Maine Coon Companion, Not Baby

by : cherrypie

If you are looking for a cat that goes great with children and dogs, is well known for its wonderful intelligence, outstanding disposition and loving nature, then you might want to consider getting a Maine Coon. The Maine Coon is the oldest natural breed of longhaired cat in North America and is regarded to be a native to the state of Maine, earning the illustrious title of State Cat. They are a particularly sturdy cat ideally suited to the varied seasons and the harsh winters in that region and are highly regarded as outstanding mousers.

There are numerous legends that surround the Maine Coon and how it came into existence. One particular legend claimed that this cat was the product of mating between semi-wild domestic cats and raccoons. This came about because of the bushy tail and raccoon-like coloring, which indeed led to the name. Still another story was that Maine Coon actually started from six pet cats that were sent to Wiscasset, Maine by Marie Antoinette when she planned to escape France during the Revolution. The truth, as most breeders believe today, is that the breed probably sprang into existence as a result of mating between shorthaired domestic casts and longhair cats, possibly Angoras, which were brought to the United States by New England seamen and the Vikings.

Unlike other cats that like to sit in your lap and pester you for attention, the Maine Coon usually won't. Though very people-oriented, they aren't the type of cat that will ever likely become overly dependent upon you. But they do enjoy hanging out with you, following you around the house and getting involved into whatever you happen to be doing, waiting for you by the door of a closed room until you emerge, and choosing to sit in the chair next to you. Maine Coons also like to play fetch with their owners.

The Maine Coon has a coat that is different, too. It's longer in the britches, ruff and stomach, glossy and heavy, making it water-resistant to rain and snow, yet surprisingly shorter on the neck and back to protect it from tangling in the underbrush. Also surprising is the fact that even though the Maine Coon is longhaired, its coat is nearly maintenance-free. There's a Yankee myth that speaks of Maine Coons weighing thirty pounds, but it's just a myth. Usually the males average from thirteen to eighteen pounds and the females from nine to twelve.

Another endearing quality of the Maine Coon is its large, round, tufted feet, which tend to act like snow shoes. Unlike most cats, Maine Coons are slow to develop and don't actually obtain their full size until they reach three to five years of age. They love to play and rarely meow. But their highly unusual soft, tiny voice can be heard as a distinctive, chirping trill, which they will use to entice their owners to play.