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A Maine Coon in the snow
|Other names||Coon Cat|
American Coon Cat
American Forest Cat
|Common nicknames||Gentle giants|
|Origin||Maine, United States|
|Domestic cat (Felis catus)|
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, specifically native to the state of Maine, where it is the official state cat.
Nobody knows for sure how the Maine Coon got to the United States, so there are several different ideas. The breed was popular in cat shows in the late 19th century, but it almost became extinct because of long-haired breeds from overseas in the early 20th century. The Maine Coon has since been brought back and is now one of the most popular cat breeds in the USA.
The Maine Coon is a large and friendly cat, which is how it got its nickname, "the gentle giant." It is characterized by a big ruff along its chest, robust bone structure, rectangular body shape, an uneven two layered coat, and a long, bushy tail. The breed's colors vary widely, with only lilac and chocolate disallowed for pedigree. People often say the Maine Coon has "dog-like" characteristics. Professionals notice certain health problems recurring in the breed, including feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and hip dysplasia, but reputable breeders use modern screening methods to minimize the frequency of these problems.
References[change | change source]
- Desmond Morris (10 May 1999). Cat breeds of the world: a complete illustrated encyclopedia. Viking. p. 90. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
- "Maine Coon Cats". Animal-World.
- "Breed Information". Maine Coon Breeders & Fanciers Association. Retrieved 26 October 2008.
- Robins, Sandy. "Training Day". Popular Cats Series. BowTie Magazines. 2: 118–125.
- "Maine Coon Synopsis". American Cat Fanciers Association. Retrieved 26 October 2008.