Maine Coon Cats of Today

by John Savage

This beautiful cat which has a delightful bushy tail, and which is striped and with long fur, is in fact a domestic cat which is surprising considering how large it is. The Maine Coon is native to North America and furthermore is actually native to the state of Maine, where it has been made the State Cat.

The Maine Coon has been around for more than a century, and it is believed that their physical design enables them to withstand the harsh winters of New England. Everything from their overall size, to the shape of their paws, to the thickness of their fur makes them suitable animals for harsh winter weather. Furthermore, their fur has a water resistant quality to it.

Could the Maine Coon have come into existence as a result of the local domestic cats mating with cats brought over by the Vikings? There is after all a definite likeness between the Maine Coon, and the Norwegian Forest Cat. Some people think this is a more likely possibilty rather than the suggestion that local cats mated with raccoons, an idea which has been discounted by the experts.

The Maine Coon Cats of today would not have been considered as a part of the breed at one time. Only brown tabbies were referred to as Maine Coon Cats, and any ‘Maine Coon’ of a different color was referred to as a Maine Shag Cat. Cat experts largely agree that the Maine Coon is a product of mating between short haired domestic cats with long hair cats from overseas, at a time when people began migrating from Europe.

Maine Coons have very special personaities similar in many ways to the family dog. Call out their name, and they will come bounding towards you. Go out for the day, and on your return you will find them eagerly waiting for you on the doorstep. They love people, and other animals, and in return they like a lot of love and attention themselves.

You may or may not be aware that cat shows have been taking place around the country since 1861, and it was in the 1900’s, with the introduction of the Persian cat, that the Maine Coons popularity began to wane. But they bounced back again in the 1950’s and their own Association was formed in 1968, the Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association, with the express purpose of protecting the breed. However it was another 12 years before all the cat registries recognized the breed.

Nowadays there are many, many people who are fortunate enough to own, exhibit and love a Maine Coon Cat. The Association which was founded many years ago by a mere six breeders has now grown to well over 200 breeders, and there are over 2000 other members who are not breeders as well.

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