Feline Breed Menu

Snowshoe Cat

Snowshoe Cat

Snowshoe Cat
Breed Organizations

TICA Executive Office
Website: http://www.tica.org
The Cat Fanciers' Association
Website: http://www.cfainc.org

Native Country
United States Of America
Other Names
Maine Shag, Coon Cat, Maine Cat, Maine Coon, American Longhair
Life Expectancy
No Information Available
Litter Size
No Information Available
Breed Appearance
The Maine Coon, also known as American Longhair, is a breed of domestic cat with a distinctive physical appearance and valuable hunting skills. 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. The Maine Coon is a longhaired, or medium-haired, cat. The coat is soft and silky, although texture may vary with coat color. The length is shorter on the head and shoulders, and longer on the stomach and flanks with some cats having a lion-like ruff around their neck. Minimal grooming is required for the breed, compared to other long-haired breeds, as their coat is mostly self-maintaining due to a light-density undercoat. The coat is subject to seasonal variation, with the fur being thicker in the winter and thinner during the summer.

Maine Coons are one of the largest breeds of domestic cat. Males weigh from 15 to 25 lb with females weighing from 10 to 15 lb. The height of adults can vary between 10 and 16 in and they can reach a length of up to 48 in, including the tail, which can reach a length of 14 in and is long, tapering, and heavily furred, almost resembling a raccoon's tail. The body is solid and muscular, which is necessary for supporting their own weight, and the chest is broad. Maine Coons possess a rectangular body shape and are slow to physically mature; their full potential size is normally not reached until they are three to five years old, while other cats take about only one year.

Breed Description
Head: Medium-sized, typically wedge-shaped. Slightly domed forehead. Slight concave curve in profile. High, prominent cheek bones. Angular muzzle. Broad nose, sometimes slightly domed at the tip. Firm chin. Powerful, fairly long jaws.
Eyes: Large, well-spaced, slightly oval but appearing round when wide open. Set at a slight slant. All colors are allowed.
Neck: Moderately long, powerful, slightly arched.
Body: Long, rectangular, large in size. Heavy-boned. Powerful muscles.
Paw: Moderately long, strong. Heavy-boned and muscular. Large, round paws. Well-furnished interdigital regions.
Tail: Long, broad at the base, tapering toward the tip with long, abundant, fluttering hair.
Coat: Coat adapted to all seasons. Dense, silky, short on the head, shoulders, and legs, longer on the back and flanks, with considerable, well-furnished britches. Long hair on the belly. A ruff is desirable. The undercoat is soft, fine, and covered with smooth, waterproof, slightly oily hair.
Fault: Small size, frail appearance. Round head. Straight or convex profile. Nose with a break. Round, pointed muzzle. Prominent flews. Receding chin. Ears too widely spaced, too flared. Eyes almond-shaped, too slanted. Body short, stocky. Fine, light bone structure. Short tail. Coat of equal length over entire body.

An American giant and a gentle wild cat according to legend, the Maine Coon is the result of the mating of a wild cat and a raccoon, a genetic impossibility imagined because the coat and tail of the breed resemble those of the raccoon. The Maine Coon originated in the United States, in Maine. It is thought to have arisen from crosses between Angoras brought from the Middle East by sailors, English cats brought by the first colonists, Russian and Nordic cats, and shorthaired American farm cats. The harsh climate of this region of the United States produced this large, hardy cat which may be considered the first American feline breed. Captain Jenks, a black and white cat, was the first Maine Coon successfully shown at cat shows in Boston and New York in 1861. The breed also caused a stir in 1895 at New York's Madison Square Garden. Persians and Siamese stole the stage from the Maine Coon for half a century. Interest in the breed was renewed around 1950 and has been growing rapidly since 1980. A standard was published in 1960. The C.F.A. and the F.I.Fe. recognized the breed in 1976 and 1980, respectively. Although the Maine Coon is one of the world's most significant breeds, it is fairly uncommon in Europe and rare in France, where it was introduced in 1981.The Maine Coon Feline Association breed club was created in 1987. The breed has changed greatly in recent years. It is larger, taller, and more wild.

Well-balanced and calm, this “gentle giant” with quiet strength is sociable and non-aggressive, albeit dominant. He is affectionate and very attached to his owner. Playful, athletic. Females enter puberty late. Kittens grow slowly and do not reach adulthood until three or four years old. They are easy to groom, as a good weekly brushing is sufficient.

Hip Dysplasia is at a higher risk in this breed.

Horse Herd