The Maine Coon is a breed of domestic cat well known for its distinctive physical appearance. 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.
Although the Maine Coon's exact origins and date of introduction to the United States are unknown, many theories have been proposed. The breed was popular in cat shows in the late 1800s, but its existence became threatened when long-haired breeds from overseas were introduced in the early 20th century. The Maine Coon has since made a comeback and is now the second most popular cat breed in the world, according to the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA).
The Maine Coon is generally noted for its large bone structure, its rectangular body shape, and a long, flowing coat. The breed can be seen in a variety of colors and are known for their intelligence and gentle personalities. Health problems, such as feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and hip dysplasia, are seen in the breed, but testing is available to detect the genes responsible for causing these abnormalities.
Maine Coon cats are large and energetic cats which sometimes weigh 11.3 kilograms (25 pounds); their average weight is 6 to 9 kilograms (13-20 pounds) for adult males and less (7-11 pounds) for females. A full size Maine Coon cat often takes longer to reach full size than for most cats, usually reaching full size at age three or four.
The most common color/pattern of the Maine Coon cat is brown with tabby markings. Maine Coon cats are recognized in all colors except for chocolate, lavender, ticked tabby, and the point-restricted ("Siamese") pattern. Their eye color also varies widely. All patterns of the Maine Coon cat may have green, green-gold, or gold. Blue eyes, or one blue eye with one gold eye, are possible in white coat Maine Coon cats.
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The Maine Coon is the oldest indigenous breed of domestic cat in North America. It originated in the State of Maine, where early frontiersmen believed that these large cats were the result of breeding between a domestic cat and a raccoon.
Maine Coon Cats are considered to be the "puppies" of the cat world. They love people and want to be involved in every aspect of family life. Many people consider the Maine Coon to be the "perfect pet" with their unusual personalities, habits and tricks - and eagerness to help with every activity in the house. Maine Coons never lose the urge to play their whole lives, and somehow manage to inch their way into the hearts and affections of everyone they meet, whether it be people or other animals.
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