Cat breeds: Maine Coon

Cat breeds: Maine Coon

FIFe classification and history

Country of origin: United States.

The name derives from the state of origin (Maine) and from the abbreviation of racoon, English name of the teddy bear or raccoon, a nice North American mammal with a long and hairy tail very similar to the cats of this breed. The ancestors of these cats probably arrived aboard merchant ships from England (specimens of Angora or progenitors of the Persians) or from Scandinavia (Norwegian forest cat), and then crossed with local short-haired cats giving rise to this new semi-haired breed -long. Present at dog shows organized in the New Continent as early as 1895, they subsequently went through a period of oblivion, supplanted by the Persians who had been introduced by the British. They continued to be appreciated in the state of Maine, both as pets and as mouse hunters. In 1951 the Central Maine Cat Club was founded, the first breed club, which began organizing exhibitions. Thanks to this new impulse, Maine began to be appreciated again in Europe, particularly in Germany. The standards were set later (in 1967) and the breed was officially recognized by the main feline associations in the late seventies of the twentieth century. Today it is a highly appreciated and bred breed, also in Italy.

General aspect

Adult males weigh 7 kg, but can reach ten kilos. The peculiar characteristics of the Maine Coon breed are the long and hairy tail and the ears adorned with showy tufts. They are bred only in the original colors, and never - as happens in the Siamese - in colors obtained from skilful crossbreeds. During winter the hair is longer and richer than in summer, but the hair on the tail is always long and flowing. The puppies have small semi-long hair, even if the maximum development of the hair is reached at almost two years. It develops slowly and reaches full maturity at three years.

Maine Coon cat (photo Enrico Benvenuti


Cheerful, affectionate and friendly, they love company and also live well with the dog if used to puppies. They adapt well to living in the apartment but need adequate space for play and movement. Curious and lively even as adults, they love to climb and move and, if you do not have outdoor spaces, they need a structure on which to vent their liveliness. They love pampering and do not disdain the weekly treatments to keep the hair in order. They meow only to attract the master's attention.


Despite the length of the hair, Maine does not require special care. One brushing per week with a natural horsehair brush or a delicately used wide-tooth comb is sufficient. The wetsuit is abundant and in these periods greater care is advisable, to prevent the animal, by licking itself, ingests too many dead hairs. Gently use a glove or brush with rubber teeth. The ears must be cleaned only if necessary with a specific product: after applying a few drops and gently massaging the auricle, remove the product with a damp cloth. The nails can be blunted with special scissors.

Maine Coon cat (website photo)

Variety of color

Maine Coons are selected in natural colors and can be of a large number of different colors and types of coat: black, blue, red, cream, with white spots, brindle or silver undercoat. In the selection, the color is of secondary importance with respect to the length and type of hair. The most common coats are: classic black tabby and striped black tabby with white spots even very large. The eyes can be green, yellow-green, bronze, unequal and, rarely, blue.

Maine Coon cat (photo Enrico Benvenuti


Category: Semi-long hair.
Average male weight: 7 kg, but also up to 10 kg.
Body: muscular and long.
Head: medium, with high cheekbones, robust chin in line with the nose and upper lip.
Ears: large and wide at the base; high on the skull, they are rather spaced and pointed; they are equipped with tufts of hair that emerge from the auricle; the best subjects have tufts of hair on the tip (lynx tufts).
Eyes: large, slightly oval and oblique.
Limbs: robust, medium length, with large legs and with tufts of hair between the toes.
Tail: long and hairy; stretched reaches at least the base of the neck.
Hair: thick and half-long; more developed on the belly, on the sides and, in the best specimens, in the chinstrap. The hair is softer in the specimens carrying the non-agouti gene, the silver factor (i.e. with the base of the hair lighter) or in those with a diluted color (i.e. those whose coat color is a lighter variant of the base color) .
Faults: small size, slender appearance, small ears, straight profile with round or pointed muzzle.

The Maine Coon cat

Martine Allain - De Vecchi Edizioni - June 2008

The maine coon is truly a large, imposing and regal cat. It has a majestic bearing, high head and long, thick tail. Of a peaceful disposition and with a jovial character, he is very curious ...
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Video: Maine Coon. Reportage für Kinder. Anna und die Haustiere (October 2021).