Does the Maine Coon Cat Make a Good Pet?
The Maine Coon is a vivacious, loving, and affectionate cat that loves interacting with people. They have fun-loving personalities and have earned their nicknames as “gentle giants” and “the dogs of the cat world”. They are loyal, intelligent, friendly, and curious cats that are great with children and love to interact with their owners.
Maine Coons are outgoing cats that socialize well with people of all ages as well as other animals. They are curious and can be found engaging in hilarious feats that will keep their families entertained day in and day out.
An American Tail
The Maine Coon is one of the largest breeds of domestic cats, and one of the oldest breeds originating in North America. It is the official cat of the United States’ state of Maine, its namesake. With its large size, beautiful appearance, and charming nature, it has earned its place among the most beloved of all cat breeds in the world. The cat’s origins are mysterious, but it is agreed to be the original American wild cat, originally surviving on farms with its ability to catch vermin before its domestication.
A Large Cat
The Maine Coon is one of the largest domestic cats, and is truly the giant of cats. It boasts a large bone structure, with a distinct rectangular body shape. A solid and muscular cat with a broad chest, the maine Coon can be as tall as 16 inches and some have been measured at 40 inches long, including the tail. Males can weigh in at 15-25 pounds, with an average of 18 pounds, while females weigh about 10-15 pounds. Most cats reach maturity at about a year of age, but the Maine Coon can take anywhere from three to five years to reach their full size. They feature a long, flowing coat, with a tail that can measure up to 14 inches, a fact that has given them the nickname, “The tail with a cat at the end”. The tail is long, tapered, and very furry, almost like a raccoon tail.
The Maine Coon has either long or medium fur with a silky and soft texture. Unlike other fluffy cats, such as Persians, the Maine Coon is not fluffy all the way through; the fur tends to grow shorter around their head and shoulders, running longer on the stomach and flanks. They may have a mane of fur around their necks that give them a lion-like appearance.
Built for All Seasons
Due to the climate of the area they originated from, these cats have evolved to have thicker fur in the winter and thinner fur in the warmer months. The fur is “weather proof”, dense and water resistant to help combat the fierceness of ice and snow. The longer hair in their lower regions act as insulation, trapping warmer air against their bodies. The long, shaggy tail can wrap around their face for added protection in harsh, cold conditions. Large tufts of fur grow between their toes to act as snow shoes. Tufts of hair also grow around their ears for added protection. Despite all of this fur, they require less grooming than one may presume due to their lighter undercoats.
Maine Coons have been observed with fur in 64 different color patterns, the most common of which are brown tabby and tortoiseshell markings, although they also come in colours such as chocolate and lavender.
A Gentle Giant
The Maine Coon’s size is a considerable aspect of the breed, but it is also recognized for its intelligence and its charming personality. They are gentle, amiable, affectionate, loyal, and easy to train. They love their owners, usually taking a special shine to one family member in particular, but they can be more cautious yet still sociable around strangers. They are as independent as their tail is long, but they also delight in being petted and loved. Their ease around children, dogs, and other cats make them a suitable addition to any family.
Maine Coons tend to remain playful well into old age, and with a lifespan of 20+ years, they can bring a lot of charm and entertainment to their family’s lives. They tend to have a curious relationship with water, as they love splashing around and will lap at water dripping from the tap for hours, but they aren’t the biggest fans of swimming and prefer more manageable amounts of water. They love splashing in their water dishes and can make quite a mess!
One of their most unique qualities is that, instead of meowing like your typical domestic cat, Maine Coons make “chirping” sounds. It is a rather difficult sound to describe, but once it is heard, it is seldom forgotten and always adored. Maine Coons vocalise in many different manners that range from yowling to chattering, chirping, and “talking”. They quite literally converse with their owners, even sassily talking back!
Is the Maine Coon the Cat for You?
There is much to love about this furry, affectionate giant, and with so many wonderful aspects to consider about this cat breed, it may seem that they could seamlessly blend into any household. They are very affectionate, yet minimally demanding animals, easy to groom and take care of, and are a constant source of joy and entertainment. They have hilarious characters and make excellent cuddle buddies. They fit well into any family and charm all visitors as well.
It is very important to note that Maine Coon cats are not pets that do well with being left alone for long periods of time. If you have a full time job, it may be wise to get another Maine Coon if you don’t already have another pet. Maine Coons get on famously with most dogs and cats. It’s also good to consider the Maine Coon’s large size, which is better fit for a house than an apartment - especially if you plan to have more than one.