Maine Coon Cat Breed Profile

Maine Coon

How would you like an in depth look at the Maine Coon cat breed profile from an expert?

You've always been attracted to Maine Coon cats and just want to make sure the breed is right for you before finding a kitten.

You have a few questions, maybe even a few concerns . . .


So as a GCCF Maine Coon cat judge I am sure I can help.

Let me introduce you to the wonderful Maine Coon cat breed.

Introducing Maine Coon Cats

The Maine Coon cat is one of the largest breeds of domesticated cat in the world and is often referred to as the gentle giant of the cat world.

They are a semi longhair sturdy cat of rugged outdoor appearance originating from the American state of Maine. Evolving as domesticated, working farm cats they are big strong muscular cats with waterproof coats, very long plumed tails and the look of an alert and expert hunter.

Maine Coon Cat History

Originating from the state of Maine in America it is easy to see where they get the first part of their name from. Nobody really knows 100% where the second part of the name, Coon, originates from.

It was said that they originated from matings between domestic tabby cats and raccoons. Probably due to their long plumed tails and the most common colour of a Maine Coon being a ‘raccoon like’ brown tabby. However we now of course know this to be genetically impossible.

Another theory was that they are descended from six cats sent to Wiscasset, Maine by Marie Antionette when she was planning to escape from France during the French Revolution.

However most breeders today believe they probably originated from domesticated shorthairs already resident in America and longhairs such as Angoras brought over by New England seamen and even cats brought over with the Vikings.

The Maine Coons arrived in UK in 1984 and are now one of the most popular breeds of cat. 

Maine Coon Cat Description

Maine Coons are a very large well boned cat with a broad chest and a long rectangular body. They have extremely long well furnished tails that measure at least the length of their torsos. They have large, tall ears that have ear tufts which make them look even taller. They have large eyes which are set in a slightly oblique manner.

They have long flowing, heavy, water-resistant coats that consist of an undercoat covered by a more substantial glossy topcoat. The coat tends to be heavier on the belly, ruff and the breeches.

The Maine Coon cat can be found in wide variety of colours and patterns including tabby (with and without silver), selfs and non-selfs, shaded and smoke. Maine Coons can also be found in white and bicolour.

They can have green, gold or copper eye colour with blue and odd eyed also found in the white and bicolours.

Tabby patterns can be found in classic tabby, spotted tabby, mackeral and ticked however some registries do not allow mackeral and ticked to be shown. Chocolate, lilac and Siamese points are not allowed.

Interesting Maine Coon Facts

Maine Coons don’t typically 'meow' instead they chirp and trill (sounds like a mixture of a meow and a purr).

The first ever American cat show held in New York City in 1895 was won by a brown tabby Maine Coon cat named Cosey,

Personality of Maine Coon Cats

Maine Coons are a very friendly breed who fit in well with other cat households, cope well with dogs and are very good with children. They are very happy to have a cuddle and a fuss from anyone in the house but will probably form a special bond with one special owner.

Maine Coon cats and kittens are noted as being very dog like; loyal and devoted, they can easily be taught to play fetch, open doors and walk on a lead.

Maine Coons love water, whether it be drinking, playing in or even swimming in.

Not known for being particularly vocal but rather for the chirruping noise they make when they do decide to talk. A difficult sound to describe but safe to say once heard you will know exactly what is meant by chirruping.

GCCF cat judge Ross Davies

Ross Davies

"Maine Coon cats are very laid-back and are the perfect choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs."

Grooming & General Care

You will probably find that some gentle combing once or twice  a week is probably all that is needed to groom your Maine Coon. Keep an eye on the tail and britches as these are prime locations for remnants from the litter tray. They have two layers to their coats, do not neglect the softer undercoat as this can easily matt if ignored. Gently comb your cat with cat brush or comb that works well for you and your cat. Try and establish a routine with your cat, this should not be difficult as the Maine Coon loves a fuss.

Removing the dead hair will help prevent any matting but if you do have a Maine Coon with knots or matting then please take care when trying to get them out. Always comb the matted area at the tip of the hair first and work your way backwards towards the skin, this will limit any discomfort for your cat. Another good tip when trying to remove a matted area from your cats coat is to firmly hold the base of clump of hair that is matted while you comb it out, this will reduce the tugging on the skin.

Health of Maine Coon Cats

There are varying degrees of inherited health issues and just like every other breed, the Maine Coon cat does have a couple of potential health problems to be aware of.

  • Hypertrophic Cardimyopathy (HCM) is a form of heart disease that can be inherited in Maine Coons.
  • Hip dysplasia, is another common Maine Coon cat health problems, is a genetic defect where the hip joint develops abnormally. In severe cases it can cause lameness.
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease, or PKD, is a genetic disease in Maine Coon cats where small cysts in the kidneys can develop. It can result in renal failure.
  • Spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disorder that affects skeletal muscles of the trunk and limbs.

Maine Coon Cat Gallery

Below are some Maine Coon cat pictures, please feel free to contact us if you would like to contribute any photos of your own Maine Coon cats and kittens, we would love to include them!

Commonly Asked Questions

Click the questions to reveal the answers...

How long do Maine Coon cats live?

How much grooming do Maine Coons require?

Do they get on well with other animals?

Are Maine Coons intelligent?

Are Maine Coons cat hypoallergenic?

Useful Resources

Here are a few of the most useful resources I am happy to recommend.


About the author

Ross writes extensively about cats and kittens and has been featured in magazines such as Your Cat and Our Cats and has also guest authored on newsletters for various cat organisations. He is also a guest speaker at cat seminars.

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