Everything You Need to Know About the Maine Coon Cat

Posted by Katherine Ripley

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The Maine Coon is the gentle giant of domestic cats.

The Maine Coon is an American breed of cat which is well-adapted for working in the cold winters and fluctuating seasons of the New England region. It is called a Maine Coon because it was first recognized in the state of Maine and is now the official state cat. It was also famously the pet of Marie Antoinette in France before it was established here in America.

While its true ancestral origins are unknown, it bears resemblance to the Norwegian forest cat, suggesting it was brought to North America by way of the English sailers, the Norsemen, who were famous for having this breed of cat on board their ships.

The Maine Coon evolved on its own from good old natural selection, and developed all the characteristics of a good working cat. It is known for its mousing skills, but also its mild manner and friendliness. These long-haired cats make great family pets and therapy cats.

The Maine Coon cat breed was first accepted for Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) status in 1976. It is not uncommon for the greatest number of entries in a cat show to be Maine Coons, nor is it uncommon for one to win Best Cat. They definitely have championship status, starting with a brown tabby named Cosey who won Best in Show in the very first cat show held in Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1895.

Learn more about the breed that holds the Guinness World Record for longest cat, from its kind face to its bushy tail.

Hover over the image for more information.

General Appearance

Maine Coons come in all different colors, but every member of the breed is very large and has a long, shaggy coat, including a voluminous tail. Overall, the Maine Coon has a rugged and sturdy look.


The Maine Coon has an average length of 3.3 feet from its nose to the tip of its tail, and an average weight of 17 pounds. This makes it the largest of all cat breeds.


The Maine Coon has a thick, uneven, shaggy coat. However, they do not require as much grooming as other long-haired cat breeds. They need to be brushed about twice a week.


Tufts of fur grow on the bottom of the Maine Coon's paws. These tufts keep the cat warm, and allow it to walk atop snow despite its size and weight.


The Maine Coon has a long tail with thick fur, which they use to surround themselves for warmth.


The Maine Coon has large ears, which are also well-tufted to keep them warm. Eye color varies from green to gold to blue.


Maine Coons are known for being incredibly friendly—the gentle giants of domestic cats. They are often described as the most dog-like cats. They are highly intelligent and trainable. They want to be a part of all your activities. And they have a fondness for water.

Check out the Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association for more information on this popular breed!

Do you have a Maine Coon cat? Show us in the comments below!

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Everything You Need to Know About the Maine Coon Cat