Furry, cuddly giants

Anyone who ever sees a Maine Coon Cat will know right away that this is a very unique breed of cat. Impressive at first glance is the racoon-cat’s size and nimbleness, but a closer look reveals a distinct personality, too. Experts from Maxi Zoo would like to introduce you to this particular “gentle giant,” as the Maine Coon is commonly known.

Background

The Maine Coon is indigenous to North America, more specifically to New England. There are many rumours and myths circulating around as to how the race originated. Some go so far as to suggest that the animal is actually a cross-breed of a racoon and a cat (hence the name). This almost legendary cat has a very bushy tail quite similar to that of a racoon. But also a certain sea captain named “Coon” is mentioned time and again in the records of the Maine Coon. Apparently his long-haired ship cats are said to have mated with New England harbour cats while on shore leave. Something similar could have happened with the Norwegian Forest Cat which the Vikings brought over sometime around 1000 AD.

In fact, laymen may easily confuse the Maine Coon with a Norwegian Forest Cat. Both cats are very similar in stature and have semi-long hair and lynx-like ears. It’s quite possible that the Maine Coon evolved through a process of natural selection, and therefore obtained its ruggedness because of Maine’s cold winters.

Coon cat characteristics

Aside from the ear tufts (which may or may not be missing), the “Maine Cat” is characterised by its particularly dense, water-repellent fur. It stands out as being remarkably shiny and untangled, making its owners especially proud. Its bushy tail and snow-white paws also show us that the animal’s ancestors were well acquainted with winter. Hence, this unique animal likes neither warm temperatures nor overheated apartments. Weighing up to six to nine kilos, its sheer size definitely leaves a lasting impression and makes it one of the heaviest of all domestic cats. Fur colour would appear to be almost endless in variety.

Family friendly feline

The Maine Coon has many aliases, some of which clearly point to its furry personality—for example “dog cat”, which alludes to its affectionate, curious and cuddly nature. But dog cat also needs a lot of attention. For those with limited time on their hands, this can be quite easily achieved by getting a second cat. Particularly social and communicative, the Maine Coon doesn’t only respond well to children, but also to other cats, small household pets and even dogs.

Playful paws

Some visitors will be surprised to see this cat scoop out food from the cat bowl and then eat with its paws. The Maine Coon especially likes to play games using its deft paws. Contrary to all clichés, this breed of cat even loves water! With respect to size, the Maine Coon is fully grown after about 18 months, although another four years are required before reaching full maturity. Fortunately, Maine Coon Cats can live to the comfortable, old age of 15. Since these cats are prone to heart, kidney and joint illnesses, owners should make sure that their cats are well-bred and don’t get fat.

Call into your local store today to discuss your cats’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.  Want to learn more fun facts about Maine Coon’s?  Check out this link:  http://www.bogglingfacts.com/lists/science/animals/10-fascinating-facts-about-maine-coon-cats/