Colours and Patterns
Maine Coons come in all the natural coat colours. The original brown tabby used to be to most common colour.
However the cats today are white, black, blue, red, cream, silver, bi-colours in all the above, shaded in all the above, and tortie (in females) who have red patching in their fur. Solids (no stripes also occur in all the colours. All can be with white (white paws and chest), bi-colour half the cat white or calico (females) which is white with orange and brown patches.
The basic tabby patterns are either classic (twirls and circles) or mackerel (stripes running longitudinally from the spine). Ticked tabbies are accepted by TICA, CFF and FIFE but not yet accepted in South Africa.
Eye colour should be shades of green, gold or copper. There is no relationship between eye colour and coat colour except solid white Maine Coons who will have either blue or odd coloured eyes (ie one blue and one either green or coper eye).
Origins of the Maine Coon Breed
The Maine Coon is known as a ‘working’ cat. They are ferocious hunters and lived in the barns keeping rats and mice at bay.
Rough and ready sailors also needed to control the rats aboard the ships, and these strong, hardy cats fulfilled this purpose. Many stories abound of the bond between the sailor and his cat.
Of especial note is the theory of Captain Coon, an English sea captain, who was exceedingly fond of cats and who owned and operated a trading vessel up and down the New England coast. Whenever he went on land to do business, his feline army went with him. Many of his cats were long haired – Persians and Angoras, which were popular in England at that time. The sailors and the cats had a tendency to abandon ship.
Thus when long-haired kittens began to appear in local litters, they were referred to as one of Coon’s cats!
Another belief is that they came from the mating between cats and racoons, both of which are brown with broad striped markings. However this is NOT genetically possible.
- In 1895, a dozen Maine Coons were entered in a show in Boston, Massachusetts.
- On May 8th, 1895, the first North American Cat Show was hosted at Madison Square Gardens in New York City. A brown tabby female, named Cosey won the silver collar and medal and was awarded Best in Show.
- In 2006, the Guiness World Records named Verismo Leonetti Reserve Red aka Leo, the Longest Cat. He measured 120cm in length and weighed 16kgs.
- In 2018 the Guiness World Records named a Maine Coon as having the longest tail at 66 cms.
- It has been said that up to 40% of the original Maine Coons at one time were polydactyl. Today it is considered a fault by nearly all of the cat fancies world wide and thus cannot be shown. However can you imagine the delight of the sailors and these huge ratting paws!!
A Cat Proudly from Maine, USA
Suffice to say this cat is the official cat of the state of Maine. And they are very proud of their natural cat!
This is a truly magnificent animal created by Mother Nature. Once you have been owned by a Maine Coon cat – you will never ever want any other breed!
That is a promise!!