Maine Coon is one of the oldest cat breeds of the North America. These large and beautiful animals of great endurance were raised more than 100 years ago to live in cold winter conditions. Мaine Coons are not decorative, they are real rat-hunters that helped farmers to struggle with growing number of rodents.
This is clear from their appearance of an ideal hunter and a wild cat that is able to live in harsh nature conditions with changeable northern climate. They have thick, waterproof hair, strong body and huge size that is so important for a carnivore. The structure of their fur protects the animals from rain and snow, and fluffy tail keeps them warm during cold winter nights. Thick hair in the ears and between toes of their strong and wide as snow-shoes paws also protect Maine Coons form cold. Their large eyes and ears allow to see and hear well (another adaptation feature). Comparatively long and square snout makes the cats look like lions. It is good for achieving the prey in holes and in water of frozen pools and brooks.
Maine Coons are in keeping with nature. They feel good out and are not troubled by autumn pools or winter snow. Their love of water is absolutely unique. They can swim and play in a pool for hours. It is very interesting to watch, but must be considered if you do not want your apartment to become a basin.
The name «Maine Coon» means «the coon from the state of Maine». Because of the similarity in hair structure, stripes and carnivore face expression there is a legend that the cats are relative to the coons, but this is genetically impossible.
Though the rumor that Maine Coons’ weight can be up to 30 kilograms is a myth, they still are very large cats. Their males weigh up to 10-12, аnd females – up to 6-9 kilograms. With the length of hair up to 10 – 15 cm they are the biggest cats in the world!
Despite of their huge size and «beast» appearance, they are very domestic and sweet cats. «Tender Giants» is the most wide spread and true epithet, that ideally reflects the nature of those large and kind creatures. As all large animals, Maine Coons grow quite slowly. They achieve their normal size only by the age of 3-5 years, staying as kind and gentle as kittens during all their life. Even their voice, their low throat warbling or tender purring do not go with their size.
Maine Coons are ideally fitted for the life with people and are easy going with other animals. They never harm a dog or a child or use their claws playing with people. They can be easily trained and are strongly attached to their owners. Their character makes them similar to dogs and different from cats of other breeds. They follow their owners never loosing them from their sight and always laying beside them. They miss people and even can loose appetite and stop playing. It is important for them to participate in everything that is going on in the house and always want to propose their help. Maine Coon’s wonderful hair does not need a special care and does not form plicae. Comb with rear wide teeth is a usual tool used for tidying, arranging and straightening it. You do not often need to wash the cat - it is necessary only before the participation in an exhibition.
There are very few Maine Coon in Russian yet, but they rapidly become popular. It can not be different, taking in consideration their particular features and character. And we would like more people could appreciate the wild beauty, generosity and noble nature of these wonderful animals.