Fun Facts About the Maine Coon Cat

Contrary to popular myth, the Maine coon cat is not a cross between a cat and a raccoon or a domestic cat and a bobcat.

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Maine Coon Cat

Maine Coon Cat Fun Facts

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The Maine coon’s closest relative may be the Norwegian forest cat, lending credence to the theory that the first coon cats came to Maine on Viking ships.

The Maine coon was designated the state cat in 1985, making Maine the only state with an official domestic-cat breed. (Massachusetts’ state cat is the tabby, while Maryland’s is the calico; both are coat-color patterns.)

The Maine coon’s tufted ears and paws, water-resistant coat, and long, bushy tail are thought to be adaptations to the area’s cold, harsh climate.

The most romantic legend about the origins of the Maine coon involves Captain Samuel Clough’s plan to smuggle Marie Antoinette to coastal Maine, ahead of the guillotine. Supposedly, her long-haired cats did arrive here, where they mated with the hardy local feline stock to produce the Maine coon.

The Maine coon was America’s earliest indigenous show cat, first listed in cat-show records in 1861.

When breeders began importing the more exotic Persian cats around 1900, Maine coons fell out of favor.

A brown tabby Maine coon named Cosey won “Best in Show” at the first National Cat Show in 1895 at Madison Square Garden.

Expensive purrs: Expect to pay around $700 for a family pet, $1,000 for a breeding female, and $1,500-$2,500 for a stud.

Once thought to have died out in the 1950s, Maine coon cats made a dramatic recovery in the 1960s. The Cat Fanciers’ Association granted them championship status in 1976.

Some 70% of all pedigreed Maine coon cats today trace their lineage to what fanciers refer to as the “Top Five” from the 1960s-1970s. Among them was Smokie Joe of Whittemore, born in Augusta, Maine.

Baron, a Maine coon cat belonging to Henry Grant of East Hampton, NY, and Falmouth, Maine, appeared in a 1996 Off Broadway revival of Irving Berlin’s 1925 musical The Cocoanuts. Baron played Groucho Marx’s cat.

Are you a fan of Maine Coon Cats?

  • I got my Pudy from a local breeder in Ga. At the time she was not considered show quality due to a “defect” in her coat pattern which has since become acceptable. She gave our family 15 yrs of love and affection. She will be greatly missed. <3

  • Growing up in Concord we along with our dogs had two Maine Coon Cats. “Mr. Pitkins” and then “Doll Baby”. Both gave us years of Joy and Love.

  • I have a Maine Coon cat. She’s beautiful. My son actually found her on his college campus as a 8 week old kitten. He had no idea that she was a Maine Coon till he took her to the vet. Yup, he lucked out. And so did I. She gorgeous and loveable and has all those Maine Coon attributes.

  • I had a Maine Coon cat that I got in Derry, NH that was at least a year old. “Fluffy” provided us with love and entertainment for more than 18 years.


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