Maine Coon

breed of domestic cat

The Maine Coon is the biggest cat breed used as a pet. It has a unique look and good hunting skills. It is one of the oldest natural breeds in North America. It is native to the state of Maine,[3] where it is the official state cat.

Maine Coon
A Maine Coon in the snow
Other namesCoon Cat
Maine Cat
Maine Shag

American Longhair[1]
American Coon Cat
American Forest Cat[2]
Common nicknamesGentle giants
OriginUnited States Maine, United States
Breed standards
Domestic cat (Felis catus)

Nobody knows for sure how the Maine Coon got to the United States, so there are many different ideas. The breed was popular in cat shows in the late 19th century. It almost became extinct in the early 20th century because of long-haired breeds being more popular. The Maine Coon became more popular in the 1970s. It is now one of the most popular cat breeds in the USA.[source?]

The Maine Coon is a large and friendly cat. This is how it got its nickname, "the gentle giant".[4] It is known for having a big ruff along its chest, robust bone structure, rectangular body shape, an uneven two layered coat, and a long, bushy tail. The breed can be many different colors. If a Maine Coon is chocolate or lilac colored, it could be a crossbreed. People often say the Maine Coon is similar to dogs.[5][4] Because the cat is so big, professionals have seen certain health problems that Maine Coons get. Some of these are feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and hip dysplasia. Many breeders do things to make these problems happen less.


  1. Desmond Morris (10 May 1999). Cat breeds of the world: a complete illustrated encyclopedia. Viking. p. 90. ISBN 9780670886395. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  2. "Maine Coon Cats". Animal-World.
  3. "Breed Information". Maine Coon Breeders & Fanciers Association. Retrieved 26 October 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Maine Coon Synopsis". American Cat Fanciers Association. Archived from the original on 25 October 2019. Retrieved 26 October 2008.
  5. Robins, Sandy. "Training Day". Popular Cats Series. 2. BowTie Magazines: 118–125.