Maine Coon - The facts every owner of this cat breed should know
Like many older breeds, the origin of the Maine Coon is unclear and steeped in rumor. Some believe Maine Coons, also known as American Longhair, American Shag, American Forest Cat, American Snughead and Maine Trick Cat, are a cross between semi-domestic wild cats and raccoons (doubtful if not impossible). Others believe that Marie Antoinette sent her beloved Angoras to America for safety. They escaped and inbred with wild cats. Still others believe a cat was brought to Maine by Captain Coon and the cat escaped to live in the wilds of Maine.
Whatever the origins, it is generally agreed that the Maine Coon is the one of the oldest Native American breed of cat and they were an established domestic and hunting cat by the 1800s, but were not recognized as an actual breed of cat until 1967. Maine Coons are a hearty breed due to the New England winters they endured early on. This has resulted in a semi-long shaggy coat in almost all colors that makes it look like a wild Lynx. This coat does require regular grooming, which is enjoyed by the cat.
Maine Coons males will reach an average weight of thirteen to eighteen pounds and females of nine to twelve pounds, though with their thick coats, they may look larger. They mature slowly and are not considered adult until somewhere between ages three and five (when they stop growing) and will live approximately twelve years.
Maine Coons do enjoy their human companions, but do not need their attention. They prefer instead, to spend time with them in the same room, but not necessarily to interact. They are not a lap cap, and can be quiet independent, but will follow people into other rooms to be near them. Unlike many breeds, Maine Coons do not like to jump or perch in high places, instead preferring to chase things on the ground.
Some Maine Coons can be trained to play fetch and generally do well with children, thanks to their loving nature. This breed is generally healthy but can be prone to hip dysplasia and cardiomyopathy. Some Maine Coons are born with an extra toe, though this does not mean anything for them medically, it will only disqualify them from being shown.
There is a website that has great information on Maine Coon and most other breeds of cats. It has details that pertain to a cat breeds health, grooming, living conditions, best food choices and more, the website is called: Dog And Cat Facts, and can be found at this url:
By Robert W. Benjamin
Copyright © 2007
You may publish this article in your ezine, newsletter, or on your web site as long as it is reprinted in its entirety and without modification except for formatting needs or grammar corrections.
About the Author: Robert W. Benjamin has been in the software business on the internet for over 6 years, and has been producing low-cost software for the past 25+ years. He first released products on the AMIGA and C64 computer systems in the late 1970's-80's.
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