The Maine Coon
The Maine Coon is a native cat breed from North America. It is thought to originate from Maine, one of the states that together form New England. This explains the first part of the name. The second part refers to the famous story that the Maine Coon descended from raccoons, raccoons. Although a tabby Maine Coon with its full striped tail resembles a raccoon, it turned out that a cross between a raccoon and a (wild) domestic cat is not biologically possible.
It is generally believed that the Maine Coon owes its existence to the import of semi-longhair cats, taken by sailors. They mixed with the cats that already lived there. After this natural selection did the rest, in which the cat adapted to the harsh climate of Maine.
The Maine Coon is described in America as follows: a real working cat, muscular, robust, and medium to large, wary, but interested in its surroundings. It was shaped by natural evolution to survive in a harsh climate, more or less independent of human help.
In New England, his country of origin, the Maine Coon, was expected to make a living from his daily portion of milk, fresh from the cow, plus his talents as a mouse hunter.
Harmony with other animals
The Maine Coon was also expected to live in harmony with other animals and with humans. Hence his amiable character. Although he is essentially friendly, he is somewhat reserved and, at first, a bit shy for strange people and situations. A character trait that has contributed to his ability to survive in harsh rural life. It is, therefore, no wonder that these cats were loved and cherished by the people of New England. As the pride of the family, Maine Coons were taken to the former American country fairs. Here, once a year, the farming families brought their best livestock and agricultural products and exhibited them for evaluation. Besides the best pastries and dad’s best bull, the Maine Coon also belonged here.
Beneath the perhaps somewhat wild appearance of the Maine Coon hides an affectionate cat with a very tolerant character. He is not pushy, but playful (some also fetch) and intelligent. Many Maine Coons like to play with water – the basin is used for playing.
Naturally calm and in a good mood, he will not use his nails and prefers to avoid fights. Most Maine Coons don’t lie on your lap, but they do come up against you. But, given the size of some Maine Coons, this is also pleasant. A Maine Coon likes small boxes. The smaller the box, the bigger the challenge to crawl into it – and often it will!
You’ll be surprised at the soft voice when you first hear a Maine Coon meow. Male cats are generally more enterprising. Female cats are often more reserved toward strangers.
The Maine Coon was already present at the first real cat exhibitions around 1870 and not without success. A famous winner was Richelieu. This male of about seven years old, blue or silver tabby and weighing nine kilos, stole the show several times in 1884. Unfortunately, the Maine Coon was forgotten as a show cat with the arrival of the for Americans more exotic breeds such as Persians and Siamese.
It is thanks to a group of enthusiastic enthusiasts. They united in the Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association (MCBFA) that all American associations again recognized the Maine Coon. When drawing up the breed standard, the composers did not have a breeding ideal in mind, but they wanted to preserve the breed as it was created in nature.
The Maine Coon was introduced in Europe in 1976 by Connie Condit of cattery Heidi-Ho and Pat Robbins of cattery Gemütlichkatze. They were both stationed by the U.S. Army in West Germany and were asked to show their Maine Coons at a show of the 1.DEKZV. The enthusiasm with which their cats were received initiated the recognition of the Maine Coon by FIFe in 1982. The Maine Coon has since conquered more and more territory and is now one of the most popular breeds in Europe.
Although the Maine Coon can be kept well indoors, it prefers to have an outdoor spout. The Maine Coon may not be crossed with other breeds. When you buy a Maine Coon, make sure that the pedigree shows MC/MCO for each ancestor and no different breed.