The Maine Coon has a distinctive physical appearance and valuable hunting skills. It is one of the oldest natural breeds in North America, specifically native to the state of Maine where it is the official State Cat.
The Maine Coon is noted for its large bone structure, rectangular body shape, and long, flowing coat. The breed can be seen in a variety of colours and is known for its intelligence and gentle personality.
Health problems, such as feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and hip dysplasia, are seen in the breed, but screening methods can help to reduce the frequency of these problems.
The Maine Coon is a longhaired, or medium-haired, cat. The coat is soft and silky, although texture may vary with coat color. The length is shorter on the head and shoulders, and longer on the stomach and flanks with some cats having a lion-like ruff around their neck.
Minimal grooming is required for the breed, compared to other long-haired breeds, as their coat is mostly self-maintaining due to a light-density undercoat. The coat is subject to seasonal variation, with the fur being thicker in the winter and thinner during the summer. Maine Coons, due to their large size, have larger claws. Maine Coons can have any colours that other cats have, The most common color seen in the breed is brown tabby. All eye colors are accepted under breed standards.
Maine Coons have several physical adaptations for survival in harsh winter climates. Their dense water-resistant fur is longer and shaggier on their underside and rear for extra protection
Their long and bushy raccoon-like tail is resistant to sinking in snow, and can be curled around their face and shoulders for warmth and protection from wind and blowing snow.
Large paws, facilitate walking on snow and are often compared to snowshoes Long tufts of fur growing between their toes help keep the toes warm and further aid walking on snow by giving the paws additional structure without significant extra weight Heavily furred ears with extra long tufts of fur growing from inside help keep their ears warm.
The FIFe breed standard is available here
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