Maine Coon

The Maine Coon is one of the largest breeds of domestic cat, known for its intelligence, playfulness as well as distinctive physical appearance. The breed is one of the oldest natural breeds in North America and originated from New England, making it America’s first indigenous show cat.

The most common color/pattern in the breed is brown with tabby markings. Maine Coons are recognized in all colors except for chocolate, lavender, ticked tabby, and the point-restricted (“”Siamese””) pattern. Eye color also varies widely. All patterns may have green, green-gold, or gold. Blue eyes, or one blue eye with one gold eye, are possible in white coat cats.

Maine Coons have medium-long, dense fur, with longer hair, or a ruff, on their chests similar to the mane of a lion (which is why the breed is sometimes humorously called the “”Mane Coon””). Their fur consists of two layers – an undercoat and an additional layer of longer guard hairs, which gives the breed their key physical feature. The fur is generally very soft. Maine Coons have long hair on the backs of their legs (called pantaloons or britches) and between their toes which helps to keep warm in the cold. They also have bushy plumed tails and broad, anglular heads, squared-off muzzles and wide-set ears topped with tufts of fur. While the Coon may be polydactyl, having one or more extra toes on their paws, this trait is generally bred out, as it has been rejected by the standard.

Country of Origin:
United States

Most Maine Coons keep their fur in good order without the need for additional human grooming, but due to the length and quantity of hair, most will also benefit from a simple brushing once a week.


Maine Coons are a breed distinguished by intelligence, dexterity and playfulness. They have a tendency to use their front paws extensively and as a consequence will easily learn to open cabinet doors, turn on water faucets, or pick up small objects. Some will eat with their paws, rather than eating from the bowl itself.

Due to their above-average intelligence, Maine Coons are known to be one of the easiest cat breeds to train. Being generally very quiet they do not meow much and are a very independent breed. They are noted for rarely eating alone, preferring to eat in the company of other cats or humans. Maine Coons are usually not “lap” cats, and many, probably because of their size, are not comfortable with sitting on a person’s lap.

Maine Coons occasionally are mischievous when bored, such as deliberately pushing things off tables with their paws. Maine Coons can be very dog-like in their behavior. Playing fetch is a favorite game.

Health Concerns:

A genetic predisposition towards hypertrophic cardiomyopathy appears in some genetic lines of the Maine Coon population. In extreme cases, this condition can result in the sudden death of what appears to be an otherwise healthy animal. It can be detected by regular cardiac ultrasounds of pets between the ages of 3 and 6, the age at which the disease becomes detectable. Responsible breeders, in an effort to reduce the occurrence of HCM, now screen their animals, some for four or more generations, and make this information available to potential pet buyers. As always, if you are buying from a breeder make sure to obtain both a written health guarantee and registration papers.

In the past, Taurine deficiency was a common cause of dilated cardiomyopathy in all cats, including Maine Coons. Since the pet food industry started adding Taurine to cat food, this kind of cardiomyopathy is increasingly rare. Taurine-related cardiomyopathy can be cured with the addition of the nutrient to the diet, but genetic HCM causes a permanent enlargement of the left ventricle and is rarely treatable.

Other potential health problems include hip dysplasia and Polycystic Kidney Disease. However, Maine Coons are generally quite healthy and resilient animals.

Breed Acceptance:

American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
American Cat Fancier?s Association (ACFA)
Traditional Cat Association, Inc. (TCA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
American Cat Association (ACA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Cat Fanciers? Association (CFA)
Cat Fanciers? Federation (CFF)

Posted in: Cat Breeds