The Maine Coon originates from the United States. The breed is thought to have come about through interbreeding between domestic cats and bobcats, but it is widely accepted that they are the result of breedings between Norwegian Forest Cats and short-haired breeds.
The most distinctive feature of a Maine Coon is its long, dense fur and its bushy tail. These, along with its big paws, are adaptations for living in harsh, snowy winters. They are also the largest breed of domestic cat, and can weigh up to a whopping 16kg!
Maine Coons are often compared to dogs in terms of their temperament. They are very intelligent and can learn new skills including walking on a lead and playing fetch.
Unlike some moodier moggies, Maine Coons are generally very relaxed around other cats, dogs and children, and are very loyal to their family, hence the nickname ‘gentle giants’. They love playing with water, and they often have a habit of ‘talking back’ to their owners. Among their many other talents, they are also very skilled hunters, and you are unlikely to ever find a mouse in your house before the cat gets to it!
Feature image source.