||The classic Maine Coon is a brown tabby or brown tabby with white, but the breed is available in virtually every hue, with the exception of chocolate and lavender colors, or pointed or ticked tabby patterns. Their eyes are golden to green, though white Maine Coons can be blue or odd-eyed.
||That long coat is deceptively easy to care for. A good combing twice a week eliminates matting and reduces shedding and hairballs. Most will endure and many actually enjoy an occasional bath when introduced to the ritual as a kitten.
||Maine Coons take it all in stride. They do well in both active and quiet households.
|National Breed Club:
||United Maine Coon Cat Association; www.cffinc.org/umcca/memapp.htm
||Often called "gentle giants," Maine Coons are known to accept people and activities with easy-going grace. Affectionate and social, they love to be near their owners, play fetch and can by taught to stroll on a leash.
||Maine Coons are known for their large size, with females averaging up to 16 pounds and males up to 18, with some tipping the scales at 20-plus pounds. With a long, shaggy coat that lays close to the body, a bushy long tail, tufted paw pads and large ears adorned with furry tufts and "lynx tips" on top, their build reflects the Maine Coon's origins in the cold Northeast.
The Maine Coon is one of the most popular breeds at show tables. This shaggy feline shares its affection with the entire family, but elects a single person as its beloved owner. The breed sports four color classes: solid, tabby, tabby with white and particolor. Patterns include the classic tabby, the mackerel tabby and the patched tabby. The Maine Coon is the second most popular breed in America and has earned the nickname, "The Gentle Giant."
Maine Coon cats don't stick to stereotypes, like the one that claims cats don't like water. Many Maine Coons are attracted to water. They're known to stand in their water bowls while drinking and even scoop it with their paws.
This cat's love of water is just one endearing quirk that makes Maine Coons one of the most popular pedigreed cat breeds in the United States. In fact, 4,539 were registered with the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) alone in 2000, making them the second most popular cat, following Persian.
Of course, one of the biggest draws, at least initially, to the Maine Coon is their size. "They are the largest domestic breed," says Barbara Foster, who shares Maroon Coon cattery with partner Jimmie Hawley in College Station, Texas, with females averaging 9 to 16 pounds and males 12 to 18 pounds at maturity. Neutered cats tend to weigh a few pounds more.
"Men often like them because they're large," says Jill Burrow of Coonsboro cattery in Playa Del Rey, Calif. One of her Maine Coons went to a couple that had a difficult time agreeing on whether to get a cat or a dog. "Her husband wanted a dog; she wanted a cat," Burrow says. "With the Maine Coon they got something in between!"
Pictures of Maine Coon Cats