The New World Cat
From yesterday to today
The origin of the Maine Coon joins the wake of the first boats of European settlers docking on the American coasts with, in their holds, traveling cats, some of them long-haired. Some of the little cats that have escaped ashore and left to their own devices will owe their survival to their ability to adapt to the winter climate of Maine. They developed almost waterproof fur, powerful muscles and a strong hunter's jaw. In the 1860s, farmers in Maine began to present their finest subjects during agricultural shows. Shortly after, the Maine Coon caused a sensation during the first cat shows in the USA. The success was however short-lived when the Persians arrived from England, who seemed much more exotic. It was not until 1950 that breeders began to take an interest in him again by founding the first breed club. The Maine Coon was recognized in 1976 by the Cat Fancier Association (CFA), the largest American feline club and its success has never wavered since.
Considered the most imposing of domestic cats, the Maine Coon is a medium-long haired cat, with a rectangular body and powerful musculature. The males are notably larger than the females. The head is medium in size with a strong square muzzle well set off from the cheekbones and large ears carried high on the head. Lynx plumes are sought after. The eyes are almost round when the cat is attentive. The legs are strong and of medium height which reinforces the rectangular aspect of the body. The tail is long and well supplied. The fur, shorter on the shoulders, gradually lengthens on the sides. At the beginning of American breeding, only brown tabby cats were allowed to bear the name of Maine Coon, the other cats only being entitled to the name of Maine Shag (shag meaning "bushy"). Today, many dresses are accepted.
The Maine Coon is a perfect companion cat who gets along very well with children. Despite his imposing size, he is perfectly suited to living in an apartment provided he has been used to it from an early age. Its rustic fur requires minimal maintenance, weekly brushing is sufficient in most cases.