4 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT MAINE COON CATS

Maine Coon Cat Paws

While it’s safe to say every kind of cat is unique in their own way, Maine coon cat paws have several special ways they stand out, with their majestic manes, bushy tails, and large stature. Nicknamed “the gentle giant” of the cat world, they’re known for having a gentle disposition and being very vocal. They’re also known to be relatively easy to train, which makes them easily one of the most popular breeds. There’s plenty more to these magnificent, fluffy creatures, so let’s get to know them! 

MAINE COONS ARE NATIVE TO MAINE.

Maine Coons, as their name suggests, are native to Maine where they’re the official state cat. There are countless competing fun theories as to their ancestral origins and how they ended up in the United States, from the belief that their bushy tails resulted from ancestors of domestic cats mating with raccoons (it’s scientifically impossible) to the theory that they’re descendants from Queen Marie Antoinette’s six favorite Turkish Angoras she had shipped to the U.S. while planning her escape during the French Revolution. Somewhat similar to this idea is the more plausible theory they originated from short-haired domestic cats breeding with long-haired cats brought over by the Vikings or European sailors in the early 18th century. Genetic testing suggests the Maine Coon is a descendant of both the Norwegian Forest cat and a mysterious extinct domestic breed, so it’s likely the Vikings are responsible. As for how Maine Coons got their names, one theory involves Captain Charles Coon, a British sea captain who kept long-haired cats aboard his ship. When he would dock in New England ports, the cats would mate with local cats, and when long-haired kittens started to appear, they were known as “Coon’s cats.”

Maine Coon Kittens For Sale

Maine Coon Cat Paws

Alongside the Siberian, Ragamuffin, and Ragdoll breeds, Maine Coons are some of the largest domesticated cats—leading to some even being mistaken for bobcats! Males can weigh up to a whopping 18 pounds, while females weigh in at between eight and 12 pounds. They can reach lengths of up to 48 inches, including their tail. Interestingly, while most cats take approximately a year to physically mature, Maine Coons typically only reach their full size when they are three to five years old. 

MANY MAINE COONS HAVE SIX TOES.

Most cats have 18 toes; five on their front paws and four on their back ones; but some cats have an extra digit or two—they’re known as polydactyl cats. Experts estimate as many as 40% of early Maine Coons were polydactyls, which some people said helped the cats use their paws as “natural snowshoes” during snowy Maine winters. Although the mutation can spontaneously arise within any cat population, the trait is most common in the eastern U.S. and Canada, as well as England. This is believed to be attributed to the popularity of polydactyl cats on ships; sailors thought they were good luck and that their extra toes provided them better balance on the high seas—and allegedly gave them superior mouser capabilities. 

UNLIKE MOST CATS, MAINE COONS LOVE WATER.

One of the most well-known and unusual characteristics of Maine Coons is their affinity for water. Perhaps it’s due to the quality of their thick, partially water-resistant coats, which are longer on the stomach, ruff, and flanks and help keep their lower body warm when they sit or walk across snow or ice, giving them an advantage in the cold winter months. This could also be why they are fearless when it comes to being wet. Their coats also don’t mat as easily as other long-haired cats due to their shorter undercoat. 

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