The Maine Coon is the second most popular domesticated cat breed in the United States. Other names for the Maine Coon include Coon Cat, Maine Cat, and Maine Shag.
How big can they get?
Maine Coons are the largest breed of domestic cats and are known for their size. The males are larger than the females and can grow to nearly 20 pounds and 40 inches long, including the tail.
Maine Cat Source: The Book of the Cat
Their coat can be long or medium length. It gets thicker in the winter to account for colder weather. The coat comes in a variety of colors and patterns normal to all cats. They also have a long furry tail.
Where did it come from?
The Maine coon cat was first bred in the state of Maine. There is actually a lot of folklore about how the breed first came about. Some stories say that it is part raccoon or part bobcat, which is very likely not true. Other stories involve people from history including Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, and English Sea Captain John Coon. Either way, the breed is one of the oldest native to North America.
Maine coons tend to be good with people, but not overly clingy. They prefer just to hang-out with their owners and are generally not lap cats. They are often good with children and other pets, even dogs.
Does it make a good pet?
Since the Maine Coon is the second most popular breed of cat, they must be doing something right. A lot of people really like the Maine Coon as a pet. They generally have a good combination of personality where they are independent, but still make good companions. They are hardy animals and can make great pets for the active family.
They don't have a lot of general health problems, although they are somewhat prone to heart disease. Their coats will need some help with grooming, likely needing to be brushed on a regular basis to prevent matting and hair balls.
Maine Coon Author: Guayar via Wikipedia
Fun facts about the Maine Coon Cat
It is official state cat for Maine.
It could be that they are descended from cats introduced by the Vikings.
They have the nickname Gentle Giants because of their size and temperament.
It takes 4 to 5 years for the Maine coon cat to become full grown.
They are good mousers.
Their coats are well adapted for the cold winters in New England.