8 Larger Than Life Facts About Maine Coons April 16 2019, 10 Comments
With monikers ranging from "gentle giants" to "the dogs of the cat world," Maine Coon cats are one of the most popular domestic cat breeds in the US. Maine Coons are known for their big personalities - and even bigger sizes! Here are eight fascinating facts about the lovable, larger-than-life Maine Coon cat!
1. They’re one of the largest domestic cat breeds.
Larger Maine Coons can actually overlap in length with wild cats like Eurasian lynxes and bobcats. In the US, some people have actually mistaken Maine Coon cats for bobcats - that’s how large they can get! Maine Coons can weigh anywhere from 9 to 16 pounds for females, and 13 to 18 pounds for males.
2. They’re surrounded by legends.
The origins of the Maine Coon breed are surrounded by conjecture and legends. One popular origin story for this fluffy breed is linked to their brown coats and bushy, striped tail: that semi-wild domesticated cats mated with raccoons. While this is a scientifically unsound theory, it’s still entertaining!
Another theory is that these longhaired felines are descended from six “royal” cats that Queen Marie Antoinette shipped to Wiscasset, Maine. It is rumored Marie Antoinette was planning her escape from France during the French Revolution and had her cats shipped ahead of her, planning to follow suit.
3. They’re likely descended from Viking Cats.
Perhaps the most plausible origin story, though, is that Maine Coons may be descended from cats brought over to the Americas by Vikings, or later European sailors who docked at ports in 1700s New England. Genetic testing has indicated that Maine Coon cats are descendants of Norwegian Forest Cats and a mysterious, now-extinct domestic cat. As the Viking used Norwegian Forest Cats on their ships as mousers, it’s a likely theory!
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4. They come with built-in snowshoes.
These cats were built for survival in a winter wonderland! Their thick, water-repellent coats make for great insulation and retaining body heat. And thanks to their big, fluffy paws that act like built-in snowshoes, Maine Coons can more easily traipse through the snow instead of sinking. Their long fur also grows shorter on the shoulder, allowing them to run and jump through wooded areas without getting stuck in branches or bushes.
5. They’re the “Dogs of the Cat World”
As a breed, Maine Coon cats tend to be highly social and seek out human interaction. They’re known for being friendly, playful, loyal, displaying some of the more common dog-associated traits.
6. They Actually Like Water
Whether it’s due to their thick, water-repellent coats or their canine-like nature, many Maine Coon cats tend to be fond of water. Many Maine Coon owners report their fluffy felines playing in water bowls or trying to turn the faucet on in the sink.
7. Winners of the First American Cat Show
It’s debated when the first officially official cat show was held, but one of the first well-known American cat shows was held in New York City in 1895, located in Madison Square Garden. The winner was a brown tabby Maine Coon cat named Cosey, who belonged to Mrs. E. N. Barker. The silver collar and medal that Cosey wore at the show are still on display at the Cat Fanciers Association headquarters!
8. They’re record-holders.
Maine Coos once held the record for the World’s Longest Cat and the World’s Oldest Cat! Stewie, an 8-year-old Maine Coon was the world’s longest cat, measuring 48.5 inches from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail bone.
The title of World’s Oldest Cat belonged to Corduroy, who was technically only half Maine Coon!