The Maine Coon Cat has a long, rectangular body with a deep chest to go between the thick weeds and brush of the New England countryside. Maine Coons possess the incredible mass and strength that they were required to catch their food and also maintain the many native and wild competing carnivore species at bay if confronted. They have extremely long whiskers, being night hunters, so they could feel the proximity of side branches and weeds without having to totally bump into them (in the dark) and get weed seeds stuck to their long fur. The massive tail with a thick, muscular base served several vital survival functions. The length makes total balance and agility, at high speed and climbing, an easy accomplishment. While at rest, that heavy 8-inch diameter fur on the tail (sometimes called a brush) is wrapped around the legs and stomach to conserve vital body warmth. These were the most perfect predators of any of the purely domesticated cats, and they have no exotic wild-species bloodlines in them. Even still, modern teeth are formidable and long to permit penetrating deeply into rats, etc. to kill their food. Some of the modern cats' teeth are still so long as actually protrude slightly from the upper lips giving a slight 'saber-tooth' effect. The Maine Coon's long muzzle that is broad as well facilitates the cat's ability to quickly mouth-grab fairly large moving things, like prey. In today's time, following a stuffed cotton mouse cast by a fishing pole, they can grab the mouse from mid-air while pursuing it at high speed (and then cut the line).
Adult Maine Coon Cats have a three-layer coat. The under coat consists of the most fine and numerous downy hairs and also longer hairs. These undercoats of two lengths are very soft and keep the cat warm. As cats grow out of the kitten phase, they develop the third, outer coat called guard hairs. The thicker, coarser, guard hairs do get quite long. When you look at the adult cat, the glossy guard hairs are about all you see along the cat's back, sides, and tail. Some cats choose not to grow their guard hairs out.
When the breed was naturally developing in past centuries, the guard hairs kept snow off and repelled water. In winter, when the length of daylight shortens, their under coats become extensive, to keep the cat warmer, if need be. The seasonal growth of undercoat is mostly along the cat's lower neck and underside, leading to the term 'shaggy coat'.
Truly a cat of many colors, the Maine Coon is recognized in almost every color and combination with the exception of Himalayan marking. The best known may be the brown classic tabby, but there are a great many accepted colors loved, prized, and shown by people who know Maine Coons.
The breed is known for its friendly, outgoing personality and its impressive size, with males averaging 15 to 20 pounds and females averaging 10 to 15 pounds; they are heavy-boned cats. Their beautiful large eyes are wide set, slightly slanting upward towards their large, well-tufted ears. Lynx-tips (hair on tip of ear) do not occur on every Maine Coon or can vary from 1/4" to spectacular 1" legnths.
The standard permits eyes in the colors of green, gold or copper or a combination except in white cats where blue or odd eyes are permitted. Maine Coons are muscular cats that stand tall on sturdy, wide-set legs, and large rounded paws, famous for their tufting. The long tail is able to wrap around the toes and it is said that the Maine Coon is a tail with a cat attached. The tail is usually as long as the cat from nose to butt.
The breed, with its self-grooming coat which is virtually non-matting, can groom its own coat but still enjoys the attention of being combed now and then.
Maine Coons are "cool" cats with very even temperaments which blend in well with multi-pet households and are very devoted and loyal. They are extremely intelligent, you can actually watch your Maine Coon thinking...trying to figure out how to get something. They are very perceptive animals, very aware of time in their daily routines and very conscious of their owner's moods and wellness. An owner that is under the weather will find their Maine Coon not leaving their side. The Maine Coon cat is a slow-maturing breed and are not mature until they are 4-5 years old. They grow in stages. They can stay kitten-like until 14-15 years old.