WHO’STHATCAT? BY KIM CAMPBELL THORNTON
This furry “cat of size” takes his name from the tall tale that he’s the result of a love match between a cat and a raccoon. Brown tabby fur and ring- tail notwithstanding, the Maine Coon is indeed all cat — a very large armful of cat. Nicknamed the “gentle giant,” the Maine Coon is right up
there with Siberians, Norwegian Forest Cats, and Ragdolls as one of the largest of
pedigreed felines. The “gentle” part comes from his famously laid-back personality.
Veterinarian Sarah Miller has two Maine Coons, chosen because she knew they
would get along not only with her three daughters but also her aging Golden
Retriever. “They let the girls cover them up in baby blankets, and one ‘spoons’ with
Lucy, our old Golden,” she said. “They are hilarious.”
Living with a Maine Coon
Maine Coons are the retrievers of the cat world, Dr. Miller said. They enjoy
chasing toys and will bring them back to you. If you need pest control, the Maine
Coon’s “barn cat” ancestry can make him your new best friend.
A Maine Coon will follow you around and offer assistance if he thinks you
need it, but he’s not an in-your-face kind of cat. He’s not always a lap sitter, but
he may enjoy “holding paws” with you.
He can climb if he wants to, but for the most part the
Maine Coon prefers to keep four on the floor. He’s a curious
cat and can take well to learning to walk on a leash. Don’t
be surprised if he enjoys playing in water, although that
doesn’t always translate to enjoyment of a bath.
You should know
The muscular, big-boned Maine
Coon typically weighs 9 to 18
pounds (males are larger). It takes
three to five years before the cat
achieves full physical maturity, but
he tends to retain his kittenlike
demeanor for life.
Given good care and nutrition, a Maine Coon can live 12 to
15 years, with some living well into
their late teens.
Don’t get a Maine Coon if
MaineCoonsaretheretrievers of the cat world.