A Brief History Maine Coon Cats
Maine coons are the only true American breed of cat. While theres no real certainty of how they evolved, there are a few theories. A very strange one thats completely impossible, is that a racoon mated with a domestic cat. As we all know, mating between two completely different species cant happen! Another theory is the mating between a bobcat and domestic cat.
Actually, bobcats have physical similarities to maine coons. Their large tufted ears look almost the same, and both have thick fur and large feet. Other theories suggest sailors bought over norwegian forest cats on their sea crossings. This is quite plausible, as both are giants of the cat world and fairly similar in appearance.
Also, a sea captain named Coon, was allegedly said to have a love of persian and angora cats. He took his cats with him on long voyages from England to America, and the tale goes while he went ashore chasing women, his cats followed suit!
During the late 1800s, maine coons were often shown at agricultural fairs up and down the country. Sadly, their popularity died as persian cats were introduced. However, one breeder in particular kept the maine coon breed alive, preventing them from dying out.
In the mid 50s the maine coon cat club was formed, and is still widely popular today. It wasnt until the 1980s though that maine coons were imported into the UK. Strict quarantine laws put many off the idea.
Why Are Maine Coon Cats So Big Compared To Normal Cats
As one of the oldest natural cat breeds in America, this popular cats history will likely remain shrouded in mystery and intrigue, forever.
Whilst many have tried to explain why the Maine Coon cat is genetically so much bigger than a normal cat, ultimately no one has the answer to this long-standing puzzle because, without categorical evidence, the Maine Coons lineage remains a mystery.
Folklore myths claim to hold the answer to a Maine Coons size. However, whilst many stories have been linked to this large cat breed over the years, only three myths have really stood the test of time. Could these myths hold the key to this mysterious breed? You decide.
The three key folklore myths relate to:
I shall briefly cover each of these myths so that you can assess for yourself whether they can account for why the Maine Coon cat is so much larger than normal cat breeds.
C Estimating Future Size
One quick way of estimating the adult size of your Maine Coon kitten, is by looking at the size of their paws. If they are quite big paws, remember that a purebred Maine Coon will ultimately grow into an equally proportioned adult cat. Therefore, if the paws still look big as your cat ages, there is likely quite a bit more growth to be expected!
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Should You Change The Diet As Your Maine Coon Gets Older
Most cat parents say that they change their cats diet into a lower calorie one once they reach the age of two years. You should make sure to adjust the nutritious needs of your cat according to their needs, activity level and age.
Its highly recommended to always check with your vet whether you should change your cats diet or not. If so what is the proper diet they should follow? How to make sure your cat receives sufficient intakes of proteins and vitamins so that they maintain a good weight, stay healthy and active.
Why Are Maine Coons So Large
If youve never seen a Maine Coon, you might be surprised at how big this breed can get. Females typically weigh up to 12 pounds, while males are a bit heavier at 15-18 pounds. Nose to tail, they can be over 3 feet long. But why are they so much bigger than the average domestic cat breed?
One reason the Maine Coon is so large is that these cats mature more slowly than other cat breeds. This allows their overall bone structure and muscles to grow larger. Their environment also has something to do with it. As natives of Maine, their natural environment is very cold for much of the year. Their larger body mass helps them retain more body heat.
Perhaps the best answer for why Maine Coons are so big, however, is because they were bred that way! Larger Maine Coon cats are bred together because their massive size is impressive and unique. In cat shows, the large size of the Maine Coon is one part of the breed standard, so breeders are incentivized to produce larger cats.
They are quite large cats on average, however, some Maine Coons are even bigger! Now that you know a bit more about Maine Coons, we will feature some of the largest Maine Coons from around the world.
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Maine Coon Size Compared To A Dog
Chelle and I have a neighbor with 2 Pomeranians, and 1 neighbor with a bulldog of some sort.
Sometimes, we are lounging in the hallway around the same time, and I get a chance to compare my Maine Coons size to the 2 smaller dogs.
First, the two Pomeranians put together would not equal the Maine Coon, in height or weight!
Maine Coons are much bigger than varieties of small or toy dogs Corgis, Terriers, Dachschund, Papillions, you get the idea.
Funny story about the two Chihuahuas that breed of dog is known for being full of attitude and spunk.
And despite my Maine Coon being about twice the size of them, their fire and buzzing energy turn my normally calm Maine Coon in to a cautious scaredy-cat.
Second, if we compared my 14 pound Maine Coon to the bulldog, they are almost the same size, though the dog is heavier.
If youve owned dogs, just understand that a Maine Coon is about the same size as a small medium size dog. But one thing isnt the same
The reaction from friends or family seeing your average 18 pound Maine Coon cat is about a million times more fun!
Maine Coon Tabby Mix Orange
Some of the most remarkable cats out there are of mixed breeds. Take this Maine Coon tabby mix orange, for example. If you see him, youll be sure to remember him. The body of this purebred Maine Coon is well proportioned, and the head is large and strong. The color is orange with copper-tipped tabby markings, and the coat is soft and dense.
This healthy Maine Coon tabby mix is orange, but also has fur which resembles the texture of a tabby. Since they are part of the Maine Coon family, this orange tabby kitty is playful and social. They are an active cat that enjoys playing with their humans, either by using their paws, playfully grabbing something with their mouth, or running around the house.
The Maine Coon tabby mix orange cats are considered to be one of the most exotic cat breeds out there. Their beautiful coloring makes them a pleasure to have in your home, and also makes them a beautiful choice of a pet. Their outgoing personality is a huge plus for any family that would love to have one of these orange tabby kitties as part of their family.
The Maine Coon tabby mix could look either orange or black based on its fur, with the orange fur being much more common. However, if the color of your Maine Coon tabby mix is orange, you have every right to be proud. This type of cat has a personality that will leave you in awe. If you are looking for a friendly, adventurous cat that can entertain you with its antics, then this is the cat for you.
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Average Weight Of A Regular Housecat
So, how heavy is a regular house cat then? Well, some of them are actually heavier than smaller Maine Coon specimens. The average male cat weighs 9-10 pounds. Since male Maine Coons are 12-18 pounds on average, they have a distinct weight advantage.
But things change a bit when we take a look at the average female cat, which generally weighs 8-9 pounds. Remember, the average female Coon weighs 8-12 pounds, which means that the largest normal female cats are about the same weight as some of the smaller Maine Coon females. In fact, the largest female Coons are even heavier than the largest of the average normal male cats, showing just how sizable this breed really is.
What Is The Personality Of A Maine Coon Cat
Now you know the answer to how big do maine coon cats get? youll want to know a little bit about their personality. Despite their enormous size, maine coons are very gentle, and make ideal pets if you have children. In fact, you may find your big kitty keeping a watchful eye on your little ones!
These gentle giants make wonderful playmates for young children, and their kind, sweet nature means theyll join in all their games! Maine coons are inquisitive and highly intelligent cats. They love being around children, so you need never worry about introducing your kitty to a new baby.
Many maine coon owners say how dog like they are. Their loyal, loving nature is a characteristic that sets them apart from other more aloof kitties! Its likely youll be greeted by your cat on your return home, and may even play a game of fetch!
In general male cats tend to be more loving and outgoing, and maine coons are no exception. You can expect your maine coon kitty to be highly entertaining and have you in fits of laughter.
These fun loving companions seek out playmates and will respond to anyone who gives attention. This is why children get on so well with them. Females are also loving, but in my experience of cats, males often have the edge over females.
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They Like To Play With Water
Some experts believe that this trait came to Maine Coons from their distant ancestors ship cats, who used to spend a long time at sea. Many owners claim that their pets move their paws over the water in a funny way, as if making some magic in reality, theyre digging out the water. It is believed that this habit remained at their genetic level from life in the wild, when it was necessary to clear puddles of branches and leaves.
Oftentimes, Maine Coons end up turning over the water bowl and flooding the floor while digging the water. Thats why some owners put a big basket with water in a bathtub for them that is impossible to turn over. When seeing a big bowl with water, our pet likes to dip their paw into it and drink from it, like we would drink from our own hand.
Children And Other Pets
The friendly, laid back Maine Coon is a perfect choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. They love the attention they receive from children who treat them politely and with respect, and they don’t mind playing dress-up or going for a ride in a baby buggy.
They’re happy to live with cat-friendly dogs, too, thanks to their amiable disposition. Introduce pets slowly and in controlled circumstances to ensure that they learn to get along together.
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Vikings Introduced Long Haired Cats
The final and potentially most likely of the three legends relate to the Vikings, who spent much of their time at sea.
It is thought that they kept Norwegian Forest Cats on their ships, to keep their ship mouse population at bay.
According to this folklore, one of these long-haired cats is thought to have mated with a short-haired domestic cat already residing in Maine, United Stated, thus producing the Maine Coon cat breed of today.
This legend has stood the test of time because the Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat have always been considered very similar. Take a look at my article Maine Coon Vs Norwegian Forest Cat: Key Differences article, to see why.
Why Are Maine Coon Cats So Big
The origins of the Maine Coon cat breed are not completely clear, although it is known that they were developed in the state of Maine. There are several theories as to why Maine Coon cats are so big. One is that the earliest Maine Coon cats bred with either raccoons or bobcats and that is responsible for their size. However, this theory is not supported by science or genetics.
Many of the recognizable features of the Maine Coon, like their long, thick coat and extra-large, furry paws, probably developed to help the breed survive the cold winters of Maine. Another theory about why Maine Coon cats are so big relates to the cold as well. It is speculated that Maine Coon cats grew so big to slow the rate that they lost body heat, allowing them to keep warm in the harsh winters. Unfortunately, this theory is also unproven.
Whether genetics, environment, or a mix of both is responsible for the size of Maine Coon cats hasnt been completely answered. What is known is that Maine Coon cats grow much more slowly than other cats.
Normally, cats reach their full adult size at about 1 to 1.5 years old. However, Maine Coon cats may continue to grow up until 3 to 5 years old! This slow growth rate allows their bones and muscles to develop more fully than other cats, which is a big reason that Maine Coons can be larger than normal cats.
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Why Are Maine Coons So Big
I elaborated on this in my big Maine Coons post, so this is will be just summary.
Maine Coons originally are from the great state of Maine, USA.
And before that, their ancestors were probably linked to Northern Europe.
But for all intents and purposes, they are from Maine. Its even their state cat!
Now Maine has harsh, extremely cold winters. But Mother Nature has a trick called Bergmanns Rule.
This principle says:
It holds that within such species body size varies such that individuals occupying colder environments tend to be larger than individuals who live in warmer environments.
The larger the mass, the less quickly heat will dissipate. Thats part of the reason why Maine Coons are this size. Its a survival mechanism.
The second reason? Theyre totally badass!
How Can I Tell If My Tabby Cat Is Mixed With A Maine Coon
Knowing if your cat is a tabby Maine Coon mix can be done by asking the breeder who sold you the cat, or if theres no breeder then simply have a look at the cat itself.
Is it larger than most domestic cats?
Is it exceptionally fluffy?
Does it love to sit in warm places and enjoy being around its master?
There are a few telltale signs that you have a Maine Coon mix.
The Maine Coon is a physically large cat, even a small female would be considered normal size.
They also take several years, up to 5 to properly mature.
Other physical traits include a sturdy back from their fluffy coats and large paws that help them navigate snowy terrains.
Ears on these kitties can also differ depending on what breed was used to make the Maine Coon tabby mix.
Maine Coon ears are very distinctive.
They look like lynx ears with tufts on show.
The fur on a Maine Coon is thick, of medium to long length and often described as silky.
They have a double layered coat, with fluffy undercoats.
Their eyes are often quite large, and wide.
Their face may be a wedge shape.
The personality of a Maine Coon can also be a dead giveaway.
They are very dog like in behavior.
They are loyal, sociable, and love the company of the family.
A Maine Coon will follow you around out of curiosity.
They are overly friendly normally.
If you take a look at the characteristics, personality, and physical nature of a Maine Coon and compare it to your cat, hopefully you might see some similarities.
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The Runt Of The Litter
If youâre curious about the runt of the litter, keep reading.
A runt is a sibling that is considerably smaller or weaker than the other siblings in a litter .
A runt in a litter now faces obvious disadvantages as a result of its tiny size, including problems competing with its siblings for survival and the possibility of rejection by its mother.
As a result, if your Maine Coon cat is the runt of the litter, you should anticipate a slower growth rate than the others.
The last to come is usually the runt, who will always need special care and high-quality food.
These Cats Can Be Too Loud
Many Maine Coon owners claim that the vocal cords of these cats have a special structure and, instead of meowing, they make melodious sounds. Thats not exactly true. These cats are really capable of making melodious sounds, but they can meow like normal cats too. You may end up getting a very talkative Maine Coon, which is why you shouldnt listen to the breeders if you are the one who likes to enjoy silence.
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Neutering Or Spaying Your Maine Coon
When your Maine Coon is 6 to 8 months old, it will reach sexual maturity. They are constantly looking for partners. Even if your cat is an indoor cat, it will look for a partner. This leads to marking the territory and constant meowing from time to time.
Looking for a partner requires a lot of energy. This means that during this time your Maine Coon will not grow very well, because it needs too much energy for meowing, marking the territory, running through your house restlessly and rolling over the floor.
If you decide to spay or neuter your Maine Coon, your Maine Coon will definitely grow quickly after that. When we neutered our Maine Coon, Maze, she immediately became way bigger, way heavier.