History of Pets – Maine Coons

Maine Coons are the gentle giants of the cat world with females growing from around 8-35cm tall, weighing around 4.5-6kg and males 25-40 cm’s tall, reaching around 6-9kg.

Interestingly, the Guinness World Record for world’s longest domestic cat was held by Stewie, an 8-year-old Maine Coon who grew to be 123.19cms from head to tail, fully stretched out.

The Colourful History of the Maine Coon.

Trying to pinpoint the true origins of the Maine Coon is like… well, like trying to herd cats. There is much speculation about how Main Coons came into being.

One legend has it that Captain Charles Coon, an English seaman, kept long-haired cats aboard his ships as a way to control the rodent population. When the Captain’s ship anchored in (Maine) New England, the felines would exit the ship and mate with the local feral cat population. When long-haired kittens began appearing in the local cat population, they supposedly became known as “Coon’s cats”.

Another intriguing theory is that Maine Coons are descended from six of Marie Antoinette’s pet cats that were shipped to Wiscasset, Maine, ahead of an alleged planned escape from France during the revolution. Though, genetic testing indicates that Maine Coons are actually descended from the Norwegian Forest Cat, the Vikings are likely responsible for bringing them to the USA.

One thing is certain though, this feline is not the biologically impossible result of breeding a cat and a raccoon as some stories go. The resemblance to raccoons’ tabby coat and furry ringed tail is however, how these kitties got their name.

Fast feline fact: The first published reference to a Maine Coon was in 1861, about a black and white cat named Captain Jenks of the Horse Marines.

Mannerisms of the Maine Coon.

Like true cool cats, the Maine Coons are good-natured, relaxed and easy going, preferring to stay nearby and hang out rather than needing to be constantly attached to owners. They love their human families, following them around and observing activities – even trying to lend a helping paw where they can. Their laidback and loving personalities make them the perfect choice of pet for families with children.

Maine Coon Maintenance.

These big, sociable softies also need plenty of exercise and enjoy running or playing with toys and puzzles to satisfy their hunter’s instincts.

Speaking of soft, their silky coats come in: solid colours, tabby colours and patterns, bi-colour, tortoiseshell and calico. The Maine Coon’s coat needs regular attention and brushing to avoid tangles and matting.

If you’re looking for a super friendly, sometimes silly, loyal companion who does just as well in a back garden as an apartment, then the Maine Coon is a purr-fect choice.

Like the sound of a Maine Coon? Why not consider adopting from the Maine Coon Rescue and Rehoming South Africa (mcrrsa@gmail.com).

About the Author: Matt Cooper

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