Maine coon cats have been around for so long, you probably think you know everything there is to know about the breed. The truth is that these cats, known as the “gentle giants” of their species, have a very interesting story, and we rounded up a few facts that might surprise even the most knowledgeable Maine coon fan.
The average male Maine coon can weigh up to 18 pounds. The breed has even been mistaken for a bobcat before!
Some believe these cats are descendants of the ones brought to Maine by Queen Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution, and another theory is that Maine coons originated when semi-wild domesticated cats bred with raccoons. The most likely explanation for the breed is that they resulted from short-haired cats mating with domesticated long haired-cats brought over by the Vikings in the 1700s.
Their beautiful bushy tails are meant to wrap around their bodies to keep them warm when it gets too cold.
While we typically think of this breed as having a raccoon-like coloring, Maine coons can actually come in many different colors. Smoke, cream, cameo, mackerel, and tortoiseshell colorings are all recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) as purebred coats.
Held at New York’s Madison Square Garden in 1895, one of the first recorded juried cat exhibitions in the United States recognized the Maine coon as its choice for the “Best Cat” award.