History

The Maine Coon cat has

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. 

The story goes that the Maine Coon originated as a result of a mating between a domestic farm cat and a raccoon. This is most certainly a myth and is genetically impossible. The Maine Coon’s striped, bushy tail is what probably inspired this story!

Marie Antoinette was planning to escape France to the US during the French Revolution. She sent 6 of her prized Angora Cats from France to the US. The cats managed to cross the ocean to safety. It is believed that they mated with Norwegian Forest Cats on their way across, resulting in the American Longhair. The Queen never made it across – she was beheaded!

The truth is, that the ancestral origin of the Maine Coon is unknown. What we do know for certain, is that the cat is over a century old. Records show that as far back as 1860 these domestic cats were shown at cat shows across the United States of America. In 1895, it was the most popular cat and won numerous accolades at shows. By the early 20th Century however, this magnificent cat had slipped into obscurity.

In the 1950’s, the breed was revived and in the 1960’s the Maine Coon was once again entered into competition. In 1976, a new square-jawed breed was walking the ‘cat-walk’

The 1980’s saw one of the largest domestic cat breeds been exported to Europe where it quickly gained recognition from both the GCCF and FiFe.