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Maine Coons May Be Massive, But This Popular U.S. Cat Breed Is Actually Referred To As A “Gentle Giant” And Is Known For Having Playful, Dog-Like Qualities

Sergei - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only, not the actual cat

Every cat is unique in its own way, but the Maine coon has several special traits that make it stand out. With its massive size, tufted ears, bushy tail, majestic mane, and friendly disposition, it is one of the most popular cat breeds in the United States.

Maine coons have been given the nickname of “gentle giants.” They get along well with people and other pets. Their affectionate and playful qualities are almost dog-like, rendering them the canines of the cat world.

As their name suggests, they are native to Maine, where they are the official state cat. There are a few theories about their ancestral origins and how they ended up in North America.

One of them is that Maine coons are descendants of Marie Antoinette’s six Turkish Angora cats that she had shipped to the U.S. as she attempted to escape execution during the French Revolution. In Maine, the felines mated with the indigenous cat breeds there to produce the fluffy Maine coon.

On a similar note, Maine coons are said to have originated from short-haired domestic cats coupling up with long-haired ones that were brought over by the Vikings in the 18th century.

The Viking theory seems to be the most credible one since genetic testing suggests that the Maine coon is related to the Norwegian forest cat and another domestic species that is no longer around.

Their long, silky fur keeps them warm in the cold, harsh New England climate, and their paws are well-suited for walking in the snow. Maine coons come in a rainbow of colors and patterns, including orange, black, white, brown, and tortoiseshell.

The average male Maine coon can weigh between 13 and 15 pounds, while females range from nine to 12 pounds. These cats keep growing until they’re four to five years old. The typical Maine coon has a body length of 19 to 32 inches. Some can even reach up to 40 inches!

A Maine coon cat from Italy measures a whopping three feet and 11 inches, making him longer than a baseball bat.

Sergei – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only, not the actual cat

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