The Maine Coon is said to be the largest breed of cat and often any large cat with long hair is considered to be a Maine Coon. A true Maine Coon has a very large bone structure with long legs, huge ears and stands taller than many small dogs. However, not all Maine Coons weigh 20 or 30 lbs. There are quite a few purebred Maine Coons who weigh a lot less, but they all share the large bone structure of their breed.
Maine Coons are very nice cats, but as with all purebreds of any type, personalities vary by individual. While they are generally known as easy-going, we have had fairly unpleasant Maine Coons in this rescue, shy Maine Coons, hyper Maine Coons and those that were absolutely not suitable for children. In general, the large size of this breed tends to keep them off counters and bookshelves and they are generally less energetic as they age. This is a breed with a dual-layer medium- to long-length coat, calm personality and good looks, but each cat must be fitted to the right family.
Grooming and Care Needs
Maine Coons have a dual-layer coat with an outer guard coat and a fine downy undercoat. They heavily shed their undercoat in the spring and less heavily the rest of the year; regular brushing/combing is necessary. They typically do not have the long, thick coats of many Persians; therefore, do not matt as easily but, as with any long-coated cat, will require regular care.
This breed is known to carry the gene for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which causes a thickening of the heart walls. Responsible breeders will screen for the genetic defect. We have seen a few with dental issues but many Maine Coons that come into rescue are otherwise healthy.
As mentioned above, each personality should be fitted to the right type of family. This is not a “one type fits all” breed. In general, this is a calmer breed that tends to be on the shyer side as the cats age and has a gentle, dog-like disposition.