Tender Giant with a Wild Look
Perhaps there are no people in the world, who are indifferent to this cat breed. No wonder! Even the most cursory glance at the Maine Coon raises a whole range of feelings, and all these feelings have a shade of admiration. Large, handsome, strong and yet tender and graceful - it's all about it, about the king of the cat kingdom – the Maine Coon.
Maine Coon: Who is It and What is It?
The Maine Coon is the biggest domestic cat in the world, and I will not exaggerate if I say that everyone knows about it, as they say, young and old. But let's think, what else we know about this unique breed. True cat lovers, and especially Maine Coon lovers know that there are lots of myths and legends about this breed, and perhaps, there is even more various information on the Internet.
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And this information is often distorted. For example, you can find a lot of data about cats weighing 20 or even 25 kilos! Can we trust such stories? Of course, everyone decides for himself whether to believe it or not, but experts will confidently tell you that this is nothing more than a new legend, and such exaggerations have nothing to do with the Maine Coon. And what do we have in reality? A true modern Maine Coon is a large, a powerful, and a stretched animal. Adult cats weigh as follows: female cats - 5-8 kilogram, male cats - 8-13 kg.
However, the size and the weight, no matter how impressive they may be, are not the most outstanding features of the Maine Coon. And what is the most important? Well, of course, it is the character of this wonderful pet! This Gulliver of the cat world will not leave indifferent any child or adult. And have you heard the voice of the Maine Coon? It is a cat, which is able to yap like a dog, sing with various voices, and of course, roar like a “tractor" when the owner is near... Well, is it possible to remain indifferent to these charming features of the Maine Coon?!
And what a wonderful nanny can this cat be! If you have a small child, the Maine Coon will immediately turn into a toy: a doll for a small girl, whom that little lady can put in a pram and drive; and if you have a small defender, this cat will be the best horse for him! :) It can even be a nice Indian :)). In short, even the most fretful baby will not get bored with a Maine Coon. Finally, this breed is characterized by friendliness, which is absolutely amazing for such a severe appearance: if you already have a dog, and a cat seems absolutely inconceivable, adopt a Maine Coon: its character allows to get along together and make friends not only with a lapdog, but also with dog fighting breeds.
It is its name that speaks about the origin of this breed: the word “Maine" means that the home of these unique animals is Maine, United States.
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Legends and stories about the origin of this breed are like fairy tales, you can hear about Vikings, discoverers of America, and even raccoons, as the breed's name is translated as a “raccoon cat". In fact, it is much more prosaic: cats have always lived close to people – thus, American farmers had big cats, which were excellent hunters after mice and rats. And as having such a defender against rodents is very important in rural areas, soon farmers began to take their cats at agricultural shows, which gave an impetus to formation of the breed.
However, one cannot deny the beauty of legends about Maine Coons: it will just suffice to mention a legend telling that the breed has originated from the pet cats of Queen Marie Antoinette... It is your choice whether to believe the legend, but you cannot doubt that the Maine Coon comes from overseas. However, the foreign guest has long got accustomed to Russia, and this breed has always been one of the most popular ones at shows held in our country.
The Maine Coon was officially registered in 1860, and five years later it became the best at the American agricultural exhibition of northeastern US states. But, as it often happens, the meteoric rise was soon superseded by a meteoric fall. “Raccoon cats" began to lose ground in comparison with the Persians that were gaining popularity, and soon were completely lost on their background, and appeared again only in 1953 upon foundation of the Central Maine Cat Club in USA. In 1968, the Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association was formed, and in 1976 the breed was officially recognized by feline experts. At the same time these cats came to Europe. The breed is currently very popular, which is easily seen if you analyze the number of participants with Maine Coons at any show. The villain fate has turned weak taking into account the charm of this tender giant in a luxurious fur coat!
Maine Coon Today
Thanks to the work of breeders over the last century and a half, the current Maine Coon has little resemblance to its ancestors kept at farms on the northeast of the United States. But, fortunately, they managed to keep the main features of this breed: a king size, true natural power, a unique severe look and a stable mentality of these beautiful animals.
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Fans of these cats currently breed Maine Coons in all corners of the globe. However, a common standard and type of the breed has not been established yet. There are quite objective reasons for this, including, in particular, differences between approaches to standards used by the American and the European feline systems. Moreover, the vision of the breed of many breeders from various countries differs greatly. However, each type of the breed has a right to exist, and each has its loyal fans.
“I would Like to Adopt a Maine Coon, but a Cheap One"
Come to any cat show and you will see that the Maine Coon and the British Shorthair are the most numerous of the exhibited breeds. As it has happened with other widespread breeds, the popularity of the Maine Coon has played Old Harry with them, especially for serious breeders.
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Unfortunately, along with recognized and reputable experts there are a lot of pseudo-breeders who have neither breeding programs, nor knowledge to work with the breed, nor, generally speaking, any moral right to breed these noble animals. As a rule, having bought a cat, these poor “experts" just couple them – as they say themselves, to get kittens. Of course, these people have neither pedigrees, nor serious analysis of the prospects of development of their “catteries". Naturally, kittens resulting from such a breeding may resemble the Maine Coon, especially for those who are not very good at the breed standard. But are they real Maine Coons, if we consider the matter seriously?! But it is such kittens that are mostly often sold on online resources such as AVITO. And it's very sad.
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While talking with a potential buyer of a kitten, I often hear the question: “Why is it so expensive? It is much cheaper on AVITO!" Well, yes, it is cheaper... What should I answer these people? Only one thing: a good pedigreed kitten, like a good car, cannot be cheap. Expensive and tasty, cheap and nasty – it is an old proverb, but it perfectly suits the situation with “blurring" of the breed by dishonest “breeders"! After all, if a breeder is a real professional, his work on selection of begetters, growing of kittens is not only time-consuming, but also very costly, which funds are usually not compensated. Serious work with the breed is not a business or even a hobby - it's a life work for enthusiastic people.
So you should buy a kitten only in a cattery with a good reputation. Only in such a way you will become a happy owner of a healthy thoroughbred kitten, which will make you happy while contacting with the tender giant Maine Coon.
And by the way, get ready for another surprise... As owners of these cats say, “There can never be too many Coons ..." :)
Author: Alexey Kutuzov