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History of the Maine Coon is provided by Anne Paplanus of Mainastasia Maine Coons...

Thank you Anne for letting me borrow the information you researched.

 

                                          

 

 

 

History of the Maine Coon Cat

"The official cat from the state of Maine, lovingly called the Gentle Giant"

 

The Maine Coon cat is one of the oldest natural breeds in North America,

thought to have originated from the state of Maine.

There is no documented proof exactly how the Maine Coon cat

originated but there are numerous legendary tales...

One of the more popular legends is that the Maine Coon

was the result of a cross breeding

 between a cat and a raccoon.    Actually breeding between

the two is biologically impossible and probably came about because

 of the Maine Coon having a very large and bushy tail.  This

is also most probably where the name "Coon Cat"  came from later being

changed to the "Maine Coon cat".

 Yet another legend on how the Maine Coon cat came about

has to do with a sea captain,  Samuel Clough.  Fleeing France during the French Revolution,  Marie Antoinette had her most treasured possessions loaded onto Samuel Clough's ship named  "The Sally".  Some of the items included miscellaneous furniture,  silver,  china and six of the Queen's long-haired cats.

When Marie Antoinette never arrived in America to claim her possessions, they were dispersed  amongst Samuel Clough's family members.  The Maine Coon's of today were thought to be from matings of the Queen's cats and the cats already in Maine.


 Today,  most people believe that the Maine Coon originated from crossings between early  Angora's brought over aboard ships from visiting countries and domestic shorthairs.  The Maine  Coon cat evolved to protect themselves to survive the environment from the harsh cold winters in Maine. 

 The facial features are feral (wild-like), with long square muzzles that enabled them to catch their prey.  Tall, high set ears which allowed them to have a keen sense of hearing, with heavy tufting for warmth.  Their coats are glossy, longer on the ruff, stomach and britches and shorter on  their back and neck.  Their feet are large and also heavily tufted to enable them to walk easily on heavy  snow.  Their tails are long and very thick for added warmth.  They are a large rugged cat,  with males weighing 15-18 pounds and females weighing slightly less.


The Maine Coon has long been admired for it's beauty and sweet-loving personality.  In 1895 one of the first and largest cat shows was held at Madison Square Garden in New York.  A Maine Coon named "Cosie" won hands down, Best of Show.

Later , with imported breeds from other countries, their popularity waned and slowly the

Maine Coon began disappearing from the CFA registry and shows.  In 1953,

The Central Maine Cat Club was formed to preserve the breed and through lot's of hard work and determination, the breed has gained the popularity it has today.

 

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If you are interested in further reading about the Maine Coon cat,  I highly recommend the book;

"That Yankee Cat"

The Maine Coon

written by Marilis Hornridge

There is now a new book that has recently been published called

"The Personal Maine Coon"
Written by Phyllis Tobias

Copies can be found at Barnes & Noble Book Store

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Anne did a great job in her research. 

 

She states that the Maine Coon weighs between 15 to 18 pounds.  This is considered the average size of the Maine Coon. 

 

There are breeders that have managed to go beyond this weight.  Weight should not be the important issue.  These Gentle Giants are bred for their personality as well as their type.   A healthy Maine Coon with a wonderful personality are the things that everyone should consider first and foremost.

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