Monday, March 2, 2015

Characteristics Of A Maine Coon

A Maine coon with calico coloring

The Maine coon is a feline breed native to North America, with unknown ancestral roots. Its origin in the United States is predominant in Maine, where it is officially the state cat. It is one of the most popular and physically largest breeds of domestic cat worldwide, known for its size, rectangular shape and lengthy coat.


Characteristically, Maine coons have a large bone structure and do not reach full size until the ages of 3 to 5. Adult males weigh an average of 13 to 20 lbs., while adult females typically weigh between 7 and 12 lbs. An adult can grow as tall as 16 inches and up to 40 inches in length, including the tail. The largest Maine coon on record is a purebred male that weighs 35 lbs. and measures 48 inches long.

Coat and Coloring

Maine coons range from long-haired to medium-haired, but usually have long, flowing fur on the stomach and sides. They are most commonly brown in color with tabby markings. However, they can have any coloring other cats have, except colors that indicate crossbreeding. The coloring of a Siamese is also not a breed standard for the Maine coon. Much like their coat coloring, the eye color of Maine coons varies widely. They may have green, gold, green-gold or blue eyes.


Maine coons are gentle and affectionate pets. They are loyal to those they know and mildly tentative around strangers, yet never aggressive. Their tranquil disposition makes them relaxed toward other cats, children and even dogs. They have above-average intelligence and remain playful throughout their lives. Unlike the stereotypical cat, many Maine coons possess a curious interest in water.


While the Maine coon is a healthy breed in general, they are still susceptible to the same genetic diseases as other cats. The greatest medical threat is feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which may cause heart failure, paralysis of the hind legs or sudden death. Another potential ailment is spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), which can usually be detected by the time the animal is 3 to 4 months old. This disease can lead to muscle weakness, muscle atrophy and premature death. Hip dysplasia, a hip joint dysfunction that can cripple the animal or result in arthritis, is another illness to be wary of, though meticulous screening has helped wipe the breed clean of the disorder. Lastly, polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is an incurable hereditary ailment with symptoms occurring around 7 years of age. This disease leads to irreversible renal failure.

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