As one of the oldest and most popular cat breeds in America, Maine Coon cats are a beloved gentle giant for many owners throughout the country. Their large, fluffy bodies are easily identifiable in several different shades ranging from white to golden brown. They are native to Maine and are the only longhair breed native to the United States. Maine coon cats have an interesting history followed by unique characteristics. If you are considering purchasing a Maine Coon Cat, below are a few key items to be aware of.

Unique history

There are many theories as to how this beautiful creature became settled in America. Some believe that they originated after domesticated cats bred with raccoons. Others stick with the theory that the cats were a descendant of Queen Marie Antoinette’s cats when she escaped France. However, the most plausible theory dictates that the cats originated after short-haired domestic cats bred with long-haired cats that were brought over by Vikings or Sailors in the 1700s. Genetic testing shows that Maine Coon cats are descendants of the Norwegian Forest Cat, further proving they were likely brought to America by the Vikings.

Characteristics

Maine Coons are large cats that can weigh anywhere from 9 to 18 pounds. Males typically weigh more than females. The cats evolved to survive harsh weather in the northeast and as such, have developed thick, long coats to help keep them warm. Additionally, Maine Coon cats can have water-repellent coats and a distinctive bushy tail. Brown coats are common for the breed; however, they can be found with several different shades and colors.

Personality

When it comes to personality, Maine Coon cats are known for their sweet, docile temperament. Make sure to give the Maine Coon plenty of space for exercise, and she will be happy in most environments. A very playful animal, Maine Coons can often be referred to having similar personalities to dogs.

Care

Due to their long coat, this breed of cat may need groomed regularly to ensure their coat is free of tangles. It is recommended to start grooming at an early age so that cat becomes used to brushing and learns to enjoy it. Regular dental cleanings may also be needed to prevent periodontal disease. Lastly, these cats are prone to becoming overweight. Because of this, it is essential that their diet is closely monitored.