Date updated: 17 11 2017
If you’re looking for a big cat with an even bigger personality, the Maine Coon could be pretty much the purr-fect pet. Those pointy ears and long bushy tail are guaranteed to turn heads - and that impressive range of yowls and chirps is definitely memorable. Affectionate, sociable and eager to please, the Maine Coon was born to make friends.
Average lifespan: Around 12 years - but some live up to 15 years and older!
Weight: Males: 6.8 to 11.34.kg, Females: 5.0 to 9.0 kg
Colouring: Usually classic brown or tabby
Grooming requirements: moderate (the semi-long fur needs regular brushing).
Average purchase cost: Around £450.
Bet you didn’t know…
These guys are super affectionate; they’re smart and are genuinely interested in everything you’re doing. They also have a strong independent streak - so while they’re happy to come over for an occasional cuddle, a Maine Coon isn’t really a lap cat.
That being said, they usually get on really well with kids - which makes them great family pets. With the right socialisation and intros, they can also settle in with other dogs and cats. Bear in mind that your buddy will get lonely (and take it out on the furniture) if left alone for long periods, so other pets might be a good idea if you’re away at work all day.
Behaviour and temperament...
The earliest Maine Coons were mostly farm cats, where they earned their stay catching rats and keeping birds away from the crops. To do this they needed to be smart, alert and super keen to explore: all traits that form the modern breed’s character.
While today’s Maine Coon would still love to spend all their time outdoors hunting and playing, it might be best to keep your buddy inside (depending on where you live) to keep the risk of traffic, theft and disease to a minimum.
When they’re not napping, Maine Coon’s like to stay busy. It doesn’t matter what game you go for - puzzles, cuddly toys, or even just taking the time to teach “high five”, sit and fetch. When it’s time for litter training, a Maine Coon kitten will generally ‘get’ what’s expected of them, so there’s not much work needed.
One of the most loveable things about a Maine Coon is that ‘special’ vocabulary. Instead of “Miaows” you’ll probably get a sweet chirping sound, and unmistakeable yowling when it’s time for dinner!
These big, muscular cats can burn up a lot of energy. They’re not known for being greedy and are not usually fussy eaters - but that’s not to say that you shouldn’t be fussy when it comes to what to feed them. Consult with your vet on the most appropriate feeding regime, bearing in mind that this will alter gradually as your Maine gets older.
To avoid matting, irritation and fur balls, that bushy, semi-long coat should be combed and brushed around twice a week. Shedding tends to increase in Autumn and Spring, so it’s probably worth brushing daily during these months to keep on top of it. Your buddy’s ears should be cleaned once a week - but be really careful not to probe into the ear canals, as this can cause a lot of problems. Use a damp cloth rather than a cotton bud, and check for any redness or discharge (i.e. signs of infection) while you’re there.
Common health issues to watch out for...