Many legends and fascinating stories surround the large, painted, fluffy cats called Maine Coons.
One of these stories holds that a domestic cat released into the wilds of Maine, USA, interbred with a racoon, resulting in a most interesting and inquisitive offspring.
The bushy tail, remarkable streaky tan, cream and dark chocolate coat colouring and inquisitive face could well have led to the adoption of the name `Maine Coon’.
However, another legend holds that the breed was named after a certain ship’s captain named Coon, who brought the cat to the shores of Maine.
It is generally believed that Maine Coons do come from the State of Maine in the USA.
Many believe the breed developed from the domestic shorthaired cats of settlers who went to America.
Later, as ships returned from their travels with longer haired cats, these interbred and eventually became Maine Coon.
The first Maine Coons arrived in South Africa in 1987.
Since then, the breed has gained popularity country wide.
The Maine Coon is a large animal with males weighing up to ten kilograms, though eight kilogram’s is more common.
The creature has an unusually glossy, heavy coat which is water resistant.
It is longer on the ruff, stomach and britches to protect against wet and snow and shorter on the back and neck to guard against tangling.
The ears are heavily furred and the feet are tufted with long fur to protect her pads against cold.
Coat colours range from red to silver, blue to black and even white, though the original tabby markings are the most common.
Maine Coons have a range of eye colour, as well as coat colour: everything from green to gold and in-between.
Blue eyes and even one blue and one gold are found.
Maine Coons are friendly creatures and very people orientated.
They enjoy following their owners around and take an interest in everything they do.
Unlike most cats, Maine Coons love water and will play with it for hours on end.
Despite their size, these gentle giants are exactly that:
gentle. They are not aggressive whatsoever and are relaxed and easy going.
They are playful and will even walk on a lead.
Despite their appearance, the Maine Coon is a low maintenance cat which only requires a good weekly brush to keep its coat in good condition.
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