Maine Coon cats are among the most popular breeds in the world and a frequent topic in cat-related discussions. These large, long-haired cats are top of the list of cats that invite awe and wonder.
The most obvious unique aspect is their size, as they are one of the world’s three largest breeds of domestic cats. But there is a lot more to the breed than just heft. Here’s a list of 27 interesting facts about Maine Coon cats.
27 Interesting Facts About Maine Coon Cats
Any of the facts below are worth starting a conversation about the Maine Coon cat. For a breed that was once on the edge of extinction, the fact that we still have them around today is indeed a gift to all cat-lovers.
1. Maine Coons are Extremely Popular
Maine Coons have become one of the most popular cats to own in the United States. While some fans claim they might be the most popular, it’s probably more accurate to say that they rank among the top three most sought-after breeds.
2. The World’s Longest Cat
According to at least one source, the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s longest domestic cat was a Maine Coon. His name was Stewie, and he measured 48.5 inches. Stewie died in 2013. As far as anyone knows, the world’s longest cat today is still a Maine Coon, measuring 47 inches.
3. They Also Have Long Tails
Part of the phenomenon of the long cat involves the tail. Maine Coons have particularly long tails when compared to other cats. An average large cat usually measures around 12 inches in the tail. A Maine Coon averages around 16 inches.
4. Maine Coons Don’t Like Heights
Most cats like to climb things and get the best possible view of their territory. Maine Coons continue to defy expectation by being the complete opposite. Observation suggests that, unlike other cats, they prefer to stay low to the ground and generally do not like getting into high places.
5. That Doesn’t Mean They Hate Climbing
Strangely enough, some owners report that their Maine Coons like to climb. In many cases, though, they’re not particularly good at it. Why do you have some success with acquiring a good cat tree for indoor exercise? Maine Coons only tend to get stuck when climbing trees outdoors.
6. But Maine Coons Love Water
Once again, the Maine Coon defies all expectations. Cat skin generally swims but hates getting into the water. Maine Coons seem to love water absolutely and will often play in puddles or even jump into bodies of water to swim. It appears they don’t mind getting wet partly because they have thick coats of fur to protect them from the sensation. On the other hand, they may just like it.
7. More About The Thick Coat
Speaking of thick coats, Maine Coons have thick fur coats that trap heat and are water resistant. These cats originate from frigid climates, and so they have evolved to be able to stand snowy winters and sometimes icy conditions. They even have extra fur and hair on their paws in places where other cats do not.
8. Maine Coons Are Playful
While most breeds of cats are playful as kittens, they become independent as time passes. Maine Coons are different. They seem to retain their playfulness well into adulthood. They love to interact with people and other animals and will always be up for a game. They even learn tricks and can be taught to walk on a leash.
9. Meat Is All They Need
As with most cats, Maine Coons are meat eaters. Almost everything they need to survive is contained in meat or meat-based products. So be sure to treat your pet with cat food that includes lots of protein. You can even find specific formulations specially made for Maine Coons.
10. Maine Coons Are Large
An average adult domestic cat grows to a height of around 9 or 10 inches. Maine Coons have been known to stand 16 inches tall. That’s nearly one-and-a-half times the average cat’s height.
11. Maine Coons Are Heavy
We all know that Maine Coons are large. They are, in fact, one of the largest domestic cat breeds in the world. Females are smaller, weighing between 10 and 12 pounds on average. A male can be much more extensive and top the scale at 25 pounds. In comparison, the average domestic cat is somewhere between 8 and 10 pounds.
12. Early Honors
Maine Coon was one of America’s earliest feline celebrities. In 1895, a Maine Coon tabby mix placed first in a prestigious Cat Show in New York. It won the best cat award, the medal for which is on display today at the Cat Fanciers’ Association headquarters in Ohio.
13. Some Maine Coons Are Polydactyl
As if Maine Coon cats weren’t strange enough, some are born polydactyl. This means that they have an extra toe on their foot. A cat with six toes may seem strange but it could be related to mutation connected to the snowy environment.
Some breeders consider it undesirable and try to breed it out, but it has no notable negative medical impact. The cat is otherwise completely normal.
14. Maine Coon Paws Are Special Anyway
Maine Coons have large paws compared to most other cats. It is thought that the pores act as snowshoes when they are in snowy climates. They come from cold environments originally, so that makes evolutionary sense.
15. A Maine Coon Was Once the Guinness Record Holder
According to the Guinness Book of Records, the oldest living feline in 2015 was part Maine Coon. Corduroy was said to be 27 years old at the time.
16. Maine Coons Do Actually Live Fairly Long Lives
Corduroy lived an unusually long life. Most healthy cats live an average of between 10 and 12 years. Maine Coons are much the same but seem to show an increased likelihood to live past ten years, and closer to 15 on average.
17. They Can Be Expensive To Purchase
Maine Coons can be expensive when purchased from breeders. It is not uncommon to see a price of $1,000 for a Maine Coon kitten. These prices can be even higher if the cat has rainbow colors. Listings have been noted for more than $2,000.
18. A Maine Coon Was Cloned
The owner of a Maine Coon in Texas was heartbroken when her former cat died at 17 years old. She paid $50,000 to clone her cat and named the new version Little Nicky.
19. It is the Dog of Cats
Amusingly, the personality of a Maine Coon resembles that of a dog more than a conventional cat’s. What other cat do you know that can be taught to play fetch, walk on a leash, or do tricks?
20. They Can Run Pretty Quickly
Maine Coons can move at an impressive speed of 25 mph. While they can’t maintain the speed for very long, it is still exceptionally quick for such a large domestic cat. Keeping them active is a good idea as they do have lots of playful energy to spare.
21. Their Origins Are Surrounded In Mystery
There are lots of interesting stories that claim to be the origins of Maine Coons. In general, the breed is thought to originate from Maine in the United States. It is believed that long-haired cats bred with short hairs, eventually resulting in the emergence of the Maine Coon breed. But the origin of the long-haired cats is in dispute.
Some say the cats arrived via Viking exploration. Others allege that long-haired cats were brought to the US as Marie Antoinette’s pets. While the Queen herself never made the journey, the cats were said to have been aboard a cargo ship sent ahead of her escape from revolutionary France.
22. They Were Working Cats
We know these cats were employed as vermin control in the early days. They may also have been welcomed by fishermen in the New England area for this purpose. This might also explain why they love water, as they would associate boats with rewards.
23. Some Origin Stories Are Less Likely
The mystery surrounding the breed’s origin is fascinating, but some stories are just too wild to entertain. One early message stated that the cat was part raccoon. This seems biologically implausible. Other stories insist that the cat may be part American bobcat. Again, this would seem unlikely as bobcats and domestic cats would not seem to be interested in breeding with each other.
24. Maine Coons Are Almost Extinct
Although they initially enjoyed some popularity in the North East, Maine Coons fell out of favor in the early 20th century. Their numbers dwindled to near extinction until targeted efforts to try to save the breed. The surge in popularity makes them one of the most popular cat breeds in the US and the world today.
25. It Is The Official Cat Of Maine
Part of those efforts involved naming it the official cat of Maine in the United States. The noble cat was named such in 1985.
26. They Don’t Meow Like A Cat
Maine Coons can meow but do so less frequently than other cats. Instead, they employ several different vocalizations, including chirps and trills. They are very talkative and often seem to be discussing things with you. Most of the time, it’s just telling you what they want.
27. They Come In Dozens Of Colors
It is estimated that Maine Coons come in 75 possible coat colors and patterns. The rare combinations tend to be the most sought-after and most expensive.
Besides their coat colors, Maine Coons also have a wide range of eye colors, including green, orange, calico, copper, blue, and gold. Some even have eyes with different colors, displaying a form of heterochromia.