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Maine Coon FAQ
One of the oldest natural breeds in North America, the Maine Coon is actually considered to be a native of Maine (and is the Maine state cat). Maine Coons were well established more than a century ago as a hardy, natural breed of domestic cat, well equipped to survive the hostile New England winters. With their long fur, fluffy tails, and big "snowshoe" paws, this isn't difficult to believe.
The Maine Coon is a medium-to-longhaired cat with heavy, water-resistant fur. The fur is longer on the ruff, stomach and britches and shorter on the back and neck. Maine Coons have long bushy tails; big, round, tufted paws; large eyes and ears (well "furnished" with hairs to keep them warm); a squarish muzzle.
Maine Coons develop slowly, and don't achieve their full size until they are three to five years old. Their dispositions remain kittenish throughout their lives; they are big, gentle, good-natured goofs. Even their voices set them apart from other cats; they have a distinctive, chirping trill which they use for everything from courting to cajoling their people into playing with them. (Maine Coons love to play, and many will joyfully retrieve small items.) They rarely meow, and when they do, that soft, tiny voice doesn't fit their size!
While Maine Coons are highly people-oriented cats, they are not overly-dependent. They do not constantly pester you for attention, but prefer to "hang out" with their owners, investigating whatever activity you're involved in and "helping" when they can. They are not, as a general rule, known as "lap cats" but as with any personality trait there are a few Maine Coons that prefer laps. Most Maine Coons will stay close by, probably occupying the chair next to yours instead. Maines will follow you from room to room and wait outside a closed door for you to emerge.
For more information about Maine Coons, see our essay, What is a Maine Coon?, as well as the following useful references: