things to know about Coons
How did the Maine Coon come to have its name? Several tales are floating about regarding the derivation of the name. One stems from a legend of a domestic cat released outside (released or escaped is what I still am wondering…) & this feline interbred with a raccoon. The result was the Maine Coon. This tale was initiated because Maine Coon characteristics resemble that of a raccoon. This is biologically impossible; however, with the Coon’s luxuriant tail & the fact that the classic brown tabby is the most common of their colorations, a myth was born…
Another tall tale is that the Maine Coon received its name from a ship’s captain. Captain Coon was responsible for this domestic cat reaching America’s New England shores, it’s also said that another tale has Maine Coons stemming from Marie Antoinette’s six escaped cats she sent to Maine (Wiscasset) from France during the French Revolution. But know body really knows for certain.
Natural selection plays a part in the Maine Coon’s history. In the 1600-1700’s domesticated cats brought across the ocean from Europe faced climate changes in New England. The harsh winters, such as they had, brought about natural selection. In order to survive, the Maine Coon had to adapt, developing into the large feline with a water resistant coat (It rains a lot in Maine!!!!!!!) & ability to survive most climate conditions.
Still…the majority of people believe that Maine Coons derived in cross breeding domestic short hairs & Angoras or long hairs conveyed to North America by the Vikings. Maine Coons appear similar to the Norwegian Forest Cat & the Siberian.
We know Maine Coons are renowned for their size, however, they are also known for their high liveliness & acumen quotients. Because of this, they have been labeled “the Gentle Giants” in the feline world.
Male Maine Coons can weigh up to a staggering 12-14kg’s with the standard being between 10- 12kg’s for males. Females weigh between 6 – 8kg’s this is twice the size of a normal domestic cat, reaching 10kg’s for the biggest girl.
Maine Coon cats are not considered full grown until they reach four to five years of age. Therefore, if your eighteen month old precious fur baby appears huge to you now-just you wait!!!!
Maine Coons do not have the long coat like that of a Persian; rather they have middling thick (plush) fur with a ruff (beard) around their neck & chests. This exterior is akin to a lion’s mane. They also have the longer hair around their legs (pants).
The fur of a Maine Coon is derived of two layers. An undercoat & a supplementary tier of longer guard hairs. This multi- stratum coat is what gives the Maine Coons their noticeable appearance. (The guard hairs on the tips of their ears are called tuffs.) They require only minimal grooming!!!!
Maine Coons can be polydactyl – like Hemmingway’s cats-having six or more toes on their paws.
Maine Coons enjoy playing with water!!!
The hairs on the tips of the ears are called lynx tips and the fur inside the ear is often referred to as ear tufts (or ear furnishings).