The Look of the Maine Coon:
His body is medium to large, muscular, and broad-chested, with a well-balanced rectangular appearance. The Maine Coon's coat is heavy and shaggy, but shorter on the shoulders and longer on the britches and stomach. He sports a handsome front ruff and a long flowing tail.
A Rainbow of Colors
The Maine Coon comes in a rainbow of colors. The CFA standard allows most colors and patterns, including tortoise and parti-colors, with the exception of pointed patterns.
Add lynx ear tufts and an endearing chirping voice, very like young raccoons, and you have a strikingly beautiful but solid and robust cat, perfectly fitting to Maine's extreme climatic conditions.
Although named after the raccoon, contrary to popular folklore, the Maine Coon cat is not the result of a cat breeding with a raccoon; more likely is the story of a cross between an American domestic cat and a long-haired cat (possibly an Angora), brought by ship from Europe.
A full-grown Maine Coon can be an armful; males can reach as much as 25 pounds, females somewhat less, although the average is 12 to 15 pounds for males and 9 to 12 pounds for females. On average, it takes three to four years for the "Coon" to reach its full size. It's sweet disposition and large size combine fittingly for the Coon's nickname, "Gentle Giant."
Whether you intend to show or breed your Maine Coon, or just want a pet for your family, your main objective will be to select a healthy, friendly cat with no harmful genetic defects, and the best way to locate one is through a responsible breeder. The Breedlist page is a good place to start, and don't forget the Maine Coon Breeders Directory on this site (see sidebar.)
Profound thanks go to Michael and Julie Spayde, of Koontucky Maine Coons, for permission to use the glorious photos in this article. I greatly appreciate their generosity.
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