Maine Coon adult black and white

Maine Coon

Maine Coons are one of the largest breeds of domestic cat whose small, quiet voices don't seem to fit their stature.

About the Maine Coon

While Maine Coons are highly people-orientated cats, they are not overly dependent. Maine Coons do not constantly pester for attention, but prefer to be where their owners are, investigating whatever activity they’re involved in.

Maine Coons are known for their sweet and gentle nature. They generally get along well with children and dogs, as well as other cats. Maine Coons are not known to be climbers, preferring to keep their feet on the ground.

Source: key facts and characteristics sourced from World Cat Congress (WCC)

Breed specifics

United States
Medium coat
Size category
Avg life expectancy
12–15 years

Calm / Quiet / Friendly

Key facts

  • Needs moderate grooming
  • Suited to indoor and outdoor life
  • Low maintenance
Breed origins illustration

Origins of the breed

The origins of the Maine Coon are not precisely documented and there are many myths about them.

One of the oldest breeds in North America, the Maine Coon is generally regarded as a native to the state of Maine. A widespread, though biologically impossible, myth is that the breed originated from mating semi-wild domestic cats with racoons. This belief and the cat’s appearance, led to the adoption of the name Maine Coon. Another popular theory is that the Maine sprang from the six pet cats which Marie Antoinette sent to Wiscasset, Maine when she was planning to escape from France during the French Revolution.

Most breeders today believe that the breed originated in matings between pre-existing short-haired domestic cats and overseas longhairs. It would have been natural selection caused by the environmental conditions which produced the large, muscular and dense-coated cats able to survive harsh winters in New England.

The Maine Coon was mentioned for the first time locally in the 1850’s in the state of Maine. First recorded in cat literature in 1861, with a mention of a black and white cat named “Captain Jenks of the Horse Marines”, Maine Coons were popular competitors at early cat shows in Boston and New York. A brown tabby female named “Cosie” won Best Cat at the 1895 Madison Square Garden Show.