Curious – Gentle – Outgoing
Wondering if you could give the perfect home to a Maine Coon? Or maybe you’re just a cat fanatic wanting to learn more about this amazing and playful breed? Whatever your reasons for wanting to learn more about these gentle giants, read our breed guide below to become a Maine Coon master.
Maine Coon Breed Basics:
Average lifespan: 10 to 12 years
Average weight: Male: 5.9 – 8.2 kg, Female: 3.6 – 5.4 kg
Colours: White, black, brown, cream, ginger and blue
A history of the Maine Coon
These playful balls of fluff originate from North America, specifically Maine, hence their name! They were kept outside as farm cats protected by their naturally thick coat from the bitter New England winters.
No official records exist to say where exactly the Maine Coon breed came from, although there are plenty of fun tales surrounding French royalty and English sailors. It is more widely believed that they originated in the UK, as well as having roots in Scandinavia, believed to be brought in by the vikings, due to their resemblance to the Norwegian Forest Cat.
Did you know: It can take up to 5 years for a Maine Coon to mature to adulthood!
Maine Coon temperament & personality
Maine Coons are known as gentle giants who maintain a kitten personality throughout their life. Despite being one of the larger sized cats, they have a surprisingly small voice.
The Maine Coon is most definitely as cuddly and loving as its fluffy exterior has us believe. They love to play and are very affectionate, so if you’re looking for a cat to show you some love when you get home, this is the perfect breed for you.
Maine Coons love to socialise with other people and pets, so they make great additions to a large family, whether human or feline!
There’s definitely a few differences when comparing male Maine Coons to females, with males being a little more sociable and entertaining. The females also love to socialise, but can often seem a little more aloof than their male counterparts.
How to groom a Maine Coon
Maine Coons have beautifully thick, shaggy coats that are waterproof. They shed seasonally losing their thick undercoat in the summer, although some Maine Coons are known to shed all year long.
It’s impossible not to notice just how fluffy Maine Coons are, which means you’ll have to get used to regular grooming sessions with your furry feline friend.
You may have to spend a bit of time getting your Maine Coon used to grooming, as like most cats, they aren’t a fan of being groomed by humans. The younger you acclimatise your kitty to grooming, the easier and more fun it’ll be for the both of you. With a bit of training, you can make this a weekly treat for them.
Maine Coon Grooming Tips
- Opt for a soft bristle brush
- Consistency is key – daily grooming will avoid the hair from matting
- A monthly bathe will help keep the coat in perfect condition
- If you’re uncomfortable clipping their claws, take them to a specialised groomer or your vet will happily do this for you
Although they may hate you for it, a regular bath can also be beneficial to your Maine Coons maintenance. We would suggest keeping this to 1 bath per month. This time is also great for clipping the fur around the paws, as it can become a little cumbersome for them when on the prowl.
Maine Coon’s coats are waterproof so you’ll need to take care to work through the fur when rinsing and pay particular care to drying. We recommend hand drying first to remove as much excess water as possible, followed by a thorough towel dry.
Maine Coon health
Overall, Maine Coons are a pretty durable breed that suffer with minimal health issues, but like most pedigree cats and dogs, they can suffer with a few minor genetic health problems.
As a large breed cat, Maine Coons can suffer from hip dysplasia. It’s not a common issue in most cats and is more often found in large dog breeds. It’s thought that this is because of the size of a Maine Coon, as they can become pretty large felines.
Other things to look out for would be:
- HCM (feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) is a genetic condition where blood flow is restricted to the heart. Symptoms can show from 3 years old and include shortness of breath, a loss of appetite and a weak pulse. HCM can become serious if left untreated. If you suspect your Maine Coon has HCM, take them to the vet for a check-up.
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy – Not life threatening, but it can cause weakness in the muscles which may need treating. Symptoms show at 3-4 months old – look out for an abnormal gate or unsteady posture.
- Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) causes cysts to form on the kidneys which can lead to organ failure. If your Maine Coon inherits this disease, it will require lifelong treatment. As a slow progressing disease, symptoms may not show until your kitty is 7 years old. Lookout for lethargy, loss of appetite and subsequent weight loss, vomiting, increased thirst and frequent urination. A common misconception is to feed a low protein diet but what’s key is phosphorus management. If you cat suffers from PKD you need to select a diet that has a low level of phosphorus as the damaged kidney is unable to remove phosphorus from the blood.
A good breeder will have tested for genetic diseases and on a whole, the Maine Coon is a healthy breed, whether purebred or mixed breed, they are pretty sturdy.
Like with any cat, it’s important to keep their gut healthy and their diet filled with nutrition that focuses on quality high animal protein levels. That’s why we advise to start your Maine Coon kitten on our delicious kitten food, then once they reach adulthood, choose between our tasty chicken or salmon cat food.
Are Maine Coons good house cats?
Due to the Maine Coons fairly laid back personality, they can be kept as either indoor or outdoor cats. Many Maine Coon owners prefer to keep them indoors however, as they are a very coveted breed and they have been known to get stolen when left to go outside alone.
Due to their large size, it’s best to have a fair amount of space in your home for them to roam around. Not only are they big, but they can be strong, so giving them space away from breakables is always a good idea.
With any house cat, it’s important to make sure they get enough exercise and mental stimulation. Maine Coons are very intelligent, so making sure they have enough to keep them occupied whilst indoors is essential.
Are Maine Coons aggressive?
There isn’t an aggressive bone in their body.
Maine Coons are known for their gentle and loving nature, which is why they have become such a popular breed with families and cat owners alike.
Of course every cat can become aggressive if they feel threatened or if they are uncomfortable or feeling a little under the weather. If your Maine Coon does become a little sensitive, it may be a sign of underlying issues, so it’s a good idea to give them a little check up to make sure everything is ok.
Are Maine Coons intelligent?
Maine Coons are very intelligent, which makes them extremely easy to train. Using a clicker, you can easily train your cat, whether it’s for shows or just general housekeeping.
They are so intelligent, that they will soon pick up on your schedule and routine, so if you leave the house at the same time every day, they’ll know about it. If you come home at the same time, they will be ready and waiting when you arrive.
How big do Maine Coons get?
We’ve talked a little about Maine Coons being a large breed of cat, but if you want to know exactly how big they can get, we would recommend reading this article from the Guinness Book of Records. That’s right, the longest cat in the world is currently a Maine Coon and they have won numerous other awards for being giants in the cat world.
How much do Maine Coons cost?
So you’ve reached the end of our breed guide and you’ve decided that a Maine Coon is the perfect addition to your household. It is fair to say you’ve chosen a great breed, but an expensive one.
Pedigree Maine Coon kittens can go for nearly £1000 per kitten, so they are very pricey should you want a pedigree kitty. You may also want to think about the added cost of insurance and consistent grooming.
You can also look at rescue Maine Coons who are looking for a loving home. As this breed is extremely loving and affectionate, it’s always advised to add a rescue Maine Coon to your family. However, it can be tricky to find a rescue Maine Coon as they are so popular!
If you’re looking for a cat that could also double as a small dog, show you love and affection and bring you belly laughs every day, then the Maine Coon is definitely for you. Remember, these felines can be huge, but full of love and extremely fluffy cuddles.