10 Things About Maine Coon You Probably Haven't Heard Of!
Remember Mrs.Norris from Harry Potter? Yup, that's the Maine Coon cat who keeps eye on misbehaving students or more famously known as "Mr.Filch's cat". Talk about cats that can be easily recognized by an "M spot" across the forehead, Maine Coons are true American cats as they were developed in Maine of The United States. So what else is there to know about them? Here are the 10 fun facts about Maine Coon.
Fun Fact #1 : The Maine Coon Myths
Details on Maine Coon's origins are apparently murky. Hence, this led to multiple myths created surrounding their origins. One of them is they got their name from British Captain Charles Coon, a sailor who sailed off of New England in 1800's. They were believed to be descendants of seafaring cats belonging to the captain. They were called the "Coon Cats". Another theory would be they came to America with the Vikings due to their strong resemblance to Norwegian Forest Cats. Yet another theory is that they are related to raccoons although it is scientifically unproven. The last and most popular theory is that Maine Coons are descendants of Queen Marie Antoinette's pet cats who were shipped to Wiscasset, Maine during the French Revolution that resulted in the Queen's execution.
Fun Fact #2 : The Great Dane of Cats
No doubt about it, they are indeed the cat version of Great Dane and the largest domestic cat breed. These humongous cats are big boned and muscular with females weighing from 9 to 16 pounds and males weighing from 13 to 18 pounds. They are so big that sometimes mistaken for a bobcat.
Fun Fact #3 : Not a Meower
Maine Coons typically don't meow, instead, they chirp and trill (a mixture of a meow and a purr). Generally, cats tend to chirp when they spot their prey and trill as an expression of happiness. But just like the Bengals and other anti-meow cats, the Maine Coons prefer a different kind of tone.
Fun Fact #4 : Whisker Master
The breed apparently holds the record of possessing the longest whiskers in the world. Meet Fullmoon's Miss American Pie, also known as "Missi", a Maine Coon cat who lived in Finland broke the record in 2005 with a measured whisker at 7.5 inches long. It's fair to say Missi did her breed proud by bringing some "big size" records to the category, if you get the pun.
Fun Fact #5 : Just Like Bengal, They Love Water
These cats enjoy the water. This is due to their dense and moisture-repellant coats making them comfortable in the presence of water. Their water-resistant fur also makes them quite efficient swimmers, almost in an effortless style. Owning this cat will definitely make the bathing session less burdening for cat owners and this might just be a good thing.
Fun Fact #6 : They're Winter Lovers
Maine Coons are winter lovers, unsurprisingly. Having adapted to life on the east coast, they have everything it takes to withstand cold environment. Their shaggy multi-layered fur (Specifically two undercoats and a guard coat) allows them to survive harsh winters. Their over-sized tufted paws serve as built-in "snowshoes" help to navigate the snow. Last but not least, their bushy tails can help increase the warmth by wrapping around their bodies should it get slightly colder.
Fun Fact #7 : First North American Cat Show Winner
Once upon a time, a brown tabby Maine Coon cat named Cosey won the "Best Cat" award at one of America's first recorded juried cat exhibits in New York City, 1895. Today, the medal Cosey won are on display at the Cat Fanciers Association headquarters in Ohio. The Maine Coons were the country's most prestigious breed until the emergence of Persian cats. After that, Maine Coons became so scarce to the point of near extinction as a result of cat fanciers stopping their breeding process. Luckily in 1968, Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association was formed to rescue the fluffy feline from obscurity.
Fun Fact #8 : First Commercially Cloned Cat
A Maine Coon cat named Little Nicky became the first pet animal to be cloned commercially in 2004. After Little Nicky's death at the age of 17, his owner, Julie, paid $50,000 to a controversial dog and cat cloning company called " Genetic Savings & Clone, Inc. " to transplant her dog's DNA into an egg cell. Next thing you know, a kitten similar in appearance and temperament to Little Nicky was born. It's safe to assume that she won't be making a Little Nicky III anytime soon as the company closed in 2006 due to financial reasons.
Fun Fact #9 : The Polydactyl Cats
No, it's not a superhero team, it just simply means these cats are prone to being born with extra appendages on their paws or in plain English, they are prone to having six toes. A study shows as much as 40 percent of early Maine Coons had this characteristic. Ironically, what seems to be a defect, it instead helps the cats use their paws as natural snowshoes during snowy winters. Courtesy of the cat fanciers' associations, owners ceased breeding polydactyl Maine Coons and they declined in number gradually. However, some non-purebred litters still yield Maine Coons with extra digits.
Fun Fact #10: Guinness World Record Breakers
As if there isn't enough pride in this breed, here's another thing or two for them to be further proud of, they have Guinness World Record Breakers! Introducing Stevie, an 8-year-old Maine Coon, held the record for the world's longest domestic cat measuring at 48.5 inches from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail bone. Sadly, he died from cancer in 2013. Another Guinness representative Corduroy, a half-Maine Coon, currently holds the record for world's oldest living cat with 26 years.