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The Maine Coons were established more than a century ago as a hardy but handsome breed of domestic cat.  One myth as to the origins of this breed was that it came from matings between semi-wild, domestic cats and raccoons.  Their bushy tail and the common brown tabby colouring has bolstered this belief. 

Their beginning – The Maine Coon is one of the oldest naturally occurring breeds in North America.  Nature is not kind-hearted.  It only selects the biggest and the best.  It selects the best fighters and the best hunters to breed successive generations.  The Maine Coon cat is indeed a tall, muscular, big boned cat and if you add a couple of inches of winter coat and he or she looks even bigger. 

 Everything about the Maine Coon points to the fact that is has had to survive in a harsh winter climate.  Its glossy coat is heavy and water resistant.  It is longer on the ruff and stomach and britches to protect against wet and snow.  It is shorter on the back and neck to guard against tangling in the brush. 

Their tail – The long busy tail is distinctive to this breed.  It could be used like a blanket.  It is long enough to wrap around itself around and cover their nose for warmth when they curl up to sleep.  It can protect him from the cold winds and it can also be used as an insulated cushion when sitting down on snow or ice. 

Their ears – The ears are more heavily furred on the outside than other breeds – this is to protect from the cold.  The inside ear furnishings are there to stop dirt etc from getting into them.   Those special lynx tips are to protect the points from frost bite.  Their ears are large to increase hearing and also have a large range of movement to enable hunting and therefore survival. 

Their feet  – are virtual snowshoes – big, rounded and tufted.

Their eyes – are large, round and expressive – Maine Coons have a tendency to ‘stare’.  They can sit very still and watch their prey in the distance for a long time before attacking.  To be in a Maine Coons sights is a daunting feeling. 

Their long square muzzle facilitates the grasping of prey and it also gives them the ability to lap water from running streams and puddles.

Maine Coons develop slowly.  They don’t achieve full size until they are three to four years old. 

Their personalities often don’t seem to match their size.  They remain kittenish thoughout their lives.  They are big, gentle and generally good natured. 

Their voices – Even their voices set them apart from other breeds.  This cat may look like it will tear your arm off until it opens its mouth and out comes a tiny voice that doesn’t fit their size.  They don’t meow often but when they do its soft as if they are saying ‘please’.  They can be very chatty and have a distinctive, chirping trill which they use for everything – especially cajoling others into playing with them.  Maine Coons love to play and many can be taught to tricks or games – many can be taught to retrieve. 

Their People – Maine Coons are highly people oriented.  They love to hang out where you are and that large paw is often known to come and ‘help’ with whatever activity you are doing.  They are not as a general rule ‘lap cats.  This is probably due to their large size but  they like to stay close and will follow you from room to room.  Maine Coons are relaxed and easy going in just about everything they do.  They remain playful throughout their lives – often forgetting how large they are!

Their paws are used for everything from eating to drinking and picking up items they wish to explore or play with – they will often end up grasping it between their paws.  They love to chase objects – and boy can they run! – being natural hunters they need to remain indoors or have an enclosed cat park in order to protect the wildlife – remember they are hunters.