can suffer from various hereditary diseases, many breeders are now trying to expand their gene pool.

The recognition of the breed by the CFA finally took place in 1976, the FIFé (Fédération Internationale Féline d’Europe) even recognized the Maine Coon until 1983.

Visually, the Maine Coon stands out for its imposing size. Also striking are the tufts on the ears, which are expressly desired but not a “must” at the kitty. The Maine Coon has a largely water-repellent coat that protects it from moisture and cold. In the United States, the velvet paws were long time typical farm cats, so they are usually excellent hunters.

Breed-specific traits

Like the Siam, the Maine Coon is often nicknamed “dog cat,” which refers primarily to their intelligence and their play instinct. She is able to learn to retrieve, often remains playful until old age and usually accompanies her owner through the house or apartment. As a lap cat, the Maine Coon is rather unknown, but for their sociability. The large velvet paw behaves socially in relation to peers. Other animals can be tolerated by her in the household, but this does not apply to all representatives of the breed.

The Maine Coon is also sociable with her people. She is considered a talkative babe. Lovers of the race often describe their voice as unusually quiet for their imposing size.

Today, the Maine Coon is one of the most popular and famous cat breeds. She is especially prized for her gentle but playful nature and for her intelligence. Maine Coon keepers often describe her as she tends to take her food with her paw and loves the water. These could also be grounds for comparison with the raccoon.

Attitude and care

Like all half-longhair and long-haired cats, the Maine Coon’s coat needs regular care. Especially during the change of coat daily brushing is recommended.

Rain does not bother the Maine Coon. Since her coat is considered to be water-repellent, it should therefore generally not return too heavily from the clearance. An apartment must provide the Maine Coon due to their size very much space. If the kitty is to be kept exclusively in the home, she needs a large and stable scratching post and sufficient play and employment opportunities. Many owners especially praise the intelligence of the kitty, so appropriate cat toys are a must. Professionals should also think about purchasing a second cat.

The actually considered robust Maine Coon can suffer from various hereditary diseases. These include, for example, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a heart disease) and hip dysplasia (large and consequently severe breeds such as the Maine Coon are known for HD). In addition, she may suffer from elbow dysplasia or polycystic kidney disease (Persian and related breeds already have a genetic test to exclude them).

When purchasing a Maine Coon should therefore be taken to ensure that no animal in the breed has the diseases mentioned.

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