Maine Coon Cats

Maine Coons can rival the size of small dogs and are highly intelligent, playful and energetic. They thrive in families that include children and other pets, including dogs. Be aware that they are very dexterous and are capable of using their front paws like raccoons to scoop up food. They like to dunk favorite toys in water bowls. They have been known to stretch up, wrap their front paws on door knobs and open doors.

Maine Coon

Maine Coon Pictures

  • Maine Coon cat named Oldstage Chester
  • Maine Coon cat named Thunderpaws Nubble
  • Maine Coon cat named Tucker
  • Maine Coon cat named Louisa
  • Maine Coon cat named Quakencat's Crazy 'Bout Elvis
  • Maine Coon cat named Quakencat's Emmylou Coon
see Maine Coon pictures »

Ideal Human Companions

    • Families with children
    • Singles with other pets
    • First-time cat owners

Maine Coons on Catster

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Trademark Traits

    • Bushy tail and tuft paws
    • Dog-like friendliness
    • People oriented
    • Easy going
    • Big boned and barrel chest

What They Are Like to Live With

They tend to be a hardy breed, but are at risk for hip dysplasia, polycystic kidney disease and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Things You Should Know

Bestowed many nicknames, including “Gentle Giant,” “Feline Greeters of the World” and “Shags.”

This longhaired breed requires minimal grooming because they keep their coats in top condition.

Look like small bobcats.

They are slow growers, reaching full maturity by age 4 or 5.

Maine Coon History

According to legend, British Captain Charles Coon sailed up and down the New England coasts in the 1800s and took some of his seafaring cats with him when he came into port. These ship cats mated with those on land with people referring to them as “Coon’s cats.”

Another legend mentions that these cats originally belonged to Marie Antoinette and were smuggled aboard boats bound for America as she was beheaded.

A true all-American cat, the Maine Coon was first shown at professional cat shows in 1878 and now ranks second in popularity only to the Persian in the 2007 Cat Fanciers Association’s breed registry. It is also recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA).

The Look of a Maine Coon

The Maine Coon’s shaggy, weatherproof coat, full plume tail and ear tufts provide protection from harsh winters. The coat comes in three types – down, fawn and guard. The thick ruff around the neck and bushy tail shield serve to insulate the body and keep it warm. The square-shaped head is broad, the ears are large and the eyes are big, expressive, and wide set. The breed’s muscular body features a broad chest and big boned frame.

The female Maine Coon weighs between eight and 12 pounds while the males can weigh up to 20 pounds. Their bodies can stretch up to 40 inches in length.

Talk About Maine Coons 

These cats are smart cookies!

We have a pair of Maine Coons named Sir Merlin Lancelot and Lady Abigail Camelot. Merlin will not eat until he has a morning belly rub and Abigail will talk to you until you play "fetch" with her favorite ball. They understand and obey words like "no," "get the ball" and "time for bed."

~Betsy, owner of two Maine Coons

A cat with the sweetest meow

It's hard to pick a favorite breed, since I have four kitties. But my very first kitten of my own was a Maine Coon. She is independent funny and has the sweetest meow. It almost sounds like a baby cooing. She is great for people who have a lot of guests because she greets everyone at the door. I love the little tufts of hair between her toes and her little "devil horns" she has. She is so playful one day then the next she will relax by the window. The cutest thing is how much she adores my husband. She sits at his feet wherever he goes. It's funny. She doesn't sleep with us much or sit on our laps, but always has to be in the room "helping" us with everything.

~Melissa, owner of four kitties

A loving, loyal and lap-friendly breed

I have the pleasure of owning two Maine Coon cats and they are a joy to live with. They are VERY loving, loyal, lap friendly, and true companions. Aside from their incredible size (up to 22 lbs) and beautiful coat (long hair that is easy to care for), they are sweet and playful, and yet each is quite the hunter.

The Maine Coon cat is very tolerant and can adapt to small children (even when pulling their tails), elderly people and other animals. I take mine to a nursing home to visit my mother and her friends and everyone gets a turn at holding, petting and cuddling. It does wonders for the residents and my cats love the attention. My eldest, Simon, was even in a stage play, "Bell, Book & Candle" as Pywackit the cat. He got a standing ovation every night!!

~Sherri, owner of two Maine Coons

A large cat with a larger personality!

I adopted Miss Fritz over 13 years ago. My daughter picked her out at the shelter because she was the scruffiest kitten hiding at the back of the cage and the least likely to find a home. We had no idea she would blossom into the beauty she is today. Anywhere she goes, people comment on how beautiful she is. Of course, they don't live with her oversize personality. This little girl is 'Queen of the Universe' and she doesn't let you forget it for a minute. My role is to be her hand servant and respond to her every demand and demand she does.

When Miss Fritz wants something, she will ask nicely. If she doesn't receive it within her time limits, she issues her 'imperious' meow. If that fails, beware of the headbutt! This kitty is way to smart for her own good. She mastered opening drawers by age two and doorknobs by age three. You can watch her brain working while she is dreaming up her next plan - which usually involves getting her brother into trouble and then sitting back with an innocent look on her face!

~Linda W., owner of a Maine Coon

Pretty, smart AND funny!

My favorite breed is the Maine Coon. Not only are they exceptionally beautiful, they're also smart and funny! Main Coons love to entertain, and will easily learn commands and tricks, especially if you start teaching them as kittens. They have a few crazy quirks - mine loves to play in water and hide in very tiny, unexpected places - but these just make them more interesting.

They're BIG cats with small, quiet voices. You won't hear them "meowing" much, but they'll talk to you with trills and coos. They'll also follow you everywhere, either watching intently or trying to "help" you. Maine Coons are quick and agile, and make good hunters. But they're also wonderful with other animals and people of all ages. If we didn't have a "one cat per person rule" in our house, I'd have a dozen of them!

~Andrea, owner of a Maine Coon

A cat to fall in love with

Let's face it, there isn't a cat on this planet that isn't endearing in some way, but the Coonie we had when I was 12 left a permanent mark on my heart for the breed. They are large and long. Ours got to be 25 lbs. but they get up to 35 lbs. and 4 feet from nose to tail.

They, like a handful of other breeds, behave like a dog in some ways. They play fetch. They have to be in on everything going on in the house. They have an astonishing range of vocal sounds they make and they are extremely smart. They have lush, durable coats made for colder climates, tufts of fur on their ears and a lovely ruff (like a lions mane) of fur around their necks.

They don't like to be held, preferring to stretch out beside you with their paw either barely touching you, or if you're lucky, on you. Proclaiming that you are THEIR human! A cat to fall in love with.

~Dan, owner of a Maine Coon

Definitely a cat for dog people

I love this breed for their low maintenance coat and playful nature. My Maine Coons have always been very playful even into old age so I recommend this breed for those who like cats that will play and play and play and play both by themselves and with people using interactive toys. They aren't lap cats but because of their intelligence and curiosity, Maine Coons will be right there helping you and wanting to know what you are doing. Sometimes I think my Maine Coon is part dog, she likes to play fetch with small toys and would be a good breed for dog lovers adopting their first cat.

~Wendy O., owner of a Maine Coon

These are big, lovable cats!

I acquired my Maine Coon male, Chewie, from a no kill cat shelter. He was around 9 1/2 lbs. Now, five years later he weighs in at 22 lbs! Chewie is very affectionate and has been known to give you nose nips as you disappear down the stairs through the trap door. He works hard on his coat and we help out with the new Furminator once every couple of weeks. This breed is best suited to someone with a large home, and would do well with older children.

We keep Chewie's nails cut short as his paw spread is almost 3", although he is a hugger rather than a swiper with his baseball glove-sized paws. I love the gentle padding his paws make when he runs, the constant talking he does when calling to the mice as he looks for them in the basement, and his insistent meooow! at 6am when he wants to eat.

~Pat D., owner of a Maine Coon

these cats are good with children. also adorable!

My First Maine Coon was a cat named "Mama Kitty" - I was age four at the time. This breed is very good with children as long as you don't hold them too tightly for too long. Before Mama Kitty passed, we acquired another Maine Coon by the name of Chirpa (by this time I was 11). Chirpa was a very dependent cat but was very smart.

If you're thinking of getting this breed, know that you have to give them lots of room to run around in and also give them a couple hours of attention. Having your cat sit on your lap or chest at night kneading at you counts! (But don't worry, I think it's only Chirpa who does that.)

~Katy J., owner of proud owner of 9 cats

The king of my heart

My Maine Coon, Bailey, is the only male in our home. He knows it and is very loyal to me and supervises my daughter (who is one year younger than himself) while she does her homework. If he wants attention, he'll nudge whatever I'm holding out of my hands - he expects me to drop everything to pay sole attention to him. Bailey has gorgeous markings, and a nice personality. He is my gentle giant. His only flaw is that he chews plastic, including any within his reach. Other than that, he's an awesome kitty who behaves like a dog!

~Ali D., owner of a Maine Coon

A watchcat and a chowhound all in one

Maggie Mae is the only cat we've ever bought from a breeder. We named her Magnolia for the giant M on her head. I wanted a Maine Coon because I love the look and wanted a large cat. Turns out she's rather small, so I call her my mini coon! No matter, she's still the love of my life.

When I'm sick in bed, she lies right by my side. She doesn't like to be held, but is usually plastered against my arm or leg on the couch. She's very bossy and likes to be involved in every activity. She is a watchcat and lets me know when someone is at the door. She's also a chowhound, so we have to make sure she doesn't eat the other cat's food. When she was younger, she used to enjoy jumping through hoops. Now her favorite tricks are sitting pretty and shaking hands.

If you love an intelligent, calm, quiet, loving cat with a sense of humor, the Maine Coon is the cat for you.

~ Mick, owner of a Maine Coon

Spoiled kitty has his own "catzebo"

Maine Coons are such sweet cats. Mr. Kitty (aka Riley) follows me around like a puppy dog and lets me know when he wants attention. He even has his own outdoor enclosed area, which we call the "Catzebo." I can point in which direction he wants to go and he lets me know.

He was about 18 months when he adopted me from a no-kill shelter and is such a lovey-dovey. With patience on my part he has become very trusting as he was abused and homeless when the shelter found him. Spoiled Kitty even has vet house calls to save him the trauma of going in the car.

~Liz L, owner of a Maine Coon